Euro Soccer Round-Up – Leverkusen Remain Unbeaten

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Could Bayer Leverkusen be on for an undefeated treble? The German club are having a historic season under Xabi Alonso and have already wrapped up the Bundesliga title. With two more finals in store, and still yet to suffer a single loss, Leverkusen could be in for a monumental unbeaten treble. 

In this week’s Euro soccer round-up, we will take a closer look at Leverkusen and their incredible campaign. Of course, we will be providing you with a Premier League recap as well with just two games left to go. 

Xabi Alonso celebrates Leverkusen Bundesliga success

The Champions League semifinals concluded earlier this week as Borussia Dortmund eliminated Paris Saint-Germain, whilst Real Madrid secured a come-from-behind victory over Bayern Munich. We will be taking a quick look at those games before briefly previewing the Champions League final. 

Finally, our round-up will conclude by investigating the weekend’s biggest and most important Euro soccer fixtures. Let’s get this show on the road!

Premier League Recap

The Premier League Title Race: It was business as usual for the two frontrunners in the Premier League title race as Arsenal and Manchester City recorded comfortable victories last weekend. Mikel Arteta’s side ran out 3-0 winners at home to AFC Bournemouth, whilst the Cityzens dominated Wolverhampton Wanderers in a 5-1 triumph. Erling Haaland bagged four amidst criticism of his overall play of late, and the Norwegian wasn’t happy about being subbed off by boss Pep Guardiola. 

Top Four Race: Aston Villa currently have the upper hand in earning the final Champions League spot for next season. Tottenham Hotspur sit seven points behind in fifth-place, but they do have three games left to play. It seems incredibly unlikely at this stage that Villa won’t go on to secure fourth. They will need to lose both of their last two games against Liverpool and Crystal Palace. As for Spurs, they will have to win all three of their clashes with Burnley, Man City and Sheffield United. Their recent form has been dire too since they have lost their last four successive games.

Relegation Battle: The relegation dogfight is really starting to heat up with just two games left of the campaign, especially after Nottingham Forest’s appeal against their four-point deduction was rejected earlier this week. Luton Town are just three points behind in 18th-place, while Burnley still have a slim chance at avoiding the drop down in 19th. Forest picked up a crucial 3-1 win away to Sheffield United last Saturday. As for the Hatters, they shared the points in a 1-1 draw at home to Everton. 

Champions League Semifinals – 2nd Legs

German side Dortmund managed to overcome the odds and knock out PSG on Tuesday night, recording an unforgettable 1-0 win at the Parc des Princes. Les Parisiens were the favorites to reach the final, despite heading into the 2nd leg with a 1-0 disadvantage. 

However, a Mats Hummels goal in the second half doubled Dortmund’s lead and they will head into their first Champions League final since 2013. The 35-year-old was pivotal across both legs, helping his team keep back-to-back clean sheets, even up against Kylian Mbappe. It was truly fitting to see him score the goal in the second half that ultimately sealed Dortmund’s spot in the final. 

Elsewhere, there was late drama at the Santiago Bernabeu as super sub Joselu was the unlikely hero. He managed to save Real Madrid from a semifinal exit with a brace, first drawing the scores level in the 88th minute before putting Los Blancos ahead just three minutes later. 

The trophy drought for English forward Harry Kane continues. Bayern will not make it a 13th successive Bundesliga title, and now they have exited the Champions League. The 30-year-old will have to wait another year for club glory, but will now shift his focus primarily on England at Euro 2024. 

Here are the two results from the 2nd legs and the aggregate scores: 

  • Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 Borussia Dortmund (0-2)
  • Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (4-3)

The Champions League rarely fails to deliver. Fans are treated to spectacle after spectacle, year after year. That’s why it is European soccer’s premier club tournament. Once again, the semifinals lived up to the hype. 

We saw a big underdog win in Dortmund as they continued to pile the UCL misery on PSG. The French club are still yet to win the tournament, and in spite of a better display compared to their last two attempts (Round of 16 exits), they have still fallen once more. 

Real Madrid somehow always finds a way to win in the Champions League. They looked set to exit the competition with just two minutes left of normal time, but some tactical errors by Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel allowed Los Blancos back in the game. It wouldn’t have been the semifinals if we didn’t see some late theater, and that is exactly what was served up in the Spanish capital on Wednesday night. 

