Posts by antonygr88

Ronaldo and Bale to fire Real Madrid to victory over Bayern Munich?

Will the firepower of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale give Real a first leg advantage over the European champions?

Will the firepower of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale give Real a first leg advantage over the European champions?

This Wednesday sees the clash of two of the biggest names in European football as this Real Madrid v Bayern Munich clash in the Champions League Semi Finals sees a meeting of two sides that have lifted the European Cup on 14 occasions. Real have won the title on nine separate occasions, but are without a win since 2002, while Bayern have five wins including lifting the title at Wembley last season. Both teams will be desperate to claim a first leg advantage in an attempt to book their place in Lisbon for the Champions League Final at the end of May, but who is favoured for victory at the Bernabeu?

Real Madrid v Bayern Munich Odds:

Real – 2.30

Draw – 3.30

Bayern – 2.88

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

Real come into this final four match of the Champions League as one of just two sides to have gone unbeaten throughout the tournament, with their city rivals Atlético Madrid the only other team to match this feat. They will come into this match boosted having not played a match in a week since securing the Copa del Rey title over Barcelona with a stunning winning goal from Gareth Bale. Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, who is likely to return for this clash following a spell on the sidelines with injury, have scored 19 goals between them in this competition so far and they will be hunting for more goals on home soil tonight. Real are especially impressive at the Bernabeu this season with 20 wins in their last 21 games in all competitions, including scoring three against German sides Schalke and Borussia Dortmund, so will CR7 and Bale fire them to victory again?

It will not be easy for Real as they face a side that has swept the board as they have taken every trophy they have contested over last season and this. They have taken two Bundesliga titles, the German Cup, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup in this time. They do not have the standout firepower of Real Madrid’s star players and world record breaking purchases, but they have a much more rounded and balanced side overall. The question is, will this better team play see them able to neutralise the firepower of the Spanish team?

Since wrapping up the Bundesliga title early this season, Bayern’s concentration has seemed to waver with losses to Augsburg and Borussia Dortmund in recent weeks as well as managing to draw only 1-1 at Old Trafford with a subpar Manchester United despite dominating possession too. I feel that Bayern are likely to once again dominate possession in this Champions League Semi Final, but you can sure that Real will be more direct and lethal when they get the opportunity to attack Manuel Neuer in the Bayern goal.

As a result of this, I can see this match being a close but high scoring clash in the Spanish capital with both sides finding the net. However, the edge that the home support will give Ronaldo, Bale and the rest of the Real Madrid side leads me to believe that Real will just edge this first leg tie setting us up for a fantastic second leg at the Allianz Arena next Tuesday.

Back Real Madrid to beat Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu in this Champions League Semi Final first leg @ 2.30 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.

Advertisements

Atlético favoured to reach the Champions League Final ahead of Chelsea

Will Diego Costa be the striker that separates Atlético and Chelsea in these semi finals?

Will Diego Costa be the striker that separates Atlético and Chelsea in these semi finals?

And then there were four! We’re down to the final four sides in the Champions League and this week sees the first leg matches of these Semi Final games, with Atlético Madrid v Chelsea at the Estadio Vincente Calderón first up this Tuesday evening.

The Spaniards are favoured to both progress overall to the final and claim victory over the Premier League side who were upset by the bottom of the table team Sunderland at the weekend.

Atlético Madrid v Chelsea – To Progress:

Atlético – 1.88

Chelsea – 1.92

Atlético Madrid v Chelsea – First Leg Odds:

Atlético – 1.90

Draw – 3.10

Chelsea – 4.20

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

Atlético have been one of the outstanding teams of the season in Europe this season with them top of the La Primera Liga table and just two matches away from the Champions League final. They also reached the semi finals of the Copa del Rey title but had a defensive breakdown against their big city rivals, Real, as they were defeated 5-0 on aggregate. That was one of few defensive horror shows they have had this season as they bring the best defensive records in both Spain and Europe to this final four stage match with 22 goals in 34 league matches and just five in ten Champions League conceded. They have outscored visitors to the Estadio Vincente Calderón 14-3, including keeping clean sheets against Porto and Barcelona, in the Champions League this season and they will be confident of another advantage this week.

