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
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
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.