Champions League Final Odds

So it will be Dortmund vs Real Madrid in the 2024 Champions League final. The two teams will lock horns at Wembley Stadium, London on June 1st. Will BVB manage to win their first Champions League since 1997? Or will Real Madrid go on to win an incredible 15th title? Let’s take a look at what the oddsmakers think:

Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid Moneyline Odds

  • Dortmund (+390)
  • Draw (+340)
  • Real Madrid (-161)

Bettors can opt to place wagers on the moneyline for the Champions League final. The odds above are just based on the regulation time result. Real Madrid are currently heavy favorites to win in 90 minutes as they bid to secure their second UCL title in three years. 

Below you can find the odds for each team to lift the trophy: 

  • Dortmund (+250)
  • Real Madrid (-333)

Having lifted the Champions League trophy every time they have reached the final during its current format (8), it’s not much of a surprise to see Carlo Ancelotti’s men priced so short to win the tournament. Los Blancos know what it takes to deliver on the big stage. So too does their Italian manager who has won the competition a record four times as coach. 

It will take some doing for Dortmund to defeat the Spanish heavyweights. However, they were +105 underdogs to get past PSG in the Champions League semifinals, even with a one-goal advantage, and they managed to reach the final. Can Hummels finally get revenge for his 2013 UCL defeat against Bayern Munich? 

Champions League Final – Early Predictions

Nearly half a billion viewers watched the 2023 Champions League final between Man City and Inter which was around three times more than the Super Bowl LVIII viewing figures! That goes to show just how global soccer is and the enormous reach it has. It also demonstrates just how important the Champions League final is, and just reaching the last two is a great achievement.

Below, you can check out some early Champions League final predictions.

As shown by the odds above, Real Madrid are heavy favorites. They have won the tournament a record 14 times, last doing so in 2022 against Liverpool. Due to their pedigree in the competition, their strong squad, and elite coach in Ancelotti, it’s hard to look past them. However, their odds appear to be too short to bet on and they aren’t offering much value.

It may be an option to back the underdogs in Dortmund. Their price of +250 to lift the trophy could give bettors a nice profit, and it may be worth backing them just to make things interesting. However, I would recommend fading them at this time. Anything can happen in a one-off game, but Real Madrid will be incredibly tough to beat.

Instead, it could be a good idea to take a look at the totals market. The last four Champions League finals have all ended in a 1-0 scoreline. The Dortmund defense was excellent against PSG, failing to concede a goal across the two legs, and Hummels will be desperate to get revenge and finally add a Champions League winners medal to his collection. That should be enough for him to lead a sturdy BVB backline. Therefore, at this stage, we recommend backing under 2.5 goals at a price of +120.

Leverkusen Remain Unbeaten

It has been an incredible season for Bayer Leverkusen under the guidance of Xabi Alonso. In his maiden campaign as a head coach, the Spaniard has managed to end Bayern Munich’s dominance in the Bundesliga after Die Werkself were crowned champions last month. That was also the club’s first-ever Bundesliga title. 

Things just keep getting better and better for Leverkusen who have still remarkably yet to lose a single matchup across all competitions thus far. They came from two goals down to draw 2-2 (4-2 win on aggregate) at home to Roma on Thursday night to book themselves a spot in the UEFA Europa League final. 

With a DFB-Pokal final still on the horizon as well, there is a great chance that Alonso is able to complete an astonishing undefeated treble. The work that the former Bayern Munich man has done for Leverkusen will already go down in the history books. However, an unprecedented unbeaten treble will truly be one of the greatest-ever sporting achievements. 

Two finals for Leverkusen

Although Leverkusen have already enjoyed some celebrations after winning the Bundesliga – their first major trophy since 1993 – they still need to focus on two key cup finals. 

Firstly, they will face off against Italian side Atalanta on May 22 in the Europa League final. Leverkusen knocked out Qarabag, West Ham United and Roma en route to the final, and they will have to get past Gian Piero Gasperini’s La Dea later this month. They last won a European trophy in 1988. 