Chelsea will be concerned about their lack of goals from strikers Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba this  season as they come to one of, if not, the most difficult place to score goals in Europe. Their last three Champions League away games have seen them beaten by PSG and FC Basel as well as drawing with Galatasaray. The French and Turkish sides were faced in the knockout stages and Chelsea used their super weapon of Jose Mourinho’s tactical knowledge to turn the games around at Stamford Bridge, but with Atlético conceding so few and having the lethal goal scorers of Diego Costa and David Villa at their disposal will Mourinho’s brain be enough to see them through?

In my opinion, it will not be enough as Chelsea, although they may have the experience at this stage of the Champions League that Atlético do not thanks to winning the title two seasons ago, do not have the quality to unlock the Spaniards back line to score enough, possibly even any, goals to win this first leg. As such, I am backing the home side to secure the spoils and the advantage from this Atlético Madrid v Chelsea first leg game this Tuesday evening.

Back Atlético Madrid to beat Chelsea in this Champions League Semi Final first leg in Madrid @ 1.90 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.

Barca or Real to claim the Copa del Rey in tonight’s El Clásico?

A Lionel Messi hat-trick inspired a 4-3 Barcelona win in the last El Clásico, can the Argentine do the same tonight?

A Lionel Messi hat-trick inspired a 4-3 Barcelona win in the last El Clásico, can the Argentine do the same tonight?

The 2014 Copa del Rey tournament comes to a close this evening at Valencia’s Estadio de Mestella where Barcelona and Real Madrid will re-enact their 2011 Copa del Rey Final at this venue that saw a tight game with Real snatching victory in extra time to claim a 1-0 win. Last year saw Real beaten on home soil by city rivals Atlético Madrid and with Diego Simone’s men beaten 5-0 aggregate in the Semi Finals, they’ll be desperate to finish off what they started last season.

However, it is not the capital city side that are favoured to take victory in this evening’s final despite a crushing win over Atlético, who eliminated Barcelona from the Champions League over two legs recently, thanks to them missing talismanic attacker Cristiano Ronaldo through knee and hamstring issues. Will they upset the odds to win tonight without the Portuguese striker?

Copa del Rey Final Betting Odds:

Barcelona – 2.28

Draw – 3.40

Real – 2.58

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

Although Barcelona are favoured to beat Real Madrid this evening, are they really deserving of this favourites tag just because their opponents are missing their most important player for the match? The bookmakers clearly think so, but with away losses at Atlético Madrid and Granada in their last two games seeing them out of the Champions League and slip four points off the top of the La Primera Liga table are they now passed it? The last five games have seen Barca score more than a single goal in just one match and they are without a goal in two games before tonight. With Messi, Sanchez, Neymar, Iniesta, Xavi and the rest they still have more than enough to win any match, but with them not doing it regularly enough will they be defeated tonight and see them end the season with no silverware?

Real are not going to be as potent without CR7 in their ranks this evening, but he has not played a part in any of the sides last three matches and they have managed to score eight goals in this time. They defeated both Real Sociedad and Almeria 4-0 while also losing 2-0 to Borussia Dortmund in their second leg of the Champions League Quarter Finals. The Portuguese attacker was missed in Europe, but will the other star players in the side step up and put in the extra work. Players like Benzema, di Maria and Bale have been hit and miss at times this season, but they will just as desperate as Barcelona to win this trophy tonight in Valencia.

With the possibility of both sides matching each other in both the performing well or performing badly stakes tonight, how they have played in recent El Clásico matches could be the key to working out the winner tonight. The last six meetings between these teams have seen two wins apiece and two draws, with Barcelona winning the last two games between them, including taking a 4-3 win at the Bernabeu less than a month ago.

If the sides are equal in consistency and El Clásico performances, what could possibly separate the teams tonight? For me, Real have the better manager in Carlo Ancelotti and, while Barcelona have a perfectly good ‘A’ game if Ancelotti can outthink Martino, which he had done in March until Sergio Ramos’ red card, then this match is wide open for a Real Madrid victory. This is where my money is going on this evening’s Copa del Rey Final.

Back Real Madrid to beat Barcelona in this El Clásico and win the Copa del Rey Final @ 2.58 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.

Arsenal to win eight in a row v West Ham to reclaim 4th?

Arsenal celebrated at Wembley at the weekend, but will they celebrate tonight too?

Arsenal celebrated at Wembley at the weekend, but will they celebrate tonight too?

Sam Allardyce said in the build up to this evening’s Arsenal v West Ham clash at The Emirates Stadium in North London that they have still plenty to fear about relegation as they sit just seven points above the drop zone with four games to go after tonight. Realistically they have little to feat considering they are 11th and there are more than three teams much worse than them at this time to keep them safe even if they lose all remaining games. However, they will still be desperate to win tonight to ensure their safety and with Allardyce seeing how Wigan pushed Arsenal all the way to penalties he will be confident about firing up his charges to the extent that they give Arsenal a game in this all London Premier League clash.

