Live on Skysports 2: Tue 19.45: Spurs are 8/1 with to grab a win in the Bernabeu but goals could be short in supply.
Real Madrid’s preparations for the Champions League clash with Tottenham weren’t exactly ideal as Sporting Gijon ended their 24-match winning streak at the Bernabeu this season and also accounted for Jose Mourinho’s 150-game unbeaten run in home league matches, a sequence stretching back nine years.
Los Blancos are also struggling with a host of injuries ahead of the first leg and with the absence of many of his creative players proving crucial as they failed to break down their opponents on Saturday, Mourinho looks set to risk the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo against Spurs.
Harry Redknapp also has a lengthy injury list to contend with and he’ll be wary of reading too much into the Gijon defeat given that the Madrid side beaten 1-0 in that one will be very different to the one that takes to the field against Tottenham. Indeed, bookies are also overlooking the weekend’s events and Mourinho’s charges remain 1/3 favoruites with Totesport to reach the semi-final and 4/9 with Betfred to take a lead back to White Hart Lane.
Nevertheless, Spurs showed against AC Milan in the San Siro that they are undaunted by trips to face European heavyweights and at such short odds, Madrid are simply too risky, especially as Mourinho, albeit in an attempt to dampen expectations, has suggested that a draw, priced at 18/5 by , wouldn’t be a disaster.
The Madrid boss of course, is talking up his injury problems while playing down his team’s chances and they deserve to be favourites given their still impressive home record but it could prove more lucrative to focus on Los Blancos’ outstanding defensive record rather than back them to win.
Real haven’t conceded at home in the Champions League this season and Tottenham will find it hard to break them down, even if Gareth Bale features. Meanwhile, the fitness doubts surrounding several of Madrid players may make them less of a threat in attack and from Tottenham’s two clean sheets against Milan, we can deduce that Redknapp’s troops are capable of digging and putting in a stubborn defensive shift. We’re confident then that this match won’t be high scoring and the good news is that bookies disagree, so a tally of fewer than 2.5 goals is available at 5/4 with Coral.
Under 2.5 goals – 5/4 (Coral)