Racing Santander take on Real Madrid in the penultimate game before El Classico. Can Real maintain their advantage at the top?
With the Classico around the corner, Los Blancos must not take their eye off the ball when they face the potential banana skin that Is Racing Santander.
The last time Real Madrid (3/10 with Bet365) lost this game was by a scoreline of 2-1 (18/1 in today’s game) in April 2007.
The bad news for Racing (15/2 with Paddy Power) is that they have only won one of their last ten league games, and have failed to score in seven of these. They did, however, score three goals in their last game; a 4-3 Monday night loss away to Bilbao.
The Verdiblancos put up a fight in Basque country, and credit must be given to substitute Bolado (9/1 to score first, 10/3 anytime) who scored two terrific goals, including an overhead kick.
Tchite (9/1 to score first, 10/3 anytime) also scored, but the real attention today will be on Sergio Canales (11/1 to score first, 4/1 anytime). The future Real player will no doubt be looking to put on a show for those that will soon his pay his wages, and he is therefore worth your consideration.
Also worth considering is Racing’s home record which consists of two wins, five draws and seven defeats. Alarmingly, they have only scored ten times on their own turf, but have managed double that amount on their travels!
Real started poorly against Atletico and, as is often the case, lacked cohesion. Trailing their city rivals at half time, Real equalised through Xavi Alonso (missing today through suspension) before Arbeloa (33/1 to score first, 12/1 anytime) twisted and turned to calmly fire Real into the lead. The red hot Higuain (11/4 to score first, 8/13 anytime) added their third.
Ronaldo (5/2 to score first, 4/7 anytime) did not score, but when that happens he seems to get a brace in the next game (2 or more is 4/7) with one of them being a free kick.
I expect Real to win but don’t feel that the price of 3/10 represents the risk.
Betting in-play will be my vice, but based on the fact that Real have conceded first in recent games against Atletico and Sporting, I will be having a small pre-match bet on Racing to score the first goal (12/5).
I also think the 4/5 on offer on Racing to win with a two goal headstart is a touch on the big side and will be taking a chunk of that.