Will the little fancied side from East London be able to cause a shock though?

Arsenal v West Ham Odds:

The Gunners – 1.43

Draw – 4.30

The Hammers – 7.00

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

Although they faced a long, difficult and tiring two hours, as well as penalties, at the home of English football at the weekend Arsenal will have themselves nicely worked up for this match thanks to the narrow 1-0 beating of Sunderland by Everton on Saturday saw the Merseysiders leapfrog The Gunners into the final Champions League spot. Regardless of their FA Cup Final appearance on May 16th Arsenal will want that top four place back and they have the perfect opportunity to do so against West Ham this evening.

Arsenal are unbeaten against The Hammers in seven years and 12 matches, including taking victory in each of the last seven games. They bounced back from 1-0 down at the start of the second half earlier this season to earn a comfortable 3-1 win and their home record has seen Arsenal score eight goals and concede just one in their last three clashes with West Ham at The Emirates.

West Ham have not been setting the world alight on the road this season with them taking just four away wins in 16 matches. Three of those have come in their last six away days against relegation strugglers Aston Villa, Cardiff City and Sunderland. The other away win came in North London as they ran riot against Arsenal’s biggest rivals Tottenham Hotspur and they claimed a 3-0 win, in their highlight of their away games this season.

I, personally, do not see a second North London victory for West Ham this evening as Arsenal have too much quality, even though they played 120 minutes on Saturday and West Ham have had more than week off, and they will score enough goals to win this game. However, I can also see the Arsenal defence being fragile, especially later on in the match, and I have a feeling that the smart money in this Arsenal v West Ham game is on both teams to find the net.

Back both Arsenal and West Ham to score @ 1.83 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.

It’s FA Cup Semi Final Weekend!

We're down to four teams, but who'll make the FA Cup Final this weekend?

We’re down to four teams, but who’ll make the FA Cup Final this weekend?

The home of English football, Wembley Stadium, hosts the two FA Cup Semi Finals playing this weekend and all four teams will be desperate to return and fight to lift the trophy. Whoever progresses this weekend and reaches the final on May 16th will be impressive in their own right. Arsenal have failed to win a trophy in nine years, Wigan were relegated from the Premier League after lifting the trophy last season, Hull City have never reached the FA Cup Final and this Semi Final is their first in 84 years while the final side, Sheffield United, are mid-table in League One.

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

Wigan v Arsenal Odds:

Wigan – 6.20

Draw – 4.00

Arsenal – 1.46

Arsenal may come into this match as the favourites to progress to the final, but there will be masses of pressure, both internal and external, on the side to win this match. Their last trophy came in this competition in 2005 and with them having collapsed in the league from top spot at the start of the year to fighting for fourth place winning this match, and then the final, will be the only way that Arsenal can lift a trophy this season. There is pressure from the fans too as they are unhappy at the state of affairs at The Emirates, but will victory soothe the baying horde?

Wigan will be confident coming into the game following their progression to Wembley at the expense of Manchester City, whom they defeated for a second year running, and their recent revival under Uwe Rösler that has move into the Championship playoffs as they look for an immediate return to the Premier League. City put six past Arsenal on home soil, yet Wigan managed a 2-1 win there and have a 2-0 record at Wembley over the last 12 months so will they be able to upset the odds today?

I certainly feel that with the panic that Arsenal are feeling about their lack of trophies that they will be highly motivated for this match, yet, despite the division difference in the sides, Wigan are in the better form of the two teams and have shown they can mix it with the best sides in the Premier League. I see a close game between these two teams with plenty of goals to be scored by both sides.

Back both sides to score in this Wigan v Arsenal FA Cup Semi Finals match @ 1.80 with GR88.com.

Hull v Sheffield United Odds:

Hull – 1.67

Draw – 3.25

Sheffield United – 5.00

Although two divisions separate these two teams, the betting odds for this match leave the teams closer than the first FA Cup Semi Final between Wigan and Arsenal. Both sides are sat mid-table in their respective leagues with Hull having a solid season on their return to the Premier League, while Sheffield United’s season has improved vastly of late following an awful start that left them mired in relegation trouble for the first half of the season.

