Real Madrid can close out first spot in Champions League Group F with a victory over Celtic at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Los Blancos have played themselves into a tight spot due to a draw against Shakhtar Donetsk and a shock defeat against RB Leipzig, yet they are strong favourites to achieve the result they need against a Hoops side that is already out of Europe after failing to win any of their previous five matches.
The glamour of a trip to one of the game’s great venues will be enough to keep Celtic interested in this match, but they will be up against it versus a strong team with a will to win.
Here’s our bet builder for the encounter.
Real Madrid v Celtic Bet Builder Tips
Real Madrid -1 Handicap
Real Madrid should be capable of clearing this hurdle without too many problems, even if their home form has not been spectacular this season. Certainly, they will want to win this match with minimal fuss to allow them to go into Monday’s match against Rayo Vallecano in as strong a shape as possible. Indeed, Carlo Ancelotti’s men have only three matches to play before the World Cup and will be seeking to build momentum into that break.
They have thrown in a couple of surprising home draws this season – against Osasuna and Girona – but four of their last five victories at the Bernabeu have come by exactly two goals. It is worthwhile noting that they have not typically been winning matches by landslide margins this season. Since beating Celtic 3-0 and Mallorca 4-1 in September, they have only once recorded a three-goal win.
Meanwhile, Celtic’s woes in the Champions League are well known, particularly on the road. They lost 3-1 to RB Leipzig a month ago but did draw 1-1 with Shakhtar. Neither of these clubs are of the stature of Real Madrid, while they were still live in the competition at that point, too.
Under 3.5 Cards
There is little reason for this game to become a feisty affair. There is the possibility that Real Madrid become frustrated if Celtic can hold them for a prolonged period, but the prospect of that happening appears to be slim.
The Hoops, meanwhile, commit few fouls and what indiscretions they do make are typically minor. In the Scottish Premiership, they have given away fewer free kicks than any other side while they commit more fouls per booking than any other team in the division. In the Champions League, meanwhile, they are sitting on five total bookings for the competition.
Real Madrid will be in squad management mode. They will not want to pick up any bookings that could cost them a player through suspension in the knockout stages.
Referee Stephanie Frappart averages over four bookings per game this season but that is skewed by an apparently tougher approach in Ligue 1. When taking charge of international or European games since June, she is averaging just over three card per game. This is unlikely to be a charged match, so expect her to have a quiet evening.
Federico Valverde to Score Anytime
Karim Benzema is a doubt prior to Wednesday’s match, so Real Madrid will need to look away from their usual source of goals. Fede Valverde, meanwhile, is a nice price to get on the scoresheet given the form he has been displaying in recent weeks.
The wingers has been a key figure in the second half of October, with a goal in the Clasico against Barcelona kickstarting a fine run of form domestically in which he scored in three successive matches. That came to an end against Girona at the weekend, but he still managed an assist in that encounter.
During this hot run of form, he has not played a European match. Indeed, he missed the loss in Leipzig due to a dead leg and will return for this encounter seeking to add to the goal he netted in the first match against the German side.
Valverde is not a player who Ancelotti typically replaces either – he has seen 90 minutes in more than two-thirds of the games he has started.
He is also 2.1 to score or assist at any point in the match. Given he has done this in 10 of his 17 outings this season, that looks strong value.
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Real Madrid predicted XI (4-3-3) : Courtois; Mendy, Militao, Nacho, Vazquez; Kroos, Tchouameni, Camavinga; Hazard, Rodrygo, Asensio
Celtic predicted XI (4-3-3) : Hart; Taylor, Jenz, Carter-Vickers, Ralston; Hatate, O’Riley, Mooy; Abada, Furuhashi, Forrest
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *
How to watch Real Madrid v Celtic in the Champions League?
📅 When is Real Madrid v Celtic? / Wednesday, 2nd November 2022, 17:45
🏟 Where is Real Madrid v Celtic? / Bernabeu (Madrid)
📺 What TV channel is Real Madrid v Celtic on? / BT Sport 4
🟨 …And who is the referee for Real Madrid v Celtic? / S. Frappart 🇫🇷