On this page you find betting tips related to Real Madrid.
December 6th, 2011 / Matt - Category:
Champions League Tips
It is make or break for the two Manchester clubs, City and United, with neither certain as to whether they’ll be playing Champions League football into the New Year. I’m not sure what’s worse for them, the fact failure to complete their objectives on Match Day 6 will result in elimination or that the Europa League could await them both.
You have to feel for Roberto Mancini, as his Man City charges have it two-fold. Victory at home to Bayern Munich is a must, that’s the first thing – and arguably most difficult, but Villarreal, the team who prop up the group without a single point to their name, must also take points off Napoli at El Madrigal if the Citizens are to make the cut for the last-16.
Because their domestic form has gone awry in recent weeks, and with top spot in the group assured, Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes will more than likely ring the changes. Should he do so, it’s difficult to envisage the Bavarians, whom go into the game having mustered just one win from their last five, denying City the win they so crave.
Meanwhile, City have won their last seven in succession at Eastlands, including Saturday’s 5-1 demolition of Norwich. David Silva and Sergio Aguero in particular will pose all sorts of problems for a Bayern defence that has failed to shut-out any of their previous six opponents, and shipped three in defeat to struggling Mainz in their most recent away assignment.
The 4/6 on Manchester City trumping table-toppers Bayern Munich, who are still shorn of key midfielder Bastien Schweinsteiger, looks extremely generous, especially when paired with Manchester United to comply away in Basel.
United only require a point from their visit to Switzerland in order to qualify, yet I see them taking all three. FC Basel performed remarkably well in the reverse meeting at Old Trafford, which ended 3-3. It was a match they probably should have won as well, having led 3-2 with only added time left to play.
Since then, however, Sir Alex has shut up shop, with his charges keeping six clean sheets in their previous nine matches. Saturday’s narrow win at Aston Villa was the fourth away game in a row where the reigning Premier League champions had managed to ground out the win without shipping any goals. They epitomize efficiency right now.
Of course, there is a legit argument as to who will score the winning goal on Wednesday, what with Hernandez, Berbatov and Owen all out injured. But someone always does. This is Manchester United remember, the team who find a way of winning like no other I know.
Bet365 go 6/4 on both Manchester clubs ending the night triumphant, though in City’s case that won’t necessarily mean qualification
If the double lacks appeal, and I suspect it does for most, then you could always take a chance on Ajax squeezing a result out of their home clash with Real Madrid.
A tall order you say? Real Madrid take on Barcelona at the weekend in the first El Clasico of the season, so expect nothing less than a wrath of changes from Jose Mourinho, whose team are already certain to finish top of their group. But even with a much-changed side, the Galacticos will be tough to beat, so the draw may be the only conceivable result for Frank De Boer’s Dutch champs – which just so happens to be a result good enough to send them through.
Manchester City and Manchester United both to win, and the Ajax versus Real Madrid contest to end in a draw, is around 15/2 with Bet365.
Manchester City to BEAT Bayern Munich: 4/6 888Sport
Manchester United to BEAT FC Basel: 8/13 WilliamHill
Ajax & Real Madrid to DRAW: 12/5 SkyBet
August 29th, 2011 / Matt - Category:
European Football Tips
Barcelona Vs Villarreal
Monday, 28th August 2011 (20:00 Kick-Off, GMT)
Nobody has been able to get anywhere near Pep Guardiola’s charges for a few years now, with only a resilient, well-organised Jose Mourinho Inter Milan side getting anywhere close. But after watching the recent Spanish SuperCopa final between the Catalan giants and Real Madrid, who are, of course, managed – if you can call it that now – by Barca’s Portuguese nemesis, the ‘Special One’, I’m beginning to sense a change in the guard.
In spite of their 5-4 aggregate defeat in the Spanish Super Cup, I’m of no doubt that Madrid have closed the gap. There is, however, still some daylight there, but the deficit is now small enough for Jose Mourinho’s men to be serious La Liga challengers this season. It is, of course, easy to claim that they weren’t last season with the benefit of starring intently at the final standings from last season; although Los Merengues finished a mere four points behind Barca, they only ever applied pressure in the first quarter of the term. However thereafter it was plain sailing for the Catalans, who could even afford a lousy finish by their ridiculously high standards of just two wins from their last five league games.
I strongly suspect it will be a different story altogether this season now that Barcelona themselves, after being pushed hard in their SuperCopa victory and having seen the progress Mourinho’s team has made over the summer, know full well the challenge from their Madrid rivals will be far stronger and more sustained over the course of the next nine months. The pressure which comes from knowing any slip-up can and will be punished should lead to the team who have been dubbed the greatest ever by pundits, universally, justifying Mourinho’s decision to plug away at the Bernabeu – that this current crop of Catalunia legends are still human, after all.
Before April, 2010, which was basically when Barcelona had La Liga wrapped up, Guardiola had guided his team to 24 victories, just three draws and one solitary, shock defeat to Hercules. So irony being then that in a season where pretty much everyone else bar the top-two – who are so far ahead it’s unbelievable – appear slightly weaker on paper than they were a year ago, I believe the two El Clasico encounters won’t be as influential on deciding who takes the coveted La Liga title.
There will be slip-ups now that Real are genuinely breathing down Lionel Messi & Co’s necks, as the latter now know full well that their arch rivals can up their level of intensity and performance in the Derby duels, meaning dropping points elsewhere has never been so critical.
Even after all my Hollywood hype, pinpointing actual fixtures where either could come a cropper in isn’t straightforward. Atletico Madrid are certainly interesting. Sergio Aguero has gone while it would appear Diego Forlan, who was on the wane anyhow, is on the cusp of joining Inter Milan, but in return the club have brought in Turkey winger Arda Turan and last season’s Europa League top-scorer, Radamel Falcao.
Sevilla will also be dangerous so long as Alvaro Negredo spearheads their attack. Valencia may have parted company with Juan Mata but their squad, in terms of quality, is probably the third strongest in Spain. While Malaga’s mass spending over the summer, bringing in the likes of Jeremy Toulalan, Joaquin, Santi Cazorla and Ruud Van Nistlerooy is exciting even though I don’t expect them to land the top-four finish they are being touted for.
The one oversight there is Villarreal, and that could be a common occurrence this season, people overlooking the fact that The Yellow Submarine, despite losing Santi Cazorla and full-back Joan Capdevila without adding great deal in the form of replacements, are still a very tidy outfit that will remain a side everyone in La Liga will dread playing for three reasons: El Madrigal, and their formidable strike-force of Brazil’s Nilmar and Italy’s Giuseppe Rossi.
