The Champions League is down to the final four teams and Ajax, Tottenham, Liverpool and Barcelona will all be striving for a place in the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday 1st June. But what are the best three bets to place on the first leg fixtures?
Spurs and Ajax kick things off in tonight’s first semi-final and the season’s two surprise packages in the Champions League will both fancy their chances of progressing to the final. Tottenham produced a miraculous recovery to escape from their group after a terrible start, and Ajax have already upset Real Madrid and Juventus in the competition, so manager Erik ten Hag will have no concern of his side freezing on the big stage.
Spurs are without both Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son for this match and although that is undoubtedly a huge blow for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, they do have the pace of Lucas Moura to rely on going forward. If Spurs line-up in the expected 3-5-2 formation as we’ve gone for in the Tottenham predicted line-up for tonight, then Moura should get some joy playing off Fernando Llorente. This is exactly what happened when he netted a hat-trick against Huddersfield in the Premier League a few weeks ago.
The supply line of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen will always create chances for the Spurs strikers and as long as Moura starts the match, the 23/10 with Unibet for him to score first looks like a great option for a Champions League bet tonight.
Moura has already scored vital goals against Barcelona and PSV in the group stage of this competition, the 85th minute equaliser at the Nou Camp is what was enough to get Tottenham into the knock-out stages, and they haven’t looked back since.
Lionel Messi has already found the net 10 times in his eight Champions League matches so far this season, and scored the winning goal from the bench to secure the La Liga title at the weekend. Messi is 10/11 to score anytime against Liverpool and that price looks too big for the best player in the world, on home soil. The Argentine continues to break records and will want to improve on his record later in the Champions League. He did score twice against Manchester United in the last round at the Nou Camp though and also scored twice in the last 16 second leg against Lyon.
Even though Luis Suarez hasn’t had the best of seasons in the Champions League, it would be typical of him to save his best performance for his former club Liverpool. The Uruguayan hasn’t scored in the Champions League this season, which is a bizarre record for a player of his quality, at a club of Barcelona’s quality. He has though, scored 21 La Liga goals as Barca lifted another title and from his position through the middle of the attacking three, he always gets into scoring positions, however his price is only a bit bigger than Messi’s, so our betting tip is for the Argentine to get on the scoresheet vs Liverpool.
NOTE: You need to use Unibet to get the 10/11 – the odds at other bookmakers win a lot less money:
e.g. £20 bet at Unibet wins £38.20
£20 at bet365 wins £34.40
£20 at William Hill wins £34.60
£20 at Ladbrokes wins £36
The last bet we are going for covers both of the semi-final matches. Tonight’s Tottenham vs Ajax match could produce another exciting game, with Ajax going in search of an away goal and Spurs looking to get a first leg lead. A bet on over 2.5 goals to be scored is odds against here and that looks like a good punt. The stats go against this slightly but Ajax have produced two stunning away performances in the knock-out rounds so far, winning 4-1 at Real Madrid and 2-1 at Juventus.
If there is an early goal in this game it could open up and that would be ideal for the betting on on Spurs vs Ajax tonight.
The second selection comes from tomorrow’s Barcelona vs Liverpool match and we’re backing the home side to get a first leg lead to take back to Anfield. Manager Ernesto Valverde will be all too aware of what the atmosphere will be like at Anfield next week, and he will want his side to get a decent lead going into the second leg. However, Liverpool will give themselves a chance by getting on the scoresheet at the Nou Camp, and even if this one finishes 3-1, they’ll fancy their chances back on home soil.
Liverpool have won their two knockout away matches comfortably so far (3-1 vs Bayern Munich and 4-1 vs Porto) but the first leg against this Barcelona side is a very different challenge. Our prediction here is for Barcelona to win and both teams to score.