Odds Boosts and Betting Tips on Spurs v Man City, Ajax v Juventus & Man United vs Barcelona
The Champions Leagues returns this week with Quarter Finals being played across Tuesday & Wednesday evening. Take this chance to bet on 3 of the best 8 clubs in world football at odds of 10% better than you can find elsewhere.
Spurs v Man City
This all English affair pits reigning league champions and big spending City against a Tottenham side looking to make it a memorable European home coming for them at their new £1 billion stadium. The problem for Spurs beyond having to play one of the most accomplished sides in world football is that they have a particularly poor record against City over the last couple of years culminating in them losing their past 4 encounters. During that time Pochettino has experimented with a variety of tactics including pressing City high up the pitch and defending deep in numbers before looking to spring a counter attack but to no avail. Spurs probably did deserve a point at home to City earlier in the season but their finishing let them down allowing City to escape with a 1-0 win. However, beyond that close encounter City have generally found it easy to score goals against the hosts, netting 2 or more goals in 4 of their last 5 matches against the North London club.
There is no doubt that Spurs do have the advantage of having had some extra time off to rest and prepare for this match with City having booked their place in the FA Cup final with a victory over Brighton on Saturday evening. This match represents City's 52nd competitive match of the season as they chase an unprecedented quadruple. The visitors though will be buoyed by the news that top scorer Sergio Aguero looks likely to be available to add to his 29 goals this season.
This is only Spurs 2nd appearance at this stage of the Champions League with their previous match having finished in a 5-0 aggregate defeat against Real Madrid 8 years ago. By comparison, Pep Guardiola is just 1 win away from equalling the record jointly held by Ferguson, Ancelotti and Mourinho of 27 wins in CL knockout matches.
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Ajax v Juventus
Ajax have been very much the surprise package of this season's Champions League - just ask Real Madrid whom they beat 4-1 at the Bernabéu to overcome a 1-2 home defeat. That loss to Madrid represents Ajax's only defeat in the competition this year and their only loss at home any contest during 2018/19.
Perhaps one advantage that Juve have over their hosts in that the Scudetto is essentially already won while Ajax are still fighting it out with bitter rivals PSV for the Dutch title. That breathing room has allowed the Turin based team to rest and rotate but the likelihood is that they will be without talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo at least for this first leg. Given his performance against Atletico in the last round and his overall penchant for the big occasion that is a massive loss for Juve as they look to win their first European Cup since 1996.
With CR7 missing and this relatively young Ajax side having little to lose, I expect them to throw caution to the win here and look to take a lead into the 2nd leg. We have seen Juventus stutter away from home already in this year's competition with defeats at Young Boys and Atletico Madrid so while the Italians are undoubtedly the favourites to progress they can hardly be seen as infallible.
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Man United v Barcelona
For me and most football fans regardless of who they support this is probably the tie of the round. The glamour fixture between 2 footballing giants that is exactly what the Champions League is all about.
Manchester United looked dead and buried against PSG before one of the best and most dramatic comebacks they have managed in many a year. Since then Ole Gunnar has been appointed permanent boss but the results haven't been going to plan. Defeats to Arsenal and Wolves have seen them slip back to 6th in the league and they were also beaten by the later in the FA Cup. With big matches against City and Chelsea to come after these games against Barcelona, April is going to be a make or break month for the Red Devils.
After a surprise 4-4 draw at Villarreal last week, Barcelona returned to normality with a 2-0 victory over nearest rivals Atletico Madrid to essentially seal yet another La Liga title. Neither side has been particularly good at the back this year with United having conceded more than any other side in the EPL's top 6 and despite their lofty league position Barcelona averaging a goal against every game. As such, you'd expect to see some goals in this fixture, a belief that is born out by the fact that Barcelona have scored in 10 of their last 12 meetings with United. Recent history is also against United who lost the 2009 and 2011 finals to the same opposition.
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