So Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford tonight (you might have heard one or two things about that in the last couple of days), which adds another layer of intrigue to Manchester United’s already fascinating Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid.
But will the Portuguese poser be able to get the better of opposite number Robin van Persie in the shoot-out between two of the world’s best forwards?
That was the case in the first leg three weeks ago, when Ronaldo scored a brilliant header to cancel out Danny Welbeck’s early opener and leave the tie perfectly poised at 1-1 apiece going into tonight’s mouth-watering return clash.
It could have been so much better for United had Van Persie not fluffed his lines and if the Dutchman had taken the chances that came his way – one of which was presentable in the extreme – then Sir Alex Ferguson’s men might already have one foot in the quarter-finals.
But it didn’t happen, and that is just the way it seems to be going at the moment for the former Arsenal hitman.
With 25 goals to his name in all competitions, Van Persie looks certain to be the ultimate difference in the Premier League title race (if he had signed for the blue half of Manchester, the 12-point gap might be the other way around), but for whatever reason he is having his leanest spell of the season at this precise moment.
Recent performances haven’t looked as sharp as they did until the turn of the year and the goals have dried up as well: Van Persie has scored just once in his last seven games as form and a slight fitness issue have taken the fizz out of his displays.
Of course, they don’t come any bigger than Real Madrid in the Champions League, so there is every chance that Van Persie can awaken from his slumber and strike – he is certainly good enough to do that.
But at 9/2 to score first (and a skinny 11/10 anytime), the preference has to be for the returning prodigal son.
Ferguson has told his players they shouldn’t worry too much about Ronaldo and that is probably because the Scot knows there is little the United defence will be able to do anyway if he turns up and plays like we all know he can.
Ronaldo has been in sensational form this season, hitting 39 goals for Real Madrid, including 16 in 2013 so far, and he looks the man most likely to score for Madrid, which is why there will be takers for the 4/1 he bags first and the even money he scores at anytime.
But bwin also have a whole host of specials on Ronaldo and RVP, plus a raft of enhanced prices in other markets, all of which you can see right here.
Punters will be tempted in by the 7/2 that both players manage to score during the 90 minutes – a more than likely outcome given that goals would appear to be guaranteed at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo is 11/4 to outscore Van Persie, who is 333/100 to do the same, with the tie at 73/100. There are wincast specials, too: a Ronaldo goal in a Madrid win is 12/5, while an RVP goal in a Manchester United victory is 7/2.
You can even bet on what will happen first to Ronaldo during normal time, with the 11/10 that he scores a goal installed as the favourite, ahead of 7/4 to play 90 minutes, 9/2 to get booked and 10/1 to get substituted.
In the same market, a Van Persie goal is 13/10, while completing the 90 minutes is 81/50 and being substituted is 3/1.
All of those prices are intriguing options, but this punter will simply be looking to double up by backing an anytime Ronaldo goal.