Tottenham vs Liverpool: Champions League Final Betting Preview

On Saturday in Madrid, Tottenham will face Liverpool in an all-English match-up, as they compete in the biggest game in club football, the UEFA Champions League final.  

This game signifies a huge moment for English football, cementing the Premier League as the dominant force in Europe, capable of sweeping all European competition before it. Because this is the first time in history that both major European finals – Europa League and Champions League – have been contested by four teams from the same nation. This all-English Champions League final – the second in the competition’s history and the first since 2008 when Chelsea were defeated on penalties by Manchester United – also signifies the end of the Spanish era, with either Barcelona or Real Madrid having won the last five finals.

Tottenham Hotspur

Making their first ever appearance in the final, Tottenham are the eighth English club to appear in the fixture; giving England more finalists than any other country – Italy and Germany are next on the list with six each. While the fixture represents a changing of the guard in terms of nationality, Spurs also represent a change in terms of the established elite of European football. They are the 40th club to reach the final, and the first newcomers since Chelsea in 2008. Triumph, and Spurs would become the 23rd side to win the European Cup and the first new name on the trophy since Chelsea’s 2012 victory.

Tottenham’s progress to the final has been dramatic, to say the least! The quarter-finals saw bundles of drama and away goals victory over Premier League Champions Manchester City. But somehow, the semi-final was even more epic, with Spurs becoming only the second team in UEFA Champions League history to recover from losing the home first leg in a semi-final, turning around a 1-0 defeat by Ajax in north London with a 3-2 success in Amsterdam. Lucas Moura was the hero on the night, scoring both a hat-trick and the injury-time winner to send Pochettino’s men through.

Liverpool

Unlike Spurs, Liverpool are no strangers to Champions League finals, having reached eight in their history and four since the turn of the century. Last years losing finalists, The Reds have an English record five European Cups in the Anfield trophy cabinet and will be hoping to go one better than last year. Liverpool lost their best player Mohamed Salah early in the game and suffered multiple blunders from goalkeeper Loris Karius in a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid.

This season’s side is a different proposition though. In almost any other year, they’d have been runaway Premier League champions. Unfortunately for Liverpool, though, they finished second to an outstanding Manchester City side. So, this represents the only chance of silverware left for Jurgen Klopp’s team, who reached the final with an epic semi-final comeback story of their own; following up a strange 3-0 defeat at the Nou Camp with a resounding 4-0 thumping at Anfield of Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.

TOTTENHAM VS LIVERPOOL: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL BETTING ODDS

Given their form this season and their history in European competition, it’s no surprise that Liverpool are favourites to lift the European Cup for a sixth time, at odds of 4/9 (1.44). Despite their dramatic progression through the knockout rounds, Spurs are 9/5 (2.80) to win the trophy for the first time.

Tottenham vs Liverpool: Champions League Final Betting Tips

Liverpool go into this fixture having been by far the dominant force domestically this season. In the Premier League, they finished 26 points ahead of the team from North London and beat Spurs 2-1 home and away. Since 2016 the sides have faced each other eight times, with Liverpool winning four games, drawing three and losing only once to Poch’s men.

Liverpool also have a great record against English sides in European competition and are unbeaten in their last five against domestic rivals. However, Spurs, because of their intense style of play, always present a tough proposition for Liverpool and are arguably the most difficult domestic opposition The Reds face outside of Manchester City. Spurs also hope to have talisman Harry Kane back in the line-up following injury. So why not back the fairytale to continue, and bet on Spurs to win and both teams to score at 28/5 (6.60)?

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

Chelsea vs Arsenal: Europa League Final Betting Preview

On Wednesday, Chelsea and Arsenal will face-off in the first all-English European final of the week, as they contest the UEFA Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan.

With no direct flights, a minimum journey time of seven hours and a minuscule ticket allocation of just 6,000 for each side, it’s safe to say that Baku isn’t the most fan-friendly location for a tournament final. Which is a shame, given the importance of the fixture for both sides. Chelsea have the chance to repeat their success in 2012-13 and cement their place as best of the rest (behind Manchester City and Liverpool) in England, while Arsenal have the chance to secure a Champions League spot for next season and make manager Unai Emery the outright record-holder for the competition in both its iterations (UEFA Cup and UEL).  

