For one night only the world forgets about Gareth Bale and focuses of the small matter of Real Madrid visiting Old Trafford to play Man United in the Champions League.
As expected for a match of this magnitude the bookies are falling over themselves to offer promos. Both Blue Square and Ladbrokes offer refunds on the usual markets if RVP scores first, whilst Paddy Power are in ridiculously generous mood offering refunds if Ronaldo scores anytime. Yes, you read that correctly.
Both teams come into this game in sparkling form. Real come into this game fresh from absolutely spanking Barcelona (remember when they were good?) twice in a week – and they rested most of their first team in the process second time around. They’ve won five of their last six, the sole aberration being the 1-1 draw with United in the first leg. United are in even better form, the Madrid draw their only failure to win in 8, and they haven’t lost in any competition since their reserves lost a dead rubber against Cluj at the start of December.
Starting with the obvious, this game should deliver goals. Man United having the away goal means that Real need to score at least twice to progress, and with Ronaldo in their ranks they’re not short of a goal or two. And with RVP in United’s ranks, coupled with the probable absence of Cassilas in goal for Real means that United will fancy themselves scoring as well. Both teams to score at 1/2 with most bookmakers won’t make you rich, but it’s pretty much nailed on to come in as a start. Despite the flurry of goals in this, i think that the actual match will be quite even between the teams – it’s probably going to be decided by the individual battles, Carrick or Kagawa vs Alsonso and Di Maria vs Rafael stand out in particular. When it’s all said and done however, i believe that this match will end up like a draw like in the first leg, with Real progressing on away goals. For this reason, i like the look of backing a score draw at just under 3/1 (29/10 with Ladbrokes) and a correct score of 2-2 at 14/1 with Stan James.
Finally, with such an array of talent on show it’s tough to pick who will score the goals, but you can pretty much guarantee that Ronaldo will get in on the act at some point. Much will depend on cutting off his supply line of Ozil and Alonso, but at some point he will get the one chance he will need to score. Back him anytime at evens with Stan James.
Nailed on: Both Teams to score @ 1/2 (Betfred)
Short Odds: Ronaldo to score anytime @ evens (Stan James)
Medium Odds: Score Draw @ 29/10 (Ladbrokes)
Long Odds: Correct Score 2-2 @ 14/1 (Stan James)
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