Our man at the Santiago Bernabeu, Phil Kitromilides, believes that a strong home side will be able to take a solid advantage into the second leg of this Copa del Rey clashReal 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 Copa del Rey last-16 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) with Paddy Power for the victory. The side from Pamplona, meanwhile, are offered at 16/1 (17.00) with the draw available at 15/2 (8.50).
Madrid will want to get this tie wrapped up in the first leg and leave nothing to chance at the following week's return fixture at El Sadar, where they could only record a draw just before Christmas.
As such, expect Carlo Ancelotti to field close to a full-strength line-up, meaning that 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 on Thursday 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.
|Real Madrid to win with a -2 goal handicap at 5/6 (1.83) 2.0pt stake with Paddy Power|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid