Football tips: Benzema key to Tuesday’s 14/1 Real Madrid v Liverpool Bet Builder

Our tipster Andrew Beasley fancies these four picks

Karim Benzema Real Madrid Sadio Mane Liverpool

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

The Champions League draw has thrown up some interesting ties for the quarter-finals. There’s a Jose Mourinho derby between Porto and Chelsea, Manchester City will face their future forward when up against Erling Haaland’s Borussia Dortmund and we have repeats of two of the last three finals in this competition. There’s no sign of Tottenham, obviously, but Bayern Munich play Paris Saint-Germain while Real Madrid take on Liverpool in a repeat of the 2018 showpiece.

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Based on the odds, this one is the most difficult tie to call. There’s usually one quarter-final pairing each year in which both sides win their home matches, and this is definitely a contender for 2021.

Fans of narrative will have been heartbroken by the news that Sergio Ramos will miss this tie. To recap, the last time these teams met he forced Mohamed Salah off with an injury, elbowed Loris Karius in the head shortly before he made two colossal blunders, and he stole Trent Alexander-Arnold’s lunch money. What a rotter.

Handicap: Draw (+1)

It was interesting to see Zinedine Zidane field a back three in Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Eibar on Saturday – something he’d only done on three previous occasions this season. He also deployed that set up for their last European match, against an Atalanta side who often play with a front three.

Was it done at the weekend with Liverpool in mind? Whether it was or not, the more interesting match-up is surely to be found at the opposite end of the field where (most likely) Liverpool’s 20th central defensive partnership of the season will be up against the guile of Karim Benzema and the lightning speed of Vinicius Junior. The Madrid pair combined for a goal at the weekend too.

Tuesday, 20.00: Real Madrid v Liverpool
BT Sport 2

So despite the absence of Ramos, it feels as though it is still Jurgen’s Klopp’s side who have the greater concerns at the back. The home side should be able to edge this one. However, though Liverpool may have been defeated nine times in all competitions in 2021, six of those losses were by a single goal, and two of the others only stretched to two in the 83rd minute or later. This should be equally close, so take the handicap draw, which is Real to win by one.

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Both teams to score: Yes

But that isn’t to say that the Reds can’t get on the scoreboard too. After all, under Klopp they have found the net in 18 of their 23 Champions League matches which weren’t staged at Anfield. And as much as their form has been up and down in the last few months, Liverpool have won seven of their last eight games on the road.

In fact, the only away matches in which they’ve failed to score this season were against Newcastle and Southampton, and it’s not as if Real Madrid can hope to match up to those sides, is it? Add in that the home team’s only clean sheet in their last six matches came against a club in the La Liga drop zone, and it’s safe to assume both teams will score in this fixture.

Over 2.5 goals

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll realise that for the above two tips to pay off, there will need to be at least three goals in the match.

That isn’t the only reason it looks likely to occur though. Real’s four home games in Europe this season have seen a total of 16 goals, and the only one which saw fewer than three – their 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach – should have done based on the expected goal numbers.

With Liverpool in goal scoring form on the road, we should see over 2.5 goals here.

Karim Benzema Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid Eibar La Liga April 3, 2021

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Karim Benzema to score anytime

Based on big game European form, Sadio Mane would be the best choice for a goal scorer bet. The Liverpool forward has scored nine away goals in the Champions League knock-out stages since the start of 2017/18, at least four more than any other player has managed in that period.

But while his last two goals came against RB Leipzig, they are his only strikes in his last 10 appearances for the Reds. Other than that, he has looked out of sorts recently.

By contrast, Karim Benzema is in red hot form, with nine goals in his last seven matches. He has also scored the joint-most European Cup or Champions League goals against Liverpool of any player. The Frenchman might not get a free gift from Karius this time around, but he can add his name to the score sheet at some point nonetheless.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

Real Madrid v Liverpool bet summary – Tuesday, April 6

Handicap: Draw (-1)
Both teams to score: Yes
Over 2.5 goals
Karim Benzema to score anytime

All four of these selections in a Bet Builder pay out at approximately 14/1

Tuesday tips

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