Date: 19 January 2017 09:28
After back-to-back defeats in the past week, we are backing the Liga leaders to return to winning ways in a high-scoring game at the Bernabeu
Wednesday evening saw Celta Vigo become the first Spanish team other than Barcelona or Atletico Madrid to win at the Bernabeu since 2011.
The Galicians headed back to the north of Spain with a 2-1 win in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter final, and while Zinedine Zidane knew his side have the second leg to turn things around, it was not a good night for the European champions. Having gone nine months without defeat Real Madrid suffered two losses in three days, and their loss at Sevilla last Sunday means they can ill afford any more slip ups.
Fortunately for Madrid their opponents this Saturday afternoon are Malaga, a side who have never in their history won at the Bernabeu and who this season are yet to register an away win.
Los Boquerones were in action on Monday evening and looked poor in losing 2-0 at home to Real Sociedad. New manager Marcelo 'El Gato' Romero is still looking for his first win since taking charge of the side yet it is unlikely to come on Saturday. Bet365 are live streaming the game for UK based customers and offer the visitors at 18/1 (19.00), while Madrid can be backed at 1/8 (1.12) and the draw is offered at 9/1 (10.00).
While Malaga are not in good form, it is worth remembering that they have been more than capable of frustrating both Real Madrid and Barcelona over the last few seasons. The Andalusians claimed a 0-0 at the Camp Nou earlier on this term, while their visit to the Bernabeu in the previous campaign in October 2015 saw them return to the Costa Del Sol with a point thanks to the same scoreline.
That remains the last goalless draw the Bernabeu has seen, and Zidane will be confident that his side can avoid a repeat which is offered at 33/1 (34.00).
Remarkably, Malaga's only clean sheet in 10 away games this season came at the Camp Nou - and in five of their last six matches on the road, the side from the south of Spain have conceded at least twice. Malaga's last two away games have brought defeats by score lines of 3-1 and 4-1 against Celta Vigo and Sevilla respectively, and only three sides in La Liga have conceded more goals on the road.
We should, therefore, see goals despite Malaga's recent ability to frustrate Madrid, and over 2.5 goals is offered at just 1/4 (1.25). More attractive, though, is the price of 8/11 (1.73) for a home win and over 3.5 goals in the game. Real Madrid's La Liga matches this season have averaged 3.65 goals, the highest in the division, and with four out of Malaga's last five away league games seeing over 3.5 goals, the statistics back up this selection.
Real Madrid to win and over 3.5 goals at 8/11 (1.73) for a 2.5pt stake with bet365