UEFA Champions League: Matchday 3 Preview

Harry Kane is the highest scorer in the UEFA Champions League so far with five goals.
There’s some massive encounters this week with the highlight being Tottenham's trip to Real Madrid
We’re into Matchday 3 of Europe’s elite club competition, the UEFA Champions League. Just eight teams have been perfect so far, winning both their games. Still, no group is set in stone just yet, with four more rounds of action still to be played. There’s some massive encounters taking place this week, with the highlight of the round being champions, Real Madrid, up against high-flying Tottenham Hotspur. There’s loads of value on offer in Matchday 3; so let’s get straight to it!


Tuesday 17 October

Group E

25/2 Maribor | Draw 57/10 | Liverpool 2/11 (20:45)

We kick things off with Liverpool travelling to Slovenia to take on Maribor. The hosts have a pretty decent record at home this season – going undefeated in the league and in their UEFA Champions League opener against Spartak Moscow. Liverpool are yet to get their first win in the Champions League after drawing both encounters with a 1-1 scoreline. The international break came at the best time for the Reds, who had won just one of their last seven matches across all competitions. Liverpool’s backline has let them down on a number of occasions this season, and for that reason, I’m backing Both Teams to Score at 21/20.

7/2 Spartak Moscow | 28/10 | Sevilla 7/10 (20:45)

Spartak Moscow will be looking for their first win of the tournament when they host Group E leaders, Sevilla. Massimo Carrera’s men have drawn both their matches played, but a win could take them on top of the standings – depending on other results. Sevilla were brilliant in their last tie against Maribor as they claimed a resounding 3-0 victory, courtesy of a hat-trick from Wissam Ben Yedder. The Sevillistas have been impressive since the start of the season and should do enough to grind out a victory; get on!

Group F

6/10 Man City | 33/10 | Napoli 7/2 (20:45)

High-flying Manchester City will play host to one of the best attacking teams in world football, Napoli. City currently lead Group F on six points, with the Naples three points behind them in second place. Pep Guardiola has finally got the Citizens to play his brand of football, closing the opposition down like a pack of wolves. In attack, they are just as frightening, and although they will still miss Sergio Aguero through injury, they have a number of quality players to hurt Napoli. Maurizio Sarri’s side have won all seven of their league matches this season, but have already suffered defeat in the Champions League. I’m going with Man City to Win & Both Teams to Score here at 15/10!

22/10 Feyenoord | 49/20 | Shakhtar Donetsk 23/20 (20:45)

In what is expected to be the battle for third spot, Feyenoord and Shakhtar Donetsk go toe to toe.  Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his men sit bottom of Group F, with no points. Shakhtar, on the other hand, boast three points to their name and haven’t ruled themselves out of making the knockout stages of the tournament. The Dutch champions have shown signs of what they’re capable of this season, and at home, they could get something out of the tie. Back them on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 13/20.

Group G

12/10 Leipzig | 23/10 | Porto 22/10 (20:45)

Leipzig host FC Porto on Tuesday, looking to climb up the group by getting their first victory of the campaign. It won’t come easy against a Porto side high on confidence, after beating Monaco 3-0 away from home. The Dragons are a team, much like Juventus, who focus more on shutting out the opposition and catching them on the counter. Leipzig are a side just like Monaco – great young players who ply their trade on fast, attacking football. Fast-paced football didn’t work so well against Porto last time out, and I’m expecting things to be no different here. Back Porto on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 6/10.

11/20 Monaco | 31/10 | Besiktas 17/4 (20:45)

Surprise packages, Besiktas, will hope to extend their lead at the top of Group G when they travel to France to take on Monaco. Against all odds, the Black Eagles emerged victorious in both matches played so far, sitting atop with six points in Group G. Monaco have been disappointing in the Champions League this season. From being their usual free-scoring selves, they’ve managed just one goal in two games. I genuinely feel like Besiktas can capitalize on Monaco’s poor form. Back them to Win or Draw at 5/4.

Group H

25/2 APOEL Nicosia | 11/2 | Dortmund 2/11 (20:45)

Group H minnows, APOEL Nicosia, take on an underperforming Borussia Dormund side in Matchday 3 of the UEFA Champions League. BVB have been brilliant in the German Bundesliga, but haven’t been able to take that form into Europe’s elite competition. They’ve lost both their encounters against Real Madrid and Totteham, and a setback here would all but rule out their chances of making the knockout stages. Dortmund should get back to winning ways here; for a bit of extra value, back them to Score in Both Halves at 7/10!

4/10 Real Madrid | 4/1 | Tottenham 11/2 (20:45)

Record 12-time holders, Real Madrid, do battle with free-scoring Tottenham Hotspur in what is regarded as the biggest blockbuster of the round! The two football giants share an identical record in the group stage, scoring six goals each, while only conceding once so far. Harry Kane, however, is the tournament’s leading goalscorer with five goals – one ahead of 2017 Ballon d’Or favourite, Cristiano Ronaldo. Real Madrid will feel they can get the best out of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, who will have a point to prove against their former club. The last meeting ending 5-0 on aggregate back in 2010/11, and I’m expecting another victory for Los Blancos. Back the home win here!