Between them, Rossi and Nilmar notched 50 goals in all competitions last season. They’re a prolific front duo! And while the club is a little light on creativity, especially in midfield, so long as they can keep their ruthless forwards happy off the pitch but on their toes on it, then I see no reason why they can’t hold their own this season, and by that I mean compete against the big teams over 90 minutes but also retain their top-four status.
The reason I highlight Villarreal is that they are first to visit the Camp Nou this season. Those fortunate so-and-so’s. It will, as it always is, be a massive ask for Javier Garrido’s boys to take anything from this game, a feat they last managed just two seasons ago interestingly, but they have been one of only a select few to regularly trouble Pep Guardiola’s men in Catalonia.
Villarreal, who will be spearheaded once again by Nilmar and Rossi, the latter having netted twice in last week’s Europa League play-off win over Odense, have scored on each of their last four visits to the formidable home of Barcelona, while two of those aforementioned encounters ended in draws (2008/2009: 3-3, 2009/2010: 1-1). To even take points off Barcelona may be asking too much of my Yellow friends, but it’s about the only thing worth backing in a fixture where the hosts are unsurprisingly well odds-on to win, that and Villarreal maintaining their trend of scoring.
I’ll also have some of the action on Rossi, who rarely misses an opportunity in and around the opposing 18-yard box and does crucially take penalties. It helps that he does convert most of those too, something which is a rarity in the Barclay’s Premier League at the minute.
Draw @ 13/2 VictorChandler
Both Teams to Score @ 10/11 WilliamHill
Giuseppe Rossi to Score @ 10/3 WilliamHill
2011/2012 La Liga Tips
Real Madrid to Win Championship @ 11/8 SkyBet
April 23rd, 2011 / Matt - Category:
European Football Tips
Valencia V Real Madrid
Date & Kick-Off: Saturday, 23 April 2011 – 17:00 (GMT)
Competition: Spanish La Liga
A 1-1 draw with Barcelona in La Liga a week previous virtually destroyed Real Madrid’s aspirations of finishing the season as domestic winners, with Los Merengues trailing Barca by eight-points. However, they did at least make amends several days later by beating the Catalan giants 1-0 after extra-time in the Spanish Copa Del Rey final, ironically at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium, to ensure Jose Mourinho wouldn’t finish his first spell in charge at the Bernabeu empty-handed. But, with the league pretty much done with, and with further titanic clashes with Barcelona in the Champions League looming large, we can expect nothing less from the Portuguese maestro than plenty of squad rotation during the remainder of the Spanish season, starting with Saturday’s usually heavyweight billing with Valencia.
The bookmakers are clearly of the same opinion as us, as not since Madrid travelled to the Camp Nou earlier in the season, in a fixture they were subsequently spanked 5-0 in, have Mourinho’s men been such alluring odds. However, there’s a reason for that, and the simple fact that I’m not alone when I say I strongly believe Valencia to be exceptional value this weekend should also speak volumes.
Even though Valencia have seemingly ran away with third-placed and are assured of Champions League football next season, they don’t have any prior engagements between now and the end of the season, unlike Real Madrid, and so can afford to lavish La Liga with their full attention without a care in the world for fitness and injuries. And, at home, where they’ve tasted defeat on just three occasions this season and post a healthy record of W9 D4 L3, they really ought to come good on Saturday against what many are anticipating will be a much-changed Madrid outfit.
Not only does Mourinho have both eyes planted on next Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg encounter with Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Madrid tactician will be wary about fielding any who featured prominently in Wednesday’s Copa Del Rey triumph over Pep Guardiola’ side, in what was 120-minutes of endurance-sapping football in Valencia.
Furthermore, Real have often been suspect on their travels this season, so a second-string outfit tackling a full-strength and bang-in-form Valencia doesn’t bode well.
Unai Emery’s team are also chasing their fourth consecutive league win on Saturday, following hugely impressive wins over Getafe (2-4) and Almeria (0-3) away, as well as a spectacular 5-0 demolition of fourth-placed Villarreal in their most recent encounter at the Mestalla.
Valencia striker Roberto Soldado, who grew up in Madrid and rose through the Real ranks as a teenager, has been at the forefront of Valencia’s blistering recent form. The 25-year-old, who has scored 20 goals in all competitions for Los Che this season, has found his way onto the scoresheet in each of his team’s last three matches in La Liga, and accounts for seven of Valencia’s last twelve goals in that period. More poignantly, Soldado opened the scoring twice and looks the most likely to get the ball rolling for Valencia on Saturday.
Valencia have only won ONE of the previous FIVE La Liga meetings with Real Madrid, and just ONE of the last SIX at the Mestalla.
Los Che are aiming to secure their fourth straight league win on Saturday, after emphatic wins over Getafe (2-4), Villarreal (5-0) and, more recently, Almeria (0-3).
Real Madrid have only lost three of their 32 La Liga games this season, though two were away from home.
Just 26 of the 73 goals Madrid have scored in the league this term were netted while on their travels, while they’ve also shipped twice as many goals on the road; 15, as opposed to just 8 at the Bernabeu.
Betting Tip: Valencia to WIN @ 2.50 VictorChandler
Value Bet: Robert Solado First Goalscorer @ 7.00 Skybet – He’s 3.05, just over 2/1, to score any time at Unibet.
January 26th, 2011 / Matt - Category:
European Football Tips
Sevilla V Real Madrid
Wednesday, 26th January – 19:00 (GMT)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports HD3
It is no secret that Jose Mourinho was installed as Real Madrid manager in the summer to arrest the club’s recent barren spell without trophies. A whole two seasons have passed by without any arrival of silverware, their last the 2007/2008 La Liga, and so immediate action was taken by a club who never shy away from making blockbuster headlines.
For some, a couple of campaigns without any cause for celebration is just a blip. For Real, it is something a lot more serious. Hence why they have gone hell-for-leather in the transfer markets over the past fifteen months with the expensive acquisitions of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira to name but a few, although none more poignant than Jose Mourinho as manager – A man renowned for his ability to deliver titles wherever he has ended up; the club signalling their intent and determination to personally arrest the rot.
