Carlo Ancelotti’s debut on the European scene as los Blancos manager is expected to end in a win as they chase their 10th Champions League diadem
Real Madrid travel to the Türk Telekom Arena in Istanbul to challenge home side Galatasaray as the 2013/14 Champions League season kicks off on Tuesday afternoon.
Galatasaray ended their 12-match winless streak against Spanish opposition when they played Madrid in the quarter-finals last season, as they recorded a 3-2 home victory which was a futile effort as Mourinho's men sailed through 5-3 on aggregate.
Though, the Madrid outfit struggled to a 2-2 draw at Villarreal over the weekend, they are outstanding favorites with Ladbrokes to return to Spain with the maximum three points. The choice of 3/5 (1.60) is a good one as the visitors begin their quest towards lifting the trophy for a 10th time.
Galatasaray do boast a fine recent record in Istanbul, losing only two of their last 14 home European matches and they are available at odds of 9/2 (5.50) to shock their visitors while the draw is a 3/1 (4.00) play by the same firm.
With Cristiano Ronaldo on a run of 21 goals in his previous 19 Champions League matches, the Turkish side face a tough challenge in securing a repeat success. The Portuguese striker can be backed at 11/4 (3.75) to find the back of the net first while his teammate who plays for the French national team, Karim Benzema is a 9/2 (5.50) bet to open scoring on the night.
Galatasaray’s Didier Drogba and Bural Yilmaz are joint 9/1 (10.00) to net first also. Going by the arrays of potentials Los Blancos parade in the attack, it is worth expecting the Madrid to go crazy between 2-3 goals at EVS (2.00).
Madrid will have to do without midfielder Xabi Alonso, who remains on the sidelines with a broken foot, while Ancelotti has confirmed that Iker Casillas will start his first game of the season having been displaced by Diego Lopez in La Liga.
Punters should back second half goals under 1.5 at 10/11 (1.90).