Real Madrid vs Sheriff TiraspolUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Sep 28, 2021, Bernabeu
SHERIFF TIRASPOL'S Champions League fairytale has been one of the stories of the season but it would be a massive surprise if the plot took another twist against Real Madrid.
History has already been made by the first Moldovan club to reach the group stage but Sheriff showed on match day one that they are not just there to make up the numbers in Group D.
A memorable 2-0 victory at home to Shakhtar Donetsk took them top of the section, looking down on both Real and Serie A champions Inter, and fans must still be pinching themselves.
Real Madrid look to be in pole position to top the section after an impressive 1-0 win in Milan (below), a tight game where my tip of the half-time draw came up.
Carlo Ancelotti has made an impressive start to his second spell at the Bernabeu, with his side unbeaten in eight games, but they were poor at the weekend in a 0-0 stalemate at home to Villarreal.
So the Spanish giants will be looking to get back among the goals against when the Moldovan side come calling for the most daunting fixture in the group.
How the bookies view it
Real Madrid still have a pretty lengthy injury list with Gareth Bale, Daniel Carvajal, Marcelo and Dani Ceballos all sidelined. Ferland Mendy and Toni Kross are also doubts while Sheriff only have Lovro Bizjak out.
Players to watch
Eden Hazard (below) is still waiting for lift off at the Bernabeu but I'd expect the Belgian to start here after a cameo off the bench at the weekend. He's 7/5 with Bet365 for anytime scorer which looks pretty good value.
Adame Traore has been a Champions League talisman for Sheriff with five goals so far, including one in the 2-0 win over Shakhtar. He's 10/1 with Paddy Power for a Bernabeu strike, which might attract a few long-odds punters.
Anything else catch the eye?
Ancelotti's teams are usually pretty solid at the back and Real kept Inter Milan's impressive attack out in the first group game. That makes a win to nil a good option here, although it's probably only worth it for accas at a best 8/13 with BetVictor.
Sheriff have also been rock solid at the back, conceding just once in their last nine games. Most of those matches were against Moldovan teams but they also shut out Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb which is no mean feat.
Fernando Costanza was booked when the Moldovans battled out a 0-0 draw in Zagreb and is 6/4 for another card here at Unibet which is worth a punt as he could face wave after wave of attacks.
This UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid and Sheriff Tiraspol will be played on Sep 28, 2021 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Real Madrid vs Sheriff Tiraspol prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.