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Soccer: Champions League Semifinal

Soccer: Champions League Semifinal 5 months 3 weeks ago #481133

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions for Monday, April 23, 2018 from various handicappers and websites
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Soccer: Champions League Semifinal 5 months 3 weeks ago #481134

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Champions League semifinal betting odds and preview: Liverpool vs. Roma
By: Ashton Grewal


Apr 22, 2018 |

Liverpool is a live betting long shot to win the Champions League title

Liverpool got the luck of the draw, matching up with Roma in the Champions League semifinal, while Bayern Munich and Real Madrid do battle in the other side of the semis. We're inside the Wynn Las Vegas getting insight into the soccer betting odds and action with Johnny Avello, executive director of race and sports.

There are two new faces in the final four of European football’s most prestigious club competition. Liverpool and Roma are to thank for breaking up the monotony of the usual suspects in the Champions League semifinals and the two storied football clubs kick off the first match of their two-legged tie on Tuesday.

Covers is here to give our readers insight into the best bets for the match at Anfield.

First half score

Roma are in a difficult situation with Anfield the setting for the first leg of the tie. I Giallorossi know they must secure at least one away goal because keeping a clean sheet in the second leg back in Italy is no easy task against the Reds.

Liverpool excel at creating scoring chances quickly after a change of possession. They lead the Premier League in counter attack goals and their three forwards (Salah, Sadio Sane and Roberto Firmino) have scored a combined 23 goals in the Champions League competition this season.

Jurgen Klopp is an aggressive manager who demands his players to press the opposition when they don’t have the ball. Most managers would be afraid of giving up an away goal early and play cautiously for the first 45 minutes. That’s not Klopp’s style.

Pick: Bet on both teams scoring before the halftime whistle at +333.

First player to score

Roma usually set up in a 4-3-3 formation but switched to a 3-5-2 in the second leg against Barcelona with great success. Manager Eusebio Di Francesco’s new setup did a better job containing Lionel Messi. Will he use the same formation in hopes of similar success locking up former Roma winger Mohamed Salah?

Salah’s (39 goals in all club competitions this season) is the favorite to score the first goal but it’s our thinking Roma will sell out on his right wing and leave open spaces for Firmino and Sane. Firmino plays the center forward spot and we like his chances of opening the score.

La Lupa rely heavily on striker Edin Dzeko for goals but the bookies factor that into their odds. Look at winger Stephan El Shaarawy as a value play to net one for Roma instead. He can fly on the left wing and Liverpool are banged up at right back.

Pick: Firmino +450 and El Shaarawy +1,200 to score first at Bet365.com

Total

Again, Klopp’s aggressive mindset as a manager will keep this game from going Under the 2.5-goal total. Liverpool have scored a tournament-best 33 goals and 10 of their 12 Champions League matches this season have had at least three goals.

Pick: Over 2.5 goals

Match winner

Roma are in a tricky spot as they try to move onto the Champions League final while securing a top four spot in Serie A. Di Francesco can’t rest his players this weekend in league competition ahead of Tuesday’s match against Liverpool for fear of falling out of the top four. Only the top four clubs in the Serie A table qualify for the Champions League next year.

Liverpool don’t have the same concern. They sit in third place and are 10 points clear of fifth place Chelsea with just four games left on the fixture list. Klopp will rotate his squad heavily on the weekend and have his best players fresh for Tuesday.

Pick: Liverpool -200
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Soccer: Champions League Semifinal 5 months 3 weeks ago #481209

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UEFA Champions League Semifinals - First Legs

And then there were four. The quarterfinals of the Champions League produced some stunning surprises from the most unlikely of circumstances. After the first four matches, the line-up for the semifinals looked pretty much set, but Roma’s comeback against Barcelona changed all that, upending the better for the whole competition.

Manchester City looked like staging a comeback against Liverpool before the Reds roared back to win the second leg 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium, while Real Madrid came within a whisker of being taken to extra time after taking a 3-0 lead against Juventus back to the Spanish capital. Even Bayern Munich could only get past Sevilla by one goal.

Real are 15/8 favourites, followed by Liverpool and Bayern at 9/4 apiece, with Roma the outsiders at 9/1.

Tuesday, April 24
Games scheduled for 2:45 p.m. ET on FS1

Liverpool vs. AS Roma

Anfield’s reputation as a European fortress has been strengthened by Liverpool’s Champions League displays so far this season, but in Roma, the English side may have found a team that will not crumble under the pressure.

Bookmakers make Liverpool over three times more likely to win the competition, and that is no reflection of the small gap between the two sides, and even with Liverpool’s fearsome attack and their knack of winning matches in the first half hour, it is impossible to get behind them at quotes of 8/15.

