This evening we will find out who will be contesting the first Semi Final of the Champions as CSKA Moscow look to overturn a 1-0 deficit at home to Inter Milan and Barcelona take on Arsenal in the second leg of their Quarter Final match at the Nou Camp. Sports betting media company www.BetRepublic.com previews both matches for you, and we’ll give you some great value bets as well.
CSKA Moscow v Inter Milan (0-1):
Despite being the stronger of the two sides in Milan last week, Inter will be concerned about progressing to the final four stage as they only have a one goal advantage. However, history is on their side as they have lost only once in fifteen matches against Russian opponents in the Champions league – and that was against Lokomotiv Moscow in 2003. They have won ten and drawn four of the other fourteen games. Also, they have never lost against CKSA, winning all three matches with an aggregate score of 7-3.
CSKA will not be too concerned about history, although they have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seventeen Champions League matches, and will fancy their chances at progressing against the Italian champions. CSKA have not played since they lost at the San Siro, as their weekend game against Zenit St. Petersburg was called off due to security concerns, and will be well rested compared to an Inter side that beat Bologna 3-0 on Saturday and then had to travel to Russia.
How will this match go? CSKA are unbeaten in their last five home games, with three wins and two draws, while Inter have won two, drawn one and lost two of their last five away games and have conceded in all five matches. It will be close and I feel that the game will end level with both sides scoring at least once.
BetRepublic.com Recommends: Back the draw @ 21/10 with both sides to score @ 11/10 with Paddy Power.
Barcelona v Arsenal (2-2):
After their performance at the Emirates Stadium last week, couple with the fact that Barcelona have won their last seven straight home games in all competitions (conceding only three goals), it is not a massive surprise to see Barcelona are odds on favourites across the board to win this match, with William Hill offering 1/3 for a home win. Arsenal are available at 6/1 and are unbeaten in their last nine games, with seven wins and two draws in that time. However, Arsenal are currently in the middle of one of the worst injury crisis’ in English football at the moment, with William Gallas, Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie amongst many out of action for this game.
Barcelona are not without their problems, with captain Puyol and Pique banned for the visit of the Londoners. However, Arsenal found it difficult enough to find the back of the net at home to Wolves at the weekend, so I don’t think Pep Guardiola will be losing too much sleep over his banned defenders, and with the attacking options that he has at his disposal his side should have too much for a weakened Arsenal.
BetRepublic.com Recommends: Barcelona to be leading at half time and full time @ 17/20 and Barcelona to win to nil @ 6/5 with William Hill.
You can check out the BetRepublic.com site for more Champions League Soccer Betting tips from their experts.
By Antony Jordan