Sunday gives us the closest thing to a sure thing when league leaders and title favourites Real Madrid host eighth place Espanyol in a one-sided contest that will be all about how many goals the home side score…spoiler alert it will probably be lots.

Cristiano Ronaldo

To say that Real Madrid are in a league of their own in Spain’s La Liga is one hell of an understatement. It may be no surprise that they are top of the table and are clear favourites to lift the trophy this season at 1/16, but what is a little bit of surprise is their total dominance over everybody. Madrid have by far the best goal difference in the league with +59, although Barcelona are reasonably close behind on +52, but then there’s a huge drop to third placed Valencia and fifth-place Athletic Bilbao being only the other two teams with a positive goal difference on eight and seven goals respectively.

You aint seen nothing yet

If you thought the amount of goals Real Madrid have been scoring was impressive, their points tally is even more so, after 24 games they have amassed 64 points, putting them 10 points ahead ofBarcelona and 24 points ahead of third placed Valencia. If those numbers are a little confusing to start with, suffice to say Real Madrid have only dropped points in three games all season, suffering just two defeats and a single draw in 24 games.

Espanyol, by comparison, have collected just 33 points from 24 games, but have -2 goal difference, they’re hardly likely to worry Real Madrid in the chase for the title (especially at 900/1) but they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying to cause an upset, especially as three points could actually take them as high as fourth, not to mention the fact that there are five teams directly below them who could go above them if they took maximum points.

Plain as the nose on your face

The clearest indication that you should pick a Real Madrid victory in this game is the half-time / full-time soccer odds. Madrid winning both halves is at 2/5, while the game being drawn on the 45 and Madrid’s at the 90 is at 10/3. Any very surprising turn of events that sees Espanyol winning the first half and then Madrid restoring order to the university full-time is at 20/1. If you want to throw your money away on some LOL bets you can back a pair of draws at 14/1, Espanyol winning both halves at 40/1, or if you really fancy a laugh, bet on Madrid leading at the break, but somehow losing the game which is available at 200/1 with some over confident bookies. With odds like that it should be obvious who’s going to win on Sunday.

Not that they need any more advantages but Madrid are playing at home and will be full of confidence ahead of the match having only dropped points at home once this season. Their home record reads 11 victories and one defeat with 49 goals scored and just 15 conceded. I foresee a clean sheet for Madrid and plenty of goals, therefore if you want spread your bets around on the correct start at 3-0 which is available at just 6/1.

For the record in the last five meetings between these sides Madrid have walked them all, scoring 14 and conceding NONE. In fact Madrid have been so very proficient against Espanyol that this time last year when they won just 1-0 it must have felt like a catastrophe. Madrid have beaten Espanyol 3-0 on three occasions in recent history and their last victory (earlier this season) was a comfortable 4-0 romp, worth a bet at 15/2. 

Espanyol only won three times this season on their travels with four draws and five defeats. If you insist on backing the underdogs take a deep breath and maybe have a lie down. If you still want to invest in a surprise, back a draw at 9/1, but with odds like those you won’t need to put much money down to get a big fat return from the bookmakers. You should also know that Espanyol have only scored 12 times on their travels and have conceded 15 times in 12 games.

The shortest correct score odds on an Espanyol win are 40/1 on 1-0, about the same as real Madrid winning 7-0, do we really need to say more.

Prediction: A Real Madrid win (‘natch), and while I’m spreading my bets over numerous big scores my favourite is 4-0.
  1. sbrforum posted this