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Champions League: Madrid clubs to progress to semis again

Tue, Apr 18, 12:24pm by Senior Writer

Wednesday’s Champions League matches are expected to see the two finalists from last year, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, progress as they take first-leg leads into their second-leg matches.

Real Madrid v Bayern Munich, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Wednesday April 19, 4:45 am AEST

The defending champions look in a mighty position having prevailed 2-1 in Munich in the first leg last week. According to Sportsbet they are $1.28 to make the semi-finals for a record seventh straight year, while Munich are $3.45 to pull off a major shock and overturn that first leg deficit.

Real have an extremely strong home record in Champions League having not lost a match at the Bernabeu in this competition in over two years. That’s a run of eight matches which includes six wins and two draws. In all competitions, there have only been only beaten once this season.

The architect of that win in Germany was Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored both goals to once again show his class. He is $4.50 to score first in this match, $1.67 to score at anytime and $11 to net a hat-trick.

Madrid warmed up for this match with a 3-2 win over Sporting Gijon, but needed a last-minute winner from Isco as Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karin Benzema were rested. Bale is expected to miss this match as well, while the other two will return.

Bayern will be boosted by the return by Robert Lewandowski after he missed the first leg with a shoulder injury. They are looking for just their third win at the Bernabeu in 11 attempts.

Their recent away form is also a cause for concern, as they lost to Hoffenheim and drew with Bayer Leverkusen in their two most recent Bundesliga games on the road.  Their lead in the competition is still eight points, but it was 13 two weeks ago.

The value in this one may be in backing Real Madrid to win this leg. The market has them at $2.40, with the draw at $3.60 and Bayern Munich at $2.75.

The $3.50 about Madrid to score, as they have done in their past 34 Champions League matches, along with Bayern Munich, and the Spanish powerhouse to win the match looks to be a great bet.

Suggested Bet: Both teams to score and Madrid to win – $3.50

Leicester City v Atletico Madrid, King Power Stadium, Wednesday April 19, 4:45am AEST

Leicester City go into this match needing to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit, and having won their last six home games in all competitions.

The Foxes’ Champions League run has already seen them overturn a one-goal deficit from a first leg match against Spanish opposition, in that case Sevilla, but bookmakers think it’s unlikely to happen again, with a semi-final appearance rated a $6 chance.

Atletico, currently third in La Liga after a ten-match unbeaten run in all competitions, are $1.10 to progress. When you look the fact they have progressed from their last 16 UEFA ties when they have led in the first leg, you can see why they are so short.

Younes Benlouane is in some doubt for the Foxes, who are also set to do without Robert Huth (suspended) and Wes Morgan (back). The loss of that defensive pair has impacted the odds, with the home aside posted as $3.60 outsider in this match, the draw at $3.40 and Atletico Madrid at $2.05.

Atletico rested first leg goalscorer Antoine Griezmann in the 3-0 win over Osasuna on the weekend as Yannick Carrasco scored a brace. They look very strong ahead of this match and should book their third semi-final in four years without much trouble

Suggested Bet: Back Atletico Madrid to win the second leg at $2.05

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