Los Merengues are still involved on all fronts, though I’m not entirely sure which of either the Spanish La Liga or the UEFA Champions League matters more to the club and their supporters. As far as the Spanish Copa Del Rey goes, well it will be deemed a bonus, though I doubt it will leave Mourinho and his charges exempt from criticism should they clinch the Copa Del Rey but fail to win either of the aforementioned trophies.
Nevertheless, Mourinho has taken this competition very seriously and on Wednesday night will name his strongest possible eleven. It all sounds a straightforward. It isn’t. The return of Kaka from injury has complicated matters, Mourinho now feeling obliged to fit the Brazilian who cost the club somewhere in the region of £60million two summers ago somewhere in his set-up, a set-up which was running like clockwork before the Portuguese tactician squealed under the pressure.
Furthermore, the two-time UEFA Champions League winner already has one eye on clinching what would be a record-third European crown, thus becoming the first ever manager to have won Europe’s top prize with three separate clubs. With it, Mourinho has succumbed to the temptation of resting some of his workaholics ahead of a grueling yet decisive final stint – The Champions League knock-out stage commencing in three weeks time.
Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira were among those Mourinho tried to rest at the weekend, a game in which Kaka started. However, by half-time, with their opponent’s having enjoyed the better of the first half, Mourinho quickly backtracked, dumped Kaka, brought back Alonso and everything was bright as rain once more. Far from it. Despite winning the match 1-0 courtesy of a fine Karim Benzema strike, Real were all over the shot and at the end, right at the very death, Mallorca should have levelled proceedings. Mourinho’s decision to have a tinker has disrupted the rhythm and fluency of a team which had been purring for the vast majority of the season.
Jose Mourinho stated on more than one occasion earlier in the campaign that he had no intention of changing his team-sheet, that he wanted continuity. That decision proved a shrewd move by the Portuguese maestro in the first third of the season. There was no confusion or anxiety about who was starting and who was merely keeping the bench warm. Everyone knew where they stood. And when the results were rolling in, the same eleven would continue to reap all the mental benefits; confidence, a constant boost in morale and lots of ego-stroking compliments from their manager. It was win-win for all parties, quite literally.
Losing Gonzalo Higuain to injury hasn’t help his cause, particularly as Mourinho was then forced to experiment a little. Several players were moved from their comfort zones, Ronaldo one of them, causing further disruption. Fortunately for the Madrid chief, the wealth of superstars at the Santiago Bernabeu meant Real could weather the storm to some extent. However, the last month or so hasn’t been convincing from the Galacticos.
Since the start of the new year, Real Madrid haven’t looked anywhere near the same formidable outfit they were during the first half of the campaign. Wins over Getafe, Villarreal and Real Mallorca were all unconvincing, while they were embarrassed by bottom-of-the-league Almeria nearly two weeks ago.
Against Villarreal, Real were carved open on numerous occasions and needed to come from behind twice before winning 4-2. Ronaldo once again their saviour with a well-taken hat-trick. They were once again suspect at the back, however, at the weekend, when beating Mallorca by the slimmest of margins (1-0). They were even worse at Almeria on 16 Jan, when drawing 1-1 against an opponent not only at the basement of the La Liga table but whom were spanked 8-0 by Barcelona earlier in the season.
Madrid were better against Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Copa Del Rey clash (0-1), away from home as well, however Atli were without their most energetic and most potent nuisance in Sergio Aguero. Without their Argentine prodigy I’m afraid Quique Sanchez’s team are pussycats, so I’m not reading too much into that routine victory for Real over their Madrid neighbours.
The point I’m trying to make that is while Real Madrid remain a leading player in the Spanish game, by default in many ways because of their embarrassment of riches, they aren’t their formidable selves right now and, in my humble opinion, are certainly vulnerable to a first leg shocker on Wednesday up against the competition’s leading scorers in Sevilla, not to mention the defending champions.
Like me, Sevilla sense Mourinho and his team are prime for the taking. They sense some vulnerabilities in their armoury and will go to all lengths to expose them, even if it means losing some credibility.
In the build-up to their Wednesday night clash, Sevilla decided to add some spice to the meeting but stirring the boiling pot a little. Some of their players were featured in a recent television advert where the players in question stripped off to their waist, covered in war paint, before uttering the words "We are going to leave you without a trophy" in Portuguese. No brownie points for guessing who that saucy message was for.
It does all seem a little over-the-top, and it is, but it adds some heat to a fixture which was always going to be feisty and very competitive. These two clashed earlier in the season during a La Liga contest, a match Real won 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu. On that occasion, however, two players were given their marching orders while seven others were booked. So clearly no love lost between the two teams.
Away from all the off-pitch flirtation, Sevilla actually pose a serious threat to Real’s Copa Del Rey challenge. Los Rojiblancos have arguably been the in-form team of the entire competition thus far, notching up 24 goals in just three two-legged affairs thus far. Those were tough ties as well, having to oust Malaga before out-scoring Villarreal in the last round by 6-3 on aggregate. And of those 24 scored, 15 came at their Ramon Pizjuan stadium in Andalusia, where they host Madrid on Wednesday.
In Palop, Sevilla have a goalkeeper with bags of experience. Jesus Navas and Diego Perotti can be a real handful out wide, while Luis Fabiano, Frederic Kanoute and Alvaro Negredo guarantee you goals. Defensively they are more than a little suspect, however they are a real handful up the other end and I’m willing to put a few quid on Gregorio Manzano’s forward muscle causing a Real Madrid defence which has kept just two clean sheets in their opening six games of 2011 a few problems.
LAY of Real Madrid @ 1.96 BetFair
Sevilla to Score 2 or More Goals @ 2.40 PaddyPower
Both Teams to Score @ 1.53 Bet365
Over 3.5 Goals @ 2.50 WilliamHill
November 14th, 2010 / Matt - Category:
European Football Tips
Sporting Gijon La Liga W/D/L: 2-4-4 (Home: 2-2-1)
Form (Last 5): DWLDD (Home: WDLWD)
Goal Difference: 10-16 (Home: 7-5)
Interesting Fact: Despite some difficult opening home fixtures, Gijon have got on the scoresheet in four out of five home La Liga encounters thus far – Scoring against Real Mallorca, Athletic Bilbao, Seville & Villarreal; teams with a seasonal objective of finshing in the Champions League places.