The outsiders to make the final have already beaten Aston Villa and Fulham from the Premier League on their march to Wembley and their excellent form has belied their position in the third tier of English football. They have lost just two of their last 17 games before this game and they will know that whatever happens this weekend they have nothing to lose, so they have the freedom to play naturally and this may payoff for them.

Hull have been at their best in this competition this season with them having kept three clean sheets in their five matches, as only Brighton found the net against them. They know that victory today will all but assure them of a place in Europe next season, and with their Premier League safety all but assured too they will give their all to this match on the hallowed turf of Wembley.

I see this being an open and exciting game of football, but I can see the Premier League side edging victory over their League One opposition this weekend.

Back Hull to win this match by at least two goals (Hull -0.75) @ 1.88 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.

Barcelona favoured to send Atlético crashing out of the Champions League tonight!

Neymar celebrates scoring the equaliser in the first leg of the Atlético v Barcelona tie

Neymar celebrates scoring the equaliser in the first leg of the Atlético v Barcelona tie

Talk about finely poised, this Atlético Madrid v Barcelona Champions League Quarter Final could not be tighter if it tried! Tonight’s match between these two sides will be the fifth meeting of the sides sitting first and second in the La Primera Liga in Spain, and all of the previous four matches have ended level. Two of the games have ended 1-1, including the first leg of this Champions League last eight stage tie, while two have seen the games end without a goal scored.

Barcelona claimed the Super Cup from Atlético at the start of the season thanks to their away goal at the Vincente Calderón, but their second visit saw them fail to find the net. If they cannot find the net in this third match in the Spanish capital this season then Atlético will have their revenge this evening. However, the visitors and four time European Cup/Champions League winners are favoured to overcome the Spanish league leaders. Will they do so or will tonight see another Atlético upset?

Atlético v Barcelona Betting Odds:

Atlético Madrid – 3.15

Draw – 3.25

Barcelona – 2.16

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

The first leg of this tie saw an utter domination of the ball by Barcelona at the Camp Nou as they finished the match with 74% possession and they completely outstripped the capital city visitors in chances too. Barcelona managed 12 shots, half of which were on target, while Atlético could manage a total of just two in the entire match. Yet it was the visitors who were more clinical despite losing their key player in Diego Costa after just 30 minutes of the game.

The Brazilian born player, who will be part of the Spanish national side for the World Cup in his homeland this summer, has been named in the squad for tonight’s game but he is still a doubt to play in front of his own fans. Midfielder Arda Turan is definitely out for the hosts this evening. Despite these injuries issues, Atlético will feel that they can still progress this evening thanks to a defence that has seen them concede just 22 times in 32 league games and just five times in nine Champions League matches, giving them the best totals in both competitions.

They have also shut out Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi on all four occasions that they have clashed this season, while their backs to the wall defensive performance in the second half of the first leg will have given them massive amounts of confidence and belief that they can reach the Semi Finals this evening. Barcelona have lost two of their four away games since beating Manchester City 2-0 on their way to this Quarter Final berth in Europe’s top club football competition.

They were beaten 3-1 at Real Sociedad and 1-0 at relegation threatened Real Valladolid, but have bounced back with a 4-3 El Clásico victory at the Bernabeu over ten man Real Madrid and a 1-0 win over local rivals Espanyol, who also finished with ten men, in their last two away games. With the way that Atlético defend, it may be essential that the Madrid side see a red card if Barcelona are to progress too!

I, personally, believe that, even with the close odds between these two teams, that this match will be closer than the odds suggest and the game could be settled on the first leg score or by a single goal in what promises to be a cagey and tight game. As a result of this, my money is again on few goals between Atlético Madrid and Barcelona this evening.

Back 0/1 goals in the Two Goals No Bet Market on this Atlético Madrid v Barcelona match this evening @ 2.62 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 Dortmund repeat last season’s home win over Real to reach the Champions League Semis?

Cristiano Ronaldo equalled the record for most Champions League goals in the first leg, now can he break it in the second leg?

Cristiano Ronaldo equalled the record for most Champions League goals in the first leg, now can he break it in the second leg?

The first leg of this Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid Champions League Quarter Final blew away the horrific memories of last season’s Semi Final clash between these teams for Real Madrid as their 3-0 win, courtesy of goals from Gareth Bale, Isco and the Champions League top scorer for this season Cristiano Ronaldo, saw them put one foot into the final four stage. However, this week sees them return to Signal-Iduna-Park where they suffered a Robert Lewandowski led 4-1 hammering last season so will they completely banish these nightmares with a second leg victory?

