Get Your Kicks out of Real-Roma Corners

Zidane and Ramos celebrate with Ronaldo.

The first leg of the UEFA Champions League tie between Real Madrid and Roma failed to live up to one’s expectations but the likelihood of the return match disappointing is slim.

It took until the 57th minute of last month’s UEFA Champions League game at Roma for either team to muster an attempt on target, although it was worth the wait because Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo lashed it into the roof of the net. Real Madrid ended up beating Roma 2-0 and going a long way to booking its place in the UEFA Champions League last eight. Roma has nothing to lose in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League match at Real Madrid and, therefore, one is expecting the game to feature fireworks from the opening whistle.

The most appealing wager on the UEFA Champions League card is over 10 and a half corner kicks in the match between Real Madrid and Roma, an option that is trading at odds of +100  with Marathonbet. Last month’s UEFA Champions League first leg featured 12 corner kicks and it was a game that did not hit any great height from an entertainment perspective. The onus is on Roma to score a minimum of two goals in normal time of the UEFA Champions League rematch so the match is likely to be stretched, increasing the probability of last-gasp challenges to put the football out of play.

Real Madrid’s Spanish Primera Division defensive statistics should give hope to Roma – the Meringues have not keep a clean sheet in their nine league games against top-seven sides and they have earned just one point from their five matches versus Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla and Villarreal. Roma has won seven of its last eight games across all competitions – no prizes for working out the exception to the rule – so it should be brimming with confidence against a Real Madrid team that should have trailed in Italy before Ronaldo opened the scoring.

The uncompetitive nature of the Spanish Primera Division means that total corner-kick numbers are not the safest statistics to trust. Only eight of Real Madrid’s 15 Spanish Primera Division home matches have gone over 10 and a half corner kicks but the Meringues are averaging 7.20 home corners and 6.89 irrespective of venue. Roma is Italian Serie A’s third highest corner-kick accumulator, both away (5.89 per game) and overall (5.64 per game). One can make a fairly strong case for backing over 10 and a half corner kicks, certainly when Marathonbet is favouring the under.

Gent manager Hein Vanhaezebrouck is making all the wrong noises ahead of his side’s UEFA Champions League match at Wolfsburg on Tuesday. Vanhaezebrouck rates Gent’s chance of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at zero per cent and one gets the impression that he is not joking. Wolfsburg made a mockery of its dismal road record to defeat Gent 3-2 last month, the Wolves leading 3-0 after 60 minutes and deservedly so on the balance of play.

Wolfsburg’s home numbers are the fourth best in the German Bundesliga, Gent’s away results versus the cream of the Belgian Pro League and the UEFA Champions League have not been great and Vanhaezebrouck’s comments are on the money.

Wolfsburg, which qualified for the UEFA Champions League knockout stage after registering Group B home victories over CSKA Moskva, Manchester United and PSV, is available at odds of -189  with Bet365Betfred and BetVictor to do the double over Gent and progress to the last eight.

Finally, Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League game between Zenit and Benfica has the potential to be a tactical affair and, consequently, one suspects that Marathonbet may regret listing odds of -127  about under two and a half goals.

It took until stoppage of last month’s UEFA Champions League match at Benfica for the Eagles to break the deadlock and it occurred seconds after Zenit was reduced to 10 men. Four of the last five meetings of Zenit and Benfica have gone under two and a half goals and two of them were during last term’s UEFA Champions League group stage. Zenit is rusty following its winter break and one thinks that Benfica will force its opponent to make all the running given the state of the tie.

Tips Summary

Real Madrid v Roma over 10.5 corners
Tuesday 8th March, 19:45 GMT
Odds:  +100

Wolfsburg to beat Gent
Tuesday 8th March, 19:45 GMT
Odds:  -189

Zenit St. Petersburg v Benfica under 2.5 goals
Wednesday 9th March, 17:00 GMT
Odds:  -127

Champions League
Real Madrid

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