Chelsea

Chelsea drew both legs of their semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt, eventually triumphing on penalties, courtesy of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s penalty saves from Martin Hinteregger and Goncalo Paciencia. They enter the final unbeaten in the competition and on a record run of 18 fixtures without loss that stretches across seasons. They also boast the tournament’s top scorer in French striker Olivier Giroud, who has 10 goals in the competition.

In all competitions, Chelsea are unbeaten in their last eight matches, including a recent friendly match against MLS side New England Revolution – with breakout midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek suffering a long-term injury in the game. The Blues have kept clean sheets in three of their last four outings but have only scored more than one goal on two occasions in their last six matches. They’ll also be without Antonio Rudiger and Callum Hudson-Odoi; N’Golo Kante is currently a doubt, having suffered an injury in training on Saturday.

Arsenal

Arsenal’s progress through the semi-finals was emphatic; a hat-trick from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and an Alexandre Lacazette goal securing a 4-2 away win in the second leg at Valencia and sealing an overall victory on aggregate of 7-3. Having endured a poor end to the season in domestic competition (four losses from seven fixtures) Arsenal missed out on a Champions League spot and finished 5th in the Premier League. With a Champions League spot on the line, success in the final would represent a double-win for the North London side.

In manager Unai Emery, the Gunners boast the most successful manager in the tournament’s history since it’s rebranding as the Europa League. Another win for the former Sevilla manager – who triumphed in 2014, 2015 and 2016 – would separate him as the most successful manager outright, across both UEFA Cup and UEL, placing him one win ahead of legendary Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni.

CHELSEA VS ARSENAL: EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL BETTING ODDS

This match isn’t as close to call as you might expect, with Chelsea favourites to improve upon their Carabao Cup final performance and win the match at odds of 27/20 (2.35). Despite their resounding victory in the semi-final and having Emery at the helm, Arsenal are 41/20 (3.05) to triumph.

Chelsea vs Arsenal: Europa League Final Betting Tips

It might seem a little surprising that Arsenal aren’t entering this fixture as favourites given their destruction of Valencia in the semi-finals, the man they have in charge of the team and the extra prize on offer to them. But Chelsea’s record in the competition over recent seasons cannot be ignored. The Blues have the longest unbeaten run in the history of the competition and finished the season in better form than Arsenal.

While the outcome of this game is not guaranteed, goals almost certainly are. In 20 of 27 fixtures played by Arsenal away from the Emirates, at least three goals have been scored. For Chelsea, seven of their last 10 Europa League games have featured at least 3 goals. So, we’d back the Europa League master Emery to cause an upset and get Arsenal across the line in a high scoring game; bet on Arsenal to win and 2.5 goals at 17/5 (4.40).

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

Aston Villa vs Derby County: Championship Play-off Final Betting Preview

On Monday, Aston Villa and Derby County will bring the English Football League play-offs to a close as they battle it out in the “richest game in football” at Wembley stadium and bid for promotion to the Premier League.   

Yes, it’s cliché to focus on the financial implications of this game, but when the rewards are so, well, rewarding, it’s hard to focus on anything else! By securing promotion to the Premier League the victors will guarantee around £170m into the club coffers over the next three years. For 2019/20 they’ll earn £95m, with parachute payments in 2020/21 and 2021/22 – should they be relegated after one season – totalling an estimated £75m across two seasons. Avoid first season relegation and the amount rises to a minimum of £300m. So, yes, this game is absolutely huge!

Aston Villa

For the second successive season Aston Villa’s entire campaign comes down to a single, all or nothing, Wembley showdown. This is an unusual position for Villa to find themselves in, having spent 28 consecutive seasons in English football’s top flight prior to their Premier League relegation in 2016.

Following last year’s devastating loss to Fulham, Villa started the season poorly and manager Steve Bruce was sacked and replaced by Dean Smith. Under Smith, Villa finished the season in superb form – which included a club-record streak of 10 victories in a row – and secured a fifth-place finish. In the semi-finals, they came from behind to beat West Brom in the first leg at Villa Park 2-1, before losing the second leg 1-0. As there are no away goals in the play-offs, the match went to extra-time and then penalties, with Villa winning the shootout.

Derby County

Unlike Villa, Derby have plenty of play-off experience. Unfortunately for Derby though, this experience mostly involves defeat. Aside from a play-off final victory against West Brom in 2007, Derby have lost finals in 1994 and 2014 (to ten-man QPR), and semi-finals in 1992, 2005, 2016 and 2018! This season though, things feel a little different.

