Posts by antonygr88

Italy v Ireland – Can the Irish repeat the historic 1-0 win of 20 years ago?

Ray Houghton scores the winner for Ireland against Italy at the 1994 World Cup, can Ireland beat the Italians 20 years later too?

Ray Houghton scores the winner for Ireland against Italy at the 1994 World Cup, can Ireland beat the Italians 20 years later too?

We are less than three weeks away from the 20th anniversary of the stunning Ray Houghton strike at the 1994 World Cup that saw Ireland secure their first ever win over the Italians as they managed to qualify for the last 16 stage of the tournament. Italy later went on to lose the final to Brazil as Italian hero Roberto Baggio blazed over during the shootout, but with them coming into tonight’s match looking for their first win since last September Italy will be desperate to return to winning ways before jetting out to Brazil for the World Cup.

Italy v Ireland Betting Odds:

Italy to win – 1.67

Draw – 3.20

Ireland to win – 5.10

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Italy had a reasonably comfortable time to qualify for the World Cup this summer as they topped Group B of the UEFA qualification section with 22 points from six wins and four draws from their ten matches as they finished six points ahead of Denmark. However, two of those draws came in their final two matches as they limped over the line and their poor form has seen them fail to win since that time. They are without a win in any match since September 2013 and following those two competitive draws the Italians drew 1-1 with Germany and 2-2 with Nigeria to close out their matches for 2013. They had to come from a goal down in each of those matches to secure a point, but they were unable to do this against world champions Spain in Madrid as the game ended 1-0 with a thoroughly dominant performance from the hosts.

Italy will want to boost their confidence in tonight’s match, which is being held at the neutral venue of Fulham’s Craven Cottage in West London, by ending their eight month winless streak before they face Luxembourg in Verona next week and then begin their World Cup campaign against England on June 14th. They should have a good chance against the Irish this evening to end this streak as well.

Ireland are under new management of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane following a disappointing end to their World Cup qualification campaign under Giovanni Trapattoni and things have not been easy for them so far. They have won just one of four matches since the appointment, when they defeated Latvia 3-0 in Dublin, before drawing 0-0 with Poland at the end of November 2013 and both matches this year have seen them defeated. They played Serbia in March and Turkey a week ago, and they lost 2-1 in both matches and are still adjusting to life under their new coaches but they do tend to life their game against Italy so this should be an interesting match.

Ireland have drawn two and won one of their last four meetings with Italy since 2009 and they will be hopeful of ending their 100% losing record in 2014 this evening in London, but with Italy having just two days to trim their provisional squad for the World Cup from 30 to 23 players there will be many players fighting for a place on the plane to Brazil this evening so, in my eyes, they will be the side that wants it more. Ireland are sure to be up for the match though and I can see this being a close game that will see both sides find the net in search of ending their winless runs.

Back both teams to score in this evening’s Italy v Ireland World Cup warm up game at Craven Cottage @ 2.06 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

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Can England secure the ODI series at Lord’s?

Ian Bell adds more runs on his way to 41 not out in a comprehensive 3rd ODI victory for England in Manchester.

Ian Bell adds more runs on his way to 41 not out in a comprehensive 3rd ODI victory for England in Manchester.

The ODI series between England and Sri Lanka has been a topsy turvy affair so far with the first three one day international matches seeing a close England win then a bounce back from Sri Lanka to make it 1-1 after two matches with a 157 run win at Chester-Le-Street. However, the third game in Manchester saw England run riot, thanks to a Chris Jordan masterclass with the ball, to limit Sri Lanka to just 67 runs before Alistair Cook and Ian Bell wrapped up the match in less than an hour. Victory for the hosts at Lord’s again today will see them take an unassailable lead in this five game series, but will they win it today or can Sri Lanka push it to the decider at Edgbaston on Tuesday?

England v Sri Lanka 4th ODI Betting Odds:

England to win – 1.69

Sri Lanka to win – 1.99

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Coming into this 4th ODI at the home of English cricket, Lord’s cricket ground in central London, it is the hosts who have all the momentum after delivering a crushing blow to Sri Lanka last time out. Chris Jordan secured the man of the match award in Manchester after an amazing five wicket haul and just 29 runs conceded from eight overs and it he is sure to have the eyes of the world on him again in this one day clash. However, James Anderson removed both the Sri Lankan openers in Lahiru Thirimanne and Tillakaratne Dilshan as well as ceding just ten runs in seven overs, two of which were maidens.

