Despite their unconvincing away form this season which has already seen them lose six matches on the road in all competitions, Real Madrid remain unbeaten at Santiago Bernabeu and that record is unlikely to change on Sunday evening with the visit of Espanyol.
The Catalans have been in woeful form and are joint bottom of the table, with this reflected in William Hill’s rather large price of 16/1 (17.00) for them to record a victory in the capital. Madrid, meanwhile, are as you would expect extremely short-priced favourites at 1/10 (1.10) while a draw – which would be as bad as a defeat for the champions – is offered at 9/1 (10.00).
Trying to find value when backing Madrid at home is always a challenging venture and in this game two possible bets stand out from the rest.
Backing Madrid to score in both halves looks a nailed on selection, yet at 4/11 (1.36) it will attract only the most confident of punters.
Almost as likely an outcome is for there to be over 1.5 goals in the first half and that is offered at the infinitely more attractive price of 4/6 (1.65).
While they are not the biggest odds in the world, they actually represent decent value when you consider that this bet has already paid out in 11 competitive matches involving Madrid this season.
Against an Espanyol side, who have desperately struggled to keep clean sheets and have conceded 11 goals in their last three visits to the Bernabeu, Madrid should be more than capable of scoring twice.
However, Los Blancos‘ knack for conceding this season also gives the bet an even better chance of paying out.
All things considered this would appear to be a sound investment, but for those looking for a value bet with some higher odds, trying backing Jose Callejon to open the scoring against his former club at 9/2 (5.50).
Callejon has been in decent scoring form with four in his last five matches, and given Karim Benzema’s injury looks likely to start the clash in an advanced position, giving him a great chance to break the deadlock and reward ambitious punters in the process.
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.