Real Madrid La Liga W/D/L: 8-2-0 (Away: 3-2-0)
Form (Last 5): WWWWW (Away: DWDWW)
Goal Difference: 27-5 (Away: 9-3)
Interesting Fact: Under the guidance of the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’, Real kept their first La Liga clean sheet in five matches when beating Madrid rivals Atletico 2-0 last weekend – But the Galacticos have yet to concede more than the solitary one in a league encounter this season.
The former FC Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan tactician, Jose Mourinho, is widely regarded as one of the best managers in the modern era. One of only two managers to clinch the UEFA Champions League crown with two separate clubs, doing so with FC Porto in 2004 and again with Inter Milan in 2009, as well as other countless honours which include Portuguese, Italian and English league triumphs, there is no denying that Real Madrid’s newest dictator has manufactured a formidable reputation as coach. And despite his arrogant demeanour, Mourinho has earned the respect from so many of today’s top managers from all across the globe. However, one manager whose opinion on the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ is in stark contrast to so many others is Sporting Gijon’s head coach Manuel Preciado, and the Madrid ace has been warned to expect a hot reception when he arrives at El Molinon on Sunday evening.
It isn’t often you find yourself daring to question Mourinho’s motives. Actually, we’ve all found ourselves pondering just what really goes on inside the Portuguese maestro’s head down the years, with the two-time Champions League winners not too far away from controversy. Ahead of the Sunday’s clash with Sporting Gijon in Asturias, Mourinho lamented comments he made earlier in the season regarding his opposite number’s decision to make wholesale changes against Real’s arch-rivals Barcelona back in September, a game in which the Catalans won 1-0. After the match, Mourinho freely expressed his distaste and disgust at Gijon manager Manuel Preciado for conceding defeat even before a ball had been kicked, with the Real boss insinuating that Preciado showed cowardice in his decision to admit defeat. Gijon were to lose the match in question 1-0 via a David Villa strike in the second period, but Mourinho cited this instance as evidence as to why everyone in Spain wants him and Real to fail in their quest to clinch the La Liga crown.
On the eve of their Sunday showdown, the tension between the two managers in question intensified after Mourinho made similar comments to that he made immediately after Gijon were defeat by Barcelona back in September, with Gijon boss Preciado responding by saying, "Who the hell does he think he is? What he has done with Sporting (with his comments) is a serious lack of respect. If nobody at Madrid tells him what respect is, then I’ll tell him.” with the Gijon manager showing his claws ahead of Sunday’s now highly anticipated clash with the La Liga leaders.
If Mourinho wished to raise the ante in a fixture his team really need to win in order to put some breathing space between them and Barcelona, then he’s certainly achieved his goal. We, though, feel he’s made a foe-par. For starters, his war of words with his opposite number will ensure that Manuel Preciado will field his strongest possible eleven, as there’s no way Preciado will want to aid Jose Mourinho in his quest to end Real’s title drought, while the atmosphere inside the 29,000 El Molinon stadium will be hostile to say the least towards the Portuguese wind-up merchant and his players, making life even tougher than it originally was. And make no mistake about, this away encounter with mid-table Gijon will be far from easier against a team who are renowned for making life extremely difficult for the country’s elite inside their own backyard.
Only Valencia have actually gotten the better of Rojiblancos at El Molinon this season, and Unai Emery’s side needed two very early strikes to dampen the hosts’ spirits. The likes of Real Mallorca, Athletico Bilbao, Sevilla and Villarreal, clubs which are regularly challenging for Europe, have all pitted their wits against Preciado’s men in Gijon already this season and all failed in their bids to claim all three points, while even more impressive is the fact they managed to score against all the aforementioned sides, scoring exactly 2 in all but one, the 1-1 draw with Villarreal, their most recent home encounter in La Liga. They should of even won the latter contest, with only a Giuseppe Rossi penalty denying the hosts their third home win of the campaign.
And it’s not as though Real Madrid have been prolific on their travels this season either, drawing at Mallorca on the opening day of the season as well as a hugely disappointing 0-0 affair with Levante in Valencia. Granted their form has picked up greatly but away from home, Madrid do have their flaws, despite having yet to taste defeat all season long, in all competitions. They were fortunate to come away with all three points at Real Sociedad (1-2) earlier in the campaign, thoroughly examined by Malaga en route to an emphatic win (1-4) and needed to come from behind in their last away contest against Hercules (1-3). Fortunately for Mourinho, his side’s forward prowess has helped to overshadow their frailties at the back and the Real boss will need his Galacticos to produce another ruthless effort in front of goal if they’re to leave Gijon with all the spoils, and thus extend their winning run in the league to six matches.
Last season, this clash with Sporting Gijon caused Real problems and the hosts managed to ground out a deserved 0-0 draw. With Madrid now in fine form, sailing through to the last-16 of both the Copa Del Rey and Champions League recently in a campaign which has seen them go sixteen matches without losing, Gijon will need to produce another heroic effort to deny the Madrid giants for the second season running. But they’re in good nick themselves, at home in particular, and although it’s difficult to really predict a Real slip-up, we do envisage Mourinho’s charges receiving a rough ride inside Sporting Gijon’s El Molinon stadium – Their fortress. The hosts have scored against some of the best in the country at home earlier in the season, and we’re banking on Gijon continuing their decent vein of form in front of goal in front of their passionate yet fired up supporters.
Sporting Gijon to Score 1 or More Goals – 1.72 PaddyPower
Both Teams to Score – 2.00 SkyBet
Sporting Gijon – 13.00 StanJames
Draw – 6.00 Ladbrokes
Real Madrid – 1.29 Bet365
October 22nd, 2010 / Matt - Category:
European Football Tips
Real Madrid V Racing Santander
Saturday, 23rd October – 19:00 GMT
Spanish Primera Division
After a low, lethargic start to the season Real Madrid are beginning to show genuine signs that they really are champions in the makings; champions elect some might say. It has been two years since they last clinched the La Liga crown, which is far too long in the Spanish capital especially as in the previous two seasons it’s been resting in fierce rivals Barcelona’s trophy cabinet.
Competing on all fronts shouldn’t be too much of a problem barring injuries, with the UEFA Champions League certainly a priority for one of Europe’s most astute managers in Jose Mourinho, who claims he’s defending ‘HIS’ Champions League crown with a Madrid side who haven’t even progressed to the quarter-finals for something like six years. So there is certainly no shortage of confidence inside the Madrid dressing room, nor is there a lack of supremely talented individuals.
