Madrid holds a comfortable lead and has all but booked their place in the last four of the competition. There is still a game to be played however and they will not be taking anything from granted. Expect a show of strength from Real.
The project at Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho is at its peak right now. Los Blancos are winning La Liga by six points over firm rival Barcelona at the minute, though the two teams to face off at Camp Nou later on which could decide quite a bit.
They were patient in their first leg win over APOEL and were actually held scoreless until midway through the second half.
An admirable defensive performance from the Cyprus side quickly went to waste as Karim Benzema scored twice and Kaka added another in the last 15 minutes. Madrid has 28 shots, eight of which were on goal and owned over three-quarters of the possession.
The soccer odds for Wednesday’s return leg speak for themselves.
Massive discrepancy in the odds
Madrid is at -1297 at 5Dimes to skate past, while APOEL can be found as high as +3364 at the same sportsbook. A draw, another unlikely result, is priced at +1399.
After taking care of business in the first leg, the Spanish squad responded with a 5-1 away win over Osasuna to keep hold of their six-point cushion.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Hiquain had two goals apiece and Benzema was the other player to get on the scoresheet. Those three have been practically unstoppable all season long.
However, this Wednesday seems like a good opportunity for Mourinho to rest some of his guys ahead of this weekend’s home clash with Valencia, whom are currently third in La Liga.
With such a big advantage from the first leg, something absolutely crazy is going to have to happen for Madrid not to advance. Mourinho can plug in some of his fringe players like Kaka (yes, that’s how good this team is) and the Spaniards should still completely dominate from the outset.
Whatever happens with the starting XI, Los Blancos should have little problems dealing with an APOEL side that lacked any sort of attacking bite back in Cyprus.
How on earth do they expect to do so at the Bernabeu?
Simply too good
In four Champions League matches at home this term, Madrid has scored 17 goals and allowed three. They’ve also lost just once in 16 league matches at the Bernabeu this season.
So while APOEL did an admirable job defensively in the first leg, there’s no way in my mind they’ll be able to keep the Spanish side at bay for as long as they did once again. Ronaldo, Hiquain, Benzema, Ozil, Di Maria, Kaka. The list goes on and on.
Such offensive prowess will simply prove to be too much for the Cyprians. Instead of a straight up victory though, which offers absolutely zero value in sports betting, you may want to consider a handicap bet that has the hosts winning by three or four goals instead.
The winner, or shall we say Madrid, is set to face the victor between Marseille and Bayern, with the Germans in the driver’s seat after the first leg. Of course, that still leaves the possibility of us seeing Madrid face Barcelona in the finals should everything pan out that way.
Soccer betting pick: Real Madrid 3 APOEL Nicosia 0
Whilst this game may be a foregone conclusion, the Chelsea Benfica game has a little more spice to it so be sure to check out my pick.