UEFA Champions League

Matchday 3 of the UEFA Champions League turned out to be a thrilling midweek for Arsenal, who ended Bayern Munich’s 100% record this season by managing a 2-0 win over the Bavarians. This time they’ll need do it all again and the Gunners can expect a different game at the Allianz Arena. Bayer Leverkusen and Roma produced an eight-goal thriller sharing the spoils at 4-4. If that match is half as exciting this time, we’ll be in for another cracking contest. Speaking of cracking contests, Real Madrid and PSG will battle it out for top spot in the group which should see both sides more adventurous than last time out. There’s money to be made and mouth-watering matchups to watch.

Tuesday 3rd November

15/2 Astana | Draw 4/1 | Atletico Madrid 7/20 (17:00)

Astana are still yet to win in the Champions League and they will need to improve on that if they are to at least earn a place in the Europa League. Atletico got the upper hand on their opponents last time out by scoring two goals in each half to secure a 4-0 victory at the Vicente Calderon Stadium. Atleti will hope that the result will boost the confidence of Colombian striker Jackson Martinez who has struggled since his big-money move from Porto. Martinez did manage to get on the scoresheet with a scrappy deflected shot in their victory over the Kazakhstani champions. Diego Simeone will look to emulate his side’s victory with another convincing win in their bid to finish top of the group. With Antoine Griezmann at the peak of his powers, Astana’s defence could struggle to contain the pacey forward and the away win looks a solid bet at 7/20.

8/10 Real Madrid | 11/4 | PSG 31/10 (21:45) 

The highly-anticipated clash between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain just didn’t live up to expectations with both sides cancelling each other out in boring fashion. Nonetheless, it proved to be a decent result between two good teams who were rock-solid in defence. Rafa Benitez will welcome the return of Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema for this match which could spell trouble for the Parisians. With both teams fighting for top spot in Group A, this matchup should be far more entertaining. I’m backing Real Madrid To Win + Both Teams To Score. 

5/10 Shakhtar | 31/10 | Malmo 6/1 (21:45)

Shakhtar will look to avoid losing four games in a row after going down 1-0 to Malmo last time out. With PSG and Real Madrid destined to qualify to the Round of 16, both sides will have to battle it out for a place in the Europa League. Mircea Lucescu has a host of attacking talent in Bernard, Taison and Alex Teixeira. Back the home win at 5/10. 

5/10 Man United | 33/10 | CSKA Moscow 52/10 (21:45)

The Red Devils will feel they should have got more from their 1-1 draw with CSKA Moscow, dominating 70% of ball possession. The group is wide open for each team and they are all in close reach of each other. Louis van Gaal will rely on Anthony Martial for another stellar performance whether he decides to play the young Frenchman out wide or through the middle. Martial has been in fine form and will look to score the goals that win the game for United. The home win is tipped. 

18/10 PSV Eindhoven | 24/10 | Wolfsburg 16/10 (21:45)

Wolfsburg ousted PSV 2-0 last time out with the Dutch side failing to win away against German opposition for 15 consecutive games in a run stretching back to 1977. Phillip Cocu’s side are bottom of the group on three points but will fancy themselves to claim maximum points at the Philips Stadion. The Dutch champions will look to their impressive performance against Manchester United on Matchday 1 which saw them beat Louis van Gaal’s men 2-1. PSV will be wary of their opponents this time out and will need the defence partnership of Hector Moreno and Jeffrey Bruma to be more solid defensively. In attack, they have all the weapons to hurt Wolfsburg and I’m tipping them to reign victorious. 

7/10 Benfica | 11/4 | Galatasaray 4/1 (21:45)

Galatasaray responded well after going a goal down just two minutes into the game to win 2-1 against Benfica. Rui Vitoria’s men will look to end off the game the way they started last time out and avenge that defeat. Despite the loss, Benfica are still level on top of the group on goal difference. Galatasaray will need to perform at their best and will need the likes of Wesley Sneijder and Lukas Podolski at top level if they are to get the same sort of result. The Eagles have been superb at home in the league this season and I’m backing them to edge the win. 

9/4 Monchengladbach | 49/20 | Juventus 12/10 (21:45)

Monchengladbach will be high in confidence after picking up a point in Turin. The Serie A champions will feel like they should have got more from the game after missing numerous chances, not to mention a few poor decisions from the referee which didn’t go in their favour. The Old Lady remain undefeated in Group D with seven points from three games, while Gladbach lie at the bottom with just a point. Spanish striker Alvaro Morata failed to break Alessandro Del Piero’s record by scoring in six consecutive Champions League match, but will be eager to return to goalscoring form. Back Juventus to get the away win. 

17/10 Sevilla | 23/10 | Man City 31/20 (21:45)

Manchester City left it late as Kevin De Bruyne snatched a late winner against Los Rojiblancos to win 2-1 at the Etihad. Manager Manuel Pellegrini hailed the Belgian as a perfect player and will once again rely on him to inflict the most damage with Sergio Aguero and David Silva still on the sidelines. Sevilla proved to be no pushovers when they took the lead against City, and showed that they are capable of challenging the Citizen’s. Both sides thrive on free-flowing attacking football which could see defences exposed. I’m going for Both Teams To Score at 6/10.