Under Frank Lampard, the Rams have become a side for the big occasion and pressure situations. They defeated West Brom on the final day of the season to finish sixth and secure a play-off spot. Having lost the opening leg of the semi-final 1-0 at home to Leeds, they then conceded the opening goal in the second leg at Elland Road. With the chips down, they fought back for a stunning comeback and a 4-2 victory that booked their place in the final.  

ASTON VILLA VS DERBY COUNTY: PLAY-OFF FINAL BETTING ODDS

Aston Villa are favourites entering the final, with odds of 6/5 (2.20) for victory against Derby County. Derby aren’t complete underdogs though and find themselves priced at 9/4 (3.25) to win the game.

Aston Villa vs Derby County: Championship Play-off Final Betting Tips

Aston Villa have been by far the better side when these teams have met this season, winning both games by an aggregate score of 7-0 and are therefore favourites to win. However, Derby have made a habit of coming up big when it matters this season and have taken games to penalty shootouts (with victories against West Brom, Southampton and Manchester United) on numerous occasions this season.

We can see Derby forcing a draw in 90 minutes at 9/4 (3.25) and the game eventually going to the lottery of penalties. At which point it’s anybody’s guess, as Villa progressed via shootout success in the semis.

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

Charlton Athletic vs Sunderland AFC: League One Play-off Final Betting Preview

On Sunday, Charlton and Sunderland will face-off at Wembley stadium for promotion to the Championship, in the League One play-off final.

Rewind 13 years to 2006 and this fixture would be taking place in the Premier League. Unfortunately for both clubs, a lot has changed in the intervening years. Sunderland were relegated at the end of 2005/06 and Charlton would follow a year later. Whilst Sunderland would return immediately to the Premier League, and stay there for the next decade, Charlton have not been seen since, going through various promotions and relegations between the Championship and League One.

Charlton Athletic

Following a run that saw just a single loss in their last 15 league games, Charlton secured a third-place finish, entering them into the play-offs for the first time since 1998, when they also met Sunderland in the final.

On paper, Charlton had the easier semi-final fixture, meeting sixth-placed Doncaster Rovers, who finished 15 points behind them and 12 points adrift of fifth-placed Sunderland. They didn’t make easy work of it though, winning the first leg at Keepmoat Stadium 2-1, but losing 3-2 at The Valley. Extra-time and penalties were needed to send them through to the final.

Sunderland AFC

Despite suffering the fewest losses in the league, Sunderland would miss out on an automatic promotion spot due to their league-high 19 draws. Their hopes for automatic promotion were further harmed by an awful run of form in their last nine fixtures, comprising only two wins, four draws and three losses.

It’s not all doom and gloom though for the Black Cats, with the team showing plenty of mental resilience in the play-off semi-finals. They held onto a 1-0 lead in the first leg despite going down to ten men only five minutes after scoring, and at Fratton Park, in the second leg, Jack Ross’ men were able to grind out a 0-0 draw and seal progression into the final.

CHARLTON VS SUNDERLAND: PLAY-OFF FINAL BETTING ODDS

This is the closest matchup of all the play-off finals, with not a lot to choose between the two sides. Sunderland are marginal favourites at 13/9 (2.45) to seal promotion, with Charlton slight outsiders at odds of 13/7 (2.85).

Charlton vs Sunderland: League One Play-off Final Betting Tips

It might seem a little surprising that Charlton, the form team in League One over the last 15 fixtures, aren’t entering this game as favourites. Especially given Sunderland’s poor finish to the season. As ever, context is key. Sunderland’s poor run was against top-half opposition in all but one of their last nine games. And while they haven’t been winning, they’ve not been getting beaten.

Sunderland have edged it over the two fixtures between the sides this season, winning at home and drawing away, and have an experienced squad who shouldn’t wilt under the pressure of the occasion. However, they’ve been leaky of late, with both teams scoring in seven of their last ten fixtures, so we’d opt for Sunderland to win and both teams to score at 39/10 (4.9).

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

Newport County vs Tranmere Rovers: League Two Play-off Final Betting Preview

On Saturday, Newport and Tranmere will kick-off three days of play-off fixtures at Wembley Stadium as the teams compete for promotion to League One in the League Two play-off final.  

