From The Trading Floor (20)

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”

Inter Milan v AC Milan – UEFA Champions League – 20:00 – May 16

By the end of Wednesday night we will know which two teams will be meeting in the UEFA Champions League Final on 10th June, following the conclusion of this week’s Semi-Final ties.

Tuesday evening sees Inter Milan and AC Milan face off at the San Siro once more, as the two Italian giants make one last push to book their place at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium next month.

Inter will enter the second leg firmly in the driving seat, following their 2-0 victory over AC Milan last week. It was a first leg where Inter stunned their city rivals, grabbing both of their goals in the opening quarter of an hour, and leaving their opponents waiting until the final ten minutes before they could register their first shot on target.

Inter will be the designated ‘home team’ for this fixture, but it feels like that will provide little advantage considering the two teams share the same stadium. Based on last week’s encounter it seems logical to suggest that the match could produce the same outcome, but the visitors will need to provide more attacking intent if they wish to forge their way back into the tie.

I would be tempted to take an AC Milan victory once more, but it’s hard for me to have much confidence following their 2-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Spezia at the weekend, a result that means they have now won just one of their last eight fixtures in all competitions.

Inter did hold a two goal advantage ahead of the second leg of their Quarter Final encounter against Benfica, with the two teams going on to play out an exciting 3-3 draw in Lisbon. Although I wouldn’t suggest backing the same scoreline when they face AC Milan, a similar result looks a strong possibility and feels like it could be the most likely outcome here.

 

Traders’ Tip: Draw @ 23/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £33.

 

 

Manchester City v Real Madrid – UEFA Champions League – 20:00 – May 17

Following a 1-1 draw between the two teams at the Bernabeu last Tuesday, the stage looks set for an exciting showdown at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.

It needed something special to separate the sides last week, and Real Madrid’s Brazilian winger Vinicius Junior produced an incredible opener late in the first half to give the hosts the lead. This was eventually cancelled out midway through the second half when Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne produced an equally stunning strike to level the score. It felt like the correct result on the night, and now both Real and City will need to press the reset button ahead of their showdown in Manchester.

Despite heading into this one as the reigning Champions League champions, it feels like it’s going to be a fairly uphill challenge for the Spanish visitors. The hosts have now gone 22 games unbeaten in all competitions, whilst also winning their last 14 matches at the Etihad, conceding just seven times in the process. I’ve said before that it doesn’t feel like there’s a team out there that could stop this City team, especially at home, and I still don’t have a reason to change that belief.

The German midfielder has scored four, and provided two assists in his last three appearances for Man City, De Bruyne was left as an unused substitute during their 3-0 victory at Everton on Sunday, whilst striker Erling Haaland scored his 52nd goal of the season during the victory at Goodison Park.

Haaland is the leading scorer in this season’s Champions League, with 12 goals, and is currently 21st in the list of all-time top scorers in Europe’s elite level club competition. Real might have kept him off the scoresheet last week, but the Norwegian has mainly shown his Champions League prowess whilst playing in Manchester. Nine of his goals have come at the Etihad, including the five he scored against RB Leipzig in the Round of 16, and he has scored in each of his four home appearances in this season’s competition.

I can’t see anything other than a home win for this one, and I also can’t see how Real can expect to keep the prolific Norwegian quiet for another 90 minutes. Combining Haaland to score with a Man City victory looks to be a strong selection as a result.

 

Traders’ Tip: Erling Haaland To Score & Man City To Win @ Evens. A £10 bet at these odds could return £20.

 

 

AZ Alkmaar v West Ham United – UEFA Europa Conference League – 20:00 – May 18

West Ham will take a slender looking 2-1 lead to the Netherlands on Thursday night, as the Hammers look to secure UEFA Europa Conference League final spot at the expense of AZ Alkmaar.

The West London club needed to come from behind at the London Stadium after French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola gifted the visitors with their opener, but Said Benrahma and Michail Antonio’s second half strikes eventually gave West Ham the advantage, leaving them just 90 minutes away from their first European final in 37 years.

The hosts could easily have found themselves further behind in the tie, having been second best against the Hammers for large parts of the first leg, but they’ll feel they have a decent chance of over turning their one goal deficit, especially after picking up a 3-2 aggregate victory over Belgian side Anderlecht in the Quarter Finals, despite losing the first leg in Brussels 2-0.

The Dutch side are definitely not to be taken lightly either, currently sitting third in the Eredivisie, and fresh off the back of Sunday’s 5-1 victory over FC Emmen.