Liverpool have scored in 22 of their 25 home games this season so they will expect to take a lead to Rome for next week's second leg.

But this promises to be no walkover. It was not only against Barcelona that Roma proved their European credentials. In a 3-3 draw away and a 3-0 win at home to Chelsea, they proved that they can mix it with Europe’s elite and come out on top. Roma deserved to qualify against Barcelona and are underrated here.

Their defence lacks pace, a quality much needed against the likes of Mo Salah and Sadio Mané, but they have moved to a three at the back system to compensate for this, and even if Liverpool get past the defence, keeper Alisson is a superb shotstopper.

They can make it an uncomfortable night for Liverpool.

Best Bet: Roma +1 at 11/10
Wednesday, April 25
Games scheduled for 2:45 p.m. ET on FS1

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid

Just when you thought Real Madrid’s La Liga form was an aberration and that they were showing their true, winning colours in Europe, they came along and almost surrended a 3-0 lead to Juventus, with only a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty saving their blushes.

Real were as good in Turin as they were bad in Madrid, making the tie very hard to judge. Perhaps the one conclusion we can draw is that they are not as rock solid as we thought.

Bayern and Real are the best two teams left in the competition. Had Bayern drawn Roma they would have been favourites to win the competition.

Real are slight favourites to qualify at 4/5, with Bayern at 19/20, and I think it is worth taking the chance on Real putting in another devastating away Champions League performance and winning in Bavaria. They have won eight of their last 10 away games in this competition, including a 2-1 win at Bayern last season with Cristiano Ronaldo taking centre-stage.That run includes wins at Juventus, PSG, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli.

Bayern have not reached a Champions League final since 2013, despite being one of the three or four favourites in every season since then. Real could have the edge here, and it is worth backing them at 14/5.

Best Bet: Real Madrid to win at 14/5
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Soccer: Champions League Semifinal 5 months 3 weeks ago #481228

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Champions League semifinal betting odds and preview: Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid

By: Ashton Grewal
Apr 24, 2018 |

Two of the biggest superpowers in club football meet in the Champions League knockout stage for the fourth time this decade when Bayern Munich and Real Madrid begin their two-legged semifinal at the Bavarians’ home ground, Allianz Arena Wednesday.

Oddsmakers have Real Madrid as the slight favorite (-125) to best Bayern (-101) and move onto the Champions League final, but history and the equal distribution of world-class players on both sides tell us it’s a coin flip as to which club wins on aggregate over the two legs.

Covers breaks down the best ways to wager on the Champions League betting odds for Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid:

First half

Real Madrid have come away winners in their last two trips to Allianz Arena and outscored Bayern 6-1 in those two matches. Expect the German club to be more conservative and compact in its defensive alignment this time around.

Bayern have two of the best central defenders in the world in Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, and Javi Martinez excels at breaking potential attacks in his central defensive midfield role.

Pick: Take the Under 1.5 on first half goals (-175) at William Hill.

Player Prop

The only thing Ronaldo likes to do more than stare at himself in the mirror is score goals – especially in the Champions League. The Portuguese forward has scored in 12 consecutive matches for Real Madrid and has 105 goals in 98 Champions League appearances since joining the Galacticos in 2009. He scored a worldy in the first leg against Juventus in the last round of the Champions League too.

He’s a great shout to score again against Bayern, but there’s not a lot of value at +105. Bet365 is paying +400 for him to open the scoring in the match. We like the value there a bit more.

Another player with a good chance of grabbing some headlines is James Rodriguez. Real Madrid loaned the attacking midfielder to Bayern on a two-year deal and he’ll no doubt be looking to prove the Spanish giants were wrong to lose faith in the runaway star of the 2014 World Cup.

Pick: Ronaldo first to score +400, James Rodriguez to score (anytime) +240.

Total goals

The importance of away goals can’t be underestimated at this stage of the competition and with so little separation of talent between the two clubs. Bayern will be committed to supporting its back five especially with top keeper Manuel Neuer not yet back from injury.

Real Madrid will be happy with one or two away goals and will set up shop in the back afterward.

Pick: Under 3.5 goals (-187) at William Hill.

Match winner

It’s beginning to seem like Real Madrid are in the heads of Bayern Munich players and staff. Club president Uli Hoeness is already talking how he expects better referring this time against Madrid. That’s not a great sign.

Real have won the tournament in two of the three years since Zinedine Zidane became club manager and they’ve taken the heart out of Bayern and fed it to them in each their last two encounters.

Pick: Real Madrid +280
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