Lots of good news to report for this column this week. First things first, we put up plenty of winners with our Champions League semi-final first leg previews a week ago- with Madrid obliging, Salah scoring first, and there were over 3.5 goals in the Liverpool game, not to mention Bayern/Real producing three goals between them the following evening.
More good news- it’s now time to preview the second legs, with the reverse fixtures taking place this midweek. First up, it’s Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich at 19.45, Tuesday night. The following evening- same time it’s Roma vs Liverpool.
With all the work done to provide you with the winners last week, a lot of the same theories still apply. We know it’s well odds-on that we’re going to watch two goalfests again. This season, an enormous 80% (36 out of 45) of the Champions League matches featuring one of these four sides have produced at least three goals. With Roma trailing by a frankly ridiculous 5-2 scoreline from the first leg, and Bayern having also conceded two away goals last week, it’s almost impossible that we don’t see two more open, free-flowing games.
Betfair Sports provides our first bets of the week as they go best price about over 2.5 goals in both matches at 4/9 for each game. If you double them up, that’s just shy of 11/10. The double is a pretty confident double. For those of you unfamiliar with betting parlance, if you stick £20 on the double, you’re going to be getting £41.73 back if both matches produce at least three goals. And that sounds more than fair enough to us.
Much was made of Roma overturning a 4-1 deficit from their first leg in Barcelona in the quarter finals. Following the last 10 minutes of their semi final first-leg, they’ve actually got an easier task this time around- another 3-0 at home would do them nicely but they would also fly straight through to the final with a 4-1 win this time, having managed to make Klopp pay for taking Salah off last week and notching two late goals.
Bearing in mind that Roma beat Chelsea 3-0 this season in the Champions League- Liverpool’s task suddenly doesn’t look quite as straightforward as you might think.
In fact, Roma won 4-1 at home last week. That would see them through. The week before? They won 3-0. That would also do. Roma have won by scorelines that would see them reach the final as many as eight times this season. It sounds mental, but Bet365 are 9/1 that Roma qualify for the final and that has to be worth a couple of quid.
Back to our old favourite- First Goalscorer. Salah obliged for us last week and Betsafe appears to be underestimating the little maestro again this week with a 15/4 quote. They also go 51/10 on Edin Dzeko to open the scoring and that’s well worth a go- he took his goal superbly last week. His volley in the 3-3 at Stamford Bridge was one of the goals of the tournament and a price that big really can’t be ignored.
One other thing we noticed this week- Liverpool sure do draw a lot of games. Their draw at home against Stoke was their TWELFTH of the Premier League season- in 36 matches. That is absurd. They’ve drawn three in the Champions League this term and haven’t lost once.
Seeing as a draw would suit them absolutely down to the ground against Roma this time, 3/1 the draw (general) seems perfectly fair to us. We’ll be having a couple of bob on 2-2 at 10/1 (William Hill) for good measure. Bonne chance.
The week’s second semi is far more finely-poised. Real have taken a slender 2-1 advantage back with them from Munich following a first leg that was high on chances and low on quality- it really could’ve finished 5-5.
As we mentioned when tipping up Madrid last week, they are a better football team than Bayern Munich. As such, we are backing them again, at 11/10 to win the match (general).
Bayern have no choice but to chase the game- it’s unlikely they will keep Madrid out for 90 minutes so they have to throw men forward.
This should suit Ronaldo and the other Galacticos down to the ground and we expect them to pick Bayern off at the other end.
We’re off to Coral again in the First Goalscorer market– They are going 7/2 Ronaldo to open the scoring. That price is simply way too big.
Whilst he drew his first blank of the season in failing to net in last week’s match, he’s been on fire in the competition for many years now and that flame is showing no signs of diminishing. No other firm is any bigger than 11/4- so 7/2 really must be backed.
As usual, very best of luck and enjoy the games.
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