Hazard maintains Chelsea fight

Chelsea ace Eden Hazard has urged his team-mates to give their all in the closing weeks of the Premier League season despite being set to miss out on a top-four finish.

The Blues could be forgiven for switching their attentions to trying to win the FA Cup, but Hazard refuses to give up a late charge in the league, with a Champions League spot for next season a long shot.

He told Sky Sports: "In football anything can happen. So we need it believe, we need to trust in each other and try to win every game. That's it.

"We have six games to play in the league and if we win the six games but don't finish in the top four, at least we did everything. So no regrets, let's play one month."

The Blues are in action at lunchtime on Saturday when they head to the South Coast to take on struggling Southampton, with Chelsea 17/20 to win the game, 8/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline and 6/4 to keep a clean sheet.

Meanwhile, Hazard admitted that missing out on Champions League football for a second time in three seasons would be a big disappointment, but one that he and his colleagues would have to live with.

He added: "I think it's not good, because you want to play Champions League every year.

"So we try to give everything to play the best way we can to finish in the top four. If we are not in the top four, we will play next year for the Premier League, that's it."

View all Soccer betting

Kovac to succeed Heynckes

Bayern Munich have announced that the Eintracht Frankfurt boss Niko Kovac will take over from Jupp Heynckes at the beginning of July.

Heynckes has been in charge of Bayern for the last six months following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti and has guided the club to another Bundesliga title and to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they will play Real Madrid.

Heynckes, who will be 73 next month, has also coached Bayern on three previous occasions, most recently in 2013 when the side won the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble.

The club's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said: "We agreed a three-year contract [with Niko Kovac] on Thursday.

"We are very happy that we can have Niko Kovac as the new coach of FC Bayern. Niko was a player at Bayern, he knows the characters, the structures and the DNA of the club very well.

"We are convinced that he is the right coach for the future of FC Bayern."

The 46-year-old Kovac made 34 appearances for Bayern during his playing career and also starred for the likes of Hertha Berlin, Hamburg and Red Bull Salzburg.

He represented Croatia 83 times and took over as the coach of his country in 2013 before being axed two years later.

Kovac was appointed Eintracht boss in March 2016 and guided the club to victory in the relegation play-offs last term. They are currently fifth in the Bundesliga after 29 matches and on course to qualify for next season's Europa League.

Bayern are 21/20 to beat Real Madrid and qualify for the Champions League final while they can be backed at 9/4 to win the competition outright this season.

Salah to make Roma return

Liverpool will face Roma in the semi-finals of the Champions League, while holders Real Madrid take on Bayern Munich in the other tie.

The Reds, inspired by former Roma forward Mohamed Salah, reached the last four by overpowering Premier League rivals Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, while Roma pulled off a huge upset by overturning a 4-1 first-leg deficit to oust Barcelona.

The first leg of their semi-final clash takes place at Anfield, with the two sides having met in the European Cup final back in 1984, when the Reds prevailed in a penalty shootout in Rome.

Their only previous meetings in the Champions League came in 2001/02, when the two sides were drawn together in the second group stage.

The game in Rome ended goalless, while goals from Jari Litmanen and Emile Heskey gave Liverpool a 2-0 victory in the Anfield clash.

Meanwhile, two-time defending champions Real, fresh from a narrow escape against Juventus, are very familiar with Bayern, who they have played no fewer than 18 times in the Champions League era alone.

Last season the two European powerhouses met at the quarter-final stage of the competition, with Real running out 6-3 aggregate winners after extra-time was needed in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The first leg in the Allianz Arena finished 2-1 to the Spaniards, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring both of their goals, while the Portuguese superstar completed a hat-trick in the return in the Spanish capital.

Bayern ended both games with ten men, with Javi Martinez and Arturo Vidal the players to see red.

Real are available at 15/8 to win the Champions League for a third season in a row, with Bayern priced at 9/4, Liverpool 9/4 and Roma 9/1.

View all Soccer betting

Koscielny: We need to improve

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has warned his side that they need to improve if they are to secure a Champions League spot by going all the way in the Europa League.

The Gunners ensured a semi-final spot by completing a 6-3 aggregate win over CSKA Moscow, but they were one goal away from potential elimination during the second leg in the Russian capital before Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey found the net.

