Gala and Malaga to surprise

  • By: Nick Hext
  • Last Updated: April 3 2013, 19:49 BST

Our Nick Hext is backing Galatasaray and Malaga to spring a surprise in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Galatasaray: Can enjoy a great night at Real Madrid
Galatasaray: Can enjoy a great night at Real Madrid

Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund start as the favourites for Wednesday night's two matches in the Champions League quarter-finals but I'm going to back against them.

Galatasaray are the side taking on Real at the Bernabeu and they enter this contest in good shape - certainly enough to warrant a shorter price than BetVictor's 17/1 in the draw-no-bet market.

Real's home form is marvellous but two of their four Champions League matches at the Bernabeu have ended in draws - against Manchester United and Dortmund - and it was only thanks to a dramatic late winner from Cristiano Ronaldo that they beat Manchester City.

That should give Gala a bit of belief and their away record is really strong this season.

The Turkish Super Lig leaders have only lost one of their previous 13 league and European away games - a run that includes Champions League wins at Schalke, Braga and Cluj - and were unlucky not to get something at Manchester United earlier in the season.

They lost 1-0 at Old Trafford (the only Champions League away game they haven't won this term) and the Sporting Life report from the game stated: Galatasaray were desperately unlucky, failing to get a clear penalty before United struck, hitting the woodwork twice before being denied by David de Gea's excellent double save and then having another spot-kick claim waved away in stoppage time.

Gala's record in their previous 18 European away games is won 10, drawn six and lost two so respect is due to Fatih Terim's men and they have some interesting players to watch out for.

Burak Yilmaz is the joint top scorer in this season's Champions League with eight goals - alongside Ronaldo - and now their ranks are boosted by Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba.

Both men have enjoyed success with Real boss Jose Mourinho in the past but that won't put them off getting one over on the Portuguese here and that extra experience gives Gala a better chance.

Real rightly start as the favourites for the victory but I just think the 17/1 for Gala as a draw-no-bet shout is too big a price.

The Turkish outfit are best odds of 18/1 (bet365) for the win and you can get 19/4 (BetVictor) for Galatasaray/Draw in the double-chance market.

Those prices make the 17/1 even more of a value shout and the Gala stats detailed earlier show just why I will be taking a small interest.

I also like the 13/5 with bet365 for Malaga to beat Borussia Dortmund.

The Spaniards are at home for the first leg and they have impressed in Champions League games at La Rosaleda this season.

AC Milan, Zenit and Porto have all lost in Andalucia during the campaign and that will give Los Boquerones plenty of belief against highly-fancied Dortmund.

The Bundesliga side have been one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the Champions League but I'm not tempted by the 5/4 for the away win as it's a pretty tough task they face.

Dortmund have only won one of their previous four away matches and now travel to a team fifth in what we all know is a very high quality Spanish Primera Division.

A close contest is expected but the 13/5 for the Malaga win makes appeal.

  • Preview posted at 2000 BST on 02/04/2013.