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Two For Tuesday
Although there are just two Champions League encounters to deal with this evening, here’s our preview of those European heavyweight clashes.
All To Play For Between United & Atletico
After a previous stalemate in the Spanish capital, the Champions League tie between Manchester United and Atletico Madrid is neatly poised and with both sides believing that they can advance to the Quarterfinals, it will be all to play for in Manchester this evening.
For the hosts at Old Trafford, they will hope that Cristiano Ronaldo has saved a little in his locker after events at the weekend and with the Portuguese icon netting a trio of goals against Tottenham, he reminded everyone of just how lethal he can be.
With a flash of domestic brilliance on show last Saturday, he and his teammates must get the job done within the confines of European competition and with the Red Devils no longer in the top-four of the Premier League, tonight’s outing has taken on extra significance.
Because now Ralf Rangnick’s men may need to win this competition, in order to secure an invite to next season’s edition and if they are dumped out by Atletico Madrid in just a few hours, it will hamper their chances of a return to European football’s top table.
Going into this encounter, Atletico have won their last four league outings and with a top-four finish in La Liga not guaranteed either, it is fair to say that both clubs will be looking at progress as some form of UEFA insurance policy.
While when it comes to an insurance policy of your own, backing Cristiano Ronaldo to score anytime is recommended and at odds of 11/10 with bet365, there is a decent amount of value on offer at the same time.
Even Before Amsterdam
After playing out a 2-2 draw in Lisbon, Ajax will be bemoaning the fact that away goals are no longer active in European club competition, while at the same time Benfica will be delighted that they are not.
Going into tonight’s clash at the Johan Cruyff Arena, Ajax go into it as favourites and although their Eredivisie form cannot necessarily be used as a full precursor for future events, they do at least have a positive head of steam behind them.
Because in the last six Eredivisie fixtures that they have contested, they have won five of them and although a recent defeat to Go Ahead Eagles was something of a blip, they still have a two-point gap at the top over rivals PSV.
While when looking at Benfica’s own domestic form, a six-game unbeaten streak is undoubtedly impressive. However, two of those six outings have ended up as draws and it is a lack of cutting edge, which sees them lying only third in Liga NOS right now.
Which means simply backing Ajax to win this evening, is not going to cause too much of a concern for bookmakers. However, I think I have managed to cook up something that may just make them sweat a little.
I’ve gone for a bet builder tonight and one where Ajax will both qualify and qualify in 90 minutes. Add under 11 total corners and under six total cards to the equation and bet365 currently have this construction at odds of 13/5.