Our man at the Bernabeu, Phil Kitromilides, believes a strong Real Madrid side will be able to take a solid advantage into the second-leg of this Copa del Rey clash
Real Madrid have a particularly busy start to the year with los Blancos playing three matches in six days, the second of which sees them host Osasuna in the first-leg of their last 16 Copa del Rey tie.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men toiled against Celta Vigo in their opening match of the year on Monday yet still ran out 3-0 winners, thanks in large part to some woeful finishing from the visitors.
Osasuna will provide technically inferior yet physically more rugged opposition than Celta, and Madrid can be backed at 1/8 (1.12) for the victory. The side from Pamplona, meanwhile, are offered at 16/1 (17.00) with the draw available at 15/2 (8.50).
Yet Madrid will want to get this tie wrapped up in the first leg and leave nothing to chance at next week’s return fixture at El Sadar, where they could only manage a draw just before Christmas.
As such, expect Carlo Ancelotti to field close to a full strength line up meaning a comfortable win should be on the cards for Madrid.
Backing Madrid to win with a -2 goal handicap proved profitable on Monday (just) and it is offered this evening at a slightly higher price than it was for that league game.
At 5/6 (1.83) this looks like an excellent option against a team who in recent weeks have conceded three at Malaga and five at Real Sociedad.
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid