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UEFA Cup / CL Betting

by Ben, last updated 2008-02-18 16:10:20

 UEFA Cup Betting Preview - Round of 32 Knockout Phase: Second Legs (Feb 21)

 Asian Handicap Preview and Odds

The chance of a British UEFA Cup winner, for the first time since Liverpool in 2001, remains a strong possibility with all five Scottish and English sides unbeaten after the first leg of the UEFA Cup knockout phase. All the return legs conclude this Thursday, giving punters a third day of European action, following on from the excitement of the midweek Champions League fixtures. Go to PinnacleSports.com and get up to 60% better UEFA Cup betting odds.


Scottish Sides Need Strong Away Performances

Both Aberdeen and Rangers may rue the opportunities lost in their first leg UEFA Cup home fixtures. The Dons twice led Bayern Munich at Pittodrie, but were pegged back to 2-2, and now face an uphill struggle at the Allianz Arena. Aberdeen’s battling performance was against disappointing recent domestic form, which continued on Saturday with a 3-1 defeat at Hibernian. They now need to produce a real shock without several key players as coach, Jimmy Calderwood, is missing Jamie Smith, Derek Young, Jackie McNamara and Richie Byrne. In contrast Bayern Munich produced an impressive 3-0 away win at Hannover on Saturday, cementing their place at the top of the Bundesliga, with all goals from Italian international, Luca Toni. PinnacleSports.com make Bayern Munich favourites 2.010 (-2 & -2.5)* with Aberdeen 1.917 (+2 & +2.5)*.

Rangers maintained their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League winning 2-0 at Kilmarnock on Sunday, but coach, Walter Smith, was disappointed the win wasn’t more comfortable. "We need extra sharpness up front, and hopefully we can start to show more of a killer instinct in front of goal." The Gers were unable to find the net at Ibrox in the first leg of their UEFA Cup tie against, Panathinaikos, despite creating plenty of chances. At least they prevented the Greek league leaders from gaining a valuable away goal but the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium is a tough place for any team to get a result. Their aggregate score in three home games for this UEFA Cup campaign totals 8-0, including against another SPL side, Aberdeen. PinnacleSports.com make Panathinaikos favourites 1.980 (-0.5)* with Rangers 1.943 (+0.5)*.


Three Premiership Sides Defending First Leg Leads

The Premiership’s three representatives in the UEFA Cup all hold the advantage going into the second legs of the first stage of the knock-out phase on Thursday night. Bolton have the toughest task taking a slim 1-0 lead to the Vicente Calderon Stadium, where Atletico Madrid have won all five European ties this season. The Spaniards lie fourth in La Liga, but lost on Sunday at home to Atheltico Bilbao, while the Trotters had a free weekend to prepare because of the FA Cup. The Indios are handicapped by the suspension to star Argentine striker, Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero, after a red card in the heated first leg at the Rebbok. There are likely to be plenty more cards in the return leg, where PinnacleSports.com make Atletico Madrid favourites 1.877 (-1)* with Bolton 2.050 (+1)*.

Everton and Tottenham should have straight forward tasks having won their first legs on the road. The Toffees hold a two goal advantage over SK Brann, and Spurs should really have beaten Slavia Prague by the same scoreline, but for a dreadful error by goalkeeper, Radek Cerny. Both Premiership sides are strong favourites with PinnacleSports.com, pricing UEFA Cup fixtures to under 102%.


*All odds subject to change




 Champions League Betting - Final 16 Knock-out Phase (Feb 18-19)

 Asian Handicap Preview and Prices

English clubs enjoyed mixed fortunes ahead of the first legs of the knock-out stage of the Champions League. 2005 winners Liverpool were humbled in the FA Cup at Anfield by lowly Barnsley, while 2006 finalists Arsenal will still be licking their wounds after a 4-0 mauling at Old Trafford, which conversely will have boosted the Red Devils. It is up to bettors to decide how these results will affect midweek European performances, before going to PinnacleSports.com for 60% better Champions League betting odds on all eight fixtures.


Liverpool Must Lift Heads Facing Huge Inter Challenge

The business end of Champions League starts on Tuesday, as the sixteen remaining teams enter the knockout phase, hoping to make all the way to the final in Moscow on May 21st. The odds on 2005 winners, Liverpool, repeating their success lengthened at PinnacleSports.com over the weekend as the Reds were humbled at Anfield in the FA Cup by Championship side, Barnsley. Despite the Tykes using a loaned goalkeeper who had been out of action since mid-December, Liverpool’s world class team couldn’t find a way passed Luke Steele, so what chance against Italian Champions, and current runaway leaders, Inter Milan?

PinnacleSports.com still has the Scousers as marginal favourites off a level handicap 1.847 (0/scratch)* with Inter Milan 2.090 (0/scratch)* – a market priced to less than 102%. It is important to note that Fernando Torres was rested on Saturday, while captain, Steven Gerrard, only played the last 15 minutes of the shock FA Cup defeat. Liverpool have repeatedly confounded critics in Europe, while despite sweeping all before them in Serie A - losing just one league game in 20 months - Inter Milan still have a point to prove on the European stage where their best performance was a semi-final in 2002.


Young Gunners Take On Champions League Specialists

Arsenal must bounce back from a humiliating 4-0 FA Cup defeat at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. The tie was effectively over after just twenty minutes with United taking a comfortable 2-0 lead. Both sides rested players, but Arsene Wenger will be worried by Arsenal’s the lack of passion, and the negative impact on morale. The Gunners were knocked out of the FA Cup at the same stage last season, then followed up with disappointment in the Champions League, losing to PSV Eindhoven in the last 16.

Their opponents at the Emirates Stadium, AC Milan, do have problems of their own, with injury doubts over almost all their strike-force. Ronaldo’s career maybe over after a horrendous knee injury last Wednesday, while Kaka only returned from an enforced lay-off in Saturday’s goalless draw with Parma. Alexandre Pato is the club’s new great white hope, but though he travels to London, is still doubtful due to a twisted ankle. Milan do however possess a greater level of experience in this competition, reaching the final in three of the last five campaigns, while Arsenal must put their faith in talented youth that have taken them five points clear at the top of the Premiership against pre-season predictions. PinnacleSports.com make Arsenal favourites 1.855 (0/scratch & -0.5)* with AC Milan 2.080 (0/scratch & +0.5)*.


*All odds subject to change






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