Real Madrid - Valencia Betting Preview: Why the home side should be backed at half-time and full-time

With the Copa del Rey of huge significance to Jose Mourinho's side, our Spanish expert Phil Kitromilides expects them to be winning at the break as well as the full-time whistle
After Saturday's insipid 0-0 draw at Osasuna saw them slip 18 points behind Barcelona in the league, Real Madrid take on Valencia in the competition they have the best chance of winning this season; the Copa del Rey.

It is perhaps a strange reversal of the norm, seeing a team sideline the league to focus on the Cup, but this has been hitherto a rather strange season for Madrid and Paddy Power price them at 1.33 (3/10) to take a first leg lead to Mestalla next week.

A resurgent Valencia meanwhile with seven wins in their last eight games under new manager Ernesto Valverde can be backed at 8/1 (9.00) with the draw offered at 4/1 (5.00).

Yet logic (if not necessarily the statistics) dictates that this is a game Madrid will win, given the significance of the cup to them as well as their strength at home - it is 32 games since they last lost at the Bernabeu.

With a rampant Ronaldo restored to the starting lineup after his weekend suspension expect Los Blancos to make a quick start.

The price therefore of 5/6 (1.83) for Madrid half-time/full-time appeals and it is a bet that has paid out seven times this season in games that Jose Mourinho's men have played against La Liga opposition at home.

For some higher odds back Madrid -2 in the handicap market at 2/1(3.00) with this bet also paying out in seven of the champions' home fixtures this season.

Madrid half time/full time at 5/6 (1.83) with Paddy Power
Madrid -2 handicap at 2/1 (3.00) with Paddy Power

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