There are Still Matters to be Settled in Spain

After another stunning week in Europe, we’re back to domestic action in La Liga and it’s all to play for with some great football games to enjoy.

The betting odds have been strongly in favour of Barcelona winning the title for some time and it could well be a done deal this weekend. But one of the top four will have to play in a qualifier for next season’s Champions League, and that’s something to avoid. Meanwhile, mobile betting fans can see more drama on the way in the relegation and Europa qualification battles. It’s a big weekend for sure!


Levante vs Sevilla

What a night this could be for Levante. Two stunning free-kicks from Enis Bardhi won their last game against Athletic Bilbao, and one more win will see them safe. Sevilla are three points behind Villarreal, and level with Getafe in the chase for a Europa place, so this game will be a cracker. The hosts are at 3.60 to win, with Sevilla 1.97 and the draw at 3.55.

Espanyol vs Las Palmas

Well, there won’t be any trips to sunny Las Palmas for top flight fans next season as the Gran Canarians are finishing this campaign in disastrous form. Five consecutive defeats have doomed them, and Espanyol are one of the beneficiaries. The hosts aren’t mathematically safe but they should be by Sunday.

Real Sociedad vs Athletic Bilbao

A place behind Celta, Sociedad’s chances of European qualification are very slim after a three-match winning run was ended by Malaga last week! But you have to fancy them to beat a Bilbao side with just one win and three defeats in the last six, and the hosts are available at 1.89.


Real Madrid vs Leganes

Los Blancos are gathering some momentum, already ahead in their Champions League semi, and breathing down Atletico’s necks, so there’s no reason to suggest they can’t win this Madrid derby. It’s been another cracking season for Asier Garitano’s minnows though, and they can look forward to a third season at the top table.

Villarreal vs Celta Vigo

What an odd year Villarreal have had, summed up in the last five games by beating Atletico, drawing away at Sevilla and losing to doomed Malaga. But Europa qualification looks on the cards, while Celta still hold out some hope, six points behind and with 20-goal Iago Aspas on the hunt for more.

Getafe vs Girona

These two both still have chances of Europa qualification but are going in different directions. After such a promising season, Girona have taken just four points from six games while Getafe, a place and point ahead in eighth, have won three on the bounce and are at 2.08 to make it four.

Alaves vs Atletico Madrid

Three league wins in four have elevated Alaves to 13th. But Atletico has been in patchy form, with one win in five, in all competitions, and with Los Blancos coming up on the rails. Diego Simeone’s defence is the tightest in the division, while his strikers have drawn two consecutive blanks. You can get 1.93 on over 2.00 goals here.


Valencia vs Eibar

Valencia can confirm Champions League qualification at the Mestalla with a win over Eibar but the hosts haven’t won in three. Still, their attack of Rodrigo, Santi Mina and Simone Zaza, with 40 goals combined, should have too much for an Eibar side, with one point from four and heading for the beach.

Deportivo La Coruna vs Barcelona

Ernesto Valverde’s Barca have been the best team in La Liga, by a distance, while Depor, surprisingly, have been one of the worst, and it’s only a matter of time until Clarence Seedorf’s side falls through the trap door. The former Dutch star will need more than a miracle as Lionel Messi seeks his 30th league goal of the season.


Real Betis vs Malaga

Bottom club Malaga heads to Betis with THEIR tail well and truly up after beating Real Sociedad 2-0 last week. However, it’s all too little too late and I don’t hold out much hope for them against their fifth-placed hosts, who drew last week against Atletico after winning six on the bounce.

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Football Bets on Atletico for Europa Glory Look Just Fine

Antoine Griezmann struck a late goal for ten-man Atletico to give the La Liga giants a draw and a crucial away goal at the Emirates.

Live betting fans reacted quickly as Atletico went down to ten men early in the game, but the Spaniards defended brilliantly throughout, and got their reward when Griezmann fired home. Atletico started the game as favourites to lift the title at betting odds of 2.10, and they are set to tighten after tonight’s results.

Meanwhile, it’s advantage Marseille as the Ligue 1 side beat Salzburg 2-0.

Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid

The telling action in north London came late on, but there was also early drama when fullback Sime Vrsalijko picked up a yellow card on just three minutes. But the Croatian didn’t worry about that, until he picked up a second seven minutes later when he tripped Alexandre Lacazette. And that meant the Gunners had 80 plus minutes to play against ten men but, well as they played, they couldn’t penetrate the depleted Atletico defence throughout the first half. Arsenal had 15 shots in the first 45 as Atleti keeper Jan Oblak made three super saves.

The Emirates crowd did everything it could to lift the team; it’s a shame they hadn’t supported the Gunners and their manager like this throughout the season. And it did the trick; Jack Wilshere played a smart one-two with Aaron Ramsey before lifting a superb cross for Lacazette to head home.

Danny Welbeck was inches away from making it two but the home crowd’s cheers turned to groans on 82 minutes when Laurent Koscielny made a hash of a clearance to give Antoine Griezmann two chances to score, and that was enough as he fired into the roof of the net. As the clock ran down Oblak made a brilliant save to deny Ramsay, but that was that; advantage Atletico.

Marseille 2-0 Salzburg

Dimitri Payet was in superb form in Marseille to help give the favourites a commanding first leg lead. The hosts were the better side from the off and former West Ham star Payet had an early sight of goal, shooting just wide. Then, on 15 minutes, the Stade Velodrome erupted as former West Ham star Payet centred for Florian Thauvin to convert from close range.

The French couldn’t add to that before the break, but Payet continued to run the show in the second half, and shortly after crossing for Thauvin to force a save, he put in Clinton N’Jie who gleefully fired into the bottom corner. 2-0, and Marseille have taken a good stride towards the final.

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Will you Bet Online on the Swans and Saints?

It’s a massive weekend for Swansea and Southampton, with huge survival football games, both at home, but each with very different opponents.

Relegation looms for the side which loses its nerve. However, the Swans, in 17th and with a four point lead over the Saints, have the upper hand, though the visit of Chelsea may change matters. My third pick takes in two teams which football betting pundits, at the start of the Premier League season, thought may be in a relegation scrap, but they haven’t.

Swansea City vs Chelsea (April 29, 00:30 GMT+8)

Carlos Carvalhal has worked wonders since his arrival in South Wales, but goals have been hard to come by and, with two points from five games, momentum has been lost. Chelsea, on the other hand, have back-to-back wins and can still, just about, catch Spurs in fourth.

The Blues are beginning to look back to their best; and so my first 🌟🌟 bet is an away win, at odds of 1.86, with a -1.00 goal handicap.

Southampton vs Bournemouth (April 28, 22:00 GMT+8)

Mark Hughes could be the man to take two clubs down in one season if the Saints stay in the bottom three along with his former club Stoke. But they don’t have the FA Cup to distract them now and this is a must win game. The Cherries have taken just two points from four games, but against stiff competition, and they know where the goal is.

I expect an end-to-end battle on the south coast, so am backing 0ver 2.75 goals at 1.97 in a 🌟🌟🌟 bet.

Burnley vs Brighton & Hove Albion (April 28, 22:00 GMT+8)

Brighton can almost look forward to a successful survival campaign, though another point or two would be nice. But at trip to Burnley, where the hosts are chasing a Europa place, may not be the place. Defeat to Chelsea was the Clarets first in five at home and strikers Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes are in potent form.

The Seagulls have lost the last three on the road and so, for another 🌟🌟 bet, how about a win for Burnley at 2.22?

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

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All Eyes on the Runners-up Spot!

Seven is the magic number for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United as they aim to secure the runners-up spot in their remaining Premier League football games.

However, online betting heavyweights Liverpool and Tottenham are within striking distance and will be ready to pounce when and if the Red Devils slip-up.

Liverpool vs Stoke City (April 28, 19:30 GMT+8)

Anfield is overflowing with so much positivity right now after Liverpool beat Roma in a live betting spectacle in the Champions League semi-final. That means it’s a bad time for Stoke to visit, especially with their survival hopes hanging in the balance.

It’s always difficult to beat a team that has no other choice but to win, though it should be noted that Stoke have never won a top-flight league game at Liverpool. Not to mention that the Potters are winless in their last 12 away matches.

