This week sees plenty of top sporting action with the quarter finals of the Champions League taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, the quarter finals of the Europa League on Thursday and on the same day the fantastic Masters Golf Tournament gets underway at Augusta National, the first Major of the year.
In this article, we are going to focus on the Champions League games taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday and we’ll bring you our preview and tips for these and similarly, we’ll then give you a quick rundown of what to expect at The Masters together with our tips as to which golfers stand a good chance of a high placed finish or even winning the event.
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Let’s now take a look at the Champions League first legs on Tuesday and Wednesday and we’ll begin with a look at the outright betting market for the eight remaining teams in the tournament.
Following the draw for the quarterfinals in Nyon on Friday 16th March, there was a notable change in the odds for the Champions League with two teams in particular, Barcelona and Bayern Munich seeing their odds shorten considerably, while other teams saw their odds either remain about the same or drift slightly.
Currently, Coral are offering the following odds on the outright winner market on the Champions League.
Barcelona – 5/2 Fav
Manchester City – 10/3
Bayern Munich – 7/2
Real Madrid – 9/2
Juventus – 12/1
Liverpool – 14/1
Sevilla – 66/1
AS Roma – 66/1
As you can see, Manchester City are no longer the favourites after being drawn against Liverpool with Barcelona now the new favourites to lift the trophy. Bayern Munich’s odds have tumbled too, seeing them now as clear third favourites just ahead of Real Madrid. Juventus and Liverpool have similar odds with Sevilla and AS Roma the rank outsiders.
The odds for each of the four games in the Match Result market with Coral are as follows:
Juventus (31/20) v Real Madrid (7/4) (21/10 the draw)
Sevilla (17/5) v Bayern Munich (8/11) (11/4 the draw)
Barcelona (1/4) v AS Roma (11/1) (19/4 the draw)
Liverpool (9/5) v Man City (27/20) (5/2 the draw)
Juventus v Real Madrid – This should be a cracking game between the two finalists from last year. Juventus home record against Real is very good and I fancy them to get the job done here and take a narrow lead into the second leg in Spain. Tip – Juventus to win (31/20)
Sevilla v Bayern Munich – The Spanish side performed superbly well to defeat Manchester United in the last round, but I feel that they now face a different class of opposition in Bayern. The Germans are ultra professional and I think they will get the job done in the first leg. Tip – Bayern to win (8/11)
Barcelona v AS Roma – A couple of years ago, Barcelona defeated AS Roma 6-1 in the group stages of this competition and Roma will be fearful that if Messi is on song, the same could happen again. The Italian side are decent but I can’t see them being any match for Barca. Tip – Barcelona to win (1/4)
Liverpool v Manchester City – A cracking encounter is assured at Anfield as these teams have shared a total of 13 goals across their last two games. City have an appalling record here though and that will give the Reds confidence. I’m backing Liverpool to take a narrow lead with them into the second leg here. Tip – Liverpool to win (9/5)
The Masters Golf
From Thursday through until Sunday between 90 and 100 of the world’s finest golfers will compete to try and win the coveted Green Jacket, not to mention a first place prize of over $1.9 million in The Masters 2018.
The first Major of the year is also the only major to revisit the same course each year and as such, it has earned a special place in the hearts of golfers and fans of the sport across the globe. With its many traditions, including the Captain’s Dinner (hosted by last year’s winner), the Par-3 tournament on Wednesday plus many more, it has become one of the world’s most recognisable sporting events.
Last year’s winner was Sergio Garcia, the Spaniard holding off a challenge from Justin Rose to win in a playoff to claim his first Major title. He received his Green Jacket from Danny Willetts, the Englishman who was the shock winner back in 2016.
The return of Tiger Woods from injury also makes this a hugely interesting tournament and there are a number of players who are entering it in superb form and looking hungry to land the first Major of the year.
The Masters – Possible Contenders?
Players entering this event in form reads like a who’s who of golf at the present moment in time. Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, the world number 1 and 2 are both in great shape heading into this event, with Thomas winning last years USPGA and then following that up with FedEx Cup success.
Other American players likely to go close include Jordan Spieth, the champion in 2015, Rickie Fowler (who has come so close in several Majors previously) while the likes of Bubba Watson (a two-time champion here) and Patrick Reed cannot be discounted either.
Veterans Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are also in great shape heading into this event with Woods return in particular likely to produce a frenzied atmosphere. Can Woods win his fifth or Mickelson his fourth Masters event on Sunday? Both are playing good enough golf to do that if they can hit top form at the right time.
The challenge from international players is also strong with several in great form heading into this event. The challenge from the UK is strong with Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood leading the charge, but the likes of Ross Fisher and Tyrell Hatton too cannot be discounted. Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm will lead the Spanish challenge and you can never discount the likes of Henrik Stenson, Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzl and Jason Day from the reckoning.
Our Tip – I only ever back each way bets in golf due to the volatile nature of the game and for me the best bets here for that type of wager are Rickie Fowler (20/1 with Coral) or Jon Rahm (16/1 with Coral) and if you were going to go for just one player to win then I’d back Justin Rose at 16/1.
Ian has been a lifelong avid poker player, and is also well-versed in the worlds of online sports betting, casino gaming, and the burgeoning eSports industry. UK-based Ian has written for several years for a wide variety of online publications, and is especially adept at bringing readers inside the latest and greatest games.