While the English bowlers were on fire in Manchester during the 3rd ODI, this series has seen some inconsistent batting from both sides with just two English batsmen reaching double figures in the 2nd ODI at Chester-Le-Street and two of the top three for the guests at the Oval in the 1st ODI in Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara scoring a total of eight. If this form continues today, I feel that it is likely to be England that cope best as Jordan has bagged himself nine wickets over the three tests, standing head and shoulders above the rest of the bowlers.

As well as the form of the 25 year old Barbados born Sussex player helping towards a home win in this 4th ODI the weather at Lord’s is expected to be fine for this match causing the pitch to lose pace. If this should happen then, just like in the T20 match between these sides recently and several county cricket matches of late, the score rate late on is likely to drop and leave us with a low scoring match. The advantage from this will only help the bowlers and I foresee another, and third from four matches, star man performance from Jordan to lead England to victory in this ODI series.

Back England to beat Sri Lanka in the 4th ODI match at Lord’s @ 1.69 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Championship Playoff Final – The richest game in English football

John Eustace celebrates scoring the winner against QPR earlier this year, will he celebrate again today?

John Eustace celebrates scoring the winner against QPR earlier this year, will he celebrate again today?

The Championship Playoff Final is billed as the richest game in football with the winners of this 90 minute clash at the home of English football – Wembley Stadium – receiving a place in the Premier League and it’s vastness of riches. In recent years it was said that victory in this match was worth at least £60m, but with a new television rights deal having come into play last year the figure is even higher now, with the side finishing bottom of the Premier League in the 2013/14 season in Cardiff City claiming £74m.

Today’s match sees the third clash of Derby County and Queens Park Rangers this season and the sides that finished third and fourth in the league will be desperate to get their hands on the bag of gold awaiting them. Derby have been working from a small budget this season with less than £1m spent this season on transfers while QPR need to justify the massive amount of money spent since being taken over. Who’ll emerge victorious at full time?

Championship Playoff Final Betting Odds:

Derby – 2.18

Draw (and extra time) – 3.05

QPR – 3.10

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Derby come into this final in outstanding form having won seven and drawn one of their final eight matches of the season, including winning 2-1 away at Brighton and then recording a 4-1 victory on home soil against the same side in the playoff semi finals. They have scored 90 goals in their 46 regular season games and two playoff matches this season as they finished as the league’s top scorers. Former England manager Steve McClaren has set them up as an attacking side since taking over from Nigel Clough at the end of September and despite their lack of experience in big games, like this Championship Playoff Final today, they will fear nobody and will be sure to use their vast arsenal of attacking players to go and take the game by the throat as their gameplan to ensure that it is they who are playing in the Premier League next season.

QPR are the more experienced of the two sides in these type of matches having splashed out so much money on top level players that have played at World Cups, won cup finals and have been promoted to the Premier League both automatically and via the playoffs. However, they struggled to overcome Wigan in the semi finals drawing 0-0 at the DW Stadium before drawing 1-1 in normal time at Loftus Road as they needed an extra time goal to secure their passage to Wembley this afternoon. They ended the season with just two wins in their final six games and have lost three of their last eight matches before today. They have a better defensive record than Derby, but do not score as many goals so will they be able to use the skills of their backline to ensure they are in with a chance of snatching victory against the free scoring Derby side?

The sides have shared a victory apiece when they have met this season with both teams recording one goal victories on home soil, and both of these wins came when they were one of the more dominant sides in the league. I feel that despite their lack of big game experience Derby are the better and more complete footballing side of these two finalists and that they are deserving of being the favourites. I see this match being another close game, but I am backing them to secure a return to the Premier League since their ill-fated 11 point season in 2007/08.

Back Derby to win this Championship Playoff Final against QPR and return to the Premier League @ 2.18 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Can England beat the Twenty20 world champions at The Oval?

England defeated Sri Lanka at the World T20 tournament, now can they do so again today?

England defeated Sri Lanka at the World T20 tournament, now can they do so again today?

Sri Lanka kick off their tour of England, that will see them play five ODI matches and two tests as well as today’s singular Twenty20 match, at The Oval this evening in a meeting of the two sides that won the World Twenty20 championship and the only side to defeat them in Bangladesh. Sri Lanka scorched to victory at the start of April at the tournament and, despite securing victory against the eventual champions, England’s loss to the Netherlands in the group stage saw them crash out in disgrace.

