After an unexpectedly challenging start to the La Liga season, Real Madrid kick off their Champions League campaign with what they hope will be a relatively straight-forward encounter.
Los Blancos looked excellent in winning their opening league game 3-0 at Deportivo La Coruna, yet back-to-back home draws against Valencia and most recently Levante have left Madrid fans frustrated at the side's failure to capitalise on the numerous chances created.
The good news for the reigning European champions is that Cristiano Ronaldo is available for this game having been absent for the start of La Liga with a five match domestic ban.
Not only is the forward Madrid's highest all time scorer, he is also the top scorer in the history of the Champions League and has finished each of the last five European campaign's as the tournament's leading marksman.
With his return and against the lowest ranked team in the group by some distance, Madrid will surely record a win and Genting offer them at just 1/33 (1.03) to claim all three points.
This is not APOEL's first trip to the Bernabeu with the Cypriot champions visiting the Spanish capital during their extraordinary run to the quarter finals in their debut appearance in the tournament in 2011. On that occasion they were beaten 5-2 and the Cypriots are priced at 50/1 (51.00) to inflict Real Madrid's first home defeat in the group stages since October 2009.
In a market as one-sided as this one it is tough to find genuine value in backing the hosts, with Madrid offered at 1/3 (1.33) to win to nil and at 10/11 (1.91) to win by four goals or more. Instead we will head into the goalscorers market and back Ronaldo to score two or more at 11/10 (2.10), with the scene seemingly perfectly set for the Portuguese star to grab the headlines.
With Karim Benzema out injured expect Ronaldo to play more centrally, and the current Ballon d'Or holder will be raring to go having had to sit out the last four matches for Madrid. With three goals and two assists during the recent international break, Ronaldo showed he is back to his strongest physically and backing him to return to the Real Madrid starting line-up in style is an appealing option.
|Cristiano Ronaldo to score two or more at 11/10 (2.10) for a 2pt stake with Genting|