Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic to serve up friendly goal-fest on Sky

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As part of the deal that saw Carlo Ancelotti move from PSG’s dugout to Real Madrid’s, the two clubs do battle in a post-winter break friendly live on Sky Sports.

It sees two of 2013’s biggest stars do battle as Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic limber back up for competitive assignments.

The last time these two shared a pitch, in Portugal and Sweden’s World Cup play-off second leg, five goals were scored and all of them were shared between the two men.

Considering no players scored more goals than the two forwards in the last calendar year too – Ronaldo rippled the net an astonishing 69 times in 59 appearances in 2013 while Ibra trailed on a thoroughly respectable 47 strikes in 58 games – another goal-crazy encounter looks a sensible betting path to take.

However, with Ladbrokes equally wise to the scoring talent on show, the price for the game to contain over 2.5 goals sits at a skinny 9/20.

It’s therefore advised that Ladbrokes customers take the far more lucrative 11/10 on there being over 3.5 goals, while 5/2 is on offer for a game of more than 4.5 strikes.

The case for a goal-heavy encounter is made even stronger when the two squad lists for the match is perused.

Only Gareth Bale of the two sides’ big name players isn’t available, staying on in Madrid to recover from a calf injury picked up in the final match of 2013.

With the friendly taking place in Doha, in front of a 50,000-strong crowd, and shared Dubai-based sponsors for both clubs to appease, there’s no danger of this match sliding into the usual substitute merry-go-round farce that takes place in other friendly encounters.

It’s Madrid who are the 9/10 favourites to win the game, with the draw at 13/5 and PSG rated as 12/5 shots for victory.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.