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Football Tips: 30th April, 1st & 2nd May
by David Lenton
I’ve decided to put my tips for all this weeks European games into one post to make things easier.
Below you’re going to find my bets for the Champions League and Europa League semi-finals taking place over the course of the week.
The weekend tips started strong but we ended up -£6 from £10 stakes. Not the end of the world but obviously I was hoping for better.
With some top action to look forward to this week hopefully we can bash the bookies at the same time as enjoying some seriously high level football.
Football Tips: Tuesday 30th April
April 30, 2019
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
April 30, 2019
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Tottenham’s perfect record at their new stadium ended on Saturday when West Ham beat them. They have lost three of their last four in all competitions.
Ajax come into this game having beaten Real Madrid and Juve to get this far and they are top of the Eredivisie on goal difference over PSV with 2 games to go.
Ajax are unbeaten in the 15 games they have played since losing 2-1 at home to Real Madrid in the quarterfinals first leg of the Champions League.
Spurs will miss the absent Son through suspension for the first leg, his omission, together with that of Harry Kane through injury, will be a big blow for Spurs.
Tottenham may have performed heroics to get past Manchester City in the last round but they now face taking on this young and hugely impressive Ajax side without two key men, the injured Harry Kane and the suspended Son Hyeong Min.
The South Korean ace was vital in their win over City in both legs, netting three times across those games, and his absence, perhaps even more than Kane’s will be a massive blow for Spurs. Without his pace on the counter, I feel Spurs chances of getting a result against an Ajax side so comfortable playing on the road, is going to be greatly diminished.
I have been guilty of writing off Ajax in the last two rounds, but I’ve learned my lesson this time. With Son and Kane fit, I’d have backed Spurs here as I think they have the team to beat Ajax at full strength, however without both of them, I really fancy Ajax to take a positive result back with them to the Johan Cruiyff Arena next week.
I can’t see this being a game with lots of goals but I can see Ajax hitting what has looked a shaky Spurs defence a couple of times to perhaps take a slender lead into the second leg. Even so, I would not yet rule Spurs out, even if they go into that game a goal behind.
Barcelona are nine points clear at the top of La Liga with three games remaining. They also have a +25 better goal difference than Atletico Madrid.
Liverpool are second in the Premier League. They are one points behind Man City who will win the league if they win they remaining two games.
The last team to bear a Barcelona team in the knockout phase in the Nou Camp, with Lionel Messi in the team, was Liverpool who won 2-1 in Spain back in February 2007.
Liverpool have never lost in the Nou Camp, Barcelona’s two wins over the Reds have both come at Anfield. Liverpool have won three games, with three other matches drawn.
It’s astonishing to think that Barcelona have never beaten Liverpool at the Nou Camp in a competitive game. Both Barcelona’s wins over Liverpool have come at Anfield but in general it is the Reds that have had the better of this fixture over the years, and there are few teams that can say that against the Catalans.
Of course, the home side will have Messi, Suarez and co ready to test Liverpool to the maximum and I do think that despite their excellent defensive record, and solid away performances in the Champions League knockout stages, Barcelona will find a way to beat Alisson in goal, but the question is will it be enough to win?
That is the key as I can also see Liverpool having real success against this Barcelona team on the counter attack, especially if they can isolate their attacking trio against that back four. If they do that, then I can also see Liverpool getting a goal, or maybe even two.
That said, I can’t quite see the Reds winning in the Nou Camp once again, but I am expecting them to give Barcelona a real test. This should be a close one and I think it will be all to play for at Anfield next week as I think this game will finish in a score draw.
Despite losing to Atletico last time out, Valencia remain in 6th spot in the La Liga table with 52 points from their 34 games ahead of the game with Eibar on Sunday.
Arsenal lost to Leicester on Sunday which followed two defeats in a row against Crystal Palace and Wolves. The gunners league form is fading at a crucial time.
Arsenal beat BATE Borisove, Rennes and Napoli to reach this stage, Valencia defeated Celtic, Krasnodar and Villarreal to reach the semifinals.
The teams have met five times previously, Arsenal winning just one game to Valencia’s three with one draw. Four of those games were played between April 2001 and March 2003.
What kind of Arsenal will turn up for this game? Will it the Gunner’s team that dismantled Manchester United at home a few weeks back and turned around the game with Rennes, or will it be the team that were well beaten at home by Crystal Palace?
In truth, even if the best Arsenal turn up then it is going to be a very tough game. After a slow start to the season with way too many drawn matches, Valencia have picked things up of late and now look like being a real threat. The Spaniards have already played Man Utd and Celtic already this season too so they are not going to be fazed by playing English opponents once again.
Goncalo Guedes has been their main goalscoring threat of late and the Gunners defence, which has been alarmingly poor in recent times is going to have to watch the Portuguese ace closely. Technically, I think Valencia are excellent and I think they are built perfectly to take advantage of Arsenal’s weaknesses at the back.
That said, I can’t see Arsenal losing this game, but I am not convinced they can win it. Sure, if they play to their best, they could do so but they haven’t been doing that often enough of late and as a result I think this game has a 0-0 or 1-1 draw written all over it.
Frankfurt are 4th in the Bundesliga. They beat Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan and Benfica to reach the semifinal after winning all of their six group games.
Chelsea are 4th in the Premier League, they won all of their six group games also and beat Malmo, Dynamo Kyiv and Slavia Prague to reach the semis.
The only previous encounter between the teams was a pre-season friendly back in 2010 in Germany, when Frankfurt emerged as the 2-1 victors.
Frankfurt have won just one of their last five games however, with Chelsea losing just one of their last five, including three wins in that period.
Of all the teams left in the Europa League, these two teams have, for me, been the two most consistent performers in this competition since it began way back in September. Both had superb Group phases and both have come through some tricky knockout rounds to reach the semifinals, richly deserving to be there.
Frankfurt’s success has been built on grabbing key goals and results at key times, such as the 1-0 win at the San Siro against Inter, and the 2-0 home win over Benfica, both of which saw them edge through a very closely fought tie against top quality opponents and Chelsea, who have had the slightly easier passage of the two teams, will be wary of that.
However, you could argue that Chelsea’s best performances in recent months have been in this competition and there is no doubt that Mauricio Sarri’s squad has more than enough quality in the team to ensure that they get a decent result in the first leg to bring back to Stamford Bridge next week.
That said, I also feel Frankfurt are very strong at home and away from home Chelsea have not been at their best against top level opponents of late. As such, I think this will be close and it may only be one goal that decides it but I am going for a Frankfurt narrow win here, either 1-0 or perhaps better for Chelsea, a 2-1 defeat but with an away goal.
David 'the Cheeky Punter' Lenton is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has also worked for a number of top bookmakers including Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. With such a long time spent dedicated to the gambling industry no one is better placed when it comes to advising punters. Follow on Twitter @thecheekypunter