Barcelona vs Liverpool Betting Preview

On Wednesday night, Liverpool visit Camp Nou to play Barcelona in the glamour tie of the Champions League semi-final stage.

 

Barcelona and Liverpool are European football royalty and head into this contest level on 5 European Cups apiece. With the top scorer across all European leagues – Lionel Messi – turning out for the Catalans, and the top two scorers in the Premier League – Salah and Mane – leading the attack for the redmen, 0-0 looks an unlikely result.

Barcelona

Ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Liverpool, Barcelona were able to put their league campaign to bed with a 1-0 victory over Levante; securing their 26th La Liga title in the process thanks to a goal from second-half substitute Lionel Messi.

Winning another La Liga title will not be enough to classify this season as a success for the Catalans. This is, after all, their fourth Spanish title in five years and Messi’s 10th overall. The La Liga title is almost expected. To attain true glory, Barca must succeed in completing a treble: La Liga, Copa del Rey, and a first Champions League title since 2015 (the last time they reached the final). Central to Barcelona’s success will be, as ever, Lionel Messi.

Liverpool

Much like Barcelona, Liverpool are chasing success on two fronts. Unlike Barca, one of those fronts is their domestic league. Any other year, this Liverpool side’s Premier League record (only one loss and already taken over 90 points with two games remaining) would be lauded as one of the best in recent years. Unfortunately for Liverpool, they still train an outstanding Manchester City side.

Have no doubts, Liverpool are the side that Barcelona would least have liked to face in the competition. With away victories in the last two rounds, the reds have proved they can travel abroad and upset the hosts on their own turf. And while Mohamed Salah once again top’s the goalscoring chart in the Premier League, this Liverpool side is built on much firmer foundations than the side that lost last year’s final against Real Madrid. With PFA Player of the Year Virgil Van Dijk marshalling the defence and Brazil no.1 Alisson Becker between the sticks, Liverpool stand a better chance than most at shutting out Messi.

BARCELONA VS LIVERPOOL CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ODDS AT ENERGYBET

Barcelona head into this massive Champions League semi-final clash at Camp Nou as favourites for victory at 7/8 (1.87). But Liverpool shouldn’t be underestimated given their recent form – 10 victories in a row in all competitions – and will fancy their chances despite odds of 31/10 (4.10) for the win.

Barcelona vs Liverpool betting tips

Given the European pedigree of both clubs, it’s a little surprising that Barcelona and Liverpool have faced each other on only eight occasions. Liverpool have been the dominant force in these fixtures, winning three (two at Camp Nou) and drawing two of the matches played. Barcelona have never knocked Liverpool out of a European competition, losing the tie courtesy of away goals the last time the sides met – a round of 16 Champions League fixture in 2007.

With their high-intensity football and goal-scoring threat, Liverpool have every chance of taking a second consecutive Champions League victory at the home of Barcelona. But, even with the colossus that is Virgil Van Dijk at the heart of their defence, keeping Lionel Messi at bay for the entire game seems like too tough a task. That’s why we’d back Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 26/5 (6.20).

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of going to print.

Sir Mo running for London Marathon glory

BRITAIN’S MOST SUCCESSFUL TRACK-ATHLETE RUNS FOR HOMETOWN GLORY IN THE LONDON MARATHON.

Mo Farah is a four-time Olympic champion and the most successful British track-athlete in the history of the modern Olympics. He has very little left to prove. He’s been knighted, won Sports Personality of the Year, invented his own trademark celebration in the form of the “mobot” and provided arguably the most iconic moment of the London games. He’s a legend in his field and beloved by almost everyone (aside from maybe a few Spurs fans and now Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie).

No rest for the knighted

If anybody could be forgiven for putting their feet up and spending a bit of time on the couch, it’s the all-around nice guy and long-distance hero himself. Fortunately, for British sports fans at least, Farah shows little interest in stuffing his face with crisps and watching Game of Thrones marathons; instead, he’s more interested in real-life titles and real-life marathons. Which is why he’ll be competing in the forthcoming 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.

2018 Chicago Marathon Winner

A “retired” track legend (he’s eyeing a comeback shot in the 10,000m race at Tokyo 2020), Mo is a relative newcomer to road-running and the 26.2-mile distance that a marathon entails. Whilst he subsequently went on to taste marathon success – winning the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a record time of 2:05:11 for a European athlete – Farah was only able to finish third in last year’s London marathon; being comprehensively beaten by the man who will prove to be his biggest rival at this year’s event, Eliud Kipchoge.

