They say it is the most important competition in football. The one everyone wants to take part in and win. It’s global reach is beyond parallel. It encapsulates audiences around the world, the significance of it knows no bounds. The financial gains are only eclipsed by the glory of success. It is the £10 to £10k challenge.
After recording a seventh straight win at the weekend when Tranmere Rovers scored one goal at home to Coventry City I will now be staking my £29.64 prize pot on tonight’s little Champions League encounter between Real Madrid and Manchester City.
Two teams constructed for the cost of the North Korean nuclear weapons programme square off at the Santiago Bernabeu in what is undoubtedly the most expensive collection of football players ever assembled on the same bit of turf.
Los Blancos have a supreme continental pedigree having won the European Cup more times than anybody else whilst City’s Abu Dhabi owners have poured hundreds of millions of pounds into the club in an attempt to see them emulate the likes of APOEL Nicosia, Rosenborg, Legia Warsaw and Hajduk Split in progressing from the group stages.
The champions of Spain and England are usually in the shake up for the big eared cup by the end of May and had it not been for these two being drawn in the same group as each other, Boroussia Dortmund and Ajax, bwin would have either of them much shorter than 13/4 and 10/1 respectively to be crowned 2012/13 Champions League winner.
But for the £10k challenge anything happening in May is way, way too far down the line for me to be interested in, but tonight’s match-up in the Spanish capital titillates me enough to make it the eighth avenue on my continental betting spree in pursuit of turning £10 into £10,000.
There are plenty of other options around this midweek with 40 games across the Champions and Europa Leagues but like many my eyes cannot be drawn from the highly anticipated clash between the La Liga and Premier League’s top dogs: Madrid v Manchester, white v baby blue, Jose Mourinho v Roberto Mancini, Cristiano Ronaldo v Scott Sinclair, Antonio Banderas v Curly Watts.
By choosing this game I am taking a bit of a risk because despite City’s travails in this competition last season Madrid are in a bit of a pickle at the minute. Mourinho’s men have made an inauspicious start in defence of their Primera Division crown picking up just four points in four games and winning once against little Granada.
Cristiano Ronaldo has apparently got tears in his eyes which is nothing to do with his brylcreem running and bwin’s 3Way betting market only have the hosts as 57/100 favourites for the win – probably their lowest price since Julian Faubert was masquerading as a Madridista.
Saying that City are still way out at 17/4 to kick off the group with three points with the draw at 31/10 but given Los Galacticos recent sticky spell I’m veering well away from picking a result and going for goals instead.
It is a method which has stood me in good stead across the revised version of the £10k challenge but one which almost came a cropper at the weekend when Tranmere left it until the final ten minutes to break down a Coventry defence who last kept a clean sheet on the road when Steve Ogrizovic had some bone in his nose.
However, I reckon there will be at least two strikes between Madrid and City tonight which is why I’m lumping my £29.64 on there to be over 1.5 goals in the game at 9/50 and if this bet comes in I’ll be up to £34.98 from my initial tenner.
Despite their domestic foibles so far, Real have an ominous home goalscoring record and have clocked up over 200 goals on their own patch in little over two years since Mourinho took charge.
The Citizens haven’t been far off that themselves scoring 93 league goals last season but defensively they’ve shipped in eight goals in five games this campaign and between the lot of them I reckon I’ll be in business with over 1.5 goals overall.
If you want a pop at the £10k challenge or simply fancy a flutter on any of the other Champions League ties, you can pick up a free £20 bet with bwin by registering here.
Bet 8: Over 1.5 goals In Real Madrid v Manchester City @ 9/50
Current Balance: £29.64
Potential Balance: £34.98