Ouch! For only the second time since beginning our online betting experiment we experienced a sad wipeout with four out ofÂ four predictions going south. Â£25 lighter, the hunger is feverish to prove ourselves once more and to wipe the smile off our bookies 888.com.
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Over in France, Lyon have been feeling sorry for themselves in the past for weeks as they have watched their 7-year stranglehold on Ligue 1 finally loosen, recording a lousy two draws and two defeats in the last four matches. The arrival of Nantes to the Stade Gerland offers a ray of light, the third-from-bottom visitors experiencing an even worse run of form having chalked up five defeats in their last six outings.
One team very much on the up in Ligue 1 is Auxerre, who have won their last three successive matches including impressive victories at Monaco and Sochaux. AJA welcome Grenoble on Wednesday night in the league, with last year’s Ligue 2 promotion winners safe for another season in the top flight and looking a little too relaxed with only two wins in their last six outings.
There is no tighter title race than the Bundesliga, and with a full round of midweek matches the destination of the title is unlikely to become much clearer.
The concertinaed nature of the German league has allowed Borussia Dortmund to steal into fifth place after an incredible sequence of seven back-to-back wins. With the Champions League spots now firmly in Jurgen Klopp’s sights, his Borussians now face arguably their do-or-die moment away at leaders Wolfsburg.
For their part, the news that manager Felix Magath has agreed to join Schalke from next season appeared to knock Wolfsburg for six, as they were pummeled 4-1 at Stuttgart last weekend. With two defeats in their last three games it is starting to look like the gig is up for The Wolves, as the title begins to slip out their own hands.
Lastly, we end with two riskier bets hoping for big reward.
Barcelona have the chance to scoop their first major honour of the season on Wednesday night as they meet Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final. For most this match appears a full-gone conclusion, with the irresistible Catalans looking like mopping up all their domestic trophies as a formality before they play Manchester United in the Champions League final.
However, such thoughts act as a terrible disservice to Bilbao who will head into the match looking to win the Copa del Rey for the 24th time, which would lift it level with Barcelona as its record winner. As one of the most important clubs in Spanish history, the Basque team have a proud record in knock-out competitions and will be super-charged to claim the prized scalp of Barca.
Backing the underdog who are priced at 11/2 to win, we are backing Bilbao with a Â£5 bet looking for a healthy Â£27.50 profit.
Lastly, we are looking to place a flutter on the Coppa Italia final which also takes place on Wednesday night between Lazio and Sampdoria.
Arguably, the most decisive factor heading into the match is the venue, Lazio’s home ground the Stadio Olimpico was pre-selected to host the final of the competition and accordingly offers the side from Rome a huge early advantage over Samp.
Nevertheless, is there was any team in Italy who is likely to mess up such a benefit it is Lazio, who have been blowing hot-and-cold for the majority of the season. Sitting 10th in the league, having recorded three straight losses after a run of three straight victories, Lazio are too unpredictable to be outright favourites for the cup.
With that said, and with attractive odds of 12/5 on the Sampdoria win, we aim to turn Â£7 into a Â£28 return.