Dortmund v Real Betting Odds:

Borussia Dortmund – 3.15

Draw – 3.45

Real Madrid – 2.10

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

The first leg of this tie saw Dortmund hampered at the Santiago Bernabeu due to the fact that last season’s key player in the meetings between these two sides, Robert Lewandowski, was missing through suspension. However, he is back and will start this match as the focal point of the German side’s attack, but can he bag another four goals to see Dortmund progress at the expense of the Spaniards yet again? He did score in the 2-1 home win against Wolfsburg at the weekend, so he will be confident of being on target, but with Sebastian Kehl suspended and first choice goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller doubtful do they have enough to overturn a three goal deficit?

Real are having injury issues of their own with Cristiano Ronaldo missing the weekend 4-0 demolition of Real Sociedad as he was rested due to a knee injury and that Sociedad game saw Gareth Bale leave the field after taking a knock on his knee. Both are doubtful for this match, although Ronaldo is back in training, and if one or both of these two key players are unable to make the match day squad for this Dortmund v Real match then it will certainly give the hosts a massive boost before a ball has been kicked.

However, despite the injury concerns that Real may have for this match they are still the stronger of the two teams and with them unbeaten in the Champions League this season while Dortmund have suffered losses to Arsenal and Zenit St. Petersburg on home soil, the smart money for this Champions League Quarter Final second leg clash is on the away side. Especially as you can be sure that CR7 will push hard to ensure he is ready for this game to find the net and break Lionel Messi’s Champions League goal record.

Back Real Madrid to beat Borussia Dortmund in this Champions League Quarter Final @ 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.

Zlatan to give PSG the edge over Chelsea in Paris?

With ten goals in the Champions League this season with Zlatan Ibrahimovic fire PSG to glory against Chelsea?

With ten goals in the Champions League this season with Zlatan Ibrahimovic fire PSG to glory against Chelsea?

The Parc des Princes hosts a massive match this evening and two of Europe’s top spending clubs go head to head for a slender advantage for the second leg at Stamford Bridge next week, but what will be the difference between the two sides? For me it is the fact that PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored ten times himself in this competition so far, with his team mates adding another 12 goals, while Chelsea have scored just 15 goals in total with their top scorers being Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o with three goals each.

GR88.com believe that this will be the difference too as they favour a home win this evening in the French capital.

PSG v Chelsea Odds:

PSG – 1.98

Draw – 3.10

Chelsea – 3.85

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

Not only do PSG have a more in-form striker and have scored more goals than their guests tonight, they have a fantastic record in front of their own fans at the Parc des Princes too. They have won each of their last five home games and have conceded just a single goal in this time, while they have lost just once in 22 games on home soil this season. They have kept clean sheets in more than half of these 22 matches, so they will be certainly confident of keeping out a relatively goal shy Chelsea side while their Swedish striker conducts his magic up front.

Chelsea  will not be particularly confident coming into this match, to be totally honest, as they could manage just a 1-1 draw with Turkish side Galatasaray in the last 16 stage of the Champions League away from home and they won just one of their last six away games in all competitions. Most worryingly is the fact that they have failed to score in either of their last two away games as they were beaten by Aston Villa and Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

If Chelsea could not defeat these bottom half sides from the English league, how will they fare against a side currently top of the French Ligue 1 with a 13 point lead? I feel that Chelsea are lacking, especially up front, with their two top scorers in the Champions League in Torres and Eto’o having a combined total of just more than half of Zlatan’s goals so far and the smart money in this PSG v Chelsea game is going on the home win tonight.

Back PSG to beat Chelsea at Parc des Princes tonight @ 1.98 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.

Barcelona heavily favoured to beat Atlético in the Champions League

Will Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi make the difference at the Camp Nou?

Will Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi make the difference at the Camp Nou?

While the Manchester United v Bayern Munich Champions League Quarter Final clash will attract plenty of attention as the transitional Premier League side take on the all conquering Bundesliga champions at Old Trafford this evening, the all La Primera Liga  Barcelona v Atlético Madrid clash at the Camp Nou is going to be the more intriguing clash of the night.

These two teams have already faced each other on three occasions this season and all three matches were draws. The 1-1 draw at the Estadio Vincente Calderón in the Super Cup was followed by a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou so it was Barcelona who claimed that particular trophy on away goals. Their first meeting in the league was also at the home of Atlético and that saw no goals between the two teams, yet despite the lack of goals and ability for either side to claim a winner the bookmakers clearly see Barcelona claiming the advantage in front of their own fans in this Champions League Quarter Final.