And really, who could stop Mo Salah who will break the record for most goals scored in a 38-game season if he scores?

I see a one-sided affair here, so go for Liverpool Asian Handicap -1.50 @ 1.94 for a 🌟🌟🌟 bet.

Manchester United vs Arsenal (April 29, 23:30 GMT+8)

Arsenal might want to give Arsene Wenger a proper send-off by winning their remaining matches, but that will be a tall order as they now face a Manchester United team that is prioritising finishing second more than the FA Cup.

United beat the Gunners the first time they met this season and could complete a league double against them for the first time in six years. It should help United that Arsenal will have little time to rest as Wenger’s side have a Europa League game against Atletico Madrid just two days before their scheduled meeting.

Just like their previous fight, there should be goals—and plenty of it—here. Hence, I suggest a 🌟🌟 bet on goals Over 2.75 @ 1.93.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford (May 01, 03:00 GMT+8)

Fresh from their FA Cup semis defeat, the Spurs will be raring to bounce back and ensure their automatic Champions League qualification, at the least.

Watford, winless in their last six (four defeats, two draws), don’t pose much of a challenge. Not with Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen in fine form for the Spurs.

Kane has his eyes set on the Golden Boot and will undoubtedly look to score. Meanwhile, Eriksen has been on a tear, scoring five and turning provider three times in their last seven games in all competitions.

I expect the two to lead the Spurs’ charge against the struggling Hornets, and I’m backing them to have a hot start and beat a First Half Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 2.07 for another 🌟 bet.

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

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Crazy Stat: Liverpool Boast the Best Attacking Trio!

Forget about BBC or (the late) MSN, we have a new attacking trio in town and you can call them MSF—Mo, Sadio and Firmino.

The Liverpool trident of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino has been on a tear in the UEFA Champions League (UCL), and they brought their greatness to new heights after increasing their tournament tally to 28 goals—more than any other TEAM in the competition.

The three scored Liverpool’s five goals against Roma, which allowed them to reach the mark. Liverpool have made a total of 38 goals in this year’s Champions League while the closest team, Real Madrid, have 28.

Liverpool's Salah, Mane and Firmino are showing that they are the new trio to watch for

Salah, Mane and Firmino have a combined total of 28 goals in this year’s Champions League

Furthermore, they have now equalled the 28 goals scored by the BBC (Cristiano Ronaldo 17, Gareth Bale 6, Karim Benzema 5) in the 2013-14 tournament and surpassed the 27 set by the MSN (Lionel Messi 10, Neymar 10, Luis Suarez 7) in 2014-15.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, it’s also the first time in UCL history that three players have scored eight or more goals for a team in the same season. Both Salah and Firmino have 10 goals while Mane has eight.

More amazingly, Europe’s grandest club football competition isn’t over yet and the three have a chance to add more to their scoring record.

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Tough Games Make for Great Football Betting

With the winner of the Premier League set in stone, online betting fans can now look at the other areas of the table for great action. If you think there aren’t any interesting football games left, then you haven’t been looking at the bottom of the table.

Swansea, Southampton, and Stoke City are battling to stay in the top flight and they all have tough matches coming up ahead. If you’re looking for a bit of a challenge to spice up your bets, their games are ones to watch!

Southampton vs Bournemouth (April 28, 22:00 GMT +8)

Southampton supporters may still not see their upcoming match against Bournemouth as the South Coast Derby, but their current position in the table does not allow them to be choosy.

The last time the Saints won against the Cherries was in 2016, and Eddie Howe’s men have effectively matched Southampton blow for blow. Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson, and Joshua King are men Mark Hughes must plan for if he wants to secure the win.

Both clubs have been lacking poise moving forward, and it is highly likely that Southampton will strike first. However, the Cherries are great at coming back from deficits and will surely make an effort to end this in a draw at the very least. My first pick of the day is a 🌟🌟 bet for Bournemouth +0.50 @ 2.26.

Liverpool vs Stoke City (April 28, 19:30 GMT +8)

Paul Lambert has led Stoke to start out their games strong, only to falter down the stretch. This trait has become evident over their games against West Ham and Burnley after allowing opponents to equalise late in the match.