The last two months have seen big changes for England, with Paul Farbrace moving from Sri Lanka to take over the limited overs side, and after a ODI win over Scotland to their name in their only match following the World T20 competition they will be confident of a second straight win over Sri Lanka today.

England v Sri Lanka Betting Odds:

England Victory – 1.74

Sri Lanka Victory – 1.92

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

England are certainly a side capable of winning this match following their outstanding performance against the Sri Lankan side in Bangladesh that saw them set 190 runs from 20 overs to win. They overcame the long odds going into bat to secure their biggest run chase in Twenty20 history thanks to Alex Hales and today’s England captain Eoin Morgan. Hales became the first ever Englishman to secure a T20 century with 116 and Morgan added another 57 runs to the total as England took victory – their only win in Bangladesh – with four balls to spare.

However, losses to South Africa and the Netherlands, who are not exactly a top cricket nation, saw England return home with their tails between their legs. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, went from strength to strength with 59 run win over New Zealand before eliminating the West Indies at the semi-final stage and then beating India, the top ranked Twenty20 side in the world, by six wickets to claim victory.

They have since lost Paul Farbrace to their hosts in this Twenty20 clash at The Oval tonight, but they have still looked impressive as they played their way around the UK and Ireland since the start of May. They have been scheduled for five matches and although one was washed out against Ireland four of these were ODIs. Their only T20 warm up came against Sussex at Hove on Sunday and after being set 127 to win the match they breezed by the total after just nine overs and a single ball without the loss of a wicket as Kithuruwan Vithanage and Tillakaratne Dilshan scored 52 and 73 respectively to secure victory before the halfway stage of the match.

Despite being the outsiders to win this match Sri Lanka have won both T20 clashes while on tour in England and with their loss to the English in Bangladesh as well as their poaching of coach Farbrace, they will be highly motivated to win at The Oval this evening. I feel that such a difficult match for England has come too soon into the new regime and that they are undeserving of being the favourites. Sri Lanka offer the better value and I am backing the guests to secure victory this evening.

Back Sri Lanka to defeat England in this Twenty20 match at The Oval @ 1.92 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Dortmund or Bayern? Who’ll win the clash of the German titans in the DFB Pokal Final?

Dortmund celebrate Marco Reus' goal in the 3-0 win over Bayern in the league last month

Dortmund celebrate Marco Reus’ goal in the 3-0 win over Bayern in the league last month

The domestic season in Germany comes to a close this evening with the DFB Pokal final as Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich clash at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin in their second final meeting in a year. Their last clash in a final came a year ago at Wembley as Bayern Munich scored late to secure a 2-1 victory over Jurgen Klopp’s men to lift the Champions League trophy in celebration, now will they add the DFB Pokal trophy to their runaway Bundesliga victory tonight in Munich?

Dortmund v Bayern Betting Odds (Normal Time Only):

Borussia Dortmund – 3.20

Draw – 3.30

Bayern Munich – 1.99

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Dortmund have had a great time of things in the DFB Pokal this season as they are yet to concede a goal in the competition as they have all but steamrolled everyone in their path en route to this evening’s final against their biggest rivals. Only a second round match against 1860 Munich saw them need extra time to progress, but they have built from the back and they’ll be desperate to get revenge, however small in comparison, for the Champions League final loss last season. They ended the season with seven wins and one draw in their last eight games, including beating Real Madrid 2-0 as they almost came back from a 3-0 first leg loss to send the Spaniards crashing out, and winning 3-0 at the Allianz Arena against Bayern. Can they extend their unbeaten run to nine tonight?

Bayern may have runaway with the league in Germany this season as they took the title in record time, but once they had nothing left to play for they lost their way a little. Their final 12 matches of the season saw four losses and two draws, including suffering defeats to Real Madrid in the semi finals of the Champions League. They have been hit and miss at the end of this season, but the quality is still there and a cup final is sure to bring it to the fore and they will want set down a marker for next season, but with them being so inconsistent it is difficult to be sure about which side we will see tonight.

