Ronaldo and Bale to fire Real Madrid to victory over Bayern Munich?

Will the firepower of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale give Real a first leg advantage over the European champions?

Will the firepower of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale give Real a first leg advantage over the European champions?

This Wednesday sees the clash of two of the biggest names in European football as this Real Madrid v Bayern Munich clash in the Champions League Semi Finals sees a meeting of two sides that have lifted the European Cup on 14 occasions. Real have won the title on nine separate occasions, but are without a win since 2002, while Bayern have five wins including lifting the title at Wembley last season. Both teams will be desperate to claim a first leg advantage in an attempt to book their place in Lisbon for the Champions League Final at the end of May, but who is favoured for victory at the Bernabeu?

Real Madrid v Bayern Munich Odds:

Real – 2.30

Draw – 3.30

Bayern – 2.88

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Real come into this final four match of the Champions League as one of just two sides to have gone unbeaten throughout the tournament, with their city rivals Atlético Madrid the only other team to match this feat. They will come into this match boosted having not played a match in a week since securing the Copa del Rey title over Barcelona with a stunning winning goal from Gareth Bale. Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, who is likely to return for this clash following a spell on the sidelines with injury, have scored 19 goals between them in this competition so far and they will be hunting for more goals on home soil tonight. Real are especially impressive at the Bernabeu this season with 20 wins in their last 21 games in all competitions, including scoring three against German sides Schalke and Borussia Dortmund, so will CR7 and Bale fire them to victory again?

It will not be easy for Real as they face a side that has swept the board as they have taken every trophy they have contested over last season and this. They have taken two Bundesliga titles, the German Cup, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup in this time. They do not have the standout firepower of Real Madrid’s star players and world record breaking purchases, but they have a much more rounded and balanced side overall. The question is, will this better team play see them able to neutralise the firepower of the Spanish team?

Since wrapping up the Bundesliga title early this season, Bayern’s concentration has seemed to waver with losses to Augsburg and Borussia Dortmund in recent weeks as well as managing to draw only 1-1 at Old Trafford with a subpar Manchester United despite dominating possession too. I feel that Bayern are likely to once again dominate possession in this Champions League Semi Final, but you can sure that Real will be more direct and lethal when they get the opportunity to attack Manuel Neuer in the Bayern goal.

As a result of this, I can see this match being a close but high scoring clash in the Spanish capital with both sides finding the net. However, the edge that the home support will give Ronaldo, Bale and the rest of the Real Madrid side leads me to believe that Real will just edge this first leg tie setting us up for a fantastic second leg at the Allianz Arena next Tuesday.

Back Real Madrid to beat Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu in this Champions League Semi Final first leg @ 2.30 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

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Real Madrid to cruise into the Champions League Quarter Finals?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale bagged four of Real Madrid's six first leg goals in Germany

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale bagged four of Real Madrid’s six first leg goals in Germany

As far as I am, and pretty much every football fan in the world is, concerned this Champions League last 16 stage tie between Real Madrid and Schalke is all but over following braces from Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at the Veltins-Arena three weeks ago before Klaas Jan Huntelaar pulled a consolation goal back for the Germans. Six away goals for the Spaniards, who are looking like one of the favourites to win the Champions League this season, should be enough for them, right? But with the El Clásico at home to Barcelona coming up at the weekend will they believe that a five goal cushion will be enough and will they step off the gas tonight?

The bookmakers do not believe so and the GR88.com Real Madrid v Schalke betting odds reflect these thoughts.

Real Madrid v Schalke Betting Odds:

Real Madrid – 1.23

Draw – 6.40

Schalke – 12.00

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Not only do Real have a five goal advantage over their German opponents this evening, but when they welcome Schalke to the Bernabeu this evening they have the confidence of a 16 match winning streak in front of their own fans to back them up. On top of this they have recorded nine clean sheets in their last ten home matches, with only Villarreal managing to find the net in this corner of the Spanish capital since Galatasaray managed to score in a 4-1 defeat almost four months ago. With the likes of CR7 and Gareth Bale running rings around the German backline in the first leg, even if they ease up will they prove to be far too good for Schalke tonight?

After their heavy home defeat at the Veltins-Arena to Carlo Ancelotti’s men three weeks ago things did not improve after the match as they had to face German champions Bayern Munich in the next match and they were promptly beaten 5-1. Since then though Schalke have won their last two matches scoring six goals against Hoffenheim and Augsburg, but these two sides sit mid-table in the Bundesliga and Schalke have shown that they are hopelessly outclassed against the best sides in Europe already.

As well as their poor form against the top sides Schalke have scored just one goal in their three away matches in the Champions League this season, while they face a Cristiano Ronaldo that has scored 32 goals in 25 matches in this competition, including having 11 this season alone. Real have not lost in 15 home Champions League ties in almost three years and I cannot see anything but a comprehensive victory for the hosts tonight, even if they rest players, against their German visitors.

Back Real Madrid to beat Schalke by at least three goals (Real -2) @ 2.08 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Who’ll take the advantage in the La Primera Liga title race this weekend?

Lionel Messi fired Barcelona to victory at Manchester City in the Champions League, now can he keep his team top of the league?

Lionel Messi fired Barcelona to victory at Manchester City in the Champions League, now can he keep his team top of the league?

As the La Primera Liga enters its 25th round of matches this weekend things could not be closer at the top of the league table as only goal difference separates Barcelona from Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. Atlético are third in the table with a +43 goal difference, while Real have +44 and Barcelona with the most amount of goals scored have a +52 record.

