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CL Best Bets - Semifinals
UEFA Champions League Semifinals - Second Legs

After the first legs of the Champions League semifinals, Real Madrid remain the favourites to win the competition at 11/10 after their 2-1 win away to Bayern Munich. Bayern, who will consider themselves very much still in contention, are 6/1.

The other semi-final was far more bizarre. Roma held Liverpool at Anfield for the first 25 minutes, and it looked as though Liverpool had finally met a team that could frustrate them, while giving them problems on the counter-attack.

Then Liverpool scored five times in half an hour - a breathtaking show of attacking football rarely matched in such an important game, although Roma’s defensive tactics were highly questionable. But as is Liverpool’s habit, they conceded two late goals to the Italian side, meaning the game ended 5-2.

Liverpool are 6/4 to win the competition with Roma 33/1 in the latest futures market.

Tuesday, May 1
Games scheduled for 2:45 p.m. ET on FS1

Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich

For the second time in a year, Real Madrid host Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu defending a 2-1 lead. And, just like 12 months ago, do not expect expect the Germans to go down easily.

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Last year Bayern put in a much worse performance in a 2-1 defeat under Carlo Ancelotti, but a week later they won 2-1 in Madrid to send the tie into extra time.

Bayern are in another situation where they can only go for it. And given that this is a team used to scoring freely in domestic football, this might suit Jupp Heynckes’s side. They also face a Real Madrid team that showed huge vulnerabilities in the second leg against Juventus, when they nearly threw away a 3-0 first leg advantage.

After 50 minutes in each of their last four home European fixtures – against Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund, PSG and Juventus – they have been either level or behind. They went on to win two of those matches.

So while it would take a brave man to back Bayern to actually qualify, betting on them to score the game’s first goal at 6/5 might be the best way to go.

Best Bet: Bayern Munich to score first at 6/5

Wednesday, May 2
Games scheduled for 2:45 p.m. ET on FS1

Roma vs. Liverpool

Roma stunned Barcelona to overturn a three-goal deficit in the quarter-finals, and as a result many people are entertaining the idea that the same could happen in this semi-final, after Liverpool beat Roma 5-2 at Anfield.

This is highly unlikely. Only half a dozen teams have ever overturned a three-goal deficit in Champions League knockout history, and Roma’s first leg performance displayed enough weaknesses to ensure that Liverpool can remain very confident of an easy passage to the final.

Roma need to win by three. But even though they secured two late away goals, it is very likely that Liverpool, even without the unwell Sadio Mané, will score twice or more. Roma’s high line combined with their slow centre-backs was a disastrous approach in the semi-final. But due to the personnel at their disposal and the situation of the tie, it is likely that they will adopt the same cavalier approach on Thursday.

Liverpool proved that they are better than Roma last week. If the tie seems beyond the home side on the hour mark, expect Liverpool to make hay. They can make the final in emphatic style

Best Bet: Liverpool to win at 31/20

  
HEADLINES
· News: Weekly Recap (9/14-9/19)
· News: CL - Matchday 1 Results
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· Insigne scores twice as Napoli tops Torino
· Leverkusen gets 1st Bundesliga win
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· Gervinho thriving at Parma with goal
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· Lille off to best start in over 60 years
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