After a long and arduous League Two season, Newport and Tranmere have one final fixture to overcome, the League Two play-off final. The prize at stake is great, promotion up the English Football League pyramid to League One. Neither team should be fazed by the situation though, both having been regular visitors to Wembley Stadium since it re-opened in 2007.

Newport County

The side from South Wales has had an action-packed season. Their FA Cup run encompassing giant-killing victories over Championship side Middlesbrough and former Premier League champions Leicester City before ultimately coming to an end in the 5th round at the hands of British football’s biggest giants, Manchester City.

Having won the 2012 FA Trophy final and secured promotion back to the Football League in 2013, Newport know a thing or two about winning at Wembley. They’ll be hoping to maintain their late-season run of form – 10 games unbeaten – that saw a last-minute charge into promotion contention and a 7th spot finish (at one point they were as low as 15th in the table). They drew both semi-final games against Mansfield Town, progressing to the final via a penalty shootout victory.

Tranmere Rovers

Tranmere are seeking a second successive promotion via the play-offs, having returned to the Football League last season courtesy of an astonishing Wembley victory over Boreham Wood. Astonishing because they battled for the entire game with 10 men, having had a man sent off with only a minute on the clock.

Tranmere finished sixth in League Two, only six points off an automatic promotion spot. A run of seven straight wins in February and March saw them reach as high as fifth in the table and within touching distance of automatic spot, however, a run of only one win in their last seven league games would ultimately consign them to a play-off spot. In the semi-final, they won at home and drew away, with opponents Forest Green having a man sent off in each fixture.

NEWPORT COUNTY VS TRANMERE ROVERS: PLAY-OFF FINAL BETTING ODDS

Tranmere Rovers are slight favourites entering the final, with odds of 3/2 (2.50) for victory against Newport County. Newport find themselves in with a decent chance though, priced at 13/7 (2.85) to achieve promotion.

Newport County vs Tranmere Rovers: League Two Play-off Final Betting Tips

Matches between these two sides are always close affairs, three of the last four fixtures have ended in a draw. Of the two fixtures this season, Newport secured a rare victory, winning 2-1 at Tranmere in the early season fixture. The more recent meeting reverted to type, with a 0-0 draw.

Given the history between the sides and the often tight nature of finals, we’d opt for the draw at 2/1 (3.00).

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

AFC Fylde vs Leyton Orient: FA Trophy Final Betting Preview

On Sunday at 4.15pm, Leyton Orient seek a Vanarama National League and Buildbase FA Trophy double, with a victory over an AFC Fylde side who recently dropped out of the play-offs.  

After several years in the darkness, with multiple relegations, financial woes and battles to save the club, Leyton Orient have emerged back into the light. As champions of the Vanarama National League, The O’s cemented promotion back into the English Football League. Victory against AFC Fylde in the Buildbase FA Trophy would help crown a fantastic season with a league and cup double.

AFC Fylde

For AFC Fylde, the FA Trophy represents a chance to salvage something from a promising season. Having finished 5th in the Vanarama National League, the Lancashire side entered the National League play-offs, first overcoming Harrogate Town, before dispatching Solihull Motors in the semi-finals. Unfortunately though for Fylde, a 3-0 play-off final defeat against Salford City would prove to be the end of their quest for promotion.

The Coasters, therefore, enter the FA Trophy Final hoping to finish their season on a high by collecting silverware. They enter the final, having beaten National League North side Stockport in the semi-final in dramatic fashion. With two minutes of normal time remaining, Stockport scored to bring the score level at 2-2. But, in a dramatic late twist, Alex Reid scored just 60 seconds later to win it for Fylde and seal their place in the competition’s final for the second time.

Leyton Orient

With a league title in the bag, three players in the Vanarama National League team of the season, and a cup final still to come, Leyton Orient have shown themselves to be the dominant force at their level. A 0-0 draw on the final day of the season proving enough to see Orient crowned champions and seal a return to the English Football League after several seasons in the conference.

In the semi-finals of the FA Trophy, Orient defeated National League North side AFC Telford United in both legs for a 3-1 aggregate victory. It will be Orient’s first return to Wembley since losing to Rotherham United on penalties in the 2014 League One play-off final.

