From The Trading Floor (16)

From The Trading Floor

Join Jay and Dazn Bet’s trading team as they bring you the pick of this week’s sports bets in “From The Trading Floor”

 

Chelsea v Real Madrid – UEFA Champions League – 20:00 – April 18

The second legs of this seasons’ Champions League Quarter Finals will take place this week to determine the last four in Europe’s elite club competition. On Tuesday evening, Napoli will be aiming to turn around a one goal deficit when they host AC Milan. Whilst at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea need to produce something special following a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the first leg of the tie.

Chelsea, however, are no strangers to springing a surprise on the Spanish giants. At the same stage last season the Blues travelled to the Bernabeu having lost the opening leg by two goals. They found themselves leading 3-0 entering the last quarter of an hour, but would concede late on, before eventually being knocked out of the competition courtesy of a Karim Benzema goal during extra time.

New interim manager Frank Lampard will be hoping that his side can produce something similar once more, but his side will need a remarkable upturn in performance if they want to stand any chance of creating some magic in West London.

Despite scoring their first goal since March, Chelsea fell to a 2-1 home defeat against Brighton at the weekend, taking them on a run of six games without a victory for the second time this season.

Real will travel to England having bounced back to form in La Liga on Saturday following a 2-0 win at Cadiz, their fourth victory to nil in their last five outings, and they’ll be eager to avoid a possible repeat of last season’s dramatic events against the same opposition.

I personally can’t see the hosts getting much out of this one. There’s been little to suggest to me that there’s any real prospect of an upset occurring and, if anything, I believe that Real Madrid are going to try and ensure they get the job done on the night. Chelsea are nowhere near the same team they were last season, and I can only see them falling to another defeat when the two sides meet on Tuesday night.

 

Traders’ Tip: Real Madrid to Win @ 6/4. A £10 bet at these odds could return £25.

 

 

Inter Milan v Benfica – UEFA Champions League – 20:00 – April 19

With Manchester City taking a comfortable three goal cushion to Munich, I thought it would be an idea opportunity to look at the other Champions League tie taking place on Wednesday evening, where Inter Milan will be aiming to secure an all-Italian semi-final when they welcome Portuguese leaders Benfica to the San Siro.

Inter hold a 2-0 advantage over their opposition heading in to this one, but this really looks to be a tale of two teams who have struggled to find form in recent weeks.

The visitors will travel to Italy on the back of three straight defeats, including their loss at home to Inter last week, the most recent coming in a 1-0 defeat at mid-table Chaves on Saturday afternoon. They do, however, still maintain a four point lead at the top of Liga Portugal ahead of fierce rivals Porto.

Inter’s victory over Benfica ended a run of six matches without a victory, but they couldn’t replicate that form at the weekend as they fell to a home defeat to Monza on their return to league action. Internazionale currently sit fifth in Serie A, two points behind fourth placed city rivals AC Milan.

With both teams out of sorts, it feels like this tie could still be very much alive as a contest, but Inter’s woes have been in the shooting department, rather than as a defensive unit. The Italian side have only conceded more than a single goal over 90 minutes once in their last 20 outings, something Benfica will need to overcome if they want to stand any chance of progression. With a comfortable lead heading in to the fixture, I would be expecting the hosts to draw on their relatively strong defensive record, and aim to frustrate their opponents for the match, whilst holding on to their advantage. A low scoring encounter definitely could be on the cards, with the value choice for this one being less than three goals in the match.

 

Traders’ Tip: Under 2.5 Goals @ 17/20. A £10 bet at these odds could return £18.50.

 

 

West Ham v Gent – UEFA Europa Conference League – 20:00 – April 20

Following their 1-1 draw in Belgium last week, both teams will still feel like they have a decent chance of progressing to the semi-finals of this season’s Europa Conference League when they lock horns once more at the London Stadium.

As mentioned last week, West Ham did head in to that encounter with a 100% record in Europe this season, but Gent more than match their English counterparts as both sides ended up sharing the spoils in a very even contest from start to finish.

With no team holding the upper hand, West Ham will need to secure a victory if they want to book their spot in the last four, and home advantage should play to their advantage on Thursday evening.

The Hammers were able to come back from 2-0 down at home to Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday, eventually leaving with a 2-2 draw, increasing the gap between themselves at the bottom three to four points in the process. It has, in fact, been their home form which has kept them very much alive domestically this season, with six of their eight Premier League wins coming at the London Stadium.

Gent have proven themselves to be no pushovers, they are currently unbeaten in nine, but I still echo the same sentiments as last week in my belief that there should be a relatively decent gulf between the two teams. West Ham weren’t able get the job done in Belgium, with Gent proving to be very much their equals, but it remains to be seen whether or not the visitors can replicate that performance once more in the absence of their home supporters.

I am willing to take a similar stance once again, and would expect to see the Hammers progress to the last four with a victory over Gent, but I am hopeful they can do it with a relatively comfortable margin this time around

 

Traders’ Tip: West Ham -1.5 @ 17/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £27.

 

 

Parramatta Eels v Brisbane Broncos – NRL – 11:00 – April 21

After seven rounds of the regular season the NRL is starting to take shape and there’s plenty of action to look forward to again over the coming weekend.

