Champions League Preview 23rd + 24th October
After two games played in the Champions League, the groups are beginning to settle down and take shape. We have seen some teams fly out of the blocks and build leads at the top of the table, while others have started slowly, and they will be looking to the next two match days for victories.
Despite being just the third game of six, some clubs in the competition will head into this week’s games knowing that anything other than a victory for them is going to make it almost impossible to qualify for the knockout round. That should set up some important and exciting games for us to watch out of the 16 that take place across Tuesday and Wednesday.
As far as the English teams go, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United will all be content with how they have started the competition, though neither have the maximum six points from their opening two games. Tottenham are currently sitting with 0 points, and head to PSV on Wednesday for what is a hugely important game against a fellow team with 0 points. This is a very important game for them, and one they have to get three points from.
Champions League Predictions
Tuesday 23rd October
AEK Athens vs Bayern Munich – away win
Young Boys vs Valencia – away win
Ajax vs Benfica – home win
Hoffenheim vs Lyon – draw
Manchester United vs Juventus – draw
Real Madrid vs Vik Plzen – home win
Roma vs CSKA Moscow – home win
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City – away win
Wednesday 24th October
Club Brugge vs Monaco – home win
PSV vs Tottenham – away win
Barcelona vs Inter Milan – home win
Dortmund vs Atletico Madrid – home win
Galatasaray vs Schalke – away win
Liverpool vs Red Star Belgrade – home win
Lokomotiv Moscow vs Porto – draw
Paris SG vs Napoli – home win
Champions League Game Previews
Manchester United vs Juventus – Tuesday 23rd October 8:00pm, BT Sport 2
If you are looking for a standout fixture in the Champions League this week then this could well be the one you want. The big talking point in this one is obviously going to be Cristiano Ronaldo heading back to Old Trafford, but this time with a new team in Juventus. There was speculation that the Portuguese star would head back to Old Trafford this summer and play for United once again, but Juventus landed him, and he will be looking to show United what they have missed out on.
These two occupy the top spots in the group so far, with Juventus in first after two wins and United in second after a win and a draw. Neither team have conceded yet in this competition, but that shouldn’t stop us from having an entertaining and attacking game of football here. Juventus look to have the better team, but United can be hard to play against, and I think they have enough in their team to be able to force a draw from this game.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City – Tuesday 23rd October 8:00pm, BT Sport 3
After a surprise opening game defeat to Lyon, Manchester City bounced back by picking up three points against Hoffenheim. When the draw was made, this group looked like one that City could win with ease, but they have a little more pressure on them after that opening loss. Having said that, a win here and anything other than a win for Lyon away in Hoffenheim would be enough to give City the top spot going into game four.
Shakhtar have shown themselves to be difficult to play against so far, with two draws to their name. They will have to do even more if they are to claim the scalp of Manchester City, but with home advantage on their side, anything could happen. City are the strongest team in this group, and I think they are going to show us all that on Tuesday. They have the ability to go out to Ukraine and beat Shakhtar and that is exactly what I think they will do.
PSV vs Tottenham – Wednesday 24th October 5:55pm, BT Sport 3
While this isn’t strictly a must win game for Spurs at this stage, it is close, and they have to get something from their trip to Holland. PSV are on 0 points just like Tottenham, while Barcelona and Inter Milan lead this group with six points each. At the start of their campaign, the aim for Spurs was to finish behind Barcelona in the standings and qualify, they are already six points behind their rival for that spot, Inter Milan, and need to start and close that gap.
While both have suffered defeat in their opening two games of the tournament, there is a big gap in quality between these two and Tottenham should have more than enough to go over to Eindhoven and bring three points back with them. PSV will try to make it difficult, but I’ve got Tottenham winning this one relatively easy.
Liverpool vs Red Star Belgrade – Wednesday 24th October 8:00pm, BT Sport 2
If you want to find the most uncompetitive and one-sided game of the week then this one would certainly be a contender. Liverpool have a tough ask in the group stages, with PSG and Napoli in their battling it out for two spots, and just one point separates all three right now, with Napoli top and Liverpool and PSG tied for second. Liverpool simply cannot afford to drop points against Red Star this week, they have to take six points from their two games from them, and that will give them the chance they need to qualify.
This looks to be an uphill task for Red Star, they have a very tough draw and lack the quality to compete with those they are up against. This should be very comfortable for Liverpool, don’t be surprised to see them score plenty in this one.
Champions League Betting Odds
With the exception of Manchester United, the other three English clubs are odds on to win their games in game week three. Liverpool and Manchester City are long odds on to do so, while Tottenham are a shade under even money and if you are looking to find the value amongst English teams this week, it probably lies with Tottenham. As well as being odds against to beat Juventus, Manchester United are also the outsiders, with a price of 21/10 available with the bookmakers, compared to the 7/5 on offer for Juventus. This game looks like it could be incredibly tight, and 9/4 for the draw looks to be good value.
Elsewhere this week, accumulator punters will be eyeing up teams such as Bayern Munich (1/4), Roma (7/20), Barcelona (1/2) and PSG (4/9) as potential bets, either on their own or alongside the English bankers Manchester City (2/5) and Liverpool (1/20). The best bet of the week as a single could be Ajax at home to Benfica. Ajax are flying in Holland right now, and come into this week as the current leaders of their group. They won their opener against Athens before a spirited draw against top German team Bayern Munich. Three points here would give them a great chance of progressing to the next round.
Champions League Betting Offers
Ladbrokes – Enhanced New Customer Champions League Acca
If you are looking for a huge priced acca this week, and you want to open up a new betting account then this offer from Ladbrokes is for you. They are offering the huge enhanced price of 70/1 for new customers on the accumulator involving PSG, Liverpool, Barcelona and Tottenham all to win. These four are strongly fancied this week, giving you a great opportunity to back them at a much bigger price than is available anywhere else and kick start your new account with a nicely boosted betting bank. The bet is to a maximum stake of £1, with the normal price winnings paid out in cash and the enhanced price paid out as free bets.
Coral – Enhanced New Customer Champions League Acca
If you don’t like the look of that accumulator from Ladbrokes then Coral are also running the same offer on a huge priced accumulator this week. They are offering the same price of 70/1 but this time the teams on offer are Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester City. This works in exactly the same way, the bet is to a maximum stake of £1 and should you win the normal price winnings are paid to you in cash, while the enhanced price winnings are paid to you in free bets.
Sporting Bet – Acca Insurance Promotion
Accumulator bets look sure to be very popular this week, with plenty of fancied odds on chances. If you are looking to place an acca with a bookmaker then be sure to take advantage of an offer. The Sporting Bet acca insurance offer is for bets with five selections or more, and should one leg let you down then you will receive your stake back as a free bet. This is great for those who want to cover the chance that one team may let them down. The maximum free bet refund on this is £20, so be sure to check out the offer before you place your midweek accumulators.