And Koscielny accepts that the performance was not of the standard required if the Londoners are to triumph in the Europa League, with Atletico Madrid, Marseille and Salzburg the other semi-finalists.

He told BT Sport: "They played well, had opportunities and took them. It put pressure on us – if they score we are out.

"So I am happy because we came back, but our performance was not (good) enough for this stage of the competition.

"We will see the draw, but need more confidence in our game. It is important for the club to go far. It is our last chance to qualify for the Champions League, so we will fight until the end."

Arsenal are now 9/4 to win the Europa League, with Marseille 6/1, Salzburg 6/1 and Atletico 1/1.

Meanwhile, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger also confirmed after the game that January signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan is facing another couple of weeks out of action due to a knee problem.

He added: "He has a medial ligament strain, he should be out for two more weeks. We do not be too worried – we have a very good medical staff and he is very serious in his rehab."

View all Soccer betting

Stalemate pleases Heynckes

Jupp Heynckes is pleased that none of his Bayern Munich players will be suspended for the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The Bundesliga champions confirmed their place in the last four of the competition by drawing 0-0 with Sevilla on Wednesday, progressing 2-1 on aggregate following their narrow triumph at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last week.

Joaquin Correa went close to scoring for Sevilla in Munich when he headed against the crossbar, but the Argentinian was sent off in stoppage-time for his lunge on Javi Martinez.

"I am very happy that we didn't concede because that's something I demanded from my team," Heynckes said afterwards. "You have to keep a clean sheet in games like this. The 0-0 draw was enough for us to go through.

"We didn't let ourselves get flustered and become nervous. Sevilla had some good moments, but sometimes you just need to keep a clean sheet.

"Furthermore, none of our players will be suspended for the semi-final. That was very important for me."

Bayern Munich can be backed at 15/8 to win the Champions League this season while Liverpool are available at 3/1, Roma at 10/1 and Real Madrid at 13/8.

Heynckes added ahead of Friday's draw for the semi-finals: "You saw in Manchester and Rome that anything can happen. You cannot underestimate any team that has qualified for the semi-finals. Of course, we are ambitious and want to reach the final."

Juve’s fury baffles Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is convinced that the referee was correct to award Real Madrid a stoppage-time penalty in their Champions League clash against Juventus.

The former Manchester United star converted the last-gasp spot-kick as Real won the quarter-final 4-3 on aggregate despite being beaten 3-1 on the night.

The tie appeared to be heading towards extra time when Juve moved 3-0 ahead on the night only for referee Mike Oliver to award Real a penalty when Medhi Benatia appeared to bundle Lucas Vazquez over.

In the ensuing chaos Oliver sent Gianluigi Buffon off for dissent in what seems certain to have been the 40-year-old goalkeeper's final Champions League appearance.

Real boss Zinedine Zidane did not think Buffon deserved to be dismissed but Ronaldo could not understand why the Juventus players protested so vehemently against the award of the penalty.

He said after the match: "I do not understand why they are protesting. They have fouled Lucas from behind. If they do not give away the penalty, it is a goal.

"My heart rate increased but I calmed down, I knew it was decisive. We have suffered, we can learn, the game is worth a lesson.

"In football nothing is given away, we have to fight until the end. Today Madrid could have scored more goals, but Juve and Buffon have been good. We are just victors."

Real Madrid are available at 13/8 to win the Champions League for a third season in a row. Roma can be backed at 10/1 to lift the trophy for the first time in their history, while Liverpool are 3/1 to win European club football's premier competition and Bayern Munich 15/8.

Robben guards against complacency

Arjen Robben insists Bayern Munich cannot allow complacency against Sevilla in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final in Germany.

The Bundesliga champions won 2-1 in Spain last week, despite failing to perform at their best.

Bayern are aiming to reach a seventh European semi-final in nine years and join Liverpool and Roma in the last four.

Defending champions Real Madrid look almost certain to be there too, as they lead Juventus 3-0 ahead of their quarter-final second leg in the Spanish capital.

Having watched as Sevilla stunned Manchester United at Old Trafford in the previous round, Robben isn't going to take anything for granted.

"We need to be careful," said Robben. "They did brilliantly in Manchester and we know we have to perform."

Bayern have been knocked out by a Spanish team in each of the four seasons since they last won the Champions League, but Dutch winger Robben says they'll be aware of the pitfalls.