Barcelona v Atlético Madrid Odds:

Barcelona – 1.51

Draw – 4.00

Atlético – 6.40

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

Although they managed to draw with AC Milan and lose to Ajax in the Champions League this season, Barcelona have managed to win each of their home games so far scoring 15 goals and conceding just three in their four matches so far. In fact their overall home form at the Camp Nou, even when they were slipping up on the road, has been outstanding. Since drawing 0-0 with their opponents in this Champions League match at the end of August they have won 21 out 22 matches in front of their fans, losing only to Valencia.

This makes Atlético just one of two sides to avoid defeat at Barcelona this season and with them having the psychological advantage of leading them in the La Primera Liga title race this season they will fancy their chances in this first leg Quarter Final. Atlético, along with their city rivals Real Madrid, are unbeaten in the Champions League this season having won five of their six group matches, as well as drawing with Zenit St Petersburg in Russia, before booking their place in this last eight stage game by doing what Barcelona failed to do in beating AC Milan as they followed up a 1-0 win at the San Siro with a 4-1 thumping on home soil.

Can either of these sides actually win this match following three straight draws? If either side is to do so I feel that Barcelona’s experience at this stage of the competition will be a massive advantage, as will the scoring ability of Lionel Messi. The Argentine striker has eight in this competition so far, but Atlético have their own star striker this season in the Brazilian born Diego Costa. He has played 75 minutes fewer than Messi, but has just one fewer goal and with 25 goals in the league, he has bagged two more than Messi in that competition.

Will there be goals from these two star strikers? Will there be a winner? The two sides have cancelled each other out all three times already this season and I feel that this match will be another close one. As a result of this, I am backing Atlético to get something from this match to bring to the Estadio Vincente Calderón for the second leg.

Back Atlético/Draw Double Chance in this Champions League Quarter Final match against Barcelona @ 2.58 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.

Juventus or Napoli to win their Serie A top three clash this weekend?

Fernando Llorente celebrates opening the scoring in Juventus' 3-0 home win over Napoli earlier this season

Fernando Llorente celebrates opening the scoring in Juventus’ 3-0 home win over Napoli earlier this season

The biggest game happening in Italy this weekend is the clash of the sides sitting in first and third places in Serie A as Juventus look to continue their march towards their third successive top division title and Napoli wish to close the gap on Roma in second place, and the final automatic Champions League spot.

Napoli have lost just twice at the Stadio San Paolo all season in domestic football, while Juventus have been defeated just once on the road so I’m expecting this to be a close match between two good sides. GR88.com agree with this assessment of the game and they too are backing a tight game between the teams this Sunday evening.

Napoli v Juventus Odds:

Napoli – 2.74

Draw – 3.10

Juventus – 2.46

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

It will be a stretch for Napoli to catch Roma in second place in the league as they are six points behind them at this time having played an extra match. They had actually recently looked like catching them after an 81st minute Callejón winner at the Stadio San Paolo at the start of March but, after following that up with a 1-0 win at Torino, they threw away all their good work by losing 1-0 at home to Fiorentina. That loss was their second home defeat of the season in the league and while they have not lost too many at home in Serie A they have been massively inconsistent since November in front of their own fans. This has cost them as they have tried to move up to second place as they have lost two and drawn three of their last nine at home, while never recording the same result two games in a row.

Juventus will be confident about breaking that pattern for Napoli as they eased past them in November on home soil as they scored in the second, 74th and 80th minutes before seeing Angelo Ogbonna red carded seven minutes from time as they cruised to a 3-0 win. They also bring into this match a two month and 14 match unbeaten run that has seen them win each of their last four matches, including winning all of their last five games on the road without conceding a single goal. Confidence will be sky high for the league leaders, now can they all but assure a third straight title by ensuring their lead at the top of the table stays at least 14 points?

Juventus do not have the best of records away at Napoli following an eight match and 14 year winless streak that has seen Napoli win half of those games, drawing the other four. The last two meetings at the Stadio San Paolo have seen draws, but with Napoli being massively inconsistent at home over the last few months and having scored just two goals in their last three on home soil I cannot see them managing to get anything against the best side in the league this weekend. The fact that Juventus are available at better than evens odds makes them even more tempting too.

Back Juventus to beat Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo @ 2.46 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.