The Champions League returns this week and I fancy the generally consistent favourites performance from the weekend to carry on in the second round of fixtures between Europe’s elite sides.
Big guns such as Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea & Manchester United all play away from home in this week’s fixtures. Each should look to pick up three points against much weaker opposition (with the potential exception of Barca, who travel to Benfica). The Five-Fold pays 6.50 with bet365, where you’ll also benefit from an extra 10% on top of your winnings thanks to their Euro Soccer Accumulator Bonus.
Premier League champions Manchester City will hope to get their campaign up and running following their Bernebau heartbreak. Borussia Dortmund are a side who are to be feared far more at home than they are away (they are yet to win away from the Westfallen Stadion in this season’s Bundesliga) and despite them winning their first game of the group stage at Ajax, City should have no problem in seeing them off at the Etihad (10/11 to win the game with Bet Victor). Betting wise, City’s defensive weaknesses this season mean they have fulfilled their Both Teams to Score tag (4/6 with BlueSq) in every game they have played. Edin Dzeko is a player who seems to enjoy playing on the European Stage and he may relish facing German opposition once again. His price to score at any time is an attractive 11/4 with William Hill, but I think he could go at least one better and will be taking some of the 12/1 on offer at William Hill for him to score two or more.
Arsenal will look to take full advantage of their home ties and I expect them to win comfortably against Olympiakos this week. The Greeks have won all five of their opening League games back at home but were beaten at home by Schalke in the opening fixture. Arsenal will be smarting after their strong start to the season was ended by Chelsea on Saturday and will look to get things back on track asap.
I like Arsenal at 37/20 with bet365 for -2 on the Asian Handicap, and I fancy both their strong attacking instincts and tight defence to return and so for correct score predictions would look around the 3-0/4-0 mark. I also fancy a goal for the imperious Santi Cazorla who has just the one strike this season. If Arsenal do take control as I expect, then he will be at the centre of most of what they can create. His price of 9/4 with BlueSq is something that I will back in some shape or form.
Another match with potential value is PSG’s visit to Porto in Group A. The visitor’s side is oozing Champions League experience and I expect them to build on their impressive win in their opening fixture against Dynamo Kiev. Porto also won comfortably away at Dinamo Zagreb but will face a much meaner strike force including Ezequiel Lavezzi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, both of whom I expect to threaten. Zlatan’s 15/8 to score at any time at Stan James is probably just a little too tempting to resist. This is another fixture where both teams will probably score (9/10 with Stan James) but I really fancy PSG and should you agree, the best bet I have found is 24/5 at Paddy Power for them to be winning at both HT/FT. Porto are no mugs and pride themselves on an excellent record at home, but in PSG we now have a real European super power that can rival any and in Carlo Ancelotti a manager who has twice won the coveted trophy.
The final match I would advise to look at is the clash in Brussels between Anderlecht and under-pressure Malaga in Group C. Both will be pleased with their opening results of this season’s campaign (Malaga comfortably defeated Zenit 3-0 whilst Anderlecht held Italian giants Milan to a goaless draw in the San Siro) and will wish to continue in a similar manner this week. Both have solid defences and I am likely to plump for under 2.5 goals which is best priced at 17/20 with Bet Victor. I think this one will end all square (draw is 9/4 with Boylesports) which is an outcome that will suit both sides to some extent.
Written by: J.Harper
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