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  • Chris Sobey

Football


A huge night and result in the Premier League relegation battle last night as third from bottom Cardiff City who were five points a drift of Brighton prior to last nights match faced them at the Amex Stadium in a relegation six pointer and it was the Bluebirds who pulled off the upset even though Brighton dominated possession and emerged victorious thanks to important strikes in both half’s from Mendez-Laing and after the break from Morrison to make it 2-0 and a huge task for Brighton to try and turn the game round.

In the UEFA Champions League last night Ajax pulled off another huge shock with an impressive come from behind 1-2 win in Turin against mighty Italian giants Juventus. Things looked ominous for the visitors when star man Ronaldo added to his impressive tally of European goals early in the second.

However, the de Godenzonen proved in their last away tie against reigning champions Real Madrid at the Bernebeau when they shocked the world thrashing them 4-1 and they showed similar resilience, confidence and quality again last night and really put pressure on Juventus when they took a shock lead midway through the second half through de Ligt which meant Juventus now had to score twice without conceding.

With the game in its closing stages it was too steep a mountain to climb even for the Italian giants and the great Ronaldo and Ajax now move on to the quarter finals and will face Manchester City or Spurs and I don’t think whoever progresses tonight will fancy taking on Ajax the way they are playing at present but a clash between two big clubs like Ajax and City does have the potential to be a blockbuster encounter.

This Ajax side does not possess any world greats in their line-ups at present but their play and system is based on the principles and ethos of the club and total football which the players are now really comfortable and especially confident with and each other and this makes them serious challengers for the title in my eyes.

In the other tie Manchester United were given a stark reminder of how far off they are the top European level as they were torn apart by Barcelona at Old Trafford and it was the Messi show again with two first half strikes after about quarter of an hour gone within four minutes which hot United hard an they never really recovered from this early shock and ended up fading out and losing 3-0 on the night.

The second legs of the UEFA Champions League quarter finals action are completed tonight, and UK fans are in for a blockbuster treat involving three of England’s Premier League remaining teams. The match of the night is obviously the all English tie between Manchester City and Spurs at the Etihad and City have a one goal leg deficit to overcome, Spurs will desperately miss top-scorer and club and England captain Kane who is out injured again and this will be the first time they’ve played at Spurs new super stadium.

In terms of historical corresponding fixtures in all competitions there’s not much between the two teams with City winning eight of the last twenty and Spurs nine and three draws. City have faired better over the last decade winning seven of the last ten and eight of the matches featured two or more goals and six featured both teams scoring and over 2.5 goals.

City have been in blistering form at home winning their last ten matches in all competitions averaging four goals per game and conceding just once. Spurs have struggled on their travels of late winning four of their last ten in all competitions, they’ve lost five of their last six and the only win was a 1-0 away win against Dortmund in the Champions League.

From a betting perspective previous corresponding encounters points to a City win and goals so you can consider Manchester City and BTTS and/or if you’re searching for a higher price you can consider Rose To be Shown a Card for Spurs if he starts and/or Min Anytime Goals Scorer for Spurs.

The other game is Liverpool at Porto in the Estádio do Dragão and the Reds head into the match with a commanding 2-0 advantage from the first-leg and I expect Klopp will be happy to rest some of his big stars and set up to ensure they maintain there comfortable two goal lead. Many will remember Liverpool’s 5-0 romp against Porto last season in this competition and it’s certain they won’t want to be humiliated in that manner again, but it depends on the team’s approach. Do the go for it with the two-goal deficit and risk an early away goal for the Reds or sit tight and try and pick Liverpool off without conceding and maybe stretch their luck to extra -time.

From a betting perspective I think it will be a tight game with Liverpool happy to control possession and try and frustrate Porto which could make them more desperate if they aren’t making much impact and this could lead to some bookings, possibly a red card and/or a penalty. Backing Porto centre backs Pepe and/or Felipe To be Shown a Card is worth considering if they start and Felipe’s already picked up nine this season. Also, Liverpool have a kept a clean sheet in their last three competitive matches against Porto and this could prove a profitable bet again and/or Liverpool Win to Nil match double are both worth considering

Selections:

None.


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