Champions League Round of 16: Real Madrid, Chelsea open as road favorites

2013-UEFA-champions-league-featured-imageHoly hell, Manchester United sucks.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, the last two first legs of the Champions League Round of 16 is set to get underway today with Real Madrid taking on Schalke 04 and Chelsea locking horns with Galatasaray.

The Spanish giants enter this road contest in Germany as heavy favorites to beat a Schalke side that’s looking to gain some headway in the competition. One way of doing that is upsetting Madrid, which is a task far easier said than done considering that the Spanish outfit enters the match on a 26-match unbeaten streak across all competitions. In fact, we all need to go back to October 26 when Madrid last lost a game at the hands of bitter rivals Barcelona.

Since then, it’s been 22 wins out 26 matches with four draws for the Galacticos and fittingly, they enter the match as overwhelming 1/2 favorites compared to the home team who should be smarting over getting 6/1 odds to beat Madrid. A draw has been set at 7/2 odds.

One thing we do know: we don’t expect a United-like meltdown for Real Madrid in this game. So sit tight and watch the class of Spain’s La Liga pick apart an overachieving German Bundesliga team.

Chelsea vs Galatasaray

The last first leg match of the Round of 16 offers an intriguing contest between Premier League leaders Chelsea traveling to Istanbul to take on Galatasaray. The game offers a chance for former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba to defeat the team he led to the 2012 Champions League title against Bayern Munich.

So is this the year that Chelsea makes it two out of three? Common sense ought to dictate that it should have a quick go of Galatasaray, but the Blues’ recent form in its domestic league isn’t inviting such confidence, especially against a team that’s more than capable in its own right.

Nonetheless, bookmakers have tabbed Chelsea as favorites at even odds with Galatasaray penciled as the home underdog at 3/1 and a draw at 9/4.

This has the makings of a match that could go either way. Chelsea is obviously the more glamorous of the two squads and will likely get most of the action, but Galatasaray is far from a push-over. Look for the home team to make a stand of it with a draw looking like a probably outcome.