Sport Betting: We haven’t got a Euro second leg to stand on.

m88 their caution backfired spectacularly a week later in Leverkusen, leaving boss Gerard Houllier to count the cost of playing the home leg first. All rights reserved.

Byline: DEREK McGOVERN

IT’S a funny thing about betting that the more losers you back, the more losers you back.

If I had a pound for every losing bet I’ve ever placed, I would never have to place another losing bet again.

Is it any coincidence, do you think, that all four Champions League quarter-final winners this season played at home in the second leg?

On this season’s evidence a far better side than Bayern Munich, who outclassed United last term, Bundesliga leaders Leverkusen once again play the second leg in Germany.. That is rock-hard evidence of the huge advantage enjoyed by teams drawn away in the first leg.

Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. If Liverpool had taken on Leverkusen at Anfield in the SECOND leg, knowing a 1-0 win would not be enough, in my eyes they would almost certainly have booked a semi-final spot.

Or that both semi-finals and three of the four quarter-finals last season were won by the team who, on home territory in the second leg, knew precisely what they had to do to progress?

Real Madrid, away in the first leg, will progress from the other semi-final at the expense of Spanish rivals Barcelona, but you won’t get much better than 4-6 about that.

COPYRIGHT 2002 MGN LTD

No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.

Sometimes, though, there comes along a bet that you know, you just know, can’t lose – and I’m going to tell you what it is about eight paragraphs from now.

United make a habit of crashing out in the later stages of Europe and, with Roy Keane and David Beckham out, it’s hard to see how bookies make them such hot favourites to go through.

After going 1-0 up in the Anfield first leg, Liverpool, with an almost impregnable defence, shut up shop, clearly happy to travel to Germany with that wafer-thin advantage.

That is not a mere statistical blip. an advantage seemingly ignored by bookies.

Yet anyone at Anfield that night could see that Leverkusen were there for the taking and that Liverpool, with a little more adventure, could easily have sewn up the tie there and then.

And that’s why Bayer Leverkusen are knock-out bets at 7-4 to qualify for the final at Manchester United’s expense.

If you’ve ever wondered why football managers whinge about being drawn at home in the first leg of a European tie, then think back to Liverpool’s two-legged clash with Bayer Leverkusen in this season’s Champions League quarter-final.

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