Real Madrid take on Espanyol in the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final tonight, and the odds are stacked heavily against the visitors.
The Periquitos have lost twice to Los Blancos in recent weeks, both 1-0, and both at Cornell El Prat – in La Liga, and in the Copa del Rey. Tonight, they face a huge task to qualify for the semi-finals – they must beat Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu – something they have not done in 18 years.
Not since 1996 have the Catalan side triumphed in the Spanish capital. For that reason, it comes as no surprise the visitors are ranked as 25/1 outsiders to progress. Carlo Ancelotti’s men, currently on a 21-match unbeaten run in all competitions, can be found at 1/12 for the win – so not much value in that market!
Despite the loss of Gareth Bale to injury, Los Blancos are not short on firepower. Karim Benzema has scored three goals in his last six appearances, and in his team’s last two Copa del Rey matches. He has odds of 3/1 to open the scoring tonight.
Ronaldo can never be discounted, and is indeed the favourite to score first at 8/5. The Portugal striker has been in sensational form to date this campaign, and bookies have him at 5/1 to score a hat-trick. It could be a tempting bet considering the visitors have only kept two clean sheets in the last nine games.