AFC FYLDE VS LEYTON ORIENT: FA TROPHY FINAL BETTING ODDS

Leyton Orient are slight favourites entering the final, with odds of 27/20 (2.35) for victory against AFC Fylde. Fylde find themselves in with a decent chance, priced at 39/20 (2.95) to lift the trophy.

AFC Fylde vs Leyton Orient: FA Trophy Final Betting Tips

Leyton Orient have been the dominant side when the two sides matched up in the league this season, winning 2-0 at home against Fylde as recently March, having secured a 3-1 victory on the road back in November.

In Daniel Lucas Rowe, AFC Fylde boast the top scorer in the National League and the man who bagged their only goal against The O’s this season. Orient will face a hard task to keep him quiet, so we’re going for Leyton Orient to win 2-1 in 90 mins at 37/5 (8.40).

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

Manchester City vs Watford: FA Cup Final Betting Preview

On Saturday at 5pm, Manchester City seek a historic FA Cup Final victory over Watford that would make them the first team in history to secure a domestic treble comprising FA Cup, League Cup and Premier League. 

It was a title race for the ages. A heavyweight battle that saw Manchester City and Liverpool push each other all the way to the final game of the league season. Ultimately, City would prevail, becoming the first side to win back-to-back league titles since 2009 and finishing the season with a scintillating run of 14 victories in a row. Having defeated Chelsea on penalties in the EFL Cup Final back in February, the FA Cup Final is the last remaining hurdle in the pursuit of a historic domestic treble.

Manchester City

At this point, it feels like stating the obvious when making the case that this Manchester City team may very well be the best side of the Premier League era. Having posted a record-breaking 100 points in 2017/18, City followed it up with a 98-point season that left Liverpool behind them, with the highest ever points total for a 2nd placed team. Champions League aside, they have been all-conquering.

For City, progress through the FA Cup has been more sedate than their league campaign. Five-time winners of the FA Cup, last lifting the trophy in 2011, City have eliminated Rotherham, Burnley, Newport, Swansea and Brighton en-route to reaching this year’s final. Whilst a Champions League victory represents the ultimate goal for Manchester City, becoming the first team to ever complete a domestic treble will surely go some way to softening the blow of once again coming up short in European competition.

Watford

Watford reached their first final since 1984 having progressed from arguably the tie of the tournament. With a little over 12 minutes left of the 90, Watford looked dead and buried, 2-0 down to Wolves in the semi-final. Enter Gerard Deulofeu; the former Barcelona man giving the Hornets a sniff at a comeback with an impudent curling shot in the 78th minute. Extra-time was brought about from the penalty spot, when Troy Deeney smashed home an equaliser, before glory – and one of the greatest FA Cup comebacks of all time – was delivered when Deulofeu slotted home in extra-time.

Watford have had a good season, finishing three positions higher and nine points better off than the previous season. However, they will likely enter this game feeling that they could have achieved more in the league. Finishing the season with three losses in a row meant that Watford finished in the bottom half of the table in Javi Gracia’s first full season in charge.

MANCHESTER CITY VS WATFORD: FA CUP FINAL BETTING ODDS

Manchester City are overwhelming favourites for victory against Watford at 5/22 (1.23). Despite their fairy-tale comeback in the semi-final, Watford are firm outsiders at 10/1 (11.00) to lift the trophy.

Manchester City vs Watford: FA Cup Final Betting Tips

Manchester City have been unstoppable in domestic competition over the past months, having won 18 fixtures in a row in the Premier League, EFL Cup and FA Cup. Watford meanwhile have lost three in a row and suffered defeat twice at the hands of The Citizens this season. We, therefore, cannot see anything other than a City win.

Of note, in both games against Manchester City in the league, Watford were able to get on the scoresheet while losing, with semi-final hero Gerard Deulofeu bagging a goal in the 3-1 defeat at the Etihad. We can see Watford grabbing a goal again, so back Manchester City to win and both teams to score at 9/5 (2.80).*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of going to print.

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

Premier League: The Title Contenders – Betting Preview

On Sunday, the epic fight to be crowned champions of the Premier League will be concluded as Manchester City face Brighton, and Liverpool take on Wolves.

 

It’s been a title race for the ages. A ding-dong battle that’s seen two of the greatest sides in Premier League history push each other all the way to the final fixture, and in doing so achieve almost unprecedented levels of performance in the process. Will Manchester City be the first side to retain the title in 10 years? Or will Liverpool secure their first league title success for 29 years?