Will Leverkusen add the DFB-Pokal trophy to their cabinet this season?

Here are the latest odds for the Europa League final which takes place at Aviva Stadium, Ireland: 

  • Atalanta (+300) (+175 to lift trophy)
  • Draw (+275)
  • Leverkusen (-120) (-225 to lift trophy)

Leverkusen are the favorites at this stage, by quite the margin too. Their stunning season has not gone unnoticed, and many believe that they will go on to win the Europa League this season. We may be able to find some decent value for Leverkusen to win in 90 minutes, but the -225 to lift the trophy is too short. 

Just three days after the Europa League final, Leverkusen will also play in the DFB-Pokal final. That is Germany’s main cup competition. Die Werkself will go up against 2. Bundesliga team 1. FC Kaiserslautern on May 25. Leverkusen defeated Teutonia Ottensen, SV Sandhausen, SC Paderborn, VfB Stuttgart and Fortuna Dusseldorf in order to reach the final two. Check out the most recent odds for the final below: 

  • Kaiserslautern (+1600) (+1000 to lift the trophy)
  • Draw (+650)
  • Leverkusen (-714) (-2000 to lift the trophy)

Leverkusen are an incredibly short -2000 to win the DFB-Pokal. It would be quite the upset if second tier team Kaiserslautern were able to get the victory. There isn’t any value on either of these odds so we recommend that you steer clear of wagering on the moneyline.

What’s On This Weekend’s European Soccer Schedule? 

The Champions League final is set and we’ve got less than a month to wait before kick off at the start of June. The conclusion of Europe’s elite club competition is one of the most highly-anticipated showpieces in soccer. Who will come out on top? The Europa League final will also be a fascinating affair. Can Leverkusen win a staggering unbeaten treble?

For now, we’ve got plenty of other top action to dive into across the major European soccer leagues. Of course, make sure that you sign-up to Sports Hub in order to gain full access to all of our cappers picks. Our experts will be providing you with the best bets as the season comes to a close.

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Coming up this weekend, the Premier League dominates the schedule. There’s just two games left of the campaign, and the title winner and the bottom three is yet to be determined. Every point matters at this stage of the season. 

League winners have already been confirmed in the rest of the four major European leagues. PSG, Leverkusen, Inter and Real Madrid have all been crowned champions in their respective competitions. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty to play for as European spots and relegation needs to be settled. Let’s take a look at what’s coming up. 

  • The Premier League: There are a total of eight games on Saturday. That opens with an early kick off between Fulham and Manchester City at Craven Cottage which could have huge title implications. Relegation contenders Forest, Luton and Burnley are all playing as well. 
  • Sunday Is The Big Day: The English Championship playoffs kick off this weekend. The first legs will be played on Sunday, starting with Norwich City vs Leeds United as Daniel Farke makes a return to Carrow Road. That is then followed by Southampton vs West Bromwich Albion. The second legs will take place next week. The winner of the playoffs will earn the lucrative prize of Premier League money.
  • Premier League Sunday Encounter: More drama will unfold as Manchester United host rivals Arsenal at Old Trafford. The Gunners need to win if they are to still have a shot at winning the Premier League trophy this season, while the pressure is on Red Devils boss Erik Ten Hag as their season continues to plummet. Can they upset Arsenal and do their noisy neighbors a favor?
  • Top Five Leagues: Games from the top five leagues also continue with Ligue 1, Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga action. Leverkusen feature in an away clash against Bochum on Sunday, and they will want to keep their undefeated record intact. 
  • Monday: Aston Villa host Liverpool on Monday at Villa Park. The Villans still need to wrap up their spot in the top four in order to complete their Champions League qualification. Liverpool could be out of the title race officially before the game is played if either one of City or Arsenal win. 

That’s that for this week. The Champions League semifinals are over and the final two teams have been decided. It should be a blockbuster from Wembley and I’m sure all soccer fans around the world are looking forward to the game.

Be sure to keep an eye on Bayer Leverkusen. Their season has simply been incredible, and it could get even better if they go on and complete the sweep of trophies. It’s going to be an exciting end to the campaign and our cappers will continue working hard to provide you with the best picks. I’ll catch you next week!