The teams have already faced each other on three occasions this season and both teams have claimed 3-0 away wins, with Bayern winning at Dortmund in November and Dortmund repeating the feat a month ago. The other match saw them clash at the start of the season in the Super Cup as Bayern were ripped apart in a 4-2 defeat in Pep Guardiola’s first match. I feel that this match will have an end of season feel to it as both sides look to close out 2013/14 campaigns in style with some attacking football and with their being 12 goals in the three meetings already this season I can see goals this evening. If pushed, I feel that Dortmund will win this trophy tonight, but the value is to be had on goals at the Olympic Stadium.

Back there to be at least four goals on the Three Goals No Bet market in this DFB Pokal Final between Dortmund and Bayern tonight @ 1.91 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Spain or Portugal to win the Sevilla v Benfica Europa League Final?

Benfica players collapse in despair after losing the Europa League Final to Chelsea last season, will tonight be different?

Benfica players collapse in despair after losing the Europa League Final to Chelsea last season, will tonight be different?

The Europa League final at the Juventus Stadium in Italy this evening is a tale of two sides with 100% records in their finals in this competition in the past, in both its UEFA Cup and Europa League guises. Sevilla come into the game having reached the final in 2006 and 2007, winning both of them, while Benfica’s two finals came 30 years apart in 1983 and last season, and both ended with the Portuguese side collecting runners up medals. Will tonight’s Sevilla v Benfica Europa League final be different for these teams?

Sevilla v Benfica Match Odds (Normal Time only):

Sevilla – 3.05

Draw – 3.10

Benfica – 2.28

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Sevilla have been hit and miss in the knockout stages of the Europa League this season as their last three ties against Real Betis, Porto and Valencia have seen them swing back and forth between progression and elimination before sneaking through to tonight’s final. Against their fellow Spaniards Betis, who have been relegated from the La Primera Liga as the bottom side in the league, Sevilla were beaten 2-0 at home before winning 2-0 on the road to force a penalty shootout and a place in the Quarter Finals. A fine second leg performance saw them overturn a 1-0 deficit to Porto as they reached the final four stage 4-2 on aggregate and after bringing a 2-0 lead to Valencia for the semi finals they needed an injury time goal to progress on away goals after a 3-3 tie. They are without a win in four games before tonight, so will their luck continue or finally run out tonight?

Benfica were beaten at the weekend too, but their 2-1 defeat away to Porto was their first loss in 14 matches and was a game that they rested players for the trip to Turin this evening. They are one of the more impressive sides in Europe this season having already won the league and league cup double and with tonight’s Europa League and the Portuguese Cup finals coming up this evening and at the weekend they stand a superb chance of ending the season with four titles to their name.

Benfica have been the more consistent of the two sides in this Spain v Portugal all-Iberian clash at the Juventus Stadium tonight with six wins and two draws on their way to the final tonight. They sent Juventus, the side who would have loved to play this final on home soil, crashing out at the semi final stage and I believe that they are the better of these two sides and they will finally end their inability to win the Europa League finals tonight.

Back Benfica to claim Europa League glory with victory tonight @ 2.28 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Man City favoured to grasp the Premier League trophy this evening!

Man City are favourites to lift the Premier League trophy once again after Liverpool's draw with Crystal Palace on Monday night

Man City are favourites to lift the Premier League trophy once again after Liverpool’s draw with Crystal Palace on Monday night

On paper it is a simple task for Manchester City to claim the 2013/14 Premier League trophy and become the champions for the second time in three years as they have to face Aston Villa and West Ham at the Etihad Stadium in their final pair of matches that, if won, will see them crowned kings of England, completing a Capital One Cup and league double. They start by welcoming the Midlanders to the blue half of Manchester this evening knowing that, thanks to Liverpool’s late concession of three goals to draw 3-3 with Crystal Palace on Monday night (something that cost me a winning bet – thanks Liverpool!), victory will see them two points clear going into the final round of matches this weekend. Can they thrive in the pressure where Liverpool failed so miserably?

Manchester City v Aston Villa Match Odds:

Man City Victory – 1.15

Draw – 8.40

Villa Victory – 16.00

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

After 17 home matches this season, City sit second in the home league table second only to Chelsea who have already completed their quota of matches at Stamford Bridge. City have two games in front of the cheering masses at the Etihad Stadium to make up two points on Jose Mourinho’s Londoners and having bagged 57 league goals this season, at an average of more than three a match, they will certainly be confident of victory this evening and to tighten their grasp on the Premier League trophy.

