Our Spanish expert Phil Kitromilides believes Madrid should have no trouble finding the back of the net against a Zaragoza side without a win this year
Saturday’s trip to Aragon should see Real Madrid claim victory for a multitude of reasons.
First and foremost in our consideration should be Madrid’s form which has seen them win seven successive games in all competitions.
At the opposite end of the spectrum and indeed the table lie Zaragoza, who are the only team in the division yet to win a match in 2013, with Manolo Jimenez’s men going 11 games without a victory. Therefore it is easy to understand Bet365’s price of 2/5 (1.40) for an away win, while Zaragoza are offered at 13/2 (7.50).
If Madrid are expected to win then and win comfortably, trying to find some value in backing them could be tough. Yet the price of 6/5 (2.25) for Madrid to score over 2.5 goals looks like being a decent bet which could see punters make some healthy returns.
Zaragoza have kept just one clean sheet in their previous seven games and their last fixture saw them thrashed 4-0 by Sevilla.
Los Blancos, meanwhile, have been scoring freely, and while they had 16 players on international duty, not all featured for their countries in both matches.
Gonzalo Higuain for example only played one match for Argentina during which he scored twice. He should be relatively fresh and motivated to lead the line for Jose Mourinho’s side, who will rest players ahead of the Champions League clash with Galatasaray, but should still have the likes of Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric on the pitch.
In short, Madrid should be far too strong for a struggling Zaragoza outfit and with this bet comfortably paying out in each of the last three meetings, backing Madrid to net over 2.5 goals looks a solid selection.
For a value bet, back the aforementioned and in-form Higuain to open the scoring at 10/3 (4.33) as he did when the sides met back in November.
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports anchor working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.