A last-minute CSKA Moscow equaliser denied Real Madrid a first-leg lead in Russia three weeks ago but they are overwhelming favourites to finish the job at the Bernabeu this evening.
Jose Mourinho’s men are 1/10 to win on the night in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, with the draw at 17/2 and a shock CSKA success at 17/1.
And they are even bigger favourites to make it through to the quarter-finals at 3/100, with the Russian side at 11/1 to progress to the next stage of the competition.
The reasons for this are simple: Real have proved far too good for anyone this season save for Barcelona, and even the Catalan giants have been unable to keep up with the relentless pace set by Los Blancos in La Liga.
In a period of seven days where Lionel Messi scored five in Barca’s 7-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen and Mario Gomez struck four times in Bayern’s 7-0 win over Basel, why not back Ronaldo to join the party with three or more goals against CSKA at odds of 11/2?
Real sit ten points clear of Pep Guardiola’s outfit at the top of the table and have recorded an astonishing 30 wins in their last 34 games in all competitions.
Their only blemishes in this run have been two defeats and a draw against Barca and the 1-1 draw against CSKA at Arena Khimki.
But before CSKA fans take confidence from this statistic, it should be noted that Real are far from likely to let a team off the hook at the Bernabeu.
For not only are Mourinho’s troops winning games at home, but they are winning them big.
Real have scored three or more goals in every game they have played at the Bernabeu this season except in matches against Barcelona.
Their last game on their own patch ended in a 5-0 defeat of Espanyol, while the game before that was a 4-0 success over Racing.
As such, the signs point to Real following in the footsteps of Barca and Bayern Munich in going on a scoring spree against their last-16 opponents.
But with Real to score three or more goals against CSKA priced at 11/25, it could be worth looking elsewhere to ensure returns are more substantial.
Similarly, betting on Cristiano Ronaldo to add to his tally of 46 goals in 45 appearances for club and country this season will not bring too many rewards at odds of 3/10.
But in a period of seven days where Lionel Messi scored five in Barca’s 7-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen and Mario Gomez struck four times in Bayern’s 7-0 win over Basel, why not back Ronaldo to join the party with three or more goals against CSKA at odds of 11/2?
After all, the Portuguese has scored in each of Real’s last six matches and notched a hat trick as recently as February 12th against Levante.
For a safer bet which still pays out at odds of better than evens, consider betting on Real scoring more goals in the second half than they do in the first at 11/10.
Real have scored 60 per cent of their goals in the second half of games in La Liga and have scored more goals after the interval in nine of their last 11 home games.
Inevitably, their two failures came against Barcelona.
Recommended bet: Ronaldo to score 3 or more @ 11/2
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