Domestically however, Real are desperate to win back their crown after two barren seasons without it. Just three points separated them from champions Barcelona last season come the climax, so there were already huge signs of progression in place before even the likes of Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria and Jose Mourinho, people who have made such a difference already; adding a winning mentality and a ruthless attacking edge to a team which had been deprived of both traits previously.
Just seven games into the season and the Galacticos are already setting an unrelenting pace at the top of the table. Two blips away at Real Mallorca (0-0) and Levante (0-0) have so far been the only blemishes result wise. In terms of entertaining performances, it took a while before Madrid’s team of superstars finally clicked and started spanking teams all over the shot.
The breakthrough came just recently in fact, when struggling Deportivo had their relegation woes deepened by a 6-1 hammering at the Bernabeu at the very beginning of the month. Christiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil in particular were sensational in that match, and when you have starring attractions like Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain around them, it really is a formidable sight for any opponent. Next time out, after two weeks away due to the international break, Real were at it again as once again the big boys came to the fore and delivered yet another message of intent, that this season will be dictated by Jose Mourinho’s merciless charges, beating the Andalusians comprehensively away from home in a 4-1 victory which had seen Madrid accumulate a total of ten goals in just their last two La Liga fixtures.
If anyone needed proof that things were beginning to pick up, and that Real are racing through the gears, then Real’s ferocious start in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with AC Milan should suffice. Goals from Ronaldo, who else, and Ozil within the opening 15 minutes of the game effectively ended the contest before it had barely even begun. And that is increasingly becoming a foothold to where Madrid can then build offensively from, that early goal. In three out of their last four La Liga games, Madrid have opened the scoring before the break and as a result have found goals much easier to come by when the spaces which weren’t previously available at the back begin to peel open.
On Saturday Real Madrid take on Racing Santander, a club threatened by relegation because of their inconsistent nature. They are, though, are a side which will probably avoid the drop purely on the basis that they can produce a win from out of the blue, but not against the best sides. Lying 16th in the table, Racing have won just two of their opening seven La Liga fixtures, four of which were disappointing defeats. 4 – The numbers of matches in the league this season alone where the team haven’t even troubled their opponents in front of goal, drawing blanks at Valencia and Villarreal, as well as at home against Barcelona and Getafe. And considering they were victorious last weekend at home to Almeria, the signs aren’t good as Santander are now well overdue another defeat.
On the plus side for the visitors, their defensive record isn’t half-bad. Just eight goals have been conceded in seven matches, a pretty lean statistic in fairness, and considering their start to the season has been excruciatingly tough, fixture wise, they haven’t exactly disgraced themselves. However, they’ll need to put in arguably their most industrious shift for some time if they’re to even leave the Santiago Bernabeu with a respectable scoreline, let alone a share of the spoils, as this Madrid side are rapidly racing through the gears and are destroying everything in their path as they seek out to strip Barcelona of their La Liga title.
The opening exchanges could very well be tight and scrappy, with Madrid having yet to overwhelm an opponent in the opening period this season, with the exception of AC Milan in midweek. However, Real are looking so strong in the final third that another emphatic win wouldn’t exactly be out of the question, especially if they get themselves in front early on.
Matt’s Tip: Real Madrid to WIN to NIL – 1.73 SkyBet
With Racing Santander having failed to score in four of their opening seven La Liga fixtures this season, and Madrid having kept four clean sheets in their opening seven, there’s every chance of Iker Casillas claiming yet another shut-out, what would be his third in four matches at the Bernabeu this season in La Liga, his fifth in all competitions following successive shut-outs in the Champions League against Ajax and AC Milan.
Don’t get me wrong, Real Madrid’s defence isn’t one of the strongest in Europe, but with the majority of the game seemingly spent in the oppositions third, chances for the opponent tend to be few and far between. Our only concern is that Madrid do tend to let their concentration levels slide once they hit their stride iand go sailing of into the distance with the game all but in the bag. Fortunately, and hopefully, Racing’s so far tidy back-line, one which has conceded just eight in seven this season, will restrict Real’s goalscoring prowess to just a couple as to avoid any complacency in the second period, where all three of Real’s concessions in the league this season have occurred.
Saver: Time of First Away Goal (61+ Minutes) – 4.75 WilliamHill
Highest Scoring Half: Second Half – 2.00 PaddyPower
Mesut Ozil to Score from Outside the Penalty Area – 8.00 888Sport
The German play-maker is dangerous all round the pitch but is at his best just outside the opposition’s penalty area. Having scored just twice all season but possession a wicked shot from distance, Ozil will be eager to boost his tally for the season on Saturday but may well be restricted to long-range efforts by an organised and well disciplined Racing defence. He’s also 12.00 to hit the woodwork!
September 28th, 2010 / Matt - Category:
Champions League Tips
AJ Auxerre V Real Madrid
Tuesday, 28th September – 19:45 GMT
UEFA Champions League: Group G
Ligue 1 Position: 17th
Ligue 1 Home Form: DDDD (0-4-0)
Goals Conceded in First Half at Home: 1/6
Goals Scored in First Half at Home: 4/6
La Liga Position: 4th
La Liga Away Form: DWD (1-2-0)
Goals Conceded in First Half Away: 0/1
Goals Scored in First Half Away: 0/2
Life at the Bernabeu hasn’t exactly gone to script so far if your name is one Jose Mourinho, however at least his record in Europe is second to none, even with the Galacticos. Real Madrid rather cruised to their first European victory of the campaign at home to Ajax two weeks ago, and while the scoreline may have indicated a close run thing, Madrid battered their Dutch visitors in a game which had the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain converted the many chances they had handed on a plate, the scoreline may well of been a cricket score.
Back in Spain, though, Mourinho’s Madrid career hasn’t gone swimmingly, despite the team sat in a prominent position in the table of fourth. Even with so many forward stars on their books; Ronaldo Higuain, Di Maria, Ozil, Benzema… the list really does go on, Real have struggled to find the back of the net, doing so just six times so far in five games. It’s not the worst statistic in the world but it soon becomes tainted when you hear of two away stalemates where Madrid failed to find the back of their opponents net, the latest coming at the weekend away to the team many in Spain claim are the worst in La Liga, Levante.
Confidence isn’t great, even Mourinho is beginning to get tough with his misfiring forwards with some subtle hints of criticism in the press. The one thing I will say, Real Madrid are a team waiting to be unleashed and sooner or later, when the team finally does click and all the bits of the puzzle fall into place, someone is going to be on the wrong end of a Galacticos hiding.