Villa have not had too bad of a season away from Villa Park during the 2013/14 season as they have collected 17 points from four wins and five draws – while also losing eight games – but with them averaging just a single goal per away match this season they could very well be in trouble at the Etihad this evening. They are safe from relegation, with their 3-1 win over FA Cup finalists Hull City at the weekend seeing them edge past the point that they could be reached by Norwich, but how will they react to this? Can they kick onwards or will they cruise through the final two games safe in the knowledge they have pulled it out of the fire?

I personally feel that the Villa players will feel that they have given their all during the season to ensure their safety and with this secured, as well as having lost six games in a row at the Etihad in Premier League action, they may not be as motivated for this game tonight as they may have been if they were not assured of another season in the top flight. City have certainly got more to play for tonight and I see them cruising past the floundering Midlanders on home soil tonight.

Back Manchester City to beat Aston Villa by at least three goals (City -2.5) @ 2.10 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Liverpool to put pressure on Man City in the Premier League title race at Selhurst Park tonight?

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have 50 Premier League goals this season, will they add more this evening?

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have 50 Premier League goals this season, will they add more this evening?

Tonight’s Crystal Palace versus Liverpool game at Selhurst Park sees a clash of the league’s top scorers and the league’s lowest scoring team and it is Liverpool who have much more to play for this evening. They are level with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League with both sides having two very winnable games left to play, so they know that they cannot afford to slip up tonight after a Crystal Palace side that have looked impressive under the stewardship of Tony Pulis. Liverpool have to win tonight, but can they do so?

Crystal Palace v Liverpool Match Odds:

Palace Victory – 8.00

Draw – 5.20

Liverpool Victory – 1.33

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Liverpool have had eight days off since their 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea who, according to Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, “parked two buses” at Anfield to keep a clean sheet and capitalise on a slip from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard as well as killing the game off in injury time through a breakaway by former Liverpool great Fernando Torres and Brazilian Willian. These eight days will have given the club the chance to think about the mistakes made in that match – knowing that a draw against Chelsea would have seen the title in their own hands – but can the would be champions bounce back from the disappointment of that loss?

They will not find it easy to win at Selhurst Park this evening as Palace manager Tony Pulis claimed the Manager of the Month award for April having guided the club to wins over Cardiff, Aston Villa, Everton and West Ham following victory at home to Chelsea in the final game of March. This has seen the club secure a second season in the Premier League for the first time in their history and they will can close to within three points of a place in the top half of the league going into next weekend’s final match of the season if they can upset the odds against Liverpool tonight, but with Liverpool unable to drop points in the title race will a shock result be possible?

Liverpool’s pair of strikers in Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have 50 goals in the league between them this season and this almost double the amount that Palace have scored all season, with them bagging just 28 goals in 36 games. This will certainly give Liverpool the advantage going forwards, but with Palace having three fewer goals than their guests tonight will this defensive edge see them able to get something from the game? With Sturridge out injured recently and Suarez not scoring goals as consistently as in the first two thirds of the season, there is certainly a chance of the hosts getting something from this match.

Personally, I see Liverpool edging the match at Selhurst Park tonight, but it will just that – a close game with only a goal or two in the final result. Palace will push them all the way and with Jason Puncheon showing that he can find the net lately, I see both of these sides getting on the scoresheet and my money is on goals as well as the away win this evening.

Back Liverpool to beat Crystal Palace tonight and there to be more than 2.5 goals in the game @ 1.77 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Who’ll reach the Europa League Final this evening?

Ezequiel Garay celebrates opening the scoring in Benfica's 2-1 win over Juventus in the first leg

Ezequiel Garay celebrates opening the scoring in Benfica’s 2-1 win over Juventus in the first leg

After two fantastic semi final second leg matches over the last two evenings in the Champions League where a Madrid Derby between Atlético and Real was set up thanks to 4-0 and 3-1 away wins at Bayern Munich and Chelsea respectively, this evening sees the turn of the Europa League. As things stand, it is looking as if two further Iberian sides will contest the Europa League Final at the Juventus Stadium on May 14 with Benfica and Sevilla leading Juventus and Valencia. Will it be all change in the Europa League Semi Final Second Leg matches?

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Juventus v Benfica:

Juventus – 1.56

Draw – 3.95

Benfica – 5.60

Despite the fact that Benfica hold a 2-1 advantage coming into this second leg clash of their Europa League semi final, looking at the odds for the game it is clear that GR88.com are favouring a resurgence from the side that all but tied up the Italian Serie A with a bounce back victory over Sassuolo to leave them eight points clear with three games to play. The reason for this is the outstanding home form shown by Juventus this season as they have won 22 and drawn three of their 25 matches at the Juventus Stadium and with the final happening here in less than two weeks time you can be sure that they will want to be a part of it in their hometown.

