As expected, this week’s Champions League fixtures did not disappoint, where last night, we saw a brace from Christiano Ronaldo, bringing his total number of European goals to one-hundred. This also gave Real Madrid a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich, after going a goal down in the first half.
Leicester City lost 1-0 to Atletico, following a controversial penalty decision at the Vicente Calderon Stadium, but remain in the tie and will fancy themselves to have a squeak when they return to the King Power Stadium next week.
Tonight our attention turns towards the Europa League, which in previous seasons, has very much been viewed as an undercard to the UCL, but with teams like Ajax, Lyon and Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, to name just a few, still in the competition, this year’s contest has a little more heat to it.
Where else to start but with The Special One and his side’s trip to Anderlecht. The Belgian’s are unbeaten in five matches, conceding just one goal, and winning four. Manchester United will also need to keep an eye out for the Anderlecht’s Polish striker, Lukasz Teodorczyk, who has scored twenty goals in thirty appearances this season and is 11/2 to score first.
United won’t be too concerned about their opponents’ current form though, as they themselves are unbeaten in their last five, conceding just two goals – current odds of a goalless draw with BetBright are 15/2. We all know what Zlatan Ibrahimovic (evens to score any time) is capable of as well, so with the big Swede leading the line, United will go into the fixture full of confidence.
Ajax v FC Schalke should be an exciting affair, and both enter the quarter finals of the Europa League with high scoring wins in their last fixture, with Schalke beating Wolfsburg 4-1 and Ajax getting a 5-1 away win at NEC Nijmegen.
With it all to play for, both teams should continue to impose a positive style of play, especially at this stage of the competition, and if the last two games are anything to go by, over 3.5 goals to be scored in this fixture could be a fancied bet, which is 12/5 with BetBright.
The third quarter final fixture to discuss is Lyon v Besiktas. Lyon’s man of the moment is Alexandre Lacazette, who has scored twenty-nine goals in all competitions this season and is 5/2 to score the first goal of the night. Lyon’s form is solid enough to warrant the French side starting the match as favourites, however, at 6/1, some may feel Besiktas have been overlooked. The Turkish side are unbeaten in eighteen games, where their last loss was a 6-0 hiding from Dynamo Kiev in December – the hair dryer treatment from manager, Senol Gunes, clearly did the trick!
Finally, tenth place La Liga side, Celta Vigo, host in form Genk tonight. Genk have won their last four games on the bounce without conceding and go into the match at a price of 5/1. As they have been all season, Celta Vigo will be relying on Iago Aspas to get on to score sheet if they’re to progress to the next round. Aspas has scored twenty-three goals in all competitions and is currently 16/5 to score the first goal tonight.
With a piece of silverware, not to mention a Champions Leagues place, still up for grabs for these sides, this evening should provide us with plenty of entertainment to ease football fans across the continent, into the Easter weekend.