Our Spanish expert Phil Kitromilides is expecting an open game tonight and at least two goals to be scored in the first half, offered at 5/4
It is the fixture that everyone has been looking forward to ever since the draw was made. The meeting of the most successful team in the history of Spanish football against their English counterparts is an encounter fit for the final of this competition and yet one of these two footballing giants will exit the Champions League at the last 16 stage.
Bet365 make Madrid the clear favourites for this evening’s first leg and price them at 13/20 (1.65)
to claim the victory. United meanwhile are offered at 17/4 (5.25) to win in the Bernabeu which is a big price for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men irrespctive of their opponents, with the draw available at 17/5 (4.40).
While Real Madrid have been a little lacklustre overall in La Liga this season it is worth bearing in mind their tremendous home record. They are unbeaten at the Bernabeu in any competition in 13 months, and have not lost a European match there (in 90 minutes) for nearly two years.
Furthermore they have scored in each of their previous 23 home matches in all competitions, making it extremely unlikely that United will keep a clean sheet this evening.
And yet the Reds will not be too bothered about conceding goals if they manage to score themselves and having netted in each of their previous 14 games, both teams to score looks a wholly solid selection at 8/13 (1.61).
Yet that price is a little short, as is the price for over 2.5 goals at 4/7 (1.57).
Instead try backing over 1.5 goals in the first half at the much more appealing odds of 5/4 (2.25).
In Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie these sides boast two of the most in-form forwards in the world, playing in two teams that love to get forward.
It may be a two legged tie, but goals look extremely likely and the price of 5/4 (2.25) looks generous for two or more first half goals.
With a game of this magnitude Bet365 have an absolutely brilliant offer to go with it, they are offering anyone who bets on the game pre-match, another free bet in-play of the same value, up to the value of £50.
Financially it makes sense to take a punt on this game with Bet365 and punters who back over 1.5 goals in the first half could use their free in-play bet to either cover their initial investment or to back a long shot to try and maximise returns.
For a value bet it just has to be Cristiano Ronaldo to score first at 3/1 (4.00) against his former club, with the Portugual international in the kind of form that makes that price seem generous, anyone placing a pre-match bet with bet365 could also back him once the match goes in-play and risk free using their free bet.
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports anchor working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.