Liverpool v Real Madrid: Back the visitors on the handicap

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The first two games of Liverpool’s return to the Champions League were far from the plush rides they were supposed to be, so it’s fair to say that strapping themselves in for some serious turbulence against rampaging Real Madrid would be a wise Reds move.

Entertaining the defending champions at Anfield is exactly the kind of European night the Merseyside outfit hoped for when they landed back at Uefa’s top table, although their form possibly has them wishing it wasn’t happening just yet.

Here’s our best bets for the clash, headlined by a former Red Devil:

Cristiano Ronaldo to score first @ 3/1

The record books may say that the Portuguese phenomenon never scored in his five trips to Anfield as a Manchester United employee, but he’s about to take a chainsaw to those annals like a lumberjack denied his ultimate pleasure.

Ronaldo has scored 19 goals in 12 games for Los Blancos this term and has an astonishing 18 in his last 10 appearances for club an country. The net-rippling forward has also opened the scoring in three consecutive matches.

Real Madrid (-1.0) to win @ 37/20

The last time Madrid were held to under two goals in a game came some seven battles ago against their local rivals.

Liverpool’s last clean sheet was all the way back in August, against Tottenham in the third game of the season, making this one of the most secure bets of the evening.

Real Madrid to keep a clean sheet in the first half @ 13/20

In a reverse of last season’s narrative, Liverpool are no longer the coiled spring waiting to unleash goal-scoring fury on their opponents from the first whistle.

In fact, the Reds haven’t scored more than one first half goal all season and have been held scoreless in the first 45 minutes six times in 11 outings, including in both of their previous Champions League games.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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