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Champions League Tips: 10th & 11th April
by the Cheeky Punter
Not the best return last weekend, but I’m still chuffed to bits at landing a good return the weekend before, plus adding to the profit with my Champions League and Europa League tips in the week, so all in all, I’m heading into this crucial set of European fixtures this week with a good degree of confidence.
This coming week will see the second legs of the Champions League with some serious British interest in Man City vs Liverpool.
Even though after the first legs of the quarters, it seems like the semi-finals look done and dusted, I am not convinced.
I remember Barcelona’s amazing comeback against PSG and I would not be surprised to see one or more of these games go right down to the wire. Here’s my tips for this week’s Champions League quarter final second legs.
UEFA Champions League League Tips: Tuesday 3rd April
April 10, 2018
April 10, 2018
Man City blew the chance to clinch the Premier League title at the weekend, losing at home 3-2 to Manchester United after being two goals up.
Liverpool, like City, rested several key players for their Merseyside derby clash with Everton, which finished in a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park.
The Reds have Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Adam Lallana all out injured while Emre Can and Ragnar Klavan are also doubts. Jordan Henderson is suspended for this game.
City have injury concerns over Sergio Aguero and John Stones both of whom are doubts to start but both could feature from the bench.
Manchester City come into this game in the unusual position of having lost their last two games, conceding six goals and scoring just two. Liverpool produced one of their best performances of the season to win 3-0 at Anfield but there are many who feel that despite a three-goal lead, Man City still have a strong chance of progressing.
There’s no doubt that with their tails up, City are an irrepressible force. They defeated Liverpool 5-1 in the Premier League earlier in the season at the Etihad, so they know they can get the result they need. Liverpool’s back line, while more solid of late, still does look shaky at times.
While City scoring three isn’t an issue for me, my concern is how they will keep Liverpool’s attacking trio quiet. Salah should return from injury and if he is in tandem with Mane and Firmino, then as Manchester United showed at the weekend, City’s defence when tested of late, hasn’t really stood up to the test very well.
I do fancy City to win the game, but I also feel Liverpool will score at least one goal, maybe more and if that is the case, it is going to be very tough for City to progress, especially with them not having an away goal from the first leg.
Man City To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns £24.80
Following their 4-1 loss to Barcelona in the first leg, Roma warmed up for the second leg by losing 2-0 at home to Fiorentina in Serie A.
Roma have injury concerns in midfield with Cengiz Under out & both Radja Nainggolan and Lorenzo Pellegrino doubts ahead of the game.
Barca were comfortable victors over Leganes at the Nou Camp, Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick to give the home side a 3-1 win. Messi has scored 12 goals in his last 9 games.
Barcelona will be without the injured Lucas Digne and there is a doubt over whether Sergio Busquets will be fit to play.
After Edin Dzeko’s goal made it 3-1 in the first leg, of a game Roma were well involved in, I thought they may go on and grab another to make the home leg really interesting, but Luis Suarez late finish made it 4-1 to Barcelona, a result they didn’t really deserve but which now makes the second leg hugely difficult for the home side.
Defeating any team by three goals is a tough task, to do that to a Barcelona side that has Lionel Messi on fire, is almost impossible. The Italian side now face the prospect of trying to score three goals, leaving them exposed to Barcelona hitting them on the counter.
Even so, I was really impressed with Roma’s performances against Chelsea in the competition earlier in the season and I think they can cause Barcelona some problems here. That’s not to say I feel they will win the game, but I don’t feel that they will necessarily lose it either.
My gut feeling here is that this is a game which will see Roma press, Barcelona hit on the counter attack and score, but the Italian side hit back to claim a score draw on the night.
Bayern won the Bundesliga title on Saturday with a 4-1 win at Augsburg. The perfect warm up for the second leg.
Sevilla’s problems continued with a 4-0 defeat at Celta Vigo at the weekend, their fourth defeat in their last six games.
A win or draw for Bayern would see them earn a sixth semi-final spot in the competition in the past seven seasons.
Sevilla will be without the suspended Ever Banega, while Jesus Navas is a doubt due to injury.
Sevilla put up a decent display in the home leg against a strong and experienced Bayern Munich side, but Thiago Alcantara’s second goal for the German side handed Bayern a 2-1 win away from home and means that the Spanish side now have a mountain to climb in the second leg.
Having conceded two away goals, Sevilla now need to score twice, without reply, to progress. That is a huge task against a Bayern Munich side that have dropped just four points at home in the Bundesliga all season long and have won all of their Champions League games at home this season.
In truth, this is a game I see Bayern winning with relative ease and without having to exert themselves a great deal. The absence of Ever Banega for Sevilla is a massive blow for them with the Argentinean midfielder their main creative influence from the central midfield role.
I would expect Bayern to grab three or even four goals here but I can see Sevilla nicking a goal on the counter attack as they have done several times in the Champions League this season, but this should be a comfortable night for the German side.
Bayern To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns £25.00
Real Madrid faced rivals Atletico Madrid in the Madrid derby on Sunday in what was their last fixture ahead of the Juventus game. It finished a 1-1 draw.
Their Italian rivals played 24-hours earlier recording a 4-2 win away to Benevento in Serie A, a result which puts them seven points clear at the top of Serie A.
No team in the history of the Champions League has ever overturned a 3-0 home defeat in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie.
Juventus will be without three players due to suspension, Medhi Benatia, Miralem Pjanic and Paulo Dybala. Sandro and Mandzukic are also doubts with injuries.
In the last round, Juventus earned a superb win in London to defeat Tottenham and secure a place in the quarterfinals. This time around, they face a task that has never been done before in the history of the Champions League, coming from 3-0 down in the first leg at home. Furthermore, they have to do that against the current holders of the trophy.
If Real, as expected, progress, then it will be eighth year in a row they have reached the semifinals of the tournament. Cristiano Ronaldo will also play his 150th game in the competition, just eight days after scoring a breathtaking overhead kick in the first leg in Turin.
Given their ponderous form in La Liga this season, it is clear Zinedine Zidane has targeted the Champions League to rescue their season and that magnificent performance in Turin has given the home side an insurmountable advantage for the second leg.
I’m backing Real to win again here as they do seem to be Juve’s bogey team, but I think it will be a closer game and I do feel the Italian side has it in them to grab a consolation goal.
R. Mardrid To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns £30.00
The Cheeky Punter is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.