Real Madrid vs CSKA Moscow Preview, Champions League March 14th

by Punter's Hero on March 14, 2012

in Football, Latest News

Real Madrid returns home to Spain on March 14 to host Russian club CSKA Moscow in the second leg of their round-of-16 European Champions League tie at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. The first game ended in a 1-1 draw and the away goal gives the Spanish La Liga leaders an advantage. Any victory by Madrid would see them advance to the quarterfinal stage of the tournament.

Moscow manager Leonid Slutsky should have a bit of confidence going into the game since his team has never lost to a Spanish club. Madrid manager Jose Mourinho may have striker Karim Benzema in the starting line-up for the match after he returned to the team on the weekend and made an appearance late in the win over Real Betis as a substitute. He had been nursing an injured groin. However, defender Fabio Coentrao also has a groin injury and might miss the game and it looks like Angel Di Maria is out of action with a thigh injury.

CSKA will welcome back Japan’s Keisuke Honda as the playmaker returned to action on the weekend and started Moscow’s 1-1 draw with Dinamo Moscow. It also looks like Kirill Nababkin and Pavel Mamaev are both back after sitting out suspensions. However, Mark Gonzalez and Igor Akinfeev will likely miss the game as they both have long-term injuries.

Moscow has to score a goal in Madrid to advance. The least they have to do is earn a 1-1 draw to force the game into extra time. Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the first leg to give Madrid their valuable away goal. It’s going to be a bit of a mountain for Moscow to climb, but it’/s certainly possible to pull off. Madrid has been victorious in 30 of their past 34 matches overall and have scored at least one goal in each of those games with Ronaldo scoring nine times in his last six games.

The Spanish side has been beaten just once at home in nine contests against Russian clubs and that came back in the quarterfinal of the 1990-91 European Cup when Spartak Moscow beat them 3-1. CSKA Moscow is doing well on the road this year with just one loss in their past dozen road games. They’ve won three, drawn eight and lost once. Overall against Spanish sides Moscow has three wins and three draws.

Since they have to score at least once Moscow can’t afford to sit back. They need a goal and they really need to score first to have any chance. Earning a 1-1 draw and forcing extra time isn’t out of the question and the odds against them winning the game have been set extraordinarily high by most bookmakers. They may score the goal they need, but there’s a good chance they’ll let in more than one, so look for Madrid to take this game and advance.

Sportsbook William Hill has the current odds of a Real Madrid win at 1/7 and a CSKA Moscow victory at 20/1 with a 90-minute draw at 6/1.

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