Exclusive Bet Tips
Top Games of the Week
Football action continues midweek with the second leg matches of the EFL Cup quarter-finals taking place in England, while in Italy the Coppa Italia semi-finals take place. There is also Ligue 1 football on the menu, as PSG look to consolidate their lead at the summit.
Here is a preview of the top games during the week and our betting tips.
Don’t forget to check out our Daily Specials Bets and Kings Combo under each league.
Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest
Erik ten Hag has all but gotten his team into the final of the EFL Cup after they won the first leg 3-0 away at Nottingham.
For Forest, the task is to try and pull off a miracle when they travel to Old Trafford as they look to reach a Cup final for the first time since 1992 when they lost to Manchester United.
While United have failed to win in their last two Premier League matches, they have returned to form after those dropped points to Crystal Palace and Arsenal. They scored three goals each and won both matches played against Reading and Nottingham Forest.
They were comfortable against Reading in the FA Cup in their last outing and will be assured knowing no team is yet to lose on aggregate after leading the first leg by three goals
Steve Cooper will be forgiven if he already has his sights on Premier League football where his team are trying to consolidate their position away from the relegation zone.
Not only did his team lose heavily at home to Manchester United in the first leg, they were also dumped out of the FA Cup by Blackpool.
History isn’t on their side for this trip, they have lost eight matches in a row against Manchester United across all tournaments and haven’t won at Old Trafford since the 1995-1995 season.
Despite having a healthy first-leg lead, expect Erik ten Hag to demand full commitment from his players, this will make an already difficult task nearly impossible for Nottingham Forest.
Brennan Johnson has been a bright spark for Nottingham Forest, while Jesse Lingard will be returning to Manchester United, a team he was on the books of since 2011 and made 149 appearances for. However, that reunion is unlikely to be a happy one for the England forward.
Our betting picks
- Manchester United to win @ 1.44
- Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.75
- Under 3.5 Cards @ 1.56
- Manchester United to win either half @ 1.24
Newcastle United vs Southampton
Newcastle hold a slender lead over Southampton ahead of the second leg of their semi-final fixture at St James’ Park to set up a final clash against either Manchester United or Nottingham Forest.
Southampton won their last match away from St. Mary’s against Everton in the Premier League and will to repeat the feat and overturn the first-leg deficit to qualify for the EFL Cup final.
Newcastle United: Eddie Howe’s Newcastle have been a side transformed from the team of last season; they are in fourth place in the Premier League and have lost only once in the league this season.
They are one match away from their first chance at a top-flight trophy since their 1954-55 FA Cup triumph. Expect them to be well-prepared for the visit of Southampton; they were eliminated in the third round of the FA Cup by Sheffield Wednesday earlier this month, giving them a full week to prepare for the visit of Southampton.
Southampton: Southampton are looking to become just the third team in EFL Cup history to reach the final after losing the first leg at home, joining Stoke City and Arsenal as the only other teams to do so.
They have picked up away wins at Everton and Crystal Palace this year but will be acutely aware that the odds are against them, having not won on any of their last six visits to St James’ Park.
With only a 1-goal lead, this match is finely balanced, although Eddie Howe’s team have both the home advantage and a better defence.
Southampton, on the other hand, has improved on the road this season and, with a place in the EFL Cup final at place, play with nothing to lose.
While it is difficult to predict, Newcastle have a slight advantage in this match because they play in front of their home fans at a stadium where they have yet to lose this season.
- Newcastle United to win @ 1.41
- Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.90
- Both teams to score @ 2.22
- Home team to win either half @ 1.21
Inter Milan vs Atalanta
Two teams in excellent form meet for a place in the Coppa Italia semi-finals when Inter Milan host Atalanta at the San Siro on Tuesday.
Both teams have enjoyed a run of good form recently: Inter Milan have lost just once in their last nine competitive matches, while Atalanta are unbeaten in six competitive games, with Nigerian striker Ademola Lookman in a rich vein of form for the Bergamo-based team.
Inter have progressed to the semifinals of the Copa Italia in each of the last three seasons and are looking to defend the title they won last year.
They have already beaten Atalanta in the Serie A this season but will be wary of the form Atalanta is in.
After suffering a surprise loss to Empoli and scraping a narrow win against Cremonese, the Serie A title might be beyond Inter’s grasp after falling 13 points behind league leaders Napoli. They will be eager to add to the Italian Super Cup they won earlier this month with a win tonight.
Atalanta turned around a poor end to 2022 by going on a six-game unbeaten streak in all competitions to climb up to fourth place on the Serie A log. In those six games they have won four matches and drawn two, scoring an impressive 22 goals along the way.
They have advanced to the Coppa Italia semifinals in three of the previous five seasons but were eliminated by Fiorentina at the quarter-final stage last year.
Atalanta, buoyed by the free-scoring Ademola Lookman, are in very good form and we expect their attack to give that Inter defence fits.