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Wednesday 4th November

1/16 Barcelona | 11/1 | BATE 30/1 (21:45)

Barcelona cemented their position at the top of Group E with a 2-0 win over BATE Borisov with two goals from Ivan Rakitic. The Barca midfielder claimed it was the most complete game for the Catalans so far this season. BATE knew that it would always be a tough test despite the absence of Lionel Messi with Barcelona producing five other Ballon d’Or nominees. The visitors are tipped to travel to Spain in what could be a massacre for the Berusians. Barca are tipped to win with a clean sheet at 9/20.

11/10 Roma | 26/10 | Bayer Leverkusen 23/10 (21:45)

Roma and Leverkusen played to a thrilling encounter last time out with the spoils being shared at 4-4 in Germany. Both teams would feel disappointed with the result after they both had a two-goal lead at some point of the game. Both teams will look to tighten up their defence as both sides showed their defensive frailties. Expect another flurry of goals and another stalemate with a score draw valued at 3/1.

11/20 Olympiacos | 28/10 | Dinamo Zagreb 11/2 (21:45)

Olympiacos boosted their chances of reaching the next round of the competition with an impressive 1-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb. The Greek champions now lie level at the top of the group with Bayern Munich on six points, and will be desperate to get the victory with Arsenal still in the mix after their superb victory over the Bavarians. Dinamo Zagreb travelled to the Emirates and picked up maximum points against Arsenal, I’m backing them to earn a draw at 28/10. 

4/10 Bayern Munich | 38/10 | Arsenal 57/10 (21:45)

Arsene Wenger will be hoping to emulate the result he got at home against the Bavarians, but know that it will not be the same type of test that they faced in their own backyard. Wenger brought back belief that his Gunners can still qualify after pulling all the right strings in London. Bayern who dominated the game with possession, failed to score for the first time this season and now see themselves level on top of the group with six points. Pep Guardiola was amazed as to how his side could not score after a number of chances were coolly handled by Petr Cech. Expect another thrilling encounter between these two, but I cannot see the Gunners going down, as big as Bayern Munich prove to be. Arsenal have more to play for and with that being said, back them on the Win/Draw double at 17/10. 

57/10 Maccabi Tel-Aviv | 33/10 | Porto 9/20 (21:45)

Maccabi Tel-Aviv remain without a point having lost all three of their games so far, scoring no goals and conceding eight, while Porto lie at the top with seven points. Yacine Brahimi is in superb form and will look to net against the Israeli giants again. A win would all but guarantee the Dragons into the next round with their two closest rivals playing against each other, knowing that one of the teams will drop points, if not both. The home side could all but hope for third spot with the Europa League still in sight, but it seems less likely now with Porto tipped for the win.

11/20 Chelsea | 3/1 | Dynamo Kyiv 47/10 (21:45)

English Premier League champions Chelsea will look to move on from their goalless draw against Kiev, and expect to return to winning ways here. Jose Mourinho was highly frustrated with the referee once again with him describing the match officials as “weak and naive”. The Blues will go into this match guns blazing and will look to shoot Kiev out of their second place position. Chelsea linked Andriy Yarmolenko failed to pounce on the opportunity to impress what could be his future manager. With the quality in Chelsea’s team, I’m backing them to get the victory at the Bridge.

24/10 Gent | 5/2 | Valencia 11/10 (21:45) 

Gent would feel like it just isn’t their season after failing to pick up their first win of the campaign. It was a bit harsh with Valencia grabbing the win with the help of two own goals ending the game at 2-1. The visitors remain favourites for the tie, but Gent will do all they can to get some sort of revenge after they were unfortunate to come off second best. At great value, these sides are tipped to share the spoils with a draw.

13/10 Lyon | 23/10 | Zenit 21/10 (21:45)

Lyon will need three wins from their final three games in the group if they are to have any chance of qualification. Injuries in midfield have left the French team short of creativity in midfield and it proved costly against Zenit. The Sky-Blues have managed three wins in as many games and will hope to keep up that perfect record but know that they will be challenged with Lyon having everything to play for. Andre Villas-Boas’ men are tipped to drop their first points in the competition but could do enough to earn a draw.

UCL Picks
Atletico Madrid WIN 7/20
Real Madrid WIN + BTTS 21/10
Shakhtar WIN 5/10
Man United WIN 5/10
PSV WIN 18/10
Benfica WIN 7/10
Juventus WIN 12/10
Sevilla BTTS 6/10
Barcelona WIN + CLEAN SHEET 9/20 
Roma BTTS + DRAW 3/1
Olympiacos DRAW 28/10
Arsenal WIN/DRAW 17/10
Porto WIN 9/20
Chelsea WIN 11/20
Gent DRAW 5/2
Lyon DRAW 23/10

Written by Jesse Nagel