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Europa League

The first leg of the Europa League quarter finals takes place tonight and there is just the one English team left in the competition. Liverpool travel to Germany to play the tournament favourites in what should be a fascinating match with Jurgen Klopp returning to clash with the team he used to manage.

Dortmund have been in great form recently and are currently second in the Bundesliga, just five points behind the champions Bayern Munich. They have an excellent well rounded side that is absolutely brilliant in attack and have actually scored one more goal than Munich in the league so far this season.

Given the above, Liverpool will really have their work cut out to progress to the semi finals but on their day they have shown that they are a match for anyone in the Premier League this season and have recently been scoring plenty of goal themselves. It appears to be imperative that Liverpool do get at least one away goal to take back to Anfield given the German's attacking ability and they are definitely capable of this. Roberto Firmino faces a late fitness test and if he comes through that it will be a massive bonus as he has been one of their top players this season. Gundogan is also missing for Dortmund and he is a vital cog in their midfield so it may mean that Liverpool get a little bit of joy in that area.

Carlos Velasco Carballo is the referee which is the same ref as Liverpool had in their home leg against Utd in the previous round. He is renowned for dishing out plenty of yellow cards, and with five Liverpool players just one booking away from suspension of the second leg, they will need to be really careful.

I have a feeling there will be goals in this first leg and we can obtain a price of 11/12 with Unibet on the both teams to score market, and I think this represents excellent value.

A second slightly more speculative selection, and only if he is down to start the match, is Roberto Firmino anytime goal scorer at 4/1.

 

14:50 Aintree 

Three of the main contenders for this year's Cheltenham Gold Cup reappear in this race (Cue Card fell, Djakadam 2nd and Don Poli third) and it should be another great race.

Cue Card was travelling right up with the leaders before misjudging a fence and falling three out, and assuming he has got over that fall, I think he is the one to beat. He has been travelling superbly through his races this season and the flatter course here at Aintree will really suit him, as will the drop in trip and I am confident he will take all the beating.

Djakadam was a fine second to Don Cossack in the Gold Cup and he should give a good account of himself again. He is fast enough to be able to live with Cue Card but it's in the final few furlongs where I can see Cue Card running away with it.

Don Poli is a fine horse but appears to want further and was outpaced in the Gold Cup before staying on behind tired horses. He will again find the pace hot enough and I can see him running on into third place again here.

 

Today's Selections

Dortmund v Liverpool - BTTS - 3 points @ 11/12 (Unibet)

Firmino anytime scorer - ! point @ 4/1 (Bwin)

Aintree 14:50 - Cue Card - 3 points @ 5/4 (Most firms)

 

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