Champions & Europa League Tips: 4th-6th May
Well, fresh from a £46 profit in midweek, I racked up a £40 profit at the weekend thanks to Chelsea winnings 2-0 as predicted.
Last week, we didn’t hit anything in the Champions League, but we got both Europa League results bang on the money which saw us into a healthy profit and I am hoping that we can do at least the same again, if not better with this set of tips.
In the Champions League, the first game this week sees Manchester City face Paris St Germain at the Etihad, with City holding a 2-1 advantage from the first leg after a superb performance in Paris.
Then on Wednesday we head to London as Chelsea host Real Madrid after holding the Spaniards to a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Madrid.
On Thursday we see two more British sides in action. Manchester United head to Rome with a healthy 6-2 lead from the first leg with AS Roma. Then we have Arsenal trying to claw back a 2-1 deficit from the first leg with Villarreal, but they will be without Dani Ceballos who will be suspended after being sent off in the first leg.
With three of the four games delicately poised, it promises to be an exciting week and here’s my tips for the games.
Champions League Tips: 4-5th May
Given that Paris St Germain have recorded wins away to Manchester United on both their last visits to Manchester, it would be foolhardy to rule out the Parisians after their first leg defeat to City on home soil. However, Kylian Mbappe’s fitness is a huge concern and if he is not fit to play, that will be a massive blow to the visitors.
City’s performance in the first leg in France was very much one of two halves. In the first they went a goal down but contained PSG pretty well. In the second, they totally dominated the game and fully deserved their 2-1 victory, albeit helped by some questionable defending from PSG for both goals.
Pep Guardiola’s side could well be Premier League Champions by the time they play this game, if Manchester United lose to Liverpool on Sunday, but their focus will be on reaching their first ever Champions League final and I think they will manage to do that.
However, I don’t think it will be as straightforward as many people are expecting. As such, I am going to go for a draw on the night, with City holding on by that first leg win.
Both of these teams have similar form heading into this game and both have found goals somewhat tricky to come by in the last five or six games or so. Chelsea have the slight advantage thanks to their away goal in Madrid, but this is a tie that is very delicately poised.
Real could have Sergio Ramos back fit for this game in defence and he would be a huge bonus for Zidane’s side. Eden Hazard too could also be in contention to play against his former club from the start after making a substitutes appearance in last week’s tie.
Chelsea though have generally been excellent at home under Thomas Tuchel and their record against Real Madrid is the envy of most teams. Again, this is a game that I don’t think will be quite as easy for the English team as many are expecting and I do think that it may require extra time or even penalties to decide the winner.
As such, you can probably tell that I am edging towards another draw here between these two teams and a 1-1 draw at that. However, rather than a correct score, I am going to hedge my bets and just take the draw option.
Europa League Tips: Thursday 6th May
I have to admit, I do fear for Arsenal in this game. The Gunners form this season has been so up and down and lately, their best performances in the Europa League have definitely come away from home. In fact, Arsenal have not won any of their last two home games in the knockout phase this year, losing to Olympiakos and then drawing with Slavia Prague.
That is a real concern against a Villarreal side that have won every one but one of their games in this year’s competition and who were good value for their win in Spain. They are also a side that look well capable of hitting Arsenal on the counter here to cause the Gunners’ defence plenty of problems.
I just don’t trust this Arsenal team to be able to put together a performance they need against top quality opponents. The only games I think they have done that this year was home to Chelsea and away to Manchester United and that lack of consistency is a big worry.
As such, I think Villarreal will hit them on the break to land the win here.
Roma’s recent form (losing three of their last five, drawing the other two) doesn’t give me any real confidence that they can do what they did against Barcelona three years ago and stage a mighty second leg comeback at home.
In fact, I think Manchester United have consistently been far better on the road in Europe this season than they have at Old Trafford, which makes that four-goal lead from the first leg all the more impressive for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.
The pace of United’s attack will be able to cause Roma huge problems and with the Italians having to go from it from the start of the game, I think United can pick them off and if they score a goal or two in the first half, then it could get ugly for Roma quickly.
I do expect both teams to score again but I also feel United will end up with another victory.
*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.