Will Manchester United succumb to Messi magic at Old Trafford?
A small profit again for the column over the weekend thanks to Barcelona winning and both teams finding the net in Friday's clash between Southampton and Liverpool. The Champions League takes centre-stage this week with some juicy quarterfinal first legs, including Manchester United's clash with Barcelona.
Running total: -£79.50
Manchester United produced a minor miracle to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit and knock PSG out in Paris, but they now must work out how to stop Barcelona and their talisman Lionel Messi. The Blaugrana all but sealed another La Liga title by beating Atletico Madrid at the weekend and could be good things at odds against to win in Manchester. Messi has scored 13 goals in his last 10 games and has looked unplayable at times this season. Luis Suarez will also be a threat to a defence that has not kept a clean sheet since Feb. 24 and the pick here is for Barcelona to edge a classic.
Selection: £5 on Barcelona to win at 21/20 with bet365.
The First Goal Flutter
Real Madrid seem increasingly confident of landing Eden Hazard this summer but, for now, he remains a Chelsea player and he looks a tempting price at 100/30 to score first against West Ham on Monday night. Despite a recent wobble the Blues are firmly in the mix for a top-four finish, and with Hazard pulling the strings they can win this London derby to go third in the table.
The Tasty Treble
Whisper it quietly, but the Quadruple looks very much on for Manchester City, who look a solid shout at 5/6 when they face Tottenham in north London on Tuesday. The Citizens annihilated Schalke 10-2 on aggregate in the round of 16 and have not lost to Spurs in their last four meetings (three wins and a draw), a run stretching back to 2016. Elsewhere, both teams to score should land at 3/4 when Ajax and Juventus meet at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, while Liverpool look red-hot favourites to carve out a first-leg lead when they host FC Porto on Tuesday. Porto have done brilliantly to reach the last eight, but may struggle to cope with Liverpool's electric front three at Anfield. The treble is paying over 3/1 with bet365 and looks to have every chance.
Selection: £4 on the treble at 3.17/1 with bet365.
The Euro Wager
There's Europa League action too this week, and the pick of the quarterfinals is surely Arsenal against Napoli. The Gunners produced another shoddy performance on the road as they lost 1-0 at Everton on Sunday, but they are a different beast at the Emirates and should be backed to see off the Partenopei on home soil.
The Wildcard Tip
Ajax have been a revelation this season with their talent factory churning out another batch of gifted tyros. With this in mind, they cannot be written off in their quarterfinal against Juventus. The Turin side are rightful favourites to win the tie but, as they proved at the Bernabeu, this Ajax side is young and fearless and look a big price to win in Amsterdam.