Who’s Mo Farah’s competition for the London Marathon?

Kipchoge is the Mo Farah of marathon running. As the 2018 IAAF Athlete of the Year, he’s clearly popular. The Kenyan is also utterly dominant at his distance and the current world record holder for the marathon, having set a time of 2:01:39 (a whole minute quicker than the previous record) at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. He’s also unbeaten in London and holds the course record of 2:03:05. So, Mo faces an uphill task – despite the almost completely flat route – if he’s to win his first London Marathon. Thankfully though, Farah knows a thing or two about claiming victory in his hometown.

 What are the odds for Mo Farah winning the London Marathon?

Amongst the myriad iconic performances at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, few stand out as much as Farah’s gold medal-winning performances. Winning the 10,000m race, Farah caused the biggest roar the Olympic stadium would witness during the entire games; putting the cherry on the cake of a night that many described as the greatest in British track-and-field history.

Having defeated all-comers on the track, it’s clear that Farah’s current goal is to win the London Marathon. He’s now coached by Gary Lough, the husband and former coach of Paula Radcliffe, and the man responsible for helping her to achieve a marathon world record. Farah is therefore perfectly set up to achieve hometown glory and fulfil his ambitions once again.

Kipchoge may be the favourite at odds of 2/3 (1.66), who sits upon the Iron Throne of marathon running right now, but in Mo Farah he faces a man in form and the King of The North (well, The Great North Run) and the man who can unite the long-distance running kingdoms for good.

You can back Sir Mo to win at 9/2 (5.5) here.

 

 

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of going to print.

Manchester Utd vs Manchester City Betting Preview

On Wednesday night, Manchester City visit Old Trafford to play Manchester United, in a Manchester derby that has far-reaching implications for both teams in the Premier League

Despite their shocking performance in a 4-0 annihilation by Everton at the weekend, Manchester United should still provide the biggest obstacle in Manchester City’s quest to become the first team to retain the Premier League title since United themselves performed the feat in 2008-09.

Manchester United

At this point, it’s clear that United are in need of a complete overhaul. Deadweight – plenty of which was on show at the weekend – needs to be cut from the squad and replaced with players of quality. To help attract such players, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to be able to offer the promise of Champions League football. Finishing in the top 4 is the utmost priority for the club. Victory against Manchester City would help in this pursuit.

Following Chelsea’s draw against Burnley on Monday night, Manchester United currently occupy sixth position in the table, three points behind Chelsea in fourth place. With a game in hand over Chelsea, United have the chance to draw level with the blues courtesy of victory over Pep’s men. This would set them up nicely for their next fixture, another huge clash, against Chelsea at the weekend.

Manchester City

Manchester City meanwhile, continue in their attempts to stay ahead of Liverpool in the race for the league title. Having been dumped from the Champions League by Spurs, City bounced back with a league victory over the north London club at the weekend. Such a result was imperative now that the Premier League is firmly placed as City’s number one priority.

Despite Man Utd being 29/5 (6.80) for victory, City will view them as their last big test in their march to the title. Attain victory at Old Trafford and City have a strong chance to continue their winning run – currently 10 in a row – all the way until the end of the season; with only Burnley, Leicester City and Brighton to come.

MANCHESTER UNITED VS MANCHESTER CITY ODDS AT ENERGYBET

Whilst Manchester City’s odds have them as favourites to win at 7/15 (1.47), and they have a strong recent record at Old Trafford (City are unbeaten in their last 3 visits with Pep Guardiola aiming to become the first visiting manager in PL history to win three consecutive games at O.T.) local derbies are never a walk-over. Especially when one of the teams is the proverbial ‘wounded animal’. Right now, many players in that United squad are not only playing for victory – at odds of 29/5 (6.80) – but also playing for their futures.

 

Manchester United vs Manchester City betting tips

Despite their drubbing at the hands of The Toffees, Man Utd should not be completely dismissed as a threat by Man City. United should be highly motivated by the need to save face. Anything other than maximum effort will see a less-than-happy response from the 70,000+ United fans in attendance. Additionally, Man Utd are unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League matches at home and have scored at least two goals in nine of the last 10.

They do however retain a soft underbelly, having kept only two clean sheets at home in the competition this season, the joint-fewest alongside Fulham. With City as free-scoring as ever, this fixture almost guarantees goals. With Man City such strong favourites, the smart money is on Manchester City to win and both teams to score at 3/2 (2.50).

 

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of going to print.


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