The Price Is Wrong: Man Utd should be favourites to dump out Real Madrid
Some inspired goalkeeping from David De Gea and an adventurous team selection from Sir Alex Ferguson means Manchester United have more than a fine chance of progressing beyond Real Madrid into the quarter finals of the Champions League.
And history suggests that they should actually be the favourites to qualify heading to the second leg of the last-16 clash at Old Trafford, even though Man Utd are currently 5/6 to reach the quarter finals, with Real Madrid the same price.
There have been four previous occasions in which Real Madrid have drawn the opening game of a two-legged tie in the competition and they have ended up being knocked out in the return leg every time.
Granted, only one of these occasions has been in the Champions League era, when they were dumped out by an Andrey Shevchenko-inspired Dynamo Kiev in 1999.
Meanwhile, looking back at previous Champions League two-legged games that have finished 1-1 in the first instalment also makes grim reading for Real Madrid’s chances of advancement.
Some 28 first-leg ties have ended 1-1 and the team playing away first have gone through 19 times.
It gets even worse when just looking at results since the introduction of the last-16 stage, as the away team have progressed in 14 instances from 19 1-1 draws.
Real Madrid themselves have been responsible for such a feat in each of the last two seasons in the second round of the Champions League.
In 2011, they beat Lyon 3-0 at home to advance 4-1 on aggregate, while 12 months ago they saw off CSKA Moscow 5-2 on aggregate.
A rare piece of good news for Real Madrid is that en route to winning the Champions League in 2000, they met Manchester United in the quarter finals and drew the first leg at home 0-0.
However, they then won 3-2 at Old Trafford before going on to lift the trophy with a 3-0 success over Valencia in the final.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.