From The Trading Floor (19)

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”

Real Madrid v Manchester City – UEFA Champions League – 20:00 – May 9

The first semi final of this season’s UEFA Champions League takes place at the iconic Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Tuesday night when Real Madrid welcome Manchester City to the Spanish capital.
Real Madrid are the current reigning champions of Europe’s elite club competition, and they overcame Man City at the same stage last season following a 3-1 extra time victory at the same venue last May. They will also enter this fixture fresh off their recent Copa Del Rey success on Saturday, where Brazilian forward Rodrygo grabbed both of their goals in a 2-1 victory over Osasuna. However, their recent form has seen them lose three of their last six matches in La Liga, leaving them third in the table, and chasing city rivals Atletico for a second placed finish.

Man City continued their march towards the Premier League title following a 2-1 victory over Leeds United at the weekend. The Citizens now need just three more league victories from their remaining four fixtures to secure their third successive top flight crown.

The Bernabeu is a daunting place for any opposition club, but the visitors have shown that they aren’t afraid of any opposition over the past three months. With Man City unbeaten in their last 20 outings, and goals flowing for record striker Erling Haaland, who has recently set the record for most goals scored in a Premier League season, it’s hard to see how Real Madrid can tame a side that manager Pep Guardiola has guided to the brink of an historic treble.

Tuesday will be a huge test for both clubs, Real Madrid will need a very strong showing of resilience, whilst Man City will be hoping to continue to maintain the momentum which has many believing that they can pick up their first Champions League trophy. City have drawn the away leg of their previous two ties in the competition, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same result on Tuesday night, ahead of a huge showdown at the Etihad in a week’s time.

 

Traders’ Tip: Draw @ 13/5. A £10 bet at these odds could return £36.

 

 

AC Milan v Inter Milan –UEFA Champions League – 20:00 – May 10

Whilst Tuesday’s encounter is between two teams who would have been expected to go deep in this season’s Champions League. Wednesday will see the first of two ties at the San Siro to determine which of Milan’s two elite clubs will travel to Turkey to compete in the final in June.

It’s been five years since an Italian club has even appeared at this stage of the competition, but there’s guaranteed to be a Serie A club in next month’s showpiece courtesy of Inter Milan’s 5-3 aggregate victory over Benfica in the Quarter Finals. Inter had looked set to secure a more convincing margin of success, but two late goals from the Portuguese club in the second leg in Milan ensured that they were at least able to pick up a 3-3 draw on the evening.

Inter have won four straight matches in Serie A since booking their place at this stage of the competition, leapfrogging AC Milan to climb to 4th place in the table. With just four games remaining in the domestic season, the two clubs also look destined to be battling it out for the final guaranteed domestic Champion’s League spot, adding yet another dimension to one of football’s fiercest rivalries.

AC Milan produced arguably the biggest surprise of the quarter final stages, knocking out runaway Serie A leaders Napoli to book their place in the last four. They are unbeaten in their last nine fixtures, winning just four of them, but the second most successful club in the competition’s history will feel more than confident of making the final for the first time since their 2007 success over Liverpool in Athens.

Inter enter this one as favourites, but I personally feel like there’s very little to separate the two clubs. There are just two points between them in the Serie A table, and the last seven fixtures between the sides have been pretty even, with Inter holding three victories to AC Milan’s two.

Former Manchester United manager Ron Atkinson is often quoted as once saying “either side could win it, or it could be a draw”, this feels like an apt way to describe my view of this encounter. I’m going to side with AC Milan as a result because I feel they represent the best value when all things are considered.

 

Traders’ Tip: AC Milan To Win @ 2/1. A £10 bet at these odds could return £30.

 

 

West Ham United v AZ Alkmaar – UEFA Conference League – 20:00 – May 11

Thursday night European football has been a mainstay on West Ham’s schedule over the past couple of seasons, and this week will see the Hammers look to get the upper hand over Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar in the first leg of their UEFA Conference League Semi Final encounter.

West Ham had looked to be in danger of being dragged in to a relegation dog fight in the Premier League, but Sunday’s 1-0 victory over fourth placed Manchester United has almost guaranteed their survival in England’s top flight for at least another season, meaning that West Ham can focus on trying to pick up their first European trophy since 1976. Sorry Hammers fans, but the 1999 Intertoto Cup doesn’t count!

AZ Alkmaar have the intriguing statistic of winning more games than anyone else in this competition. The Dutch club also featured in the Conference League during last season’s inception, losing in the Round of 16, and have picked up nine wins from 14 previous outings. They currently sit fourth in the Eredivisie table a position that would see them appear in the same competition once again next season, should they fail to win the Conference League this year.

Thursday’s encounter will be the first meeting between the two clubs, and it feels like it could be the perfect opportunity for the English club to focus on securing some long-overdue silverware. The despair of losing to Eintract Frankfurt in the semi-finals of last seasons Europa League is sure to be fresh in the memory of supporters of the East London club, and manager David Moyes will be hoping his side can draw on their heartache from last year.