They sealed their sixth successive Bundesliga crown with a 4-1 win at Augsburg on Saturday and manager Jupp Heynckes admits that confidence is high in the dressing room for Bayern, who are 2/1 to win the Champions League this season.

"We're in a good mood, we're hungry and our big goal is to reach the semi-finals," said Heynckes.

"They have to take risks and score two goals in our stadium."

Bayern are 17/2 to win the second leg 3-0, while Sevilla are 11/1 to win the match and the draw is 6/1.

View all Soccer betting

Zidane not getting carried away

Zinedine Zidane insists that Real Madrid cannot allow thoughts of winning three successive Champions League titles get in the way of eliminating Juventus.

Twelve-time winners Real are looking to win the competition for the fourth time in five seasons.

Their case was apparently strengthened on Tuesday evening when fearsome rivals Barcelona surrendered a 4-1 first leg advantage as they crashed out via a 3-0 second leg loss to Roma in Italy.

On that basis Zidane won't take Juventus lightly, despite his side being armed with a massive advantage and a second leg on their own patch.

He ways they must be diligent to ensure they join Barca's conquerors Roma and Liverpool, who saw off Manchester City in the last eight, in the semi-finals.

"I'm not interested in talk of favourites, I prefer to show it out on the pitch and we must respect all clubs and all aspects of football," said the Real boss.

"If we put in a great performance and we are focussed throughout the match we have a good chance of battling through, but we must keep that idea in mind."

Real are 6/4 to retain the Champions League while Liverpool are 10/3 to lift the trophy and Roma are 10/1.

Despite the mammoth task ahead of them, Juve must try and salvage some pride says defender Giorgio Chiellini.

"We're not crying about what happened, and we go to Madrid with the desire to play a good game," he said.

"We'll treat it like a marathon, not a sprint and we'll need to go into the game with a level head."

Juventus are 28/1 to qualify for the last-four.

View all Soccer betting

Valverde takes a domestic focus

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde wants to see a big reaction from his players after they were handed a shock Champions League exit at the hands of Roma.

The Catalan giants were beaten 3-0 in the Stadio Olimpico in the second leg of their quarter-final tie, leaving Roma winners on away goals with the aggregate score locked at 4-4.

And Valverde had few complaints about the result, while also trying to lift morale for the task of trying to complete a domestic double by winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

He told reporters: "We can only keep our heads up because there's no other way. They played a great game, they overcame us and we have to congratulate them.

"We have to recover because we're still in two competitions, which we want to win.

"I hope it doesn't affect the team going forward. It's a big blow for us mentally, but we have some beautiful objectives and we'll see if we can achieve them.

"Do I feel responsible? Absolutely, the coach is responsible for everything. I'm the one who picked the team, made changes, prepared us for the tie, everything."

Barca currently hold an 11-point lead at the top of the La Liga standings, with seven games to play, while they will face Sevilla in the final of the Copa del Rey later this month.

The Catalans are 1/4 to lift the Copa del Rey and are 4/9 to win the final at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid in 90 minutes, with both teams to score available at 4/6.

View all Soccer betting

Dzeko expects more from Roma

Roma striker Edin Dzeko believes there could be even more to come from his side after they sent Barcelona crashing out of the Champions League.

Dezko netted the opening goal as the Giallorossi powered to a 3-0 quarter-final second leg victory in the Italian capital, overturning a 4-1 deficit to progress to the semi-finals on away goals.

And the former Manchester City frontman is relishing an opportunity to try and go all the way and seal an unexpected Champions League success.

He told reporters: "This was the best, but even better may well be yet to come. It proved we can play against anyone. We put three goals past them and could have had more.

"I have never seen Barcelona struggle so much. We pressed them constantly from the first minute.

"We all believed, even if everyone else gave us a five per cent chance. We knew it would be tough to win 3-0, but now we've done it in such a great way, I can safely say Roma are deservedly in the Champions League semi-final.

"Every time we've faced the big clubs, we have won or got a positive result.

"Perhaps it is our fault, as when we are the favourites in a tie, we think for some reason it might be easy, but it never is easy."

Roma, who were beaten by Liverpool in the 1984 European Cup, join the Reds in the last four again this season, after the Merseysiders knocked out Manchester City.

Roma are 10/1 to win the Champions League, with Liverpool priced at 10/3 and Bayern Munich 2/1.

View all Soccer betting