As you can tell, we here at Goals Galore are thrilled that we have back some European action during the week and with our Match Result and BTTS treble, we have picked two Champions League games and a tie from the Europa League on Thursday. Take a look…
Galatasaray v Chelsea – 7.45pm Wednesday
Chelsea to win and BTTS – 7/2 – Coral
Didier Drobga is up against his old club and you just know the prices for first time scorer will plummet for the Ivorian as the romantics among us, expect a big performance from the striker.
Any team coming to Istanbul to take on the Turkish champions anticipate a tough game and even though I believe Chelsea have superior players all over the pitch, I can see the home side scoring. Roberto Mancini will have been preparing the players meticulously for what will be their biggest game of the season so far and I cannot see Gala failing to find the back of the net in a tie which has all of the capabilities to be a cracker.
Chelsea will be looking to make the return leg at Stamford Bridge far easier by pretty much settling the tie here in Turkey. Jose Mourinho and his ego is likely to enjoy attempting to tactically outsmart Roberto Mancini and you wouldn’t I am betting on him doing it. Chelsea were left very happy after the draw for the first knockout round and I only see a win as a formality for the London side due to the quality of players they posses.
Schalke v Real Madrid – 7.45pm Wednesday
Real Madrid to win and BTTS – 7/4 – Coral
The Champions League Round of 16 sees Schalke face Real Madrid. The Bundesliga outfit have a home draw for leg one and will be aiming for damage limitations, giving them a chance for a shock result at the Bernabau.
Many will be expecting the Spanish giants to shine but Schalke have plenty of match winners themselves including Julian Draxler who may start on the bench since returning from injury.
In the league Schalke are unbeaten in seven matches and almost three quarters of their games, have had three goals or more. This may well be a goal fest but I cannot see Schalke being the side finding the net the most.
Real Madrid are quite simply on fire at the moment and since many wrote the giants out of La Liga, Madrid have kept on winning having now not lost for 15 games! This has left them top by three points after a comfortable 3-0 victory over Elche on Saturday and the result occurred despite manager Ancelotti, resting Ramos, Modric and Alonso all for the game in Germany.
Cristiano Ronaldo is also nice and fresh for Wednesday’s clash having served a three match ban in Spain and will be looking to make an instant impact on his return. In fact I cannot see him failing to score and this Madrid side registering a comfortable win.
Napoli v Swansea – 6.00pm Thursday
Napoli to win and BTTS – 5/2 – Coral
After a 0-0 draw in the first leg of this Europa League tie at the Liberty Stadium last Thursday, something has to budge in Italy for us to get a result and Napoli will be confident they can deliver with the advantage of being at home.
Napoli are sitting in third place in Serie A which is a far more envious position than the one their Welsh opposition face and will therefore be on the attack straight from the off, now they are in familiar surroundings.
Manager Rafa Benitez knows what it takes to win this competition, having done so twice and along with the firepower in attack of Higuain and Hamsik, I expect him to pass this first test.
Having reached the Round of 32, Swansea probably would have rather gone out at the Group stages considering the toll it has taken on their season.
The Swans have been left struggling amongst the sides concerned about relegation to the Championship, come May. Of these sides you would say Swansea have much more quality than most and the Swans will likely be fine, however they still have their European adventure to contemplate.
In recent weeks the Welsh side have played far better than they did over the Christmas period and into January and are looking far more dangerous on the attack. Despite a goalless game seven days ago, I fancy Gary Monk’s side to score a consolation in what may be a comfortable win for the Italians.