Roma Can Avoid Defeat At Anfield Tonight
Liverpool are unbeaten in European football in 15 home matches and the atmosphere at Anfield is certainly a factor. The fans went too far in welcoming the Manchester City team bus in the last round and crossed the line between banter and intimidation. A football club has its culture and identity and the passion of home fans is a massive factor in the Champions League. City could not cope in the first half in the quarter-finals and the tie was over after 45 minutes. Roma are another kettle of fish and are used to hostile environments so can secure a DRAW at 7/2 with William Hill.
In the European Cup era the away team would set their stall out not to concede and were happy with a goalless draw. However, it is now uncommon for a team who do not score an away in the first leg to proceed to the next round. Not scoring in the first match on the road leaves a team vulnerable to an away goal which then makes life very difficult. The current Roma generation understand the value of an away goal. Roma have scored in all 10 away matches this year and that run can continue at Anfield tonight. The logical conclusion is to back BTTS at 8/11 with Ladbrokes.
It’s the first day of the Punchestown Festival which is Ireland’s version of Cheltenham. However, whereas Irish horses are entered en masse at Cheltenham there are few UK runners at Punchestown this week. The money and talent has migrated to Ireland and it takes an exceptional horse to beat them in their own back yard. Irish racing has now become a duopoly with Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott dominating the scene. Mullins is well off the pace in the trainer’s championship and must win the Grade 1 Champion Chase today (5.30). He has three runners and the best is DOUVAN who should be backed at Evens with Betfair.
There are two other Grade 1 contests on the first of five fixtures at Punchestown this week. The opening contest is at 3.40 and this could be described as a twilight meeting that has the best of both worlds. The racing starts at a reasonable time and doesn’t impinge on the evening and the concept works for the track. Seven of the 10 runners in the Champion Novice Hurdle (4.20) are trained by Mullins and Elliott. The former can cut into Elliott’s lead with GETABIRD winning at Evens with bet365.