Real Madrid v Roma Champions League Match Preview, Prediction & Head to Head
ZIDANE WARY OF COMPLACENCY
With a 2-0 lead to protect from the first leg in Rome three weeks ago, it seems only complacency will stop Real Madrid reaching the last eight of the Champions League for the sixth consecutive season, whilst finally ending the hoodoo Italian sides seem to have over them. Having lost their last eight two-legged ties against Serie A opposition, coach Zinedine Zidane will reiterate to his talented group of players, the importance of keeping focused on the job in hand against a Roma side that has improved markedly since their first-leg encounter. The Spanish giants warmed up for Tuesday’s match with a 7-1 destruction of Celta Vigo on Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo helping himself to four of the goals. The best football betting predictions naturally fancy him to find the net again against the Italians, so a good price on offer is the *4.33 currently quoted for Los Blancos to win by a two goal margin once again. Last time they played Champions League football in front of their home fans, they rifled in eight unanswered goals against Malmo.
ROMA REMAIN POSITIVE DESPITE THEIR SLIM CHANCE OF PROGRESS
Seven straight league wins under new coach Luciano Spalletti has given Roma hope of gaining qualification for next season’s Champions League and the word coming out of the Italian capital, is that they have not given up on their chances of pulling off one of the shock results of this season’s tournament, by overturning a a 2-0 deficit in Madrid. If they were to pull off what many people regard as being pretty much the impossible, the Giallorossi would be into their first quarter-final since 2008. Another statistic that will need to change are their poor results away from the Stadio Olimpico in this competition; their last win outside the capital coming against Basel back in 2010. They have also only on one other occasion, turned around a first-leg deficit in a European tie and that was nearly 20 years ago.
Real Madrid are missing four key men for Tuesday night’s clash with Tony Kroos, Luca Modric, Karim Benzema and Álvaro Arbeloa all missing due to injury. Colombian play-maker James Rodriguez, despite rumours that he will be sold in the summer, could start the game ahead of Mateo Kovacic with Welsh wizard Gareth Bale (**6.00 on the best sports betting websites to open the scoring) set for a surprise return to the starting XI after his recent layoff.
Daniele De Rossi looks to be out once again for the visitors, which will mean the vastly experienced Seydou Keita anchoring the midfield alongside Radja Nainggolan. Striker Edin Dzeko may return to the starting line-up to be the focal point of the attack for the Italians, with current hotshots Stephan El Shaarawy and Mohamed Salah slotting in just behind.
THE BERNABEU SQUADS
Real Madrid (from) Navas, Casilla, Varane, Pepe, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Carvajal, Danilo, Lienhart, Tejero, Rodriguez, Bale, Casemiro, Kovacic, Vazquez, Isco, Ødegaard, Llorente, Lazo, Ronaldo, Jese, Mayoral, Diaz
Roma (from) Szczęsny, De Sanctis, Rudiger, Digne, Castan, Maicon, Torosidis, Manolas, Zukanovic, Nainggolan, Pjanic, Keita, Vanquer, Florenzi, Ucan, Perotti, Dzeko, Totti, Salah, Iago Falque, El Shaarawy,
HEAD TO HEAD
The two sides have met on nine previous occasions, Real Madrid has the slight edge with five wins to three. The last time the two met at the Bernabeu however, Roma were the victors as they progressed to the last eight at the expense of their opponents. Real Madrid has faced Italian opposition on 66 previous occasions, winning 30. Roma has won just nine of their previous 25 meetings against Spanish sides across all European competition.
Real Madrid 1.40 Draw 5.00 Roma 7.00
**odds courtesy of Paddy Power
*odds courtesy of Bet365
By: Steve Mitchell