CSKA v Real Madrid: imperious visitors not to be caught cold
Real Madrid may not represent great value at 4/9 to win the away leg of their Champions League last-16 clash with CSKA Moscow, but the 11/10 available on them scoring 2-3 goals should be looked at favourably.
The Russians have won only two of their last eight Champions League ties and they have a tendency to leak goals at home in the competition.
CSKA have shut out the opposition in just one clean sheet in their last 12 home Champions League games and this bodes ill when welcoming a side who have failed to score only once in their last 19 Champions League ties.
Jose Mourinho’s request that his side forget about their domestic commitments and concentrate fully on the next stage of the Champions League should not prove too taxing for his Real Madrid players.
After all, following yet another comfortable La Liga weekend win, 4-0 over Real Santander, his side have a near insurmountable ten-point cushion between themselves and second-placed Barcelona.
Even the Catalan players themselves have all-but conceded the league to their Madrid rivals for the first time since 2007/08.
This lack of domestic baggage is sure to be of great help to Ronaldo and co, as they can focus on resuming their European campaign in the sort of form that saw them utterly dominate their group in 2011.
Despite having former bogey side Lyon alongside Dutch champions Ajax and Croatian whipping-boys Dinamo Zagreb in Group D, Real barely flinched as they recorded six wins from six, scoring 19 times and conceding only twice.
Meanwhile, Tuesday night’s opponents CSKA Moscow only scraped through a comparably weak Group B behind Inter, narrowly edging out Trabzonspor and Lille.