Auxerre were the surprise package in France last term, finishing third in the end but they were right up there challenging for the most part. This season, though, hasn’t had the same ebb and flow from Jean Fernandez’s side and as a result can be found languishing in the lower reaches of Ligue 1′s table, all the way down in 17th.
The earlier problem for Auxerre has been their inability to convert decent and tidy for the most part home performances into victories, while they’ve struggled immensely on the road so far, although the latter should lead to them focusing more on their home encounters, the games they have more chance of winning and every chance of winning.
The Ligue 1 season is already seven games in and four of those games have been played on home soil for Auxerre, who have failed to win a single one. Try all they might, that elusive first win of the season just will not come. Their league woes have been compounded in their two most recent home fixtures, drawing 1-1 with Caen thanks to an 89th minute equaliser from the visitors while a similar occurrence occurred at the weekend. Auxerre stormed into a 2-0 lead within 11 minutes against AS Nancy and appeared to have the game and the points sewn up. My how they were mistaken, as by half-time Nancy had drawn level at 2-2, where the scoreline remained until the final whistle. In between either of these disappointing home ventures was a 1-0 defeat away in Lille, with yet another late goal, another 89th minute strike, spurring any chance of Auxerre collecting some points which may aid them in their so faltering bid to regain some confidence and lost self belief.
The point we’re trying to highlight is that neither the hosts, Auxerre, nor their celebrity visitors, Real Madrid, are performing to a high standard right now, with confidence levels not at their highest and various aspects of their game spiralling against them.
Another interesting point we would like to make is how often the first half passes by for these two teams without a great deal worth mentioning. You could argue that Auxerre score most of their goals in the first half of their home encounters, which would be true, but then counter that with Madrid’s two away clean sheets in La Liga as well as conceding their only away goal so far in the second period.
And in the other corner we have Real Madrid, whom should be scoring goals for fun but are somehow struggling to put their chances away. In fact, they’ve only scored one of their six league goals in the first period, a Ronaldo penalty at the Bernabeu, but away from home is far more dismal affair, with Madrid having drawn blanks at Real Mallorca and Levante whilst scraping past Real Sociedad 2-1 in between, although neither of their goals against the latter came in the second half.
It has often been said that studying statistics all your life, analysing the patterns of the past, can land you in hot water sometimes. However, at the same time I would rather be made aware of Madrid’s slow starting tendencies and Auxerre’s sluggish start to the season than not, and with Madrid expected to do most of the question asking but failing to get many answers so far in their first 45 minutes of games, and Auxerre rarely conceding in the first period and unlikely to ask too much of Iker Casillas in the Madrid goal, I think a couple of bets stand out like a sore thumb.
Half Time Outcome (DRAW) – 2.25 Coral
0-0 Half-Time Correct Score – 2.88 WilliamHill
Under 2.5 Goals – 1.83 Bet365
Draw/Real Madrid (HT/FT Betting) – 4.50 Ladbrokes
The one thing I will say is err on the side of caution, and by that I mean don’t go and over do it with the size of your stake, as like I said earlier; Real Madrid are a team waiting to be unleashed and sooner or later, when the team finally does click and all the bits of the puzzle fall into place, someone is going to be on the wrong end of a Galacticos hiding.
August 28th, 2010 / Matt - Category:
European Football Tips
I’ve come across some hypocritical managers in my time but new Inter Milan boss Rafael Benitez really does take the biscuit, or in his case the whole pack. It wasn’t long ago when Barcelona announced their concrete interest in signing Liverpool’s combative midfielder, Javier Macherano, only for Benitez to halt the Catalans’ pursuit by stamping an audcaious £50MIL price tag on the Argentine skipper. Mascherano’s qualities have always been well publicised through his high profile peformances for Liverpool, who were often playing at the highest level during his three-year spell with the Reds, and the defensive-midfielder has built up a formidable reputation as being one of the most destructive midfielders in the modern era; although whether any defensive-midfielder is actually worth the quoted £50MIL is up for debate.
A year later, during a period where Liverpool Football Club were going through one of their driest spells in terms of form, Mascherano’s value has suddenly dropped catastrophically, this despite Rafa being at the helm as the Reds endured their worst domestic and European campaign for years. Supposedly, in the eyes of a deluded Benitez anyway, Mascherano was no longer worth the original and ridiculous price quoted by Benitez of £50MIL, but now somewhere in the region of a misely £12MIL; reportedly what Inter MIlan offered for a player which had made 95 appearances for Liverpool since joining from West Ham and had become a fan favourite. If I was Liverpool I would have sent them a video message of Rafa’s interview twelve months earlier when he claimed Mascherano was worth half-a-hundred-million with the words ‘You were saying…’. Instead, Liverpool let Roy Hodgson go to town on the club by laughing hysterical at their offer, claiming it must have been some sort of joke – although Rafael Benitez being the brunt of a rare Roy Hodgson gaf maybe punishment enough, as well as the fact Barcelona actually stepped up with a serious offer with Mascherano later snapping up the opportunity to join the reigning Spanish champions instead of jumping ship to Benitez’s shaky Inter ship, with the Spaniard already losing his grasp on the UEFA Super Cup with a 2-0 loss in Monaco to Atletico Madrid.
The English Premier League has been underway for several weeks now, the German Bundesliga for a couple and the French, well, does anyone really care? The Italian Serie A and the Spanish La Liga only recently sprung into life, with Genoa kicking off the new Serie A season with a 1-0 win away at Udinese, and Athletico Bilbao mirroring Genoa’s start with a victory in Hercules by the same scoreline.
On Sunday, the day after the curtain raisers, the big guns begin their domestic campaigns, everyone that is Inter Milan who can still be found licking their wounds following their 2-0 defeat in Friday’s UEFA Super Cup to Atletico Madrid, who too won’t feature until next weekend. However, the likes of AC MIlan and Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid, will all be in action in a day where everyone involved will be desperate to begin the new season with a bang.
Real Mallorca V Real Madrid: Sunday, 29th August – 20:00 GMT (Sky Sports 1)
We begin with the team which missed out on the Primera crown last term by three points, Real Madrid. Pipped to the post by Barcelona, the Galacticos will want to start as they mean to go on by winning their opener. Of course, the introduction of Jose Mourinho as manager has undoubtedly led to Madrid receive plenty of support from punters in all competitions, but the La Liga is right at the top of their list of priorities this season, along with the UEFA Champions League. The latter competition especially is where Mourinho has shown his true talent as manager, lifting the prestigious and most sought after trophy in Europe aloft on two seperate occasions, doing so with FC Porto and more recently with Inter Milan, though he did fail to capture the trophy with Chelsea.
