David has backed the professionalism of the Champions League semi-finalists and gone for Bayern Munich to beat Freiburg, Borussia Dortmund to overcome Fortuna Dusseldorf, Real Madrid to win the derby at Atletico Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur to see off Wigan Athletic. Now to tell you why.
Well, that certainly was the week that was, wasn’t it? Hungry Uruguayans and even hungrier Germans ensured that this week will live long in the memory.
In honour of the achievements of Jupp Heynckes’ and Jurgen Klopp’s men, I have plonked them both on to this coupon, flanked beautifully by Spurs and Dortmund’s victims, Real Madrid.
They will all likely make changes ahead of next week’s second legs, but all three managers are professional enough to send their sides out to take a league win into those crucial games.
I should also point out that I have purposefully avoided the Football League this week, with the ever-unpredictable Championship being kept at arm’s length and the final fixtures in Leagues One and Two being too unpredictable with very little riding on any of them.
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Bayern Munich to beat Freiburg @ 1/5
Well, this one won’t take much explanation. Bayern have already won the Bundesliga and have surely sealed their place in the Champions League final at Wembley after a momentous 4-0 hammering of the great Barcelona on Tuesday.
There may be some who will question whether the Bavarians will have the motivation to put in a performance here, knowing that they must complete the job in the Camp Nou next week.
Heynckes is likely to rest some of his star names, but with the likes of Rafinha, Xherdan Shaqiri and Claudio Pizarro to call on, they should still dispatch Freiburg at the Allianz Arena.
The visitors have enjoyed a good season, currently sitting in fifth place, but they have lost three of their last six away games, including last time out against Stuttgart.
Tottenham to beat Wigan @ 19/20
As the season draws to a close, more and more games in the Premier League are looking like dead rubbers, but this is not one of them.
Both Wigan and Spurs have massive stakes riding on this one, with the Latics desperately fighting against relegation while Tottenham attempt to reach the Champions League.
Roberto Martinez always finds himself in this position around this time of year, and always gets out of it, but things seem a little different this time.
The FA Cup finalists are playing good football, but against Manchester City and West Ham, they didn’t have the results to show for it.
Andre Villas-Boas’ men looked like they’d reached their limit as they slipped out of the top four in recent weeks, but last Sunday’s comeback victory over City showed that, with Gareth Bale back from injury, they are still there to be reckoned with.
Plucky Wigan will give it their all, play well and probably have more possession, but Tottenham are hungry for the Champions League, and they have Bale, so I can’t see past an away win here.
Borussia Dortmund to beat Dusseldorf @ 13/20
Like with Bayern, Dortmund have little to play for here as they have already surrendered their title to their rivals.
However, Klopp is an eccentric genius and there is no way he’ll allow his team to let up, proven by the way they dismantled Furth 6-1 two weeks ago despite losing the Bundesliga title a week earlier.
BVB took full control of their semi with Real Madrid after an awesome foursome from Robert Lewandowski, and although they may have to do without some of their shining lights in this game, like Munich, they have strength in depth to see off Dusseldorf, who are bottom of the form table in the German top flight.
Norbert Meier’s side are trying to steer clear of the relegation zone, but their recent record of two points from a possible 18 does not fill me with confidence.
Real Madrid to beat Atletico Madrid @ 8/5
I can’t remember the last time I saw Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid at such long odds in a La Liga game that wasn’t at the Camp Nou, but to be fair there is good reason.
As with the Germans, the Champions League will likely affect Mourinho’s team selection, but the fact that it’s a derby could mean he takes it a bit more seriously than normal. It would surprise me if more than a couple of the regular stars are benched.
Atletico have a terrific home record, with 14 wins from 16 games, and have only lost once, but they have an appalling record in the Madrid derby.
Of the last 37 meetings between the two, Atletico have won just two of them, compared to Real’s 26 triumphs, with the last Rojiblancos win coming in October 1999.
While Radamel Falcao, Diego Simeone and company will argue that they’ve never had a better chance of beating their illustrious neighbours, my gut instinct tells me that history will repeat itself here as the Special One attempts to save face and build confidence ahead of their mountainous task against Dortmund at the Bernabeu next week.
Follow David on Twitter @whichdave