UCL Soccer Picks: Real Madrid Heavy Favorites -500 vs. FC Schalke +1200

Kevin Stott

Monday, March 9, 2015 3:54 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 9, 2015 3:54 PM GMT

Those placing Soccer picks will remember how Real Madrid defeated FC Schalke 2-0 in Leg 1 of their UEFA Champions League series in Germany. What’s the best approach for the 2nd leg?

Real Madrid vs. FC Schalke: Soccer Betting Odds Overview
Tuesday 20:45 (Fox Sports 1, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Deportes (US); Sky Sports 5/HD, NOW TV, Sky Go, Sky Go Extra, STV Scotland (UK), 2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT): Defending tournament champions Real Madrid host Fußball-Bundesliga’s FC Schalke 04 in Leg 2 of their UEFA Champions League series at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid on Tuesday in a match which really finds the visitors up against it chasing an aggregate 0-2 score after losing at home at Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen in Leg 1 back on Feb. 18.

Real Madrid are big -500 favorites in Champions League Soccer Odds (bet365) here in the Three-Way (Winner) marketplace with guests Schalke priced as +1200 underdogs and the Draw at +550. The Total Goals in this match has been set at 3½ Under -137 (Over +100; bet365) while the Both Teams To Score Prop odds see the Yes priced at -125 and the No at -110 (Sky Bet). Some finals from the Correct Score marketplace: Real Madrid 1-0 +850; Real Madrid 2-0 +600; Real Madrid 3-0 +650; Real Madrid 4-0 +1000; and, Real Madrid 2-1 +850 (bet365).

 

FC Schalke 04
FC Schalke unfortunately ended up playing this same exact club in this UEFA Champions League Knockout Stage Round of 16 series as it did last season, so coach Roberto Di Matteo and Die Königsblauen (The Royal Blues) have definitely made some improvements at Gelsenkirchen, but getting some Luck in the ball draw certainly hasn’t helped this side, which currently sits in 5th place in Germany’s Fußball-Bundesliga (11-5-8, 35 GF-28 GA) after defeating TSG Hoffenheim, 3-1 at home at Arena AufSchalke on Saturday. Besides chasing a 0-2 scoreline on the road against the #1 ranked team by FIFA, Schalke will head in here with a number of injuries and a suspension, according to the UEFA.com website. Vice-captain Kevin Prince-Boateng is suspended for Tuesday’s match in Spain, while GK Ralf Fährmann (knee),  Julian Draxler (hamstring), Jefferson Farfán (knee) and Chinedu Obasi (foot) are all set to miss. Royal Blues’ GK Fabian Giefer (groin), midfielder Leon Goretzka (hamstring), CB Jan Kirchhoff (foot), DM/CB Joël Matip (thigh) and LB Sead Kolašinac (knee) are all also injured and listed as Doubtful, so, this club may be more intent on not getting anyone else hurt knowing it needs at least 2 road goals heading in here on Tuesday.

Schalke will look for 25-year Cameroonian striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (9 goals Bundesliga, +375 Anytime Goalscorer, bet365), veteran Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (7 goals, +300), 19-year-old attacking midfielder Max Meyer (3 goals, +700) and Swiss midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta (3 goals, +1000) for scoring here against Real Madrid, but, with just 2 goals in three lifetime meetings with the Madridistas—all in UEFA Champions League play—the Royal Blues will need to both play the perfect game and get some of that aforementioned Luck along the way. It can be done, but 19-year-old GK Timon Wellenreuther and the Schalke defense will have to be brilliant. It can be done, but it probably won’t.

Join the discussion in the SBR Forum on Champions League Picks.

Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid (20-1-5, 75 GF-24 GA in La Liga) is coming off an extremely  tough 1-0 road loss to Athletic Bilbao at San Mamés Stadium on Saturday, so coach Carlo Ancelotti and Los Blancos superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (30 goals, -250 Anytime Goalscorer, bet365) should be in a pretty foul mood and ready to take care of business early on at home here at the Bernabéu, as Real Madrid scoring the first goal and creating an aggregate 3-0 scoreline would surely be an impossible hill for Die Königsblauen to climb. Along with CR7—who has been in a lull or sorts for him—Madrid will look for Karim Benzema (13 goals, -150), Gareth Bale (10 goals, -137), the electric Isco (3 goals, +200), Javier Hernández (3 goals, +120), Jesé Rodriguez (+120), Jese Rodriguez (+120) Alvaro Medrán (+130) and Toni Kroos (+375) for scoring while the Whites GK Iker Casillas can play a little loose knowing his side is up 2-0 and at home.

Although not close to the degree at which Schalke is currently suffering, hosts Real Madrid also come in with some players injured and listed as out or Doubtful, including talented D Sergio Ramos (hamstring) and Luka Modric (thigh), both listed as Doubtful, and Colombian summer-signee James Rodríguez (toe), who will miss the match.

 

Best Betting Approaches and Trends
As mentioned, FC Schalke has only scored 2 goals lifetime against Real Madrid in 3 meetings—all here in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, with those previous two meetings (before Leg 1) coming last year (2013/2014) when Real Madrid won 3-1 here at at home at the Bernabéu and 6-1 in Germany at Arena AufSchalke. So, the 3-0-0 (11 GF-2 GA) lifetime record is impressive, but it’s the actual situation that matters here and the hosts may be a tad uninspired if they score first, meaning that bets on the Total or the Asian Handicap could potentially be affected by motivation, or lack thereof.

This doesn’t exactly look like a great opportunity for Soccer picks in The Grand Scheme of Things and maybe picking the Correct Score, some Prop bet or just staying away may be the wisest approach. Logic dictates that Real Madrid gets 2 or 3 goals and rolls here, but after losing the La Liga lead to rivals Barcelona (62-61 points) over the weekend after playing a very lackluster game against underrated Athletic Bilbao, it’s too hard to recommend Los Blancos at such a high price—or laying a goal or two—when this club can actually lose the game (0-1), and merrily advance on to the the Round of Eight by way of a 2-1 aggregate scoreline. UEFA Champions (and UEFA Europa) League Leg 2’s can often be tricky handicaps which bettors often think too little about. With Schalke so desperate, backing the Both Teams To Score may be worth a small shot, as the guests will be pushing the pace looking for those needed Road Goals, while if it scores first, Madrid will probably relax some and let an even more desperate German side chase those goals, knowing how high that hill is to climb.

PREDICTED FINAL: Real Madrid 2 FC Schalke 1

UEFA CL PICK: Both Teams To Score Yes -125 Soccer Odds (Sky Bet)

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