Vinicius Jr. Out for Real Madrid
It’s been business as usual for Real Madrid so far in the 2023-24 season. Despite an injury to Vinicius Junior, Real Madrid are a perfect 5-0 in La Liga as Jude Bellingham has starred. On Wednesday, Los Blancos kick off their UCL campaign vs debutants Union Berlin. Union are getting thrown into the fire, but they’re used to big matches vs teams like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. For Wednesday’s match, we’ll look at the Real Madrid vs Union Berlin odds at the Santiago Bernabeu.
In Union Berlin’s first-ever Champions League match, they’ll play their first game on the UCL schedule vs Real Madrid. This is Union Berlin’s first match vs Spanish opposition in UEFA competition. Real Madrid have lost just two of their last 10 Champions League matches vs German opposition.
Real Complete Comeback
Real Madrid hosted Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday in a La Liga contest. Things got off to a poor start for Los Blancos as they conceded within five minutes. Sociedad looked to have doubled their lead, as Take Kubo’s shot fired past Real keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. However, the ball slightly touched Real Sociedad captain Mikel Oyarzabal’s back on the way in, and Oyarzabal was in an offside position at the time.
Handed a lifeline, a persistent Real Madrid, without Vinicius Junior, managed to equalize. Right at the start of the second half left, back Fran Garcia played a ball on the edge of the box that Fede Valverde sent in first time. Garcia also assisted on Joselu’s winning goal. So, Real stayed perfect in La Liga and continued to build momentum heading into their Champions League opener.
However, not having Vini will be a blow for Real Madrid. The Brazilian winger led Real in the Champions League stats last season in both goals and assists. Veteran striker Joselu figures to replace him in the lineup once again, and he’s already scored two goals in his short Real Madrid career.
The Real Madrid vs Union Berlin odds list Real as 1.5-goal favorites even though they’re missing one of their key UCL players. Bettors should note that Real Madrid have reached the semifinal stage three seasons in a row and have made it out of their UCL group every season since 1997-98.
Union Berlin Making History
Union Berlin only played in the Bundesliga for the first time four years ago. Last season, the East Berlin club made history by finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in their history. They’re in a difficult group, with the likes of Real Madrid, Napoli and SC Braga. Still, they’ve got a shot to finish in the top two places in the Champions League standings and make the knockout stage.
They’re not completely new to UEFA competitions and even defeated Ajax in the Europa League knockout stage playoff last season. Union also improved their squad in the offseason by bringing in a bunch of players both on loan and on permanent deals. Left midfielder Robin Gosens has already made a big impact, and striker Kevin Volland is a former German international. Plus, they added veteran defender Leonardo Bonucci in one of the more surprising transfers of the Summer.
Union also managed to sign midfielders Brenden Aaronson and Alex Kral and striker David Datro Fofana on loan. Union Berlin started off the season with two wins in the Bundesliga but have now dropped their last two. Last weekend, they fell 2-1 to Wolfsburg. They didn’t lose a home Bundesliga match all of last season but already fell 3-0 to fellow UCL club RB Leipzig in Berlin.
Match Analysis & Odds
Along with Vinicius Junior, Eder Militao, Thibaut Courtois and Arda Guler are out injured for Real Madrid. Meanwhile, midfielder Andras Schafer figures to miss out on this one for visiting Union Berlin. The Real Madrid vs Union Berlin odds currently price Real as -265 favorites. Fans of the Champions League know that Los Blancos consistently step up their game in the competition, but they’ve also been subject to some high-profile upsets in the group stage.
They’ve lost at least one match in the group stage in each of their last five UCL seasons. CSKA Moscow, Shakhtar Donetsk and Sheriff Tiraspol are a few names who have upset Real Madrid in recent years. Union Berlin would love to become the latest to stun the Spanish giants. Union are +710 underdogs in their first-ever UCL match and Union Berlin +1, +1.5 comes in at +105 odds.
Real -1, -1.5 displays -125 odds as they go for their sixth win in six matches this season. With names like Toni Kroos, Aurelien Tchouameni, Luka Modric and Jude Bellingham in midfield, it’ll be tough for Union Berlin to keep up. A draw is priced at +400 odds but Carlo Ancelotti’s Real will only be thinking about all three points. Over 2.5, 3 three goals show -120 odds for the match and all of Union’s matches have finished with at least three goals this season.