If you’re just about hitting that mid-week slump, what better tonic is there than a pair of super semis in both of UEFA club competitions?
Monaco and Juventus meet in the Mediterranean principality for the first leg of their Champions League last four meeting on Wednesday night, while Ajax welcome Lyon to Amsterdam in the opening stanza of their Europa League semi-final tie.
With two top games on tap, we’ve decided to look at the markets and we’ve come up with a delightful double that could land for our crafty customers at just over 9/2.
Let’s take you through our thinking…
There’s a certain romance about this semi-final pairing as the Old Lady of European football faces up to the hot new model of Monaco, for a place in the final.
The free-scoring Ligue 1 leaders have already seen off heavyweight opposition in the form OF Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund in the knockout stages, but this two-round contest with Italian giants Juventus will surely be their greatest test. That being said, Monaco have hit three goals in each of their last four knockout ties – so the 2/1 punt on them to win tonight is far from the worst shout to take on.
Even though they’re unbeaten in 10-games in this season’s tournament, that doesn’t tell the full story of the stranglehold Juventus have had on their opponents. The Italians boast the meanest defence in the Champions League – only letting in two strikes so far – and they haven’t conceded a goal in 531 minutes.
In fact, legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon hasn’t seen a shot fly past him during open play in Europe this campaign. Punters might just fancy the 16/5 chance for them to win to nil.
We’re going to be a little more cautious though, due to Monaco’s prowess in front of goal, and we’ll just go with a straight win for Juve at 7/5.
Best bet: Juve to win at 7/5
Remembrance Day in the Netherlands means tonight’s tie is switched from its usual Thursday night slot.
Lyon arrive in the Dutch capital without top scorer Alexandre Lacazette and they’ve lost their last two European away games on the bounce.
They’re not having a good campaign domestically either, a whopping 26 points off leaders Monaco and their season really hinges on winning this competition.
Unluckily for the French outfit, they’re running into an Ajax side with an ultra-impressive home record, having recorded six Europa League victories in-a-row at the Amsterdam Arena.
They’re also undefeated there in 12 European games, so it’s no wonder we’re going with Ajax to win tonight at 13/10 to close out our double.
Best bet: Ajax to win at 13/10
* All prices correct at time of posting.