Brighton vs Manchester City

Despite being without a win in eight fixtures, The Seagulls were able to secure their Premier League status for next season with a couple of draws against Arsenal and Newcastle. Chris Hughton’s men go into this fixture with nothing to play for except pride and the hope that they might improve upon their performance from when the two sides met earlier in the season – City comprehensively winning 2-0 with a whopping 81% possession.

Man City are unbeaten in the Premier League since January. An incredible run of 13 league victories in a row has seen City overhaul title-rivals Liverpool; who had a seven-point cushion over Pep’s men at the start of the run. While Champions League success has proven as elusive as ever for The Citizens, this side still has the chance to break new ground. Having already won the Carabao Cup, City remain in contention for a historic domestic treble. Historic because no side has ever won the League, FA Cup and League Cup in a single season.

Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

In almost any other season, Jurgen Klopp’s side would be runaway champions and lauded as one of the greatest sides in Premier League history. But this isn’t any other season. So, despite suffering only one loss all season, and accumulating higher points tally than Manchester United ever have, Liverpool could find themselves missing out on the trophy that has eluded them for almost 30 years. They come into the fixture high on confidence, with Salah set to return and a spring in their step thanks to the logic-defying win over Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final.

Having secured 7th spot and European football, Wolves can justifiably consider themselves the ‘best of the rest’. They have a great record against the top 6, their style suited to absorbing pressure and striking on the counter, as both Arsenal and Manchester United have found in recent fixtures. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side has also beaten Liverpool once already this season. However, the victory came in the FA Cup, at Molineux, against a second-string Liverpool side that featured a 16-year-old debutant at centre back. Liverpool in the league at Anfield, where they are unbeaten for over two years, is a very different proposition.

PREMIER LEAGUE: THE TITLE CONTENDERS BETTING ODDS

Manchester City are overwhelming favourites for victory against Brighton at 1/6 and 1/10 to win the Premier League. Liverpool are favourites against Wolves, priced at 1/3 but clear outsiders for the title at 6/1.

Premier League: The Title Contenders – betting tips

With both title contenders in such great form and strong favourites in their respective fixtures, we can’t see any result other than both sides winning. To find value it’s best to step outside the title race and look at the other title on the line, for a few of the players involved in this fixture, Premier League top scorer.

Mo Salah currently occupies the top spot on 22 goals, with Sergio Aguero and Sadio Mane both on 20 goals apiece. Given Brighton’s defensive woes this season, it’s not inconceivable that Aguero could net a hat-trick, and Wolves keep Salah – who returns from a concussion – at bay. After all, Sergio Aguero has 10 Premier League hat-tricks to his name, putting second on the all-time list behind Alan Shearer. Back Sergio Aguero to finish Top Goalscorer at 4/1.

 

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

Europa League Betting Preview

On Thursday night, the finalists for the UEFA Europa League 2019 will be decided as Valencia face Arsenal, and Chelsea take on Frankfurt.

 

The prospect of an all-English final remains a realistic possibility as both Premier League sides head into their respective semi-final second leg fixtures with something to hold onto. Arsenal go to Mestalla with a 3-1 lead thanks to a brace of goals from Alexandre Lacazette and a late strike from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Chelsea, meanwhile, head into the home leg at Stamford Bridge with an away goal in the bag thanks to a Pedro strike that secured a 1-1 draw in Frankfurt.

Valencia vs Arsenal

To have any hope of overturning a two-goal deficit from the first leg, Valencia will need to prolong their excellent run of success in home fixtures – that stands at 11 games unbeaten – in the UEFA Europa League. Having dropped into the competition from the UEFA Champions League, the Spanish side have been in outstanding form and were unbeaten in six matches until they met Arsenal.

Since qualifying for the semi-final, Arsenal have been on an appalling run of form, with only one win (against Valencia) in five games. Arsenal made their only previous UEFA Europa League semi-final appearance last season when they suffered defeat against Atlético. In manager Unai Emery, Arsenal have a coach who has been there and done it before, having led Sevilla to three successive tournament victories between 2013/14 to 2015/16.

Chelsea vs Frankfurt

Having now guaranteed Champions League football for next season, Chelsea enter this fixture in good spirits. They’re the only unbeaten team in the semi-finals of the Europa League – having won 11 of their 13 matches, drawing the other two – and are on a record unbeaten run that stretches to 16 fixtures. They also boast the tournament’s top scorer in French striker Olivier Giroud, who has 10 goals in the competition.