Juventus have conceded zero or one goal in 16 of their last 17 home matches and a 1-1 draw with Fiorentina in this competition is the only time they have failed to win in this run of 17 games too. They will be confident, but the current Portuguese champions are in excellent form too and they are aiming for a domestic and European quadruple this season. They already have claimed the league title and their penalty shootout win over Porto at the weekend saw them book their second domestic final appearance for this season, now all they need to do is avoid defeat tonight to ensure their progress.

They bring four clean sheets in a row on the road in all competitions into tonight’s game and they have eight shutouts in 11 away matches. With them needing to keep things tight at the back, with Juventus’ away goal seeing them able to progress with a 1-0 win, I expect this to be a tight and gritty game with few goals.

Back -2.5 goals in the Juventus v Benfica game tonight @ 1.85 with GR88.com.

Valencia v Sevilla:

Valencia – 2.14

Draw – 3.50

Sevilla – 3.00

This all Spanish clash will ensure that there will be a third team from La Primera Liga contesting a European final this season in conjunction with the two Madrid teams, and with Sevilla hitting form at the end of the season as well as holding a 2-0 lead over their compatriots it is they who are looking like progressing to the final this evening.

Neither of these two sides claimed victory at the weekend with Valencia suffering a 1-0 loss to league leaders Atlético Madrid and Sevilla beaten 3-1 away at Athletic Bilbao. Both teams have had struggles of late, with Valencia losing two of their last four at home – although these two losses are their only home defeats in 13 matches in 2014 – while Sevilla have suffered three losses in four away from home.

I feel that this match will be another close game, just like the Juventus v Benfica clash, but with them two goals behind Valencia will be the more attacking team of the two tonight and with their excellent home record this year I can see them just edging this match tonight/.

Back Valencia to beat Sevilla in their Europa League Semi Final Second Leg tonight @ 2.14 in the GR88 Sportsbook!

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Will Real’s 1-0 lead over Bayern be enough to see them reach the Champions League Final?

Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the winning goal in the first leg of this semi final.

Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the winning goal in the first leg of this semi final.

While the Champions League Semi Final between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid was expected in many parts to be an explosive goal filled extravaganza, the first leg at the Bernabeu last week was far from that. Real scored early through French striker Karim Benzema, but no more goals appeared in the final 70 minutes of the game as the Spaniards claimed the advantage with a 1-0 win. The big question is will a one goal advantage be enough to bring to the Allianz Arena this Tuesday night?

Bayern Munich v Real Madrid Odds:

Bayern – 1.70

Draw – 3.90

Real – 4.30

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Although they failed to score a goal in the first leg of this final four match in the Champions League last week, Bayern were the dominant side as they controlled much of the possession during the match in the Spanish capital. However, their final ball was completely missing and they rarely tested Iker Casillas in the home goal. They will feel that they cannot play much worse in the final third this week and the only way is up. Bayern have, however, suffered defeats on home soil to Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena this season, albeit in dead rubber games, and Real are certainly a better side than both of these teams. With it do or die time for the opportunity for retain their Champions League crown how will the hosts fare in this must win game?

Real will be reasonably happy with their endeavours last week as their performance sees them ahead at the halfway stage of the tie. They were second best in the ball retention area last week as they finished the match with just 36% possession yet they were better in every other area. They created three clear cut chances in the first half and converted one of these to secure victory while they prevented Bayern from creating any serious chances too. With both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale likely to start for Real this Tuesday evening Carlo Ancelotti’s men will fancy their chances at progression, but can their defensive unit survive a 90 minute German onslaught?

With this tie poised the way it is at the midpoint, I believe that this second leg is more likely to see the goals that were lacking last week. Real know that pushing for a goal will see the Germans needing three to progress if they do find the net, while Bayern will want to keep things tight at the back while improving on their performance in front of goal. The game will see Bayern dominant possession once again and likely win this match, but whether they can win by enough to progress is the big question and is one that I feel could go either way by the full time whistle.

Back Bayern to beat Real and there to be at least 2.5 goals in the match @ 2.40 with GR88.com

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.