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With Madrid needing to score in order to progress, our Spanish expert Phil Kitromilides believes backing goals in the first half to be the best bet tonight

With the defence of their league title all but over in December, it would be fair to say that the Copa Del Rey has taken on added significance for Real Madrid this season.

Jose Mourinho delivered Los Blancos their first Copa since 1993 in his first season in charge and a repeat would seem to be Madrid's most realistic chance of silverware in the current campaign.

Given the flawed nature of the competition, the draw has been made all the way to the final, with Valencia awaiting in the next round before an expected semi-final clash with Barcelona.

To set up those tantalising ties though, Madrid must overcome a 2-1 first leg deficit against Celta this evening and William Hill price them at 1/7 (1.14) to beat the side from Galicia.

Celta meanwhile can be backed at 14/1 (15.00) with the draw which would see Madrid exit the competition priced at 7/1 (8.00).

Yet despite their recent hiccups, Madrid remain extremely difficult to beat in the Bernabeu; no team has managed to do so in La Liga nor the Champions League during 2012 and Celta's previous visit to Madrid earlier this season saw them beaten 2-0.

Madrid have looked defensively vulnerable in recent matches though, having conceding at least two goals in each of their last five games.

Both teams to score is offered at 8/11 (1.73) and has paid out in every one of Madrid last six games in all competitions.

The problem for this bet though is that Celta are woeful away from home, having lost eight of their nine away league games and even going down 2-0 at second division Almeria in the previous round.

Therefore instead of backing both teams to score. investing in over 1.5 goals in the first half at the slightly smaller price of 7/10 (1.70) is a more appealing option.

This bet has paid out nine times in Madrid's home games at the Bernabeu this season, and with Los Blancos knowing they must win - and therefore score - to progress, there is every chance they will make a high tempo start to the game.

For a value bet try backing Sami Khedira to follow up his great goal at the weekend by netting at anytime available at an industry best price of 7/1 (8.00). This is a standout price with William Hill as some firms have priced up Khedira as short as 2/1 (3.0) to find the net this evening.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Over 1.5 goals first half at 7/10 (1.70) with William Hill
Sami Khedira to score at anytime at 7/1 (7.00) with William Hill

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.

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