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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Champions League Quarter Final Draw

Can Bayern Munich retain the Champions League following a favourable Quarter Final draw?

Can Bayern Munich retain the Champions League following a favourable Quarter Final draw?

We’re down to eight sides in the Champions League following the completion of the last 16 stage second legs this week that saw an amazing comeback from Manchester United as they lost the first leg in Greece to Olympiakos 2-0 before winning 3-0 at Old Trafford. That was the big story in the last stage, but which matches will make the headlines in the Quarter Finals?

Champions League Quarter Final Draw:

Barcelona v Atlético Madrid: 1.45 – 4.30 – 7.00

Man United v Bayern Munich: 6.20 – 2.54 – 1.92

PSG v Chelsea: 1.98 – 3.10 – 3.85

Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund: 1.34 – 5.00 – 8.80

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

Barcelona v Atlético Madrid:

This match promises to be one of the ties of the round as both sides are separated by just a single point in the Spanish La Primera Liga, with Atlético a point ahead of Barca, and all three meetings between the two have finished level this season. This tie will surely be another close affair, but will Barcelona’s experience at this stage of the Champions League see them through? The betting odds certainly suggest they’ll win this first leg.

Man United v Bayern Munich:

While David Moyes will have been delighted to upset the odds to progress in front of the Old Trafford faithful during the weekend and give themselves a boost with matches against West Ham and Man City coming up, he could not have imagined a worse draw in the Quarter Finals. The European champions are running away with the Bundesliga this season and have already won twice in England this season, seeing off Man City and Arsenal – both of whom are much better sides that United this season – so the value on Bayern to win at Old Trafford is very tempting.

PSG v Chelsea:

The Paris Saint-Germain versus Chelsea tie will be another close match as two of the biggest spending sides remaining in the competition clash at Parc des Princes and Stamford Bridge. It will be their first competitive clash in almost a decade following Chelsea’s 3-0 win in France and then a 0-0 draw in London during the group stages in the 04/05 season. Both sides are in excellent form right now and the match could go either way, but will the goal scoring prowess of Zlatan Ibrahimovic swing it for the French team? Or will Jose Mourinho’s masterful tactical abilities see the Premier League side progress to the Semi Finals?

Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund:

Dortmund got the better of Real last season as they claimed a 4-3 aggregate victory to book their place in the final at Wembley against Bayern Munich, but with them a massive 23 points behind Bayern in the Bundesliga and Real top of the La Primera Liga table this season things may very well be different. Real will certainly be motivated for revenge and with them having the home leg first this time around, coupled with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in ‘fire at will’ mode right now, as shown by two goals each on their last visit to Germany where they defeated Leverkusen 6-1, this could very well be the last stop for Dortmund this season.

Which way will you be betting? I feel that Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are certain to progress to the Semi Finals, while PSG will just edge Chelsea to progress and I believe that away goals will decide the Barcelona v Atlético tie, with Barcelona’s experience just seeing them through.

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.

Real Madrid to cruise into the Champions League Quarter Finals?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale bagged four of Real Madrid's six first leg goals in Germany

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale bagged four of Real Madrid’s six first leg goals in Germany

As far as I am, and pretty much every football fan in the world is, concerned this Champions League last 16 stage tie between Real Madrid and Schalke is all but over following braces from Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at the Veltins-Arena three weeks ago before Klaas Jan Huntelaar pulled a consolation goal back for the Germans. Six away goals for the Spaniards, who are looking like one of the favourites to win the Champions League this season, should be enough for them, right? But with the El Clásico at home to Barcelona coming up at the weekend will they believe that a five goal cushion will be enough and will they step off the gas tonight?

The bookmakers do not believe so and the GR88.com Real Madrid v Schalke betting odds reflect these thoughts.

Real Madrid v Schalke Betting Odds:

Real Madrid – 1.23

Draw – 6.40

Schalke – 12.00

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

Not only do Real have a five goal advantage over their German opponents this evening, but when they welcome Schalke to the Bernabeu this evening they have the confidence of a 16 match winning streak in front of their own fans to back them up. On top of this they have recorded nine clean sheets in their last ten home matches, with only Villarreal managing to find the net in this corner of the Spanish capital since Galatasaray managed to score in a 4-1 defeat almost four months ago. With the likes of CR7 and Gareth Bale running rings around the German backline in the first leg, even if they ease up will they prove to be far too good for Schalke tonight?

After their heavy home defeat at the Veltins-Arena to Carlo Ancelotti’s men three weeks ago things did not improve after the match as they had to face German champions Bayern Munich in the next match and they were promptly beaten 5-1. Since then though Schalke have won their last two matches scoring six goals against Hoffenheim and Augsburg, but these two sides sit mid-table in the Bundesliga and Schalke have shown that they are hopelessly outclassed against the best sides in Europe already.

As well as their poor form against the top sides Schalke have scored just one goal in their three away matches in the Champions League this season, while they face a Cristiano Ronaldo that has scored 32 goals in 25 matches in this competition, including having 11 this season alone. Real have not lost in 15 home Champions League ties in almost three years and I cannot see anything but a comprehensive victory for the hosts tonight, even if they rest players, against their German visitors.

Back Real Madrid to beat Schalke by at least three goals (Real -2) @ 2.08 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.