Although we predict that the game might end in a tie after 90 minutes, we think that Inter Milan will defeat Atalanta in overtime.
- Both teams to score @ 1.56
- Inter to win/draw @ 1.28
- Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.70
Montpellier vs PSG
PSG will still be reeling from the last-gasp goal they conceded to Reims in their last match, which prevented them from extending their lead to five points at the top of Ligue 1.
Montpellier, on the other hand, took all three points with a 2-0 win against Auxerre, their first Ligue 1 win in four matches.
Romain Pitau’s team is currently in 14th place in the table and has a comfortable five-point lead over the four teams in the relegation zone, but they are far from guaranteed a spot in the top flight, they only just ended a dismal four-game losing streak in all competitions dating back to December with their win against Auxerre.
Montpellier have only earned one point from their previous five home games during a dismal stretch at the Stade de la Mosson, where they have managed to maintain one clean sheet all season.
PSG are in unusual circumstances at the top of the Ligue 1 rankings after losing their last two Ligue 1 away matches, but Christophe Galtier’s team still leads Lens by three points after the second-placed Lens could only draw 1-1 against Troyes.
PSG have competition for the Ligue 1 title this season, and they now face the prospect of losing three straight league matches away from home for the first time since March 2022.
However, PSG will undoubtedly draw inspiration from their 5-2 thrashing of Montpellier back in August, which marked their ninth straight victory over Montpellier in all competitions.
For PSG, games against Montpellier have frequently been simple affairs, but Galtier’s team is currently going through the definition of a rough patch when they play away from home, and the ardent Paillade supporters will be in a good mood after their team’s victorious weekend adventures.
A PSG without Verratti faces danger from a revitalised Mavididi, but Galtier will want his team to respond immediately, and they should with the trio of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe in the attack against a leaky Montpellier defence.
- PSG to win @ 1.31
- Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.45
- Both teams to Score @ 1.74
- Under 4.5 bookings @ 1.56
Juventus vs Lazio
In the Coppa Italia quarter-final on Thursday, Juventus play host to Lazio at the Allianz Stadium.
Raffaele Palladino’s Monza defeated Juventus 2-0 in their last league fixture, while Lazio drew 1-1 against Vincenzo Italiano’s Fiorentina in the league.
The weekend loss to Monza has shown just how much Juventus have been shaken by the points deduction meted out to them. However, they will look to show a positive reaction as they chase what is one of their chances at silverware this season.
They were clear-cut winners when they played Lazio in the league in November, but a lot has changed since then with Lazio losing only once since the league resumed in 2023.
Unbeaten in their last five matches, Lazio have had a decent 2023 after suffering a surprise loss to Lecce at the beginning of the year. However, like every other team in the Serie A, they find themselves too far behind Napoli and must look elsewhere in their quest for silverware this season.
Despite suffering a 3-0 loss to Juventus in the league this year, they know they are coming up against a much different Juventus side and will be full of confidence heading to the Allianz Arena.
Current circumstances are not favourable for Juventus. Massimiliano Allegri’s team has dropped to 13th place in the league after receiving a 15-point deduction, and it is clear that the players’ morale has been affected by the decision, as they had been on a respectable run of form prior to the ruling.
They host a Lazio team that has seen the gap between them and the league leaders increase following the dropped points to Fiorentina, but will be confident they can get a win away at Juventus, knowing that the Turin side have conceded 5 goals in their last two home matches.
- Lazio to win @ 3.55
- Under 3.5 Goals @ 1.28
- Both teams to score @ 1.79
Real Madrid vs Valencia
On Thursday night, Real Madrid will host Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu in an effort to get back to winning in La Liga.
Following their goalless draw with Real Sociedad on home soil on Sunday, Los Blancos’ title chances suffered a setback.
If Barcelona defeat Real Betis on Wednesday, Carlo Ancelotti’s team could fall eight points behind Barcelona going into Thursday’s match.
While their match against Real Sociedad was always going to be tough, few would have predicted Madrid drawing a blank in 90 minutes of action.
That draw means they could be eight points behind the league leaders, Barcelona, by the time they face Valencia.
The last time they played Valencia at the Bernabeu, they needed a penalty shootout to beat them in the semifinals of the Supercopa de Espana.
Valencia have won only once away from home in La Liga and languish in 14th place. This poor run of results has led to the sacking of Gennaro Gatuso after just seven months in charge.
Voro Gonzalez will take charge in his eighth spell as caretaker manager of the club, and faces the daunting task of motivating his side to pull off an upset at the Bernabeu against the Champions League holders.
While Real Madrid have been inconsistent since the start of the new year, they welcome a Valencia side that are low on confidence and morale.
Real Madrid are the top-scoring side in La Liga and should be able to score goals against a Valencia team that has conceded six goals in their last three matches in all competitions.
- Madrid to win @ 1.44
- Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.60
- Only one team or no team to score @ 1.99
- Over 8.5 corners @ 1.44
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