Meanwhile, Anfield cannot be at a better place than today. The Reds just stomped Roma out of Scouser Country to the tune of 5-2, while their comfortable position in the table pretty much ensures more European football next season. They have a prolific attacking core in Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho.

As much as I would like to see Stoke succeed and end the game in a draw, I just don’t see them beating Liverpool. Even Jurgen Klopp’s fringe players can be immediately inserted into Lambert’s starting XI and contribute.

The only thing Stoke fans can hope is that Klopp doesn’t field his best players. While that thought is highly unlikely, I don’t think his players will play at full power. With that being said, Stoke +1.50 @ 1.97 is worth 🌟🌟.

Swansea City vs Chelsea (April 29, 00:30 GMT +8)

One year ago, Swansea can’t hold a candle to Chelsea. While this factoid still holds true today, they might have a chance this time around.

Marcos Alonso is suspended for violent conduct, hampering Chelsea’s already inconsistent defence. With his absence, Jordan Ayew and the Swans have a better shot at sneaking a goal past Thibaut Courtois.

However, the Blues still have N’Golo Kante, Willian, Alvaro Morata, and Eden Hazard ready to suit up. Unless their attackers find a way to make things work, it’ll be pretty much impossible for them to avoid a loss.

My final pick for today is a 🌟🌟 for Chelsea -1.25 @ 2.26. I don’t think five at the back and an over-reliance on counter-attacking football can help them score goals at this point.

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Why Three is the Magic Number

It’s simply because all my betting tips favour home triumphs this weekend.

All three backing sides pushing for European berths.

The betting odds have once again been studied carefully ahead of this weekend’s programme of football games.

Burnley vs Brighton & Hove Albion (April 28, 22:00 GMT+8)

Can this proud Lancashire club reach the promised land of European football for the first time since the mid-1960s?

Yes, of course, they can! I’ve said before that, if achieved, Sean Dyche deserves the manager of the year accolade.

Seeing off Brighton, whose own boss Chris Hughton has done a terrific job, won’t be easy, but I’m expecting the Clarets to edge it.

My 🌟🌟🌟 tip is Asian Handicap -0.50 Burnley @ 2.21.

Crystal Palace vs Leicester City (April 28, 22:00 GMT+8)

Both these clubs began the season with different managers at the helm.

Both have benefited from the subsequent change, although in both cases (particularly Frank de Boer), the early season dismissals of Roy Hodgson’s and Claude Puel’s predecessors were harsh.

In what could be an entertaining encounter, this is a more important game for Palace and I expect them to triumph.

My 🌟 tip is Crystal Palace First Half 1X2 @ 2.70, and a 🌟🌟 bet on Crystal Palace again Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 2.12.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford (May 01, 03:00 GMT+8)

After an FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United, Mauricio Pochettino and his players will be hurting.

The club’s eighth straight semi-final defeat and wait for silverware goes on. However, it can’t be forgotten this season was always going to be tough as the north Londoners left home and took over a 12-month tenancy of Wembley.

They will return to the new White Hart Lane next season back in the Champions League, and this victory will help secure it.

My 2 x 🌟🌟🌟 tips are: Spurs First Half Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 2.09 and Asian Handicap -2.25 @ 2.03.

I’m also going to add a 🌟🌟 prediction into the mix of Total Goals 4-6 @ 2.33.

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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When Your Time is Running Out Fast

The title may have been won and the likely destination of the European places seems clear, but there’s still plenty for sports betting fans to focus on with Premier League betting this weekend.

In fact, the outcome of some of these football games could even decide who survives and who loses their top-flight status.

Time and matches are running out fast.


Liverpool vs Stoke City

After blowing away Roma in the Champions League semi-finals, Jurgen Klopp’s men can all but seal a top-four spot with a victory against Stoke.

At the same time, the Potters, without a win in 11 matches, must grab at least a point at Anfield if they are to realistically keep alive their fading survival hopes.

Four points from safety with three games to go, is boss Paul Lambert about to lose his proud record of keeping every club he has managed in the Premier League?

Burnley vs Brighton & Hove Albion

The maths are simple.

