Real Madrid return to domestic action this Sunday after their Champions League last 16 tie against Manchester United left the match delicately poised after a 1-1 first leg draw in Spain.
Real’s array of major talents didn’t pose a huge threat against Manchester United – particularly in the second half of Wednesday’s tie.
Los Blancos’ home league form has been a beacon of stability in a turbulent season though, and is a big reason why the odds are as short as 4/25 for a Real win when Rayo Vallecano visit tonight.
Rayo travel across Madrid in notable form, having just beaten second-placed Atletico 2-1. Six wins in their last nine La Liga matches have seen Paco Jemez’s side emerge as unlikely candidates for a Champions League qualifying spot.
Their away form is still far from impressive though, making a 25/2 shout on a shock win at the Bernabeu unlikely.
The Vallecanos have lost seven away league ties this season – as many as basement club Deportivo. Their one draw in all league matches this season provides little ground for a 13/2 bet on things ending all square this Sunday evening.
As in previous Real Madrid matches, I fancy a bet on Jose Mourniho’s side to win a match with four goals or more at 4/5. Six of Madrid’s eleven La Liga home matches this season have seen this outcome – including all of the last three Bernabeu fixtures.
Given that Vallecano have the fifth most leaky defence in La Liga – conceding 39 goals – Cristiano Ronaldo can cash in with more strikes this Sunday.
The Portuguese superstar’s wonderfully headed goal against Manchester United proved he is at the very height of his game right now. Ten league goals in his last five league matches – including a hat-trick in a 4-1 home win over Sevilla last weekend – are another sign of his spectacular peak in form.
Ronaldo is 3/1 to score a hat-trick, 4/5 to net at least twice and 8/5 to score the first goal of the match against Rayo. Given the mood he’s in, back him to strike early.