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18.2. UCL Betting Preview: Real to destroy Schalke again?

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18.2. UCL Betting Preview:

Schalke - Real Madrid

There must've been some swear words uttered in the Schalke camp after the draw for the Champions League knockout stages.

Lady Luck brought them the toughest possible opponents: reigning champions Real Madrid. Adding insult to injury, the Galacticos swept them away at the same stage in last seasons' competition.

Schalke's road to the knockout stages wasn't rosy, as they progressed only just before Sporting Lisbon. In the Champions League, they've lost 4 out of their last six home matches, during which heavyweights Chelsea and Real Madrid have beaten them with a collective goal difference of 1-14 in three of the games.

Real Madrid have slightly struggled in the league recently, mainly due to Cristiano Ronaldo's suspension, but at the weekend the Los Blancos returned back to winning ways.

Both home and away, the holders dispatched opponents with ease. They've been impressive especially away from the Santiago Bernabeu, as they've won 7 out of their 8 last away matches.

Schalke's material is barely average compared to others in the Champions League, and they've been comprehensively beaten every time they've faced a European heavyweight in the competition. Last season the Germans struggled with Real's fast, counter-attacking style and we expect a busy evening for their defenders yet again.

The Madridistas want a meaningless fixture when they play at home, so we're expecting a clear victory for them in Gelschenkirchen tonight. 

Our picks:

Real Madrid -1,5 5/4 Unibet

HT/FT Real Madrid/Real Madrid: 11/10  Unibet

Basel - Porto

Both Basel and Porto must've been more than pleased with their opponents from the draw, as they're probably the two weakest teams in the competition.

Both sides have a clear-cut opportunity to progress, so a tight and concentrated contest can be expected.

Basel have performed well at home and have collected some impressive scalps in the process. For example Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Bayern Munich have all been humbled at St. Jakob-Park. In all competitions they've only lost once in 15 matches, and that was to Real Madrid after a valiant performance.

It can clearly be said that the home advantage is a strong one in Switzerland.

However, Porto have gained some good results from Europe for years, and although the players have changed, the winning mentality has stayed in the club. It is telling that they progressed to the knock-out stages with only wins.

Generally the Portuguese are also strong at their Estadio de Dragao stadium, so a draw with an important away goal wouldn't be a disappointment.

A tight contest is to be expected, but instead of a draw we're going for Basel, whose home advantage has been underestimated in the odds. 

Our picks:

Basel 27/10 Unibet

Basel +1 16/25 Unibet

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