Should Burnley win, they are virtually in Europe next season. Should Brighton win, they are virtually safe.

It could be a tense afternoon at Turf Moor.

Crystal Palace vs Leicester City

With their Euro hopes all but over, 2016 champions Leicester City could see their season peter out over the closing weeks of the campaign.

Palace can’t afford that luxury but know victory will be a massive leap towards their own safety.

With Wilfried Zaha a constant threat and often a target for opposition challenges, his boss Roy Hodgson feels his star man was unfairly treated in last weekend’s goalless draw with Watford when he was booked for diving.

Huddersfield Town vs Everton

It’s hard not to feel sorry for Sam Allardyce, a better manager than many give him credit for.

He has done exactly what was required of him when appointed in late November. He has not only guided the Toffees to safety but lifted them up to eighth place in the table.

David Wagner and Huddersfield are clinging onto safety—which would be a fine achievement—but must take something from this with their final three matches all against sides in the top six.

Newcastle United vs West Bromwich Albion

Victory at Old Trafford and a stirring fightback against Liverpool have restored some pride to the Baggies and their supporters in recent weeks.

However, the stark truth is that West Brom are just days from relegation.

It will likely be confirmed against a Newcastle side which has so much to thank boss Rafa Benitez for.

Southampton vs Bournemouth

Like West Brom before them, the Saints have shown slight improvement under Mark Hughes.

Yet, anything other than victory in the South Coast derby and their six-year stay in the Premier League will be over.

How Bournemouth, who need another two points to be certain of safety themselves, would love to claim bragging rights.


Swansea City vs Chelsea

Swansea welcome FA Cup finalists Chelsea to the Liberty Stadium four points above the drop zone.

To stave off relegation would be a fine achievement for Carlos Carvalhal, who has overseen a dramatic upturn in fortune during the second half of the campaign.

Deposed champions Chelsea have a slim chance of Champions League qualification and must return from Wales with maximum points to stay in the hunt.

West Ham United vs Manchester City

The Hammers are six points from the drop zone and David Moyes has done the job asked of him when appointed to succeed Slaven Bilic.

Can he now all but secure safety with a few matches to spare?

Newly crowned champions City will try and extend their run as they go in search of becoming the first Premier League side to claim 100 points in a season.


Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford FC

After the disappointment of an FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United, Spurs go in search of a top three and, possibly, a third successive second-place finish.

That would be a fine achievement, especially given the club has had a temporary home at Wembley while White Hart Lane is redeveloped.

Watford have had travelling travails but should have done just enough during a season in which the Hornets’ managerial merry-go-round has continued apace.

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When the Luck and Momentum is on Your Side

Bayern Munich 1-2 Real Madrid

When it is, there is little the opposition can do.

Of course, to an extent, great sides create their own momentum anyway and Real Madrid certainly fall into that category.

And so it proved in the Allianz Arena.

Football games between two giants of the game were always likely to produce a close affair.

The pre-match betting odds suggested as much and so, in a rare moment of accuracy, did my betting tips!

But it is advantage Real Madrid ahead of next week’s second leg after goals from Marcelo and Marco Asensio overturned an initial deficit.

The holders had their moments of good fortune while Bayern, winners in 2013 under JuppHeynckes, will feel aggrieved after having little luck themselves.

However, the truth is you need an element of luck to win any competition and Madrid, even when not playing well, have that special something when it comes to the Champions League.

It was hard not to feel some sympathy for the Bavarians who lost their hero of that 2013 triumph, Arjen Robben, to injury inside eight minutes and then saw centre back Jerome Boateng limp off 11 minutes before the break.

When your luck is out, your luck is out.

By then Bayern had actually taken the lead, although Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas should never have assumed Joshua Kimmich would cross the ball instead of shoot and beat him at his near post.

A gamble but one that was forgotten about on the stroke of half-time as Marcelo levelled with a first-time strike into the bottom corner.

Suddenly, the momentum, not to mention, the morale was with Madrid.

As if to labour the point, Isco failed to reappear after the break with a shoulder injury but his replacement, Asensio, took only nine minutes to fire them in front after Dani Carvajal capitalised on a Rafinha mistake.