Eintracht Frankfurt have had an equally impressive campaign, losing just once in 13 matches. They topped Group H (comprising Lazio, Apollon Limassol and Marseille) with maximum points, and then eliminated three teams who had dropped down from the Champions League (Shakhtar Donetsk, Internazionale and Benfica). Striker Luka Jovic has cemented a place as one of European football’s brightest prospects with a breakout season, registering 9 goals as the second top scorer in the Europa League.

EUROPA LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL BETTING ODDS AT ENERGYBET

Valencia are favourites for a home victory at 9/10 (1.90) with Arsenal 14/5 (3.80) to achieve a win on the road. Given their record in the competition it shouldn’t be a surprise that Chelsea are strongest favourites for a match win with odds of  3/8 (1.37), opponents Frankfurt are 69/10 (7.90) to make the final.

Europa League semi-final betting tips

While Valencia are favourites to win the tie, Arsenal are the favourites to make it to the final at 3/11 (1.27), given they can lose and still progress to the final. We can see Valencia beating the Gunners, but not doing enough to progress to the final. We’d back Valencia to win 2-1 at 69/10 (7.90) but find despair as Arsenal ultimately make the final.

Given that this game features the top two scoring teams and top two scoring players, it seems destined for goals. We can’t look past Chelsea for the win considering their outstanding record in the competition, so we’d back Chelsea to win and both teams to score at 9.5 (2.80).

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

Ajax vs Tottenham Hotspur Betting Preview

On Wednesday night, Spurs visit the Johan Cruyff Arena to play Ajax, hoping to overturn a 1-0 deficit and advance to the Champions League final.

 

Of the 17 sides who have lost the home first leg of a semi-final in the UEFA Champions League era, only one has recovered to win on aggregate – Ajax themselves, against Panathinaikos in 1995/96. Such is the size of the task facing Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur side if they hope to advance to the Champions League final for the first time in their history.

Ajax

Ajax followed up last week’s comprehensive victory in London with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Willem II on Sunday to win their first Dutch Cup since 2010. The Amsterdammers go into this tie in high spirits, riding the wave of an unexpected surge through European football’s premier competition and on a run that has seen them gain away victories in Spain and Italy, ousting holders Real Madrid and Italian champions Juventus in the process.

May 22, 1996, Champions Cup, Juventus 1-Ajax Amsterdam 1

While Ajax have a proud European history and a great record in European semi-final ties, with six victories and two defeats, those defeats have come in their past two appearances. And their last appearance was back in 1997. This fixture is, therefore, unchartered territory for many at the club, especially the young playing squad that has now scored 165 goals in all competitions in 2018/19.

 

 Tottenham Hotspur

At the current time, Spurs – who have suffered defeat on 19 occasions this season – could be considered the polar opposite of Ajax. Out of form (one win from six games, seven losses in their last 11 games) and blunt in front of goal (one goal in five games), Spurs have slumped since overcoming Manchester City in the previous round. Their qualification for next year’s tournament having been aided by the complete lack of form of Manchester United and Arsenal.

Spurs have one boost coming into this fixture; the return from suspension of the man who scored three goals in the previous round (and got himself sent off at the weekend against Bournemouth in the Premier League) Heung-Min Son. With talisman Harry Kane injured, all hopes of advancing to the final will fall on the South Korean superstar who’s emerged as a key player for the London side this season.

AJAX VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ODDS AT ENERGYBET

Ajax head into this massive Champions League semi-final clash as favourites for victory at 9/8 (2.13). Given their recent form, it’s no surprise that Spurs are outsiders at 23/10 (3.30).

Ajax vs Spurs betting tips

Sure, Ajax are favourites and have lost only once during their marathon of European fixtures this season. BUT, that loss did come on home turf against Real Madrid and Ajax have not won any of their last seven home UEFA Champions League knockout phase matches (D4 L3).

Spurs are unbeaten in their last four visits to the Netherlands, have the memory of their dramatic tie against Man City to draw from and have nothing else to play for this season. This is their chance to make history and reach the club’s first ever European Cup final. We believe they’ll be fighting for their lives and we’re hoping for more knockout drama, so we’re backing Spurs to win and over 2.5 goals at 7/2 (4.50).

