Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: UEFA Champions League: Matchday 3 Preview

UEFA Champions League: Matchday 3 Preview

Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Champions League action after recovering from covid-19

Manchester United thrashed RB Leipzig 5-0 in a match that was expected to be much closer with Marcus Rashford scoring a hat-trick minutes after coming off the bench and flattering the scoreline. Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t available to face his greatest competitor Lionel Messi as Barcelona ran out 2-0 winners in Turin with youngsters Pedri and Ansu Fati showing signs of great promise when the Catalans need it the most.

PSG will take on RB Leipzig in a high stakes Group H clash as both sides