Tottenham will once again be without star striker Harry Kane when they host Ajax in first leg of their Champions League semi-final clash on Tuesday. Spurs managed to knock out the mighty Man City in the last round, thanks largely to the heroics of Son Heung-Min. However, Mauricio Pochettino admitted they were suffering from stress and fatigue after they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to West Ham on Saturday, and they certainly missed Kane’s goal threat. Now they must try to contain a young, fearless and energetic Ajax side. Bet365 has 11/8 on Spurs to win and 15/8 on Ajax, which might tempt a few punters, but write Tottenham off at your peril.
Wednesday’s game promises to be an absolute thriller. Barcelona wrapped up the Spanish title at the weekend as the peerless Lionel Messi banged in his 598th goal. They can now concentrate their efforts on Europe and their bid to triumph over Liverpool, who remain locked in a heated race with Man City for Premier League glory. The Reds went to the final of this competition last year and they are aiming to go one better in 2019 after replacing Loris Karius with Alisson. This should be a really entertaining game and a bet on both teams to score and over 2.5 goals looks interesting at 93/100 with Marathon Bet and 10/11 with Sky Bet.
Arsenal are in poor form, but they have been strong at home this season and they have the ability to vanquish Valencia at The Emirates on Wednesday night. They have struggled on their travels recently, so it is imperative that they clinch victory in the first leg of this tie. Valencia are in good form, but they do not boast such expensively assembled talent as Arsenal, and the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette could swing this one in the Gunners’ favour. Betway has 19/20 on an Arsenal win. Chelsea have a tricky trip to free-scoring Eintrach Frankfurt to look forward to on Thursday. The Blues are the better team and should prevail over two legs, but they will be under pressure from a dynamic attack in Frankfurt, and both teams to score looks good at 8/11 with Ladbrokes.
The battle to reach the playoffs of the Premier League is extremely tense as we approach the final business end of the season. James Wade, Gerwyn Price and Mensur Suljovic all have 15 points, and Darryl Gurney is on 14. Only two of them will join Michael van Gerwen and Rob Cross in the semi-finals. Wade and Price face one another in a huge match on Thursday, and Betfair is offering 13/10 on the Wade and 6/4 on Price. Suljovic looks well priced at even money to beat Peter Wright, but it will be difficult for Gurney to topple van Gerwen. Odds of evens on Cross beating the struggling Mike Smith also look attractive.
The big names continue to tumble at the Crucible, as Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Williams, Mark Selby and Mark Allen have all packed their bags. Neil Robertson and Judd Trump are now the biggest names left standing, but underdogs will fancy their chances of achieving further upsets. William Hill has 15/8 on Robertson and 9/4 on Trump.
England’s World Cup preparations begin with an ODI against Ireland and it will be a great chance for the highly-rated Jofra Archer to impress the selectors and force his way into the 15-man tournament squad. England are the heavy favourites to win it and they really should justify those prices with a convincing victory.