Champions League Tips – 12th & 13th April
Last week, we made a slight loss of £4 on the Champions League tips as Liverpool came through for me against Benfica. However, the pair of surprise results in Wednesday nights games meant that we didn’t add to that win on Tuesday.
This week though, we have the second leg of the quarter-final ties being played and things are very nicely set up in at least two of the games with the other two very much favouring the home team playing the second leg.
There’s no doubt that the surprise result last week was the defeat of Bayern Munich by Villarreal 1-0 in what was a pulsating clash in Spain. Danjuma’s early goal was surprisingly the only goal of an open and entertaining game which saw both side spurning golden chances to hit the back of the net again and that result sets up a hugely intriguing second leg in Munich.
However, don’t get too carried away. Munich laboured to a 1-1 draw in Salzburg in the first leg in the last round but won the home leg 7-1. So, the German side are by no means out of it yet.
The same can be said of Atletico Madrid who came away from their first leg in Manchester against City with a 1-0 defeat. Diego Simeone’s team were as combative as you’d expect in the first leg and this tie is by no means a formality for City as they head to the intimidating Wanda Metropolitano to try and secure their passage into the semis.
The other two games look more settled. Liverpool were emphatic 3-1 winners in Benfica and in truth, the Reds should have been out of sight at half time before a Benfica fightback saw them claim a goal back only for Luis Diaz to restore Liverpool’s two goal advantage.
Real Madrid were also 3-1 winners on the road as Karim Benzema netted a second Champions League hat-trick in consecutive games to give the Spanish league leaders a 3-1 advantage over Chelsea from the first leg at Stamford Bridge.
The Londoners bounced back to beat Southampton 6-0 away from home at the weekend, but this is going to be a huge ask for them against Real in the Bernebeu.
Anyway, here’s my tips for this week’s Champions League quarterfinal second leg ties and check back Thursday for my Europa League quarterfinal tips too.
Champions League Tips: Tuesday 12th April
I was hugely surprised Villarreal landed the win the first leg, but I felt they probably just about deserved it in what was a breathless first leg tie. The Spanish side won’t be fazed going to Munich either as they have a very good record against German teams in Europe.
Bayern did win 7-1 in the last round at home against Red Bull Salzburg but they have also slipped up at home domestically in the Bundesliga this season and I don’t think that this Bayern Munich side is as formidable as the ones that have been contenders in this competition over the last five years or so.
The Germans will also be wary that Villarreal went to Turin after drawing the home leg and beat Juventus 3-0, so Bayern will know that defensively they are going to have to be very solid in order to get the result they need here.
I do expect Bayern to win and by enough goals to take them through but of all the quarterfinal ties this week, I think this has the potential to see an upset and also lots of goals. So the Over 3.5 goals market looks good value.
Karim Benzema’s hat-trick was part brilliance by the striker and part gifted by Chelsea goalkeeper Eduoard Mendy. That third goal has really made this tie incredibly difficult for the Londoners to get anything from, with the second leg being at the formidable Bernebeu stadium.
Even if you can see Chelsea winning the game, they are going to need to win by at least two goals to force extra time and three goals to claim the tie outright. I just can’t see that happening, as despite that 6-0 win at Southampton at the weekend, that Chelsea defence looked so shaky in that first leg,
Real know they can afford to sit back and hit Chelsea on the break, and they did that so effectively in London that I think they will employ the same tactics and get similar results here. As such, I think going for the Real Madrid win here is the obvious bet.
I think this is a tough game to call though, so I am not going to be too precise with this bet and with Real better than even money to land the win in this game, I think that is a good value bet.
UCL Tips: Wednesday 13th April
In what was a war of attrition in the first leg, Phil Foden’s creative run and pass allowed Kevin De Bruyne the chance to score and give City what will likely be a very important advantage heading into what will undoubtedly be a very feisty second leg at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.
Atletico’s form this season has been below the high standards that they have come to expect of themselves but they showed enough in the first leg to suggest that City are going to have to match the intensity of Atletico in order to progress.
I can see this game going one of two ways, either Atletico score the first goal and we have a cagey, gritty and probably stop/start affair, or, more likely in my view, City score first and then Atletico have to come out a bit more and attack them, which I think City will benefit from.
I do think Atletico will score – they have to in order to keep the tie alive, but I also see City scoring and I can see the visitors snatching the win here as Atletico are forced to push on later in the game to try and bring themselves level in the tie.
The fact Liverpool have drawn Portuguese opponents in the quarterfinal of a top European competition is a good omen for Reds fans. On four occasions, three times against Benfica, whenever Liverpool have met a Portuguese side at this stage, they have gone on to win the tournament.
The Reds beat Benfica in 1978, 1984 and 2019 and each time went on to lift the Champions League trophy. They also beat FC Porto in the Europa League quarterfinals in 2001 and went on to lift that trophy too.
With a 3-1 lead from the first leg, Liverpool should be confident of landing the result they need to reach the semifinals and I think they will do that in style in what should be another special Anfield evening under the lights.
After losing the home leg to Inter last time around, the Reds won’t want the same result heading into their FA Cup semifinal at the weekend, but in truth, I think they should dominate this game and may well run out easy winners and so I’ve gone for an appealing longer odds correct score option here.
*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.