The knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League fixtures are tonight and a lot of entertainment is expected as we should see some feisty encounters coming into this one.
UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid to beat Roma @ 1.80 (888Sport) – 3 points
Cristiano Ronaldo Anytime Scorer @ 1.92 (888Sport) – 2 points
Real Madrid head into this game against Roma looking to pile on the pressure based on the goal scoring form that Madrid have been in recent weeks. Since Zidane has taken charge, the team have scored 38 goals in 9 games played. Since Zidane has signed Karim Benzema is finally found his shooting boots and scoring more consistently. Since Zidane has signed Real Madrid have yet to lose a game. All this bodes well for the 10 time Champions League winners who will be looking to push on for victory in the first leg to minimise the work load they will have in the second leg and push on for a victory. Real Madrid can rely on the form of players like Isco, James, Kroos to create plenty of chances for the front 2 players. They will have some defensive problems however as Pepe and Marcelo will be out due to injury while Bale is still weeks away from being fit.
Roma have also had a managerial change, getting rid of Rudi Garcia and signing him with their former manager in Luciano Spalletti who has done a good job getting Roma back to winning ways, with only 1 loss to Juventus in the time he has been in charge. They have also re-discovered their shooting boots netting 2 goals in each of the last 4 games. Dzeko and Salah in particular have been good on the offensive end and well support by midfield runs from Nainggolan and Pjanic. Spalletti however has adopted a 3-5-2 strategy which could potentially be harmful for them in leaking goals as they have in 7 out of their last 8 games.
Real Madrid’s strength will be lying on how much they can outscore Roma not in terms if they might be able to keep them out. Cast your back to the group stages games where Leverkusen and Roma kept trying to out-score each other that led to some thrilling games. I expect Madrid to dominate this game not only due to form but also better experience of navigating themselves from this stage especially since Roma have a major doubt on their 2 stalwarts de Rossi and Totti playing this game, and even if they do they will be less than 100%. Madrid to win this one in my eyes.