Real Madrid vs Roma: Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
Wednesday, September 18th, 2018, 14:00 UTC-5
Estadio Santiago Bernabיu Madrid
Real Madrid are without the departed Cristiano Ronaldo as they begin their defence of the Champions League title against Roma.
It is a new look Madrid side that welcome Roma to the Santiago Bernabéu. Both Ronaldo and head coach Zinedine Zidane left in the summer but Los Blancos will be confident of seeing off a Roma side that shocked Barcelona in this competition last season.
Roma have had a busy close season themselves with Radja Nainggolan, Alisson and Kevin Strootman the big name departures. But the Italians have brought in almost £90m worth of talent to challenge Juventus and Napoli at home – and the likes of Madrid in Europe.
Real Madrid have started the season in fine form and don’t seem to be missing Ronaldo at all. The fixture list has been fairly kind so far but Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale have enjoyed the Portuguese star’s absence and have managed to get on the score sheet on a regular basis.
Roma have not looked settled in their early fixtures and it is noticeable that the first real major test of the season ended in a defeat away to Milan – albeit to an injury time goal. The Italian side will regard anything but qualification from this group a failure but may well have to accept an opening day loss – Real Madrid to win this 2-1.
Real Madrid rarely lose at home in the Champions League and although visiting sides will fancy their chances this season they are too strong for this Roma side. But expect the attacking players from the Italian giants to get on the score sheet.
Madrid scored 17 goals in the group stage last season and although much of that was down to Ronaldo, the team looks more rounded now and has a phenomenal amount of attacking talent on display. Roma are similarly blessed and if the defences don’t sort themselves out early there could a lot of goals on show.
Head to Head
Roma actually have a fairly favourable record at the Santiago Bernabéu, having won twice and drawn once in five visits. Their most recent fixture ended in a 2-0 defeat however, as the Giallorossi were knocked out 4-0 on aggregate at the round of 16 stage in 2016.
1 x 2 Odds
Real Madrid have been victorious in the last three Champions League finals and have won 13 titles in all – the most successful club in Europe.
Roma made it to the semi final stage last season after knocking out Barcelona in the quarterfinals. Their comeback in the second leg to win on away goals after losing 4-1 at the Camp Nou was one of the games of the tournament.
Sergio Ramos has won an incredible 19 titles in his time at Real Madrid including four Champions League medals. He will be hoping to lift the trophy in Madrid (albeit at Atlético’s ground) in June next year to add to that tally.
Daniele De Rossi has made almost 450 appearances for Roma since joining his hometown club as a boy in 2000 and is a huge favourite of the crowd at the Stadio Olimpico.