All three teams are in action this weekend but, with Barcelona and Atlético having travelled to Man City and AC Milan in the Champions League during the week, will it be Real Madrid who is top of the table and leading the La Liga title race after all three sides have played their matches?

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Real Madrid v Elche:

Real Madrid – 1.09

Draw – 12.00

Elche – 32.00

Saturday’s first La Liga match sees second placed Real take on 13th position Elche at the Bernabeu, a stadium that has seen Real defeated just a single time this season as their city rivals Atlético claimed a 1-0 win here in September. Things have turned around since then as Real have recorded 14 straight wins on home soil and have kept nine clean sheets in that run. Nobody lower than seventh in the table has scored at the Bernabeu in this run and with Elche having failed to win away from home since October it is a safe bet to say that Real are going to win this match.

Real won the first meeting of these sides in the top flight 2-1 earlier this season with much of the action, including two goals and a red card, coming in injury time at the end of the game. However, Real are much better on home soil and they will cruise to victory this weekend.

Back Real to win to nil @ 1.74.

Real Sociedad v Barcelona:

Real Sociedad – 7.60

Draw – 4.80

Barcelona – 1.37

This Saturday evening match for the reigning champions will be the toughest of all three games for those involved in the La Liga title race as they are facing a top six side compared to teams in the bottom half for the Madrid clubs and they played a tough 90 minutes in England during the week. As well as this Barcelona do not have the best of records away at Sociedad as they have drawn two and lost two of their last four visits to the Estadio Municipal de Anoeta, including managing a 1-1 draw here ten days ago in the Copa del Rey Semi Finals.

Sociedad are impressive on home soil too with five wins and three draws in their last eight matches in front of their own fans and only Atlético have been them in a domestic match this season. Barcelona are unbeaten in nine on the road and have won six of these games, but with two losses before this nine game run they have won just over half of their last 11 road trips. They are likely to win this match, but I fear that it will not be as easy for them as the odds suggest and my money is on both of these sides to find the net, like in each of the last four Sociedad v Barcelona games.

Back both sides to score @ 1.59.

Osasuna v Atlético Madrid:

Osasuna – 6.80

Draw – 3.80

Atlético – 1.51

After having a tough time of things at the start of February where they suffered three successive defeats with Real Madrid beating them home and away in the Copa del Rey and 16th placed Almeria shocking them 2-0 away from home, Atlético have turned things around in their last two games with a 3-0 home win over 18th place Real Valladolid and then beating AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro in Champions League football in midweek. They will be full of confidence for this match in the final action on Sunday due to this and the fact that they have seven of the last eight meetings with Osasuna, including all of the last three away games.

Osasuna have recorded clean sheets in their last two games at home to Getafe, who they defeated 2-0, and with a 0-0 draw at Elche. Despite this Real Madrid and Bilbao, both sides in the top four in the league, came to the Estadio El Sadar in the last three matches and scored seven goals between them. I see this being another comfortable win for Atlético this weekend and I’m backing them to win the game by at least two goals.

Back Atlético -1 @ 1.90.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Real Madrid to top the La Liga table today?

Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the winner in the last meeting of Granada and Real Madrid earlier this season

Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the winner in the last meeting of Granada and Real Madrid earlier this season

After the way that Barcelona and Atlético Madrid had steamed away at the top of Spain’s La Primera Liga table in the first half of the season it was looking highly suspect that Real Madrid would be able to mount any sort of title challenge this season. Yet, after the top two sides drew with each other two weekends ago and then failed to secure all three points last weekend Carlo Ancelotti’s side start this weekend just a point off the top of the table and looking to take top spot when they host Granada at the Bernabeu today.

Real come into this match having won all of their last eight matches, nine if you include the winter break friendly that saw them beat PSG 1-0, and they have kept seven clean sheets in this time so they will surely be confident about winning this match and going top of the table today.

GR88.com are in agreement with the capital city side too as their match odds suggest a very comfortable victory for the only side to win all six of their Champions League group stage matches this season.

Real Madrid v Granada Odds:

Home Victory – 1.08

Draw – 14.00

Away Victory – 36.00

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

On top of their excellent recent record, Real have been amazing in front of their own fans this season with 13 wins in 14 matches, with only city rivals Atlético managing to avoid defeat as they claimed a 1-0 win at the end of September. Following that loss to Real have won all of the following ten matches at the Bernabeu with just six goals conceded to their 35 scored and with them coming off the back of four away games over the last two weeks they’ll be happy to be back on home soil again, and I can certainly see them turning in another fine attacking performance today.

Granada sit in mid-table as part of a group of nine sides between eighth and 16th separated by just four points and if they win here they can go to the top of this pile of sides. It will be a tough ask, but they do come into today’s game on the back of two clean sheets as they defeated Real Valladolid 4-0 and drew 0-0 with Osasuna in back to back home games so they are sure to have some confidence about them. They have also been impressive away from home this season with just three losses all season long and they have won four of their last six on the road. However, when they have been defeated it has been reasonably heavy with Barcelona taking a 4-0 win while both Villarreal and Almeria securing 3-0 victories.

I have a feeling that with Real’s recent form, especially in front of their home supporters, as well as a 3-0 win here last season following on from the 5-1 victory in the previous season that we’re likely to see a heavy loss for Granada today and that Real will sit atop the La Primera Liga table – at least until tomorrow evening’s Atlético and Barcelona games.

Back Real Madrid to top the La Liga table with a win to nil against Granada this afternoon @ 1.73 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.