Friday sees the 12th placed Parramatta Eels host the NRL current leaders, the Brisbane Broncos.

I mentioned at the start of the season how head coach Kevin Walters had been steadily improving the Broncos during his time in charge and that I could see them starting this season with promise, and they have very much lived up to that billing with six wins from their opening seven games. They are the top scoring team heading in to the weekend, averaging almost 30 points per game, and enter this fixture following a 43-26 win over the Titans, bouncing back from a 14-20 loss to the Canberra Raiders a week prior.

Parramatta started the season with three straight defeats, but they have since picked up three wins from four outings to get themselves in to a reasonable position on the ladder. Their 30-4 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs last week was their strongest showing of the season so far, albeit against a much depleted Bulldogs side.

With both teams entering this fixture in pretty scoring decent form, it should prove to be one of the more exciting NRL encounters over ANZAC weekend. Although the Eels have improved over the last few weeks, I would find it difficult to oppose a Broncos side I have been impressed with up to this point and one that has the ability to create scoring opportunities right across the field. This fixture will actually be taking place in Darwin, over 4,000km away from Parramatta’s usual Commbank Stadium, and I believe this extended journey for the ‘hosts’ could also play to the advantage of the Broncos. I’m siding with Brisbane covering the small handicap in what I’m hoping will be a high scoring encounter

                

Traders’ Tip: Brisbane Broncos -3.5 @ 5/6. A £10 bet at these odds could return £18.33.

 

 

Manchester City v Sheffield United – FA Cup – 16:45 – April 22

This Saturday will see the first of this season’s FA Cup Semi-Finals get underway as (potential) treble chasing Manchester City take on Championship club Sheffield United for a place in June’s final.

Man City will be entering this one on the back of their midweek Champions League exploits against Bayern Munich. Prior to their encounter in Germany, the Manchester club had been in scintillating form, scoring 27 goals in their previous six fixtures, with thirteen of these being scored by Norwegian striker Erling Haaland.

Sheffield United currently find themselves lying second in the Championship table, on the brink of a return to Premier League football next season, and Saturday’s encounter will prove to be a real test of how well they can compete with one of the best clubs in world football.

The FA Cup does have a long standing tradition of providing surprises and this season has been no exception, with five Premier League teams losing to lower league opposition, most notably Southampton’s 2-1 home defeat against fourth tier Grimsby Town. Whilst Sheffield United have also disposed of Tottenham Hotspur en-route to this stage of the competition. However, I look at this fixture and I really fear for the Blades.

City’s current run of form seems almost impossible to stop, and they have shown little sign of abating when faced with lower league opposition. In the last round they managed to put six past a Burnley team that has already secured top spot in the Championship, and I honesty have no reason to believe that this won’t also be one-way traffic from start to finish.

Man City are just far too good, and I can see them easily winning this one by at least a four goal margin.

                

Traders’ Tip: Manchester City -3.5 @ 9/4. A £10 bet at these odds could return £32.50.

 

 

Brighton v Manchester United – FA Cup – 16:30 – April 23

Whilst one side of Manchester seems to have a relatively straightforward passage to the final, Man United will have to overcome one of the surprise packages of this season’s Premier League, in the form of Brighton.

The Seagulls have been very impressive during this campaign. They will enter this fixture sitting seventh in the table, despite losing their manager to Chelsea after just a couple of months, and they are very much within touching distance of qualifying for a European club competition for the first time in their history. Recent World Cup winning midfielder Mac Allister has been talismanic to their cause to date, with ten goals for his club during the 2022/23 season, whilst 18 year old striker Evan Ferguson looks set to be a potential star for the future, with eight goals to his name during this campaign.

Brighton will also enter this fixture fresh off a 2-1 victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and also having lost just twice in the 17 games they have played during 2023.

Manchester United do have a Europa League Quarter Final tie with Sevilla to play on Thursday night but, regardless of that result, they been a tough team to beat since the conclusion of the World Cup in December. Their only losses in the Premier League since then have come away to Arsenal, Newcastle, and THAT game against Liverpool. They find themselves sitting third in the league as a result, and look well set to be playing Champions League football once again next season.

Man United have already tasted success at Wembley this season too, having won the EFL Cup back in February, and they’ll be hoping to secure another domestic cup final appearance by overcoming Brighton on Sunday.

Despite the impressive nature of their season to date, I still find it surprising that Brighton are currently the favourites to progress to the final. They have been in solid form since the turn of the year, and they beat their opponents during the opening weekend of the season, but Man United have shown themselves to be a very strong team for the majority of the season. It does feel like a game that’s pretty evenly poised but, in my mind, it’s the Red Devils that look the more likely to progress and, for that reason, I have to take them to come out on top as a result.

 

Traders’ Tip: Manchester United To Qualify @ Evens. A £10 bet at these odds could return £20.

 

A £10 6-Fold on the above selections could return £1,488.09

 

*Odds correct at the time of publishing. Available to UK residents (excluding Northern Ireland) aged 18+ only. T&Cs apply. www.begambleaware.org

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