The German champions created chances but were unable to grab an equaliser and Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal ruled out as his record of scoring in every European match this season finally ended.

But it didn’t matter. Madrid had the priceless advantage and, while this tie is far from over, Zinedine Zidane’s men are on course to reach a fourth Champions League final in five years.

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Why Football Needs a Messi-Ronaldo World Cup 2018 Final

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have stood at the pinnacle of the football world for over a decade now, so it seems only fitting that they should play against each other in the final of the sport’s biggest event—the World Cup!

Sure enough, the World Cup 2018 final is quite a longshot for the two players. Messi’s Argentina struggled to qualify for the tournament while Ronaldo’s Portugal aren’t even considered as title contenders.

However, the meeting of the two nations—and their star players—would be a dream come true for everyone, football fan or not.

Not to mention that it holds great importance for the two players who will undoubtedly go down as two of the best and most talented athletes to have ever played the beautiful game.

Last chance for World Cup glory

Whether we accept it or not, the FIFA World Cup in Russia is probably the last time we’ll see Messi and Ronaldo at their best.

Messi is already 30 years old and will be 34 by the next instalment of the event in Qatar. It’s not even certain yet if he would still be with the national team by that time. The Argentine maestro once retired from international football after their Copa America defeat, and another failure might force him to hang up his boots for good.

In fact, Messi admitted last March that the football World Cup in Russia is probably his last chance to win a trophy with the senior team, saying that they “are not going to have another possibility.”

Cristiano Ronaldo strongly eyes to finish World Cup 2018 and finally lift the most coveted silverware for Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo cries after not being able to finish Portugal’s Euro 2016 final against France due to injury

The same goes for Ronaldo who is yet to win the “Big One” for the underachieving Portugal team.

At 33, Ronaldo’s peak years are numbered. There were even suggestions last year that he is already on the decline following his slow start with Spanish club Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has since bounced back and has proven he still has plenty left on his tank. Now, he will look to prove that he can lead his team to a major trophy—something which he somehow “failed” to do after getting injured in their Euro 2016 title fight.

And what better way to do it than against his archrival, Messi?

Messi or Ronaldo: The great debate

Well, this is about this, isn’t it? The never-ending debate of “who’s better between Messi and Ronaldo.”

The two have played out plenty of intense matches over the years and have been neck and neck with each other when it comes to achievements and milestones.

Both footballers have won the Ballon d’Or five times, with Ronaldo winning the 2017 honour after his exploits for club and country.

They have been setting and breaking scoring records one after the other as well. Messi and Ronaldo are the only two players to have scored 300 or more goals in the Spanish top-flight, with the Portuguese talisman doing it in fewer matches than his Argentine rival.

Many football fans are anticipating that Lionel Messi will lead Argentina to make it through the World Cup 2018 final

Lionel Messi celebrates after hitting a hat-trick against Ecuador that ensured Argentina’s World Cup 2018 qualification

Furthermore, according to UEFA, the two share the record for the most European Golden Shoe awards (four) and the most Champions League goals in the group stage (60).

With what they have achieved, there’s no doubt Messi and Ronaldo have their spots reserved on the pantheon of football greats. Nonetheless, it’s also clear that only the prize which has eluded them both can put an end to this generation’s biggest debate.

Is a Messi-Ronaldo World Cup final possible?

As mentioned earlier, the two players and their countries face a tough road before making it to the deciding game in Moscow.

I have discussed previously the chances of Argentina making it to the final wherein I noted their struggles in the qualifying campaign that led them to change manager three times. The fact that they needed their final game to make it past the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers also tells a lot about their form in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Portugal head into the competition as European Champions, proving they have what it takes to win a major international game. However, they recently suffered an ugly defeat at the hands of the Netherlands, who didn’t even qualify for the big event in Russia.

Indeed, both Argentina and Portugal have plenty of issues to work on before they can be legitimate favourites to lift the trophy by mid-July.

They have the best players in the world with Messi and Ronaldo. Nevertheless, before we can be treated to that dream finale between the two juggernauts of world football, we need their respective teams (and teammates) to step up and make things happen.

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