The Hammers, despite losing three of their last four games, have shown a lot of desire over the past couple of weeks, and their 4-1 victory over Gent in the second leg of the quarter finals was an indication of how well they have been able to adapt to playing opposition from across the continent. West Ham have won seven of the twelve matches they have played in the Conference League this season by at least a two goal margin, and I believe that they’ve got more than enough to ensure they take a comfortable lead to the Netherlands for the return fixture next week.

 

Traders’ Tip: West Ham -1.5 @ 13/8. A £10 bet at these odds could return £16.25.

 

 

Eurovision Song Contest – 20:00 – May 13

One of the largest non-sporting events on the calendar takes place in Liverpool as the city welcomes thousands of music lovers across Europe for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

Over 150 million viewers tuned in to watch Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra win last year’s competition, with their song “Stefania”, and this year’s event will be expected to generate just as much hype when the Semi-finals begin on Tuesday evening.

There have been plenty of iconic performances at Eurovision over the past few years, Oleh’s iconic pink hat from last year will live long in the memory, Italian rock band Maneskin preceded them in 2021, Neta’s confusing sounds when winning for Israel with “Toy” in 2019, and other historic performances from the likes of Lordi, Verka Serduchka and Conchita Wurst.

Last year also saw the United Kingdom finally produce a decent Eurovision entry, with “Space Man” not only finishing an admirable second place, but also creating a star in Sam Ryder.

This year will no doubt produce more unforgettable moments and, having familiarised myself with all 37 entrants, I’m sure there will be at least one that will be stuck in the public’s memory for many years to come.

Sweden are the current favourites ahead of this year’s edition, with Loreen’s visually impressive “Tattoo”, but Finland’s “Cha Cha Cha” is sure to leave many people stunned with its’ bizarre ballroom dancers, lime green bolero jacket, and mixture of rap, rock and dance.

Although it’s likely to be a two horse race between these two at the top of the leaderboard, there’s definitely a few others that have the potential to feature towards the top of the leaderboard.

Italian entrant Marco Mengoni has one of the strongest voices in this year’s competition. Austria’s “Who the Hell is Edgar?” is a nod to writer Edgar Allen Poe in name, but you’ll probably be left wondering what ‘zero dot zero zero three’ means by the end of it. Mimicat’s entry for Portugal sounds like something out of a broadway musical. Whilst this year’s on-stage saxophone performance looks set to be going to Malta’s entry, “Dance (Our Own Party)”.

However, one entrant looks far too overpriced for me and could exceed expectations by the end of the evening.

Lord Of The Lost’s “Blood & Glitter” be appearing for Germany in the second half of Saturday’s final, and it’s a song that I feel fully encapsulates the spirit of Eurovision. There’s the aesthetically intriguing glam rock style outfits, the metal influenced instrumental, and the live visuals would be fully expected to carry and equally high level of pizzazz to add to the performance. Although they may just miss out on a top five place, which is currently priced at a massive 40/1, the 7/2 on offer for a position inside the top 10 definitely looks like the value bet of the competition.

 

Traders’ Tip: Germany – Top 10 Finish @ 7/2. A £10 bet at these odds could return £45.

 

 

Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers – Gallagher Premiership – 15:00 – May 14

The climax of this season’s English Premiership Rugby season is fast approaching. This weekend sees four teams battling it out in semi-final action, with a place in Twickenham’s final at the end of the month at stake.

Saturday’s game between Saracens and Northampton should be a fairly one-sided encounter for the hosts, but Sunday’s fixture looks set to be a much closer affair. With the reigning Premiership champions, Leicester Tigers, travelling north to face 2006 Champions, Sale Sharks, at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Sale entered the final week of the regular season knowing they were already certain to have home advantage in the final four, but they still managed to put on an extremely convincing show by running out 54-12 victors over bottom club Newcastle Falcons. Victory ensured that Sale ended the regular season having lost just once at home, and will give the North West club a huge boost of confidence ahead of this weekend’s crucial showdown.

Leicester were virtually assured of a third place finish prior to their game against Harlequins this past Saturday, deciding to make six changes to their line-up as a result, but interim coach Richard Wigglesworth may have a couple of concerns following their 17-20 loss at the weekend. Winger, and former England International, Chris Ashton was sent off for the Tigers during that encounter and, should his red card not be overturned, his influence on the pitch will be greatly missed against Sale as a result.

Leicester will know that they haven’t had much success when visiting Sale in recent years, losing on each of their last six visits to the Greater Mancheser based club, and losing someone with the experience of Ashton is going to make the task that little bit more difficult. The Sharks were relatively untroubled when running out 40-5 victors over the Tigers at the end of December, and they’ve pretty much maintained that kind of form, domestically at least, throughout the course of this season.

Leicester won’t go down without a fight, but I feel like Sale have more than enough to secure their spot in the final, and they should come through this with relative ease as a result.

 

Traders’ Tip: Sale -3.5 @ 9/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £19.

 

 

A £10 5-Fold on the above selections could return £2423.92.

 

*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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