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      Champions League is back: Will Zidane succeed in his return to Europe?

      17.02.2016

      Written by Michael Torp Tjørnelund

      Two extremely tradition bound clubs and to (in European context) relatively unexperienced clubs. That is what Champions League has to offer tonight. But who has the upper hand?

      If we take a look at the statistics (and we tend to do that), Real Madrid have a small advantage with 4 victories over 3 to Roma. However, it is Roma who can find most comfort at those statistics having won the last to games against Real Madrid – both with 2-1. Having said this, you can forget everything about the above…

      The last time these two clubs faced each other, players as Raul, Guti, De Rossi and Totti appeared in the line-ups. Okay, De Rossi and Totti are still part of Roma today (injured tonight though), but we still have to go 8 years back in time to find the last time the two sides met each other in a match of importance and it was here that Roma beat Real Madrid out of the Champions League.

      Now, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema have actually scored more goals this season than the fearful MSN trio and we saw how it went, when Roma met them earlier in the season (luckily for them, Bale is injured tonight). However, this is also why I don’t put too much faith in the possibility of getting a repetition of the results 8 years ago.

      That is even though Roma actually are on an unbeaten streak of 5 matches. I simply don’t see them strong enough to match the stars of Real Madrid, not to talk about Zidane who will make his European debut as manager.

      Nevertheless, Roma are usually pretty good at leveraging on their home advantage and they’ve actually only lost 1 match on home ground in the entire season. I think that they will be able to secure a draw. A result that I’m sure Real Madrid will be very satisfied with as well. I predict it to end 1-1.

      A little bit more up north, Gent is hosting their first ever match against Wolfsburg. Gent are enjoying a really impressive season where they’ve advanced from a tough group in the Champions League and are currently tied with Club Brugge on the top spot in the Jupiter League. Wolfsburg, on the other hand are struggling to keep up with their competitors. This weekend was their first victory in 8 games. Similarly, they haven’t been very impressive on away ground where they only have one away victory in the Bundesliga and 3 defeats in Champions League.

      Because of that I don’t see any other possibility than Gent winning relatively comfortable tonight. I predict them to win 2-0. If Wolfsburg should be lucky and get something out of the result, best case I see them get one away goal, but not more than that.