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Champions' League Semifinal Preview
OK here we go:
Real Madrid -1, +115
Bayern Muenchen -135
These teams met four times in the competition last year, with Bayern scoring eight goals in two group matches and Real dominating the two-leg semifinal. He who laughs last, laughs longest. After gaining revenge on Man United who beat them in the 1999 final, Bayern hops to continue the payback theme here.
Bayern looked great in beating Man U in the quarters, but have been spotty in the Bundesliga this year. They eked out a 1-0 win over Freiburg on the weekend. Real are in control of La Liga, but had to scramble a draw with bottom feeders Osasuna also on Saturday.
Recent injury news sees Morientes out at least three weeks for Real (groin pull) but we expect he'll change his mind, opt for surgery, and return in September.
The biggest contrast from last year will be the change in Real's midfield. Redondo controlled the semifinal matches last year with solid 2-way play--something Madrid didn't get from anyone in the group games. Redondo was sold in the off-season to help buy Luis Figo, and the new midfield now has an entirely different dynamic.
Leeds United -1/2, +115
This will mark the fourth Spanish team Leeds has played in the Champions' League this year and success has been mixed: 1 point from two matches with Barcelona, two losses to Real Madrid, and a 3-2 aggregate win over Deportivo La Coruna in the quarters. Still Leeds have to be brimming with confidence after being written off with injuries in the qualifying round tie against 1860 Muenchen, then drawn in a group with Barca and AC Milan in the first round.
Leeds are also looking good domestically chasing a European place for next year. They beat Chelsea 2-0 on Saturday.
Valencia are joint-third in La Liga and beat Valladolid 1-0 on Saturday. It may be a cliche to suggest a team is "built for Europe" but this is the team on which it fits. This is a squad that is extremely stingy at home and can score away goals. So far they have allowed eight goals in fourteen matches while scoring eighteen. At Fortress Mestalla they have conceded only three goals in seven matches and have pumped in ten on the road (slight distortion: this includes stuffing five past Sturm Graz in Austria). They defeated Arsenal based on away goals in the quarters. The one knock on this side's form might be that their group phases were perhaps the easiest of any semifinalist.
As the season began we rated Valencia's midfield as the best in Europe when everyone is healthy (Mendieta, Deschamps, Kily, Baraja) but they have only played about a dozen matches together this year. The season's most pleasant moments have come from young Carew fulfilling his potential up front.
Pinnacle has the above opening 2-way prices as well as 3-way pricing and outright tournament pricing. All odds are subject to fluctuation. Assuming our TV feed holds up we'll also offer updated match betting during the halftime break over the internet.
Cheers to all,
Great score, Pok.
That is the difference between you and me: I lack the courage in my wagering.
I had these two sides EVEN and the play was the overly generous odds on Bayern and I didn't do it.
Feel like an idiot.
Damn. Bet way too much on the draw, too...
Turko, at least you were out of your misery at the half. I had to watch to the end
I thought about betting them 'pick', but decided I only really feared nil-nil. Now, why didn't I think then about betting them nil-nil pick? Exact score 0-0 for the amount needed to push the win bet? Ah, hindsight rears it's ugly head.
But I think Leeds outplayed them, so, I'd take them again in the same spot.
But about the second leg, I don't know. Valencia should open up some at home, which means Leeds, knowing they go through with a score-draw, will be pressing as well. Maybe the over is the way, a bet with value added from the scoreless first leg.
At least there'll be two good midweek televised games here to look forward to.
I sure was put out of my misery today.
Also had +.5 wagers on Preston and Portsmouth so I was a lovely 0 fer 3.
Agree with you about Leeds playing well, but I think Valencia beats them next time out.
Interestingly, I think Real will win away against Bayern -- at least the value will be there I think...
I like Real as well, although I don't know that there will be much value, because Effenberg will be out, and Real so clearly outplayed Bayern, and have such firepower.
But I think I'll still go with Leeds, plus 1/2 goal, which I figure the handicap will be.
You know, I could've helped you get out of the hole today because I liked NY hosting KC in MLS action, which they won easy at +160. But I've posted twice before about fading KC and didn't dare say it again. But I'm STILL fading them, especially next weekend in LA, a team that's shown real strength of late, beating Colorado twice (beating any team back to back is hard) and then tonight beating Chivas in Mexico, 2-1. So I can't forget: LA over KC unless the price is terrible, which it shouldn't be.
Yeah, that is right, a goal rating, which can mean different things in different leagues, not a probability as such, although that can be done too, but to keep those good and working on lots of leagues, lots of work.
Don't have tons of MLS data yet, and the continual rule changing makes it a bit screwy so that is maybe 45-28-27 or something