Wednesday 18 October

Group A

34/10 Benfica | 26/10 | Man United 15/20 (20:45)

In-form Manchester United will look to stretch further at the top of Group A when they travel to Benfica. The Eagles are yet to claim a point in the competition, and after their demoralising 5-0 defeat at FC Basel last time out, bouncing back seems like a difficult task. The Red Devils return to action with a tie against Liverpool, but their strength in depth this season has impressed me big time – so I’m not expecting that to play a huge role in the match. United have looked unstoppable under Jose Mourinho and should come away with maximum points!

9/10 CSKA Moscow | 5/2 | FC Basel 29/10 (20:45)

CSKA Moscow welcome FC Basel to the VEB Arena, hoping to overtake their opponents and move into second place. Both sides sit level on three points with one win from their opening two matches. In the Russian league, CSKA haven’t been too convincing at home, losing three of their seven matches played. FC Basel are off the back of a 5-0 win in the Champions League, despite their poor form in the domestic league. I’m going for Both Teams to Score here at 8/10.

Group B

1/11 Bayern | 8/1 | Celtic 19/1 (20:45)

After the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern Munich welcomed Jupp Heynckes to the helm, bringing the two-time UEFA Champions League winner out of retirement. Heynckes retired as the FIFA Manager of the Year in 2013 and only time will tell if he still has his spark. A win would take Bayern clear of Celtic, who are level with the Bavarians on three points. Bayern’s 2013 squad was one of the best teams of the decade – and if Heynckes can get them playing that type of football again, Celtic have no chance. Over 1.5 Goals First Half is my tip at 7/10!

16/1 Anderlecht | 7/1 | Paris Saint-Germain 1/8 (20:45)
Anderlecht will be hoping for an improved performance as they seek their first point and goal against a PSG side who won both their matches impressively. After losing their home game against Celtic 3-0, their chances of progressing are very slim. They could even miss out on third spot – which will see them move to the UEFA Europa League. PSG’s front three of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani have looked menacing this season. They’re always amongst the goals and this tie should be no different. Get on the ‘Multigoals – Away Team’ market and back 4+ goals for PSG at 5/4!

Group C

14/1 Qarabag | 52/10 | Atletico Madrid 2/11 (18:00)

After being sent home a bit earlier than expected by Bafana Bafana boss, Stuart Baxter, Dino Ndlovu will tie up with his teammates ahead of a massive test against Atletico Madrid. This will be Qarabag’s second Champions League matchup at home, with their first game ending in a 2-1 defeat to Roma. Atletico Madrid are winless in their opening two encounters, drawing to Roma, and then losing out to Chelsea in the dying seconds of the game. As much as I’d want Ndlovu to reach as far as possible in the tournament, I have to be realistic and say that Atletico will do enough to claim three points. Take Atletico to Win to Nil at 6/10.

13/20 Chelsea | 28/10 | Roma 39/10 (20:45)

Chelsea will hope to remain perfect in the Champions League when they host second-placed AS Roma. The Blues are five points clear of third-placed Atletico Madrid and will be in an even more comfortable position to qualify should they win this match. Roma have been impressive this season, earning a point against Atletico and claiming a 2-1 win over Qarabag. The Italian side have plenty of quality players in their ranks, but I doubt it will be enough to blow Chelsea aside. Get on the home win at 13/20!

Group D

3/10 Juventus | 9/2 | Sporting 17/2 (20:45)

Sporting will be hoping for their first win away from home against Italian opposition when they face Juventus in Turin. The Portuguese giants have drawn just three of their 13 encounters away to Italian sides and it would take a massive upset for them to end that run. Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic were on target as Juve defeated Olympiacos 2-0 in their only home game in the Champions League so far. The Bianconeri should win this one, but if the 3/10 price is too short for your liking, I suggest backing them on the Half-time/Full-time win at 15/20.

1/16 Barcelona | 19/2 | Olympiacos 25/1 (20:45)

High-flying Barcelona will look to maintain their perfect record when they host Olympiacos on Wednesday. The Catalans are on top of Group D with six points and are yet to concede in the tournament this season. Olympiacos have suffered defeats in both their matches played so far, and have never beaten Spanish opposition away from home. With Lionel Messi finding his scoring boots in recent weeks, Barcelona should wipe the floor with the Greek outfit. Back Over 1.5 Goals First Half at 7/10!

Tuesday TREBLE @ 6/1
Maribor vs Liverpool BTTS 21/20
Man City Win & BTTS 15/10
Real Madrid Win 4/10

Wednesday TREBLE @ 4/1
Man United Win 15/20
Chelsea Win 13/20
Juventus HT-FT Win 15/20

Written by Jesse Nagel