Cristiano Ronaldo was left on the bench for Saturday’s El Clasico before appearing for the final half hour of a match against Barcelona that Real won by a 2-1 scoreline. It was the second victory against their arch-rivals in the space of a week for the Madrid side and sets them up nicely for this massive Champions League encounter.
Normally you would say that a 1-1 first leg scoreline would suit the team with the away goal, although such is the nature of this Real team that it would be dangerous to make them underdogs for this tie and the bookmakers agree. They can’t call the team likeliest to qualify and Coral go 5/6 about both sides although bet365 are prepared to lay 11/10 about United.
Not that the Red Devils have put a foot wrong this season. They lead the Premier League by a hefty points margin and will feel it was job done at the Bernabeu after earning a 1-1 draw which saw Sir Alex Ferguson’s team create several clear chances, with Robin van Persie particularly culpable in the second half.
What will also have pleased Ferguson was the way that United limited their opponents to few scoring chances, with the English side an amazing 9/4 with bet365 to claim victory on Tuesday night and that could be worth a few shekels when you consider the Red Devils’ excellent home form this term.
Shinji Kagawa has given his manager food for thought after Saturday’s hat-trick against Norwich City which saw United coast to a 4-0 victory, although what was especially pleasing was the performance of Wayne Rooney who effectively ran the show against the Canaries.
While Van Persie has been gaining all the accolades in a United shirt this season, this is an opportunity for the team’s other main forward to make his mark in a game of huge significance considering Ferguson may yet step down this summer.
The England forward is a 7/1 shot with Sky Bet to open the scoring against Real, which are bigger odds than you can find about Ronaldo (4/1) and RVP (9/2). If you feel that man Kagawa can continue where he left off against Norwich, then odds of 12/1 can be backed.
When the game kicks off on Tuesday night, United will be the team who have one foot in the quarter final of the Champions League and Real will have to score during the ninety minutes. It’s highly likely that they will find the net at least once and Sky Bet go 7/5 about the visitors winning this game of football and subsequently qualifying for the next stage of the competition.
However, United do look overpriced considering they are blessed with an excellent front two and the team are amazingly under-rated as being a non-vintage Red Devils outfit when the reality is that they can hold a torch to their predecessors.