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Nic Ladds 21st Feb 2011 - 19:02

I'm not Lyon, Real Madrid could be in trouble

Real Madrid will take on Lyon in the first leg of their last-16 UEFA Champions League tie, aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2004.

Lyon (7/2) had been struggling domestically since their final Champions League group match back in December with just five wins in their next eleven matches.

They seem to have found some real form in their last two matches though, smashing local rivals St Etienne 4-1 and then they followed that up with a 4-0 win over Nancy.

Bafetimbi Gomis notched his ninth goal of the season in the first of those two matches and he has to be one the picks to score first at 15/2.

They may be sitting in fourth place in the French Ligue 1 table but they are only four points behind Lille and they could easily gain a first-leg advantage at Stade Gerland, which is something of a fortress.

They have won their last two matches against Real Madrid at their home ground and they have only lost one of 13 there in the league this season.

Real Madrid obviously have all the big names and I am in no doubt that they will qualify for the next round (1/5) but I don't think it would be the biggest shock in the world if Lyon come out of this match with at least some hope going in to the second leg.

Lyon have a decent squad, full of players who can get a goal from nothing and when Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid squad have failed to really dominate many opponents this season - the 17/20 on Lyon or draw in the double result market looks good to me.

Real Madrid (5/6) are playing second-fiddle to Barcelona in the league this season but that is hardly a shock. They have won seven of their last eight matches and are undoubtedly capable of beating this Lyon side.

When you look closer at their results though, they have plenty of slender 1-0 wins (that scoreline to Real in this match is 6/1) and in the Champions League, if Real Madrid don't take their chances, they could be made to pay.

One man to watch from Real Madrid has to be Karim Benzema (if he plays that is). The 23-year-old striker left Lyon in 2009 to join Madrid for a massive fee of over €35million. The French forward hasn't exactly set La Liga alight with just 11 goals in 48 appearances but he is sure to up his game if he gets a chance against his hometown club.

Karim Benzema is 9/2 to score first or 6/5 to bag one anytime.

While Real Madrid ultimately should win this match in Lyon with the superior squad they posses, their form has been somewhat indifferent recently. Although they are winning matches, they are struggling to slender wins when they should be dominating matches.

It is for that reason I will go for the big prices rather than the big names in this match. Markets such as Lyon draw no bet at 2/1 and also Draw/Lyon in the HT/FT market at 15/2 are the value bets for me.



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