Football: What to Watch in May

5 Min Read

Football fans are in for a treat in May, with the upcoming schedule packed with some truly thrilling action across the world.

The Champions League will undoubtedly dominate the headlines, with four teams still battling to book their place in the final early next month.

The competition generates a ton of interest on sportsbooks worldwide, particularly in emerging markets such as the Middle East.

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There are a host of sites now offering sports betting for Arabs and they will likely be inundated with wagers on the remaining Champions League games.

With that in mind, we look at some of the best football events taking place in May, starting with UEFA’s top club competition.

Champions League

The Champions League semi-finals will be concluded next week and predicting who will reach the final is no easy task.

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Manchester City are favourites to progress after securing a 1-1 draw at Real Madrid in their first meeting, but that could be easier said than done.

Madrid have won this competition 14 times and it would be foolish to underestimate their chances of beating Man City at the Etihad Stadium.

Champions League
Champions League

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are a tough nut to crack in Europe and their defensive resilience could help them upset the odds on Wednesday.

Inter Milan have the advantage in the other semi-final tie having defeated rivals AC Milan 2-0 at the San Siro in midweek.

However, Milan could have star forward Rafael Leao back from injury next week and he could make a massive difference in the second leg.

Europa League

Both semi-final match-ups in the Europa League are delicately poised, setting up what should be two thrilling second leg meetings.

Six-time winners Sevilla continued their excellent recent form by drawing 1-1 at Juventus, although they will count themselves unfortunate not to have won the game.

Federico Gatti’s goal for the Serie A deep into stoppage time sparked wild celebrations, but they still face an uphill task to reach the final.

UEFA Europa League
UEFA Europa League

Roma have a 1-0 advantage over Bayer Leverkusen after the first leg of their semi-final, keeping Jose Mourinho’s hopes of winning another European trophy alive.

Leverkusen dominated possession against Roma, but were unable to create many clear-cut chances and it could be a similar story in the reverse fixture.

The winners of each tie will meet in the Europa League final at the Puskas Arena in Budapest, Hungary, on May 31.

Europa Conference League

UEFA’s decision to add a third competition into the mix in 2021/22 was not universally welcomed, but it has subsequently been vindicated.

Roma emerged victorious last season by beating Feyenoord in the final, and have since gone on to make their mark in the Europa League.

West Ham United will be hoping to tread a similar path next season after securing a narrow 2-1 victory over AZ Alkmaar at the London Stadium.

However, the Eredivisie side looked dangerous in the first leg and could be a could the value bet to record a victory on home soil.

Basel sprung a surprise in the other semi-final, recovering from a one-goal deficit to secure a superb 2-1 win over Fiorentina.

With the second leg scheduled to be played in Switzerland, La Viola have a mountain to claim if they are to progress to the final.

EFL Play-Off Final Weekend

The battle to reach the Premier League takes centre stage in England during May, with the Championship play-offs set to provide a fitting end to the season.

Luton Town face Sunderland in the first semi-final, while Middlesbrough go head-to-head with Coventry City in the other tie.

The winners meet at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, May 27, with a place in the top flight for next season up for grabs.

There is more English Football League play-off action at Wembley over the following two days, with the League Two and League One finals scheduled to take place.

The League Two play-off final will be staged on the Sunday and will feature two of Stockport County, Carlisle United, Bradford City or Salford City.

Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, Bolton Wanderers or Peterborough United are in contention to play in the League One final on Monday, May 29.

By Shyam
Shyam Sharma who joined SPORTS BIG NEWS in 2021. Focuses on soccer – chiefly the Premier League, LaLiga, UEFA Champions League, Liga MX and MLS. On occasion, also covers American sports, general news and entertainment. Fascinated by the language of sport – particularly the under-appreciated art of translating cliché-speak.