Most of this West Ham squad will still have the heartache of last year’s Europa League Semi-Final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in their minds, and they’ll no doubt be determined to ensure they don’t suffer the same fate this season. With their Premier League survival all but secure, Manager David Moyes made the decision to make nine changes to West Ham’s starting line-up ahead of their 2-0 Premier League loss to Brentford at the weekend, and there’ll now be even more expectancy on the Hammers performing on Thursday night as a result when the bulk of their first team return to action. If last week’s encounter is anything to go by, then I would expect West Ham to once again prove to be too strong for Alkmaar, and they should hopefully emerge victorious on the night as a result.

 

Traders’ Tip: West Ham To Win @ 6/4. A £10 bet at these odds could return £15.

 

 

Leinster v La Rochelle – European Champions Cup – 17:45 – May 20

Dublin looks set to be the place to be on Saturday evening, with two major sporting events taking place in Ireland’s capital just two kilometres apart.

The first event is Rugby Union’s Champions Cup at the Aviva Stadium, where Leinster and La Rochelle will meet in a repeat of last season’s final.

French side La Rochelle managed to claim a narrow three point victory in Marseille twelve months ago, and Leinster will be keen to make amends for that defeat when they take to the field in front of their own supporters on Saturday.

The Dublin-based club had looked impenetrable at home this season, but they will be entering this fixture on the back of a 15-16 United Rugby Championship defeat to Munster, at the same venue.

After suffering a narrow defeat to Bulls in the semi-finals of last season’s competition, Leinster had looked on course for a place in the final, but a very late Munster drop goal ensured they fell at the final four for the second year running, adding a slightly sour taste to a previously formidable season.

La Rochelle will also be entering Saturday’s showpiece after suffering defeat, but their 42-31 loss at Marseille in the French Top 14 won’t feel quite as bitter following the decision to rest 12 players ahead of this Saturday’s encounter.

Ensuring that the bulk of their first team squad is prepared for the Champions Cup was clearly the main priority for La Rochelle, and that extra period of recuperation will definitely give the French side a boost ahead of their trip to Dublin.

Had Leinster picked up a victory against Munster, I would have definitely been behind the Irish club steamrolling their way to a record equalling fifth Champions Cup trophy, but defeat has shown that there’s definitely vulnerability in this Leinster squad. La Rochelle should have no reason to fear their counterparts following that outcome, and I feel like they are more than capable of matching Leinster in their own backyard as a result. I can see the French outfit leaving the Aviva stadium stunned on Saturday, but I’m more than happy to cover myself in the case of a close finish by taking La Rochelle at least staying within one score of the Irish giants.

 

Traders’ Tip: La Rochelle +7.5 @ 17/20. A £10 bet at these odds could return £18.50.

 

 

Katie Taylor v Chantelle Cameron – Approx. 22:00 – May 20

After the conclusion of the events at the Aviva, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of sporting fanatics making the short trip across the River Liffey to catch Katie Taylor’s homecoming bout against British boxer, and undisputed light-welterweight champion, Chantelle Cameron. But those who can’t there in person can watch the entire fight live on DAZN.

This encounter feels just as huge as Taylor’s iconic showdown against Amanda Serrano at just over twelve months ago. That night at New York’s Maddison Square Garden was an historic moment for women’s boxing, and lived up to its’ main event billing when Taylor picked up a split decision victory over the Puerto Rican after 10 gruelling rounds. The original plan was for a rematch between the two, but injury to Serrano back in February led to Taylor challenging Northampton born Cameron instead, however, that should in no way lessen the hype surrounding the fight.

The 3Arena may not have the same glamour as MSG, but this encounter, between arguably the two best pound-for-pound female boxers this side of the Atlantic, pits two champions against each other in an incredibly even match-up.

Both Taylor and Cameron are undefeated during their professional careers, yet they are no strangers to each other, having previously fought as amateurs back at the 2011 Women’s EU Boxing Championships. Taylor emerged victorious when they faced off in the semi-finals, before claiming gold in the final, but both have evolved in to completely different boxers since then. Chantelle’s victory by unanimous decision over Jessica McCaskill at the end of 2022 took her own record to 17-0, and was every bit as impressive as Taylor’s success six months prior.

This has all the makings of another classic, and definitely feels like it could be another one that’s likely to go the distance given the ring awareness they have both shown during their professional careers. Taylor is rightfully installed as the favourite ahead of their showdown and, with a raucous Dublin crowd firmly behind her, she should have just about enough to live up to her billing as the best pound-for-pound women’s boxer on the planet by claiming Cameron’s belts with a unanimous points decision victory.

 

Traders’ Tip: Katie Taylor To Win By Points Decision @ 9/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £19.

 

 

A £10 5-Fold on the above selections could return £579.98.

 

*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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