Madrid set to belie terrible record in Germany against Schalke
Champions League third-favourites Real Madrid (9/2) travel to Gelsenkirchen to face Schalke in the last 16 first leg, but the Spaniards have won just once (losing 18) in 25 previous visits to Germany.
The nine-time European Cup winners go into the tie as heavy favourites to progress to the quarter-finals, with odds of 1/10, but will be somewhat disheartened by their abysmal record on their travels to this country.
Despite Madrid playing so many games against German sides, they have never faced Schalke in a competitive game. Back the latter at 13/2 to pull off a surprise home victory, whilst Real are odds-on at 4/9 to win the first leg.
Carlo Ancelotti will be delighted that he has Cristiano Ronaldo available, after the Ballon d’Or winner’s three-match La Liga suspension, as his Portuguese star managed a record-breaking nine goals in the group stages. He is currently one behind leader Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
This match does has goals written all over it, with the likes of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema likely to lead the Madrid line. The club netted a total of 20 in the group stages (averaging over three per game), with half of those coming in away matches, so back them at 6/4 to score three or more.
Bale, who has two goals in his last three La Liga games, has odds of 5/4 to score at anytime here, while Ronaldo is at 1/2 or 7/4 to get two or more.
Madrid are unbeaten in their last 27 games in all competitions, with 23 of those being wins, and it is unlikely that they will carry on their poor form against German sides. More impressively, they have kept 13 clean sheets in their last 15 matches, and are 15/8 to win to nil.
Jens Keller’s Schalke know they have work to do to get any sort of result and may rely on in-demand starlet Julian Draxler to produce a moment of magic. Back the young German at 4/1 to score anytime.
Klaas Jan Huntelaar faces his old club and has odds of 2/1 to net anytime here, whilst Jefferson Farfan, who has seven in his last 11 in the Bundesliga is 10/3 for the same bet.
Depite being unbeaten in seven league games, injuries may take their toll on Schalke, who are without Dennis Aogo and Marco Hoger, while Christian Clemens, Benedikt Howedes and Atsuto Uchida are doubts.