Champions League Picks & Tips: Manchester United vs. Real Madrid

Mike Richardson

Monday, February 11, 2013 8:38 PM GMT

Two giant footballing sides will meet on Wednesday night when Real Madrid host Manchester United in the Champions League. But even with the game of this magnitude winning money from the sports books is just a click away.

It looks like the EPL is a done deal for the Red Devils, Manchester United’s total of 65 points after 26 games is their highest-ever points haul at this stage in an English Premier League season. United are 1/12 to win the EPL this season, while their nearest rivals Man City are way behind them at 14/1. After City’s shock defeat against (the mighty) Southampton on Saturday the reigning EPL champions are 12 points behind United.

It’s an even worse story for Real Madrid as they are 13 points behind Barcelona in the La Liga title race. Madrid are 32/1 outsider to retain their La Liga title this term.

[gameodds]8/218369/43/us[/gameodds]

Enough with the domestic leagues…WHERE’S THE (Champions League) MONEY MIKE?

This is a colossal game for both clubs, possibly more so for Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid as the Portuguese manager could be the only person to win the European cup three different teams. It’s a clash with plenty of previous as Sir Alex Ferguson has won only two of his 14 competitive encounters against Jose Mourinho (since 2004 when Porto knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League).

Odds on

The Red Devils are 12/1 to win the Champs League this season while Real Madrid are 9/2.

If Real Madrid all going to make it to the final (something there are 7/4 to do) then need to start by beating Manchester United at home, something that your humble soccer handicapper thinks they will do, with a little aplomb.

Top sporting pick

The bookies agree with me and have a home win at 4/6 an away victory at 7/2 and a draw 3/1. There’s a reason for that (rather than just my say-so).

It’s a less than impressive form for the Red Devils in Madrid as they lost 3-1 there in the European cup in 1957 and 2003, drew 3-3 in 1968 and 0-0 in 2000.

You should know that the home side are also the bookies favourite to proceed to the next stage of the Champions League and most soccer odds makers have them at 8/13 to proceed ahead of Manchester United, while the Red Devils going on is at 6/5.

The lowest correct score odds are on a 1-1 draw at 6/1, a little ahead of Madrid winning 2-1 or 1-0 at 7/1. The bookies think that this game is too close, but will most likely go in the home side's favour. The lowest correct score odds on a Manchester United victory run as high as 16/1 for the Red Devils winning 2-1. That looks less likely than Real Madrid winning 3-0 so that offered up at 13/1.

Prediction: Real Madrid take it 3-1 available with Stan James at 11/1.