Mourinho’s summer captures included Benfica’s rising star, Angel Di Maria, Chelsea’s Ricardo Carvalho, whom played under the Portuguese maestro when with Chelsea, Pedro leon from Parma, a player Racing Santander had high hopes for in Sergio Canales; one of the stars in the recent U19 European Championships with Spain, and two players which shone for Germany during the summer FIFA World Cup in South Africa; Sami Khedira & Mesut Ozil.
Former Galacticos manager Mauricio Pellegrini had already brought together a host of accomplished stars but failed to get the best out of them. Mourinho has inherited the Argentine’s rich wealth of stars but has crucially injected some of his own unqiue style and feel by signing a host of stars to his liking, which means there is no excuse for failure should Real Madrid underachieve under Mourinho as the team did under Pellegrini.
The Special One begins his reign as Real Madrid manager officially in Mallorca, at venue where they won so convincingly last season when a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick was complimented by Gonzalo Higuain’s last strike in a 4-1 win. The home encounter also went the way of Madrid by a 2-0 scoreline, which leads us to beleive that with Mourinho bringing in his reinforcements over the summer and bolstring a squad which already boasted an embarrassment of riches, that there will only be two results; a Real Madrid victory and a hefty one at that.
We are all anticipating Mourinho selecting several debutants for Sunday’s clash against a team which finished an impressive fifth in La Liga last term, but the gulf in class between the two was 34 points, and the gap is expected to rise this season. That sizeable gap in quality should be apparent in tomorrow’s game although there’s little value to be had in Madrid’s quote of 1.44 with Boylesports. In fact, it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world to see Madrid begin with a stutter, considering the liklihood of Mourinho fielding a mixture of players new and old, but the fact Mourinho hasn’t really reinforced a defence which was certainly suspect last season does lead us to believe that Mallorca may be in with a shout of at least getting on the scoresheet. After all, this is a home fixture for them, a game they are expected to do some attacking in despite the class of the players standing at the other end of the pitch.
Iker Casillas has so often been touted as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and on occasions he’s proven pundits right, but he’s not as reliable as he used to be, not the shot-stopper of old, and was so suspect for Spain during South Africa that some were even hinting at the possiblity of Casillas paving way for Pepe Reina, although they were more like whispers. Even so, Casillas isn’t being shown in his best light right now and with the Madrid defence looking far from world-class nor inpentrable, we think there is more than just a sniff of value in Mallorca spoiling Madrid’s chances of beginning the campaign with a clean sheet.
Real Mallorca are 1.57 with PaddyPower to get on the scoresheet tomorrow and spoil an immaculate start for Iker Casillas, but with Madrid almost certain to score at some stage considering Mourinho has a wealth of attacking options, you may as well take Coral‘s odds of 1.83 on Both Teams to Score.
Serie A Picks:
Fiorentina – Napoli (Both Teams to Score – YES) – 1.80 Bet365
Parma to BEAT Brescia at home – 1.83 WilliamHill
La Liga Picks:
Real Zaragoza to WIN at Deportivo La Coruna – 3.75 WIlliamHill
Espanyol to BEAT Getafe – 2.20 SkyBet
April 9th, 2010 / Matt - Category:
European Football Tips
Real Madrid V Barcelona (El Clasico)
Saturday, 10th April – 21:00 (GMT)
Spanish La Liga
LIVE on Sky Sports 1
Matt’s Tip: Gonzalo Higuain Anytime Scorer – 2.38 SkyBet
Current Match Odds
Real Madrid – 2.62 VCbet
Barcelona – 2.80 StanJames
Draw – 3.60 bWin
Gerard Pique, who was suspended for Barcelona’s second leg tie with Arsenal in midweek, will now slide straight back into the Barcelona defence, while Carles Puyol will do the exact same after also missing the midweek tie. Eric Abidal limped off though during the game with Arsenal and will not feature for the Catalan side for several weeks, so Maxwell will deputise at left-back. Andres Iniesta hasn’t played an awful lot of football after suffering with injury, but was a second half substitute on Tuesday so could play a part for Barca on Saturday night, although Thierry Henry may have to settle for a place on the Barcelona bench.
Kaka, the Brazilian maestro, is out of El Clasico after failing in his bid to recover from a thigh problem. The Brazil ace hasn’t made quite the impact Madrid fans were hoping, but he’s a player for the big occasion and will sorely be missed. It goes worse though as Xabi Alonso, the engine in that Real midfield, is also a doubt.
Despite these two sitting side-by-side in La Liga, with just Real’s superior goal difference keeping them on top of the table, the bookies only see one winner; Barcelona. El Santiago Bernabeu will be the setting for this highly anticipated encounter between two of the worlds biggest football clubs, a stadium where Barcelona won 6-2 in their last El Clasico meeting.
However, Madrid will strongly fancy their chances of avenging that humiliating result, a result which some Spanish pundits claim forced Real’s directors into drastic summer action, the sort of action which resulted in the likes of Ronaldo, Alonso and Kaka being brought in as several hundred million was shelled out during last summer in a bid to close the gap on their bitter rival. While there were some sceptics, their plan to buy success has clearly worked – sort of – as Real currently lead the way in La Liga by virtue of a better goal difference. The gap, though, is just one goal and even a draw would send Barcelona back to the top of the table as their head-to-head would be better after a 1-0 success back at the Nou Camp earlier in the season.
Real Madrid’s Home Form: 15-0-0
As you can clearly see, Real have been prolific and unstoppable at home this season, and yet you can still get 2.62 with VCbet on Real avenging the Nou Camp defeat on Saturday. When you consider that not one team has been able to stop them at home this season, that’s a staggering price. There have, however, been enough scares along the way mind; Sevilla’s and Athletico Madrid’s 3-2 losses at the Bernabeu are two of the more high profile ones and two games which Madrid were fortunate to come through unscathed.
Overall: Real Madrid are in scintillating form at present having won 12 on the spin in La Liga. They average 3.33 goals at home (50) and concede just under 1 a game – 0.86 (13).