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

Manchester City vs Leicester City Betting Preview

On Monday night, Leicester City travel to Manchester City in hopes of completing a league double over the reigning champions.

Premier League leaders Manchester City are aiming for a 13th successive victory in the league as they attempt to stay ahead of challengers Liverpool. Leicester City, managed by former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, registered a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Arsenal in their last outing. The Foxes remain in contention for European qualification and are just three points behind seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Manchester City

Since a December wobble, which saw defeats to both Leicester City and Newcastle United, Manchester City have been imperious in the league, winning 13 games on the bounce. Having bombed out of the Champions League, domestic success (and a possible treble winning season) is the primary focus for Pep Guardiola’s men.

The Citizens will be looking for a much stronger performance than they produced when losing the corresponding fixture earlier in the season. Central to success will be Sergio Aguero, who would equal his best ever season for PL home goals if he hits the back of the net on Monday. His current record for goals at the Etihad Stadium stands at 16 strikes in the 2011/12 season. Recently crowned as Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, Raheem Sterling will hope to see his outstanding form continue to the end of the season.

Leicester City

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers once again has a hand in affecting a Manchester City chase for the Premier League title, having been involved in a title fight with Manchester’s boys in blue as boss of Liverpool back in 2013/14. While he claims he’s thinking only about the benefits of victory for current club Leicester City, there’s no doubt that victory at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night will be of huge help to his former club.

Since taking over from Claude Puel in February, Rodgers has led his side to a record of five wins, one draw and two losses from eight games. The run has kept them in contention for a possible European place as they currently sit just three points behind Wolverhampton Wanderers heading into the final two games of the season. While Wolves face an already relegated side in Fulham, victory is not a foregone conclusion for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men with the side from Craven Cottage having won three on the bounce under Scott Parker. Wolves also face title challengers Liverpool on the last day of the season so Leicester won’t be counting themselves out of competing in European competition next season, just yet.

MANCHESTER CITY VS LEICESTER CITY PREMIER LEAGUE ODDS AT ENERGYBET

Manchester City head into this Premier League clash as firm favourites for victory at 3/20 (1.15). Despite having one win against Manchester City already in the bank this season, Leicester City are very much outsiders to win at 17/1 (18.00).

Manchester City vs Leicester City betting tips

Guardiola’s men may be firm favourites to win, but The Foxes are sure to register a goal, having scored in their last 10 away fixtures. In Jamie Vardy, they also have the player with more goals (31) against the current top six than any other player in the competition. Back Man City to win and both teams to score at 47/20 (2.35).

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

Congratulations to EnergyBet partner Leyton Orient

Leyton Orient return to the English Football League.

After years of darkness, multiple relegations, financial woes and battles to save the club, Leyton Orient are back. Following a 0-0 draw at home to Braintree, The O’s celebrated a successful season in the best way possible, with a title win and promotion back to the English Football League.

Leyton Orient v Braintree

Back into the light

To say that Leyton Orient have endured some tough times in recent years would be an understatement of massive proportions. There’s been multiple relegations, fan protests over mismanagement and countless managers coming in and out of the club. It’s a sight seen so often in modern football, and one that often leads to extinction or an irretrievable decline. But not for Leyton Orient.

For Leyton Orient, the story has instead become one of fresh beginnings. A tale of banding together and fighting for what you hold dear. Of never accepting defeat. Because for Leyton Orient, it has been a true team effort, extending to all levels of the club. From Nigel Travis, Kent Teague and the rest of the board, to the manager Justin Edinburgh and his coaching staff, the players and, of course, the fans. All have played their part in taking the club back to where it belongs.

Leyton Orient v Braintree

Congratulations Leyton Orient!

As proud partners of Leyton Orient, we at EnergyBet would like to send a huge message of congratulations to everyone at the club. We’re proud to be associated with all that you’ve achieved this season and wish you every success for the bright future that lies ahead.

It’s great to see The O’s back where they belong.

You can find a video that we’ve made, celebrating some great moments from the season, here.

More success ahead?

Whilst promotion has been guaranteed, there’s still the potential for more success to come with Orient set to take on Fylde in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium on 19th May 2019. We’re hoping that Leyton Orient can make it a double winning season and will be sending our support on the day!

Stay tuned to our website for more O’s features leading up to the final, and general content in the future.



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