8pm The stage is set for a wonderful Thursday night on BETDAQ Betting Exchange with two brilliant Europa League second leg Semi-Final ties. Sevilla and Juventus are locked together at 1-1 after the first leg, but Roma have a one goal advantage over Bayer Leverkusen and that’s where we start the night. It’s a real shame that both games are on at the same time, but we’ve been down this road complaining before! Roma have had a really tough time of things in Serie A recently – once again they dropped points after the first leg with a 0-0 draw against Bologna at the weekend. That’s five games without a win at just the wrong time – they have dropped out of the top four and down to sixth, with six points between them and Lazio it’s hard to see them getting back into the Champions League spots. All their focus will be on this fixture of course, but the season could take a quick bad turn if they dumped out, they could easily miss out on the Europa League spot(s) too. They’ll be hoping Inter Milan win the Coppa Italia if they exit here. There wasn’t much between the sides in the first leg, but Roma created the better chances and deserved to win. They have had issues with injuries lately but you have to give them huge credit – they have had a tough fixture list but turned up in the difficult moments.

You get the feeling that Jose Mourinho has the whole of Rome playing for him at the moment. The stadium is absolutely bouncing every home game, and Mourinho has looked back to his superb best in this tournament. He really gave it to the Feyenoord fans and manager in the Quarter-Finals; just like Mourinho of old! He has a massive task on his hands here however to get a result away from home. Bayer Leverkusen come into the game as the 2.1 favourites in the 90 minutes match odds market with Roma 4.1 and the draw is 3.45. Obviously a draw will be good enough for Roma, so expect Mourinho to approach the game like that. We’ve watched him park the bus time and time again in big games, and it’s hard to see Roma go with any other tactic to be honest. They have been solid at the back all season though – their average xG conceded is Serie A is only 0.8 which is very impressive. Leverkusen have been having a very average season in the Bundesliga and they arrive into this fixture having fallen out of the European spots – they currently sit in seventh. Including the Roma loss, they are without a win in four games in all competitions and they haven’t been creating a lot of chances too. The 2.1 feels very short on Leverkusen here; Roma have been playing the better football this season and Mourinho has all the experience here – I’m very happy with a Leverkusen lay at the odds.

The Ultra Says:
Three points lay (liability) Bayer Leverkusen to beat Roma at 2.1 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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8pm We have another fascinating Semi-Final next as Sevilla host Juventus. Sevilla surprised a lot of football fans, including me, with a 1-1 draw in the first leg away from home. It was a very even game and they fully deserved a draw. That was an incredible performance given the form Juventus have been in at home this season, and now Sevilla are in the box seat. Juventus have played one more home game than Napoli this season in Serie A, but they have managed three points more which is an incredible record given how far Napoli have won the title by. Where Juventus have fallen down is their away form, and given Manchester United were blown away here Sevilla will be a popular bet. The home side come into the game as the favourites, but we do have an open looking betting heat. Sevilla are trading 2.56, Juventus 3.15 and the draw is 3.3 at the time of writing. Sevilla have had a very disappointing season in La Liga, even sitting in the relegation zone for half the season, and this is their final chance at European football next season. The stakes couldn’t be any higher for Sevilla to be honest – lose European football and players won’t want to come, some will want to leave and then you have less money etc. Juventus nearly found themselves in that situation too, however they got their 15 point deduction after an investigation into their transfer dealings overturned.

I know Sevilla have been poor this season; there’s little point even discussing their average figures to be honest because they were so poor at the start of the season. The thing about Sevilla at the moment however is that they are playing their best football of the season. Ever since they turned things around from being 2-0 down at Old Trafford they haven’t looked back, and they scored another three goals at the weekend. They still have huge issues at the back – an xG conceded of 2.5 highlights that but they are playing with confidence at the moment. Juventus had a routine win over Cremonese at the weekend, and they grinded out an important win away to Atalanta prior to the first leg. If we were looking purely at the under-lining numbers, Juventus would be the best option here but you have to say Sevilla come into the tie in a great place. We’re bound to have a very tight and tense affair given the situation, and I was surprised to see Under 2.5 goals trading as high as 1.75. I know in games like this when sides go behind, they have to attack to get back into the tie with time ticking down. However, Juventus haven’t been as good away from home this season, they have had to work very hard for their wins but they are a lot more solid at the back than Sevilla. I feel Unders should be shorter.

The Ultra Says:
Two points win Under 2.5 goals at 1.75 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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THE STRIKER Sat: Premier League Preview
DAQMAN Thurs: Newmarket NAP
DAQSTATS Thurs: Newmarket NAP
2023 Ryder Cup preview
THE ULTRA Thurs: Serie A and La Liga Preview
THE ULTRA Fri: Bundesliga and La Liga Preview
PAT HEALY: Recapping a brilliant week in Listowel
WEEK AHEAD: It’s Ryder Cup week!
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