We have almost arrived at the 2022 UEFA Champions League Final. As we enter the second leg of the semi-finals, there are two distinctly different ties on the bill. For while Liverpool vs Villarreal appears to be following the script, the Manchester City vs Real Madrid tussle remains wide open after a chaotic first leg. However, given how this tournament has unfolded, it would be unwise to rule anything out. Anyways, here’s a pick for both games this week.
Villarreal vs Liverpool
The first leg of this battle went heavily in Liverpool’s favour. For some reason, Villarreal just sat back at Anfield and allowed their hosts to control the game. In turn, Liverpool dominated them and walked away with a 2-0 win. It goes against everything Villarreal did to get to this point, so it was pretty weird to see them invite pressure. Liverpool are now firmly in the driver’s seat and it would take a miracle for Villarreal to advance.
Betting the under is always going to be scary when Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are on the pitch. However, Liverpool have a big cushion and will not be eager to press Villarreal like they did in the first leg. Also, they are in the midst of a huge Premier League title run, so it’s not crazy to think Liverpool may rest some key players. Ultimately, the Reds will be happy to sit back and defend. If that’s the case, this will be a boring game, as Villarreal will have a tough time breaking through a Liverpool side that can dictate the tempo whether they are home or away. That is what makes the under so appealing in this game.
Under 2.75 total goals
Real Madrid vs Manchester City
For the +0.25 handicap to hit, Real Madrid will need to win or draw. At home, that is a very good possibility. The first leg of this matchup was one for the ages. It was a crazy, open affair that never slowed down. City ended up coming away with a 4-3 win and should feel confident about their chances to advance. They have an unreal team up and down, but Real are no slouches themselves. Madrid striker Karim Benzema is playing the best soccer of his career and cannot be slowed down. He scored twice in the first leg, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him replicate that performance.
Unlike the aforementioned game, both of these teams will go for it. Man City may play a little slower than normal, but they have only a one-goal cushion and it’s not in their DNA to sit back. Real, obviously, have all the pressure and will throw everything they can at the City defence. This is set up to be yet another awesome game where anything can happen. Real Madrid are having a magical season with their new crop of stars. At home, Real will keep this game close and have a good chance of advancing. Take Madrid at the line and enjoy what should be an amazing back-and-forth fixture.
Real Madrid +0.25
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