Barcelona’s Away Form: 10-4-1
While it may not look as tidy as Real’s home form, Barcelona have still been mighty impressive away from home and have just one defeat to feel bitter about. However, even that defeat wasn’t too shameful as it was against a dangerous Athletic Madrid side, the same side which nearly put an end to Madrid’s 100% home record a few weeks ago. That solitary loss came in February and Barcelona are now on a three match unbeaten run away from home, while they’ve won their previous two away fixtures in la Liga.
Overall: Barcelona have picked themselves up remarkably since losing at Athletico, worryingly in Madrid, and are now unbeaten in La Liga in eight games, winning seven of those. They are also on a five match winning run in the league. They average 2.13 (32) goals away from home and are conceding at an average of 0.66 (10) which is a better defensive record than Madrid’s home one.
Leading Goalscorers (La Liga)
Gonzalo Higuain – 24
Cristiano Ronaldo – 18
Lionel Messi – 26
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 15
Ronaldo FGS – 5.00 SkyBet
Ronaldo any time Scorer – 2.20 Coral
Gonzalo Higuain FGS – 5.50 Bet365
Gonzalo Higuain any time Scorer – 2.38 SkyBet
Lionel Messi FGS – 5.50 PaddyPower
Lionel Messi any time Scorer – 2.20 totesport
Lionel Messi Hat Trick – 29.00 totesport
August 27th, 2009 / Matt - Category:
English Football Betting
Lyon V Nancy
Kick-Off: Saturday 29th August – 20:00 GMT
Competition: French Ligue 1
Lyon come into a tricky home fixture with plenty of form behind them and will be hoping to maintain their winning run and stretch it to three wins in succession. A draw in the opening fixture of the new season away at Le Mans was an early setback (2-2), but they put their early woes to one side by brushing both Valenciennes (1-0) and Auxerre (0-3) a-side. That victory over Valenciennes was their first and only home game to date but the players will be extra motivated to impress their home following in front of what is an expected capacity crowd at Stade Gerland.
Lyon will be more then happy with their early league form but what will impress the locals was their impressive and comprehensive two-legged victory over Belgian giants, Anderlecht. Lyon were the favourites to progress over two-legs but they swept the Belgian’s a-side in an 8-2 aggregate thrashing. That result will leave the players on cloud nine but none more so than new boy Lisandro Lopez – who scored a Hat-trick on the night. He’s had a few injuries to contend with but that fine performance in front of goal would be just what the doctored orderer and he will be a huge threat in this league fixture with Nancy on Saturday evening.
Nancy have also made a very good start to the season but they’ve failed to maintain their unbeaten record. A comfortable 1-3 victory away at Valenciennes followed by a 4-0 drubbing of Monaco in front of their home fans sent the fans into raptures about this possibly being a very successful year for the club. However, they were soon given a reality check by a team on the up in Le Mans. Nancy lost 2-1 at Le Mans, a result which ended Nancy’s impressive early form.
That defeat will only hinder what must have been a buoyant Nancy dressing room although Nancy have still been a massive threat in front of goal. They’ve scored in each of their three opening games, scoring eight but conceding three also. However, they played two away fixtures thus far and have failed to keep a clean sheet in either so although they look a real threat in attack, they also look very vulnerable at the back.
Lyon should really record their third win of the season despite the threat Nancy pose in the final third. They have more then enough quality within their squad to deal with a club like Nancy although we mustn’t forget that Karim Benzema did move on during the summer, like anyone missed that. Lisandro Lopez & St Etienne’s Bafetmibi Gomis have been brought in to fill the void left by Benzema with the pair shaping up as one lethal striking partnership this season with the blistering pace of Gomis and the class and composure of Lopez.
We fancy Lyon to do the business here but their odds of 2/5 isn’t tempting us. However, both sides have the potential to score a few goals so Over 2.5 looks a big call here as well as backing an in-form Lisandro Lopez to brace the score sheet.
Matt’s Tip: Over 2.5 Goals – 11/10 SkyBet
Matt’s Alternative: Lisandro Lopez to Score Anytime – 4/5 Bet365
Matt’s European Acca!
After coming oh so close in the previous two weeks it’s time to back the shorties to comply. Get on these slim pickings to bring home the bacon – Bayer Leverkusen (2/5), Liverpool (8/15), Real Madrid (1/4), Real Zaragoza (10/11) & Schalke (1/3) @ nearly 6/1 with Bet365!
Real Madrid V Deportivo La Coruna
Kick-Off: Saturday 29th August – 19:00 GMT
Competition: Spanish La Liga
The start of the Spanish season has been a highly anticipated one, mainly because the whole of Europe is waiting to watch the new look Real Mardid. No, it’s not because of the talent they have on show but because we can’t wait to see them flop after spending well over £220 Million on players over the summer. Anything less than instant success would be a seen as a major failure and the pressure is firmly on the shoulders of Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini to return the club back to winning ways.
It’s imperative that Real Madrid get off to the best possible start and only a victory against Deportive will be good enough. That shouldn’t be too much of an issue if the head-to-head record between the two is anything to go by. Madrid have won the last four encounters at The Bernabeu with three of them being comfortable ones at that. However, this has been a game where Madrid have failed to keep clean sheets, which is where my tip comes into it. Despite all the big money signings during the summer, Real Madrid failed to reinforce what was a weak defence last season, with Raul Albiol being their only real defensive signing of note. Arbeloa was also brought in but like he’s going to keep Sergio Ramos on the bench. Who’s he kidding?
Deportivo are far from the force they were several seasons ago but they had a very good season last year, finishing in 7th position. I’m actually not too impressed with their striking options but they will be a threat from set-pieces and Real Madrid will concede plenty of them. Sergio Ramos may appear one of the world’s best full-backs when he’s bombing forward down the flanks but he’s shocking at tracking back and actually tackling. Valeron, Guardado & Sergio will all be a danger in midfield for Deportivo while defenders Ze Castro & Piscu will be a big threat from corners with their aerial ability.
Real Madrid should stroll to victory in all honesty but Deportivo could give them a few scares along the way. They’ve scored in four of their previous six visits to The Bernabeu and they’re very good odds to breach the Madrid goal once again, although, Deportivo haven’t scored more then one in Madrid in any of the previous eight visits so maybe backing Deportivo to score ‘EXACTLY ONE GOAL’ @ 13/8 with SkyBet could be more beneficial.
Matt’s Tip: Deportivo to Score 1+ Goal – 4/5 Expekt
Matt’s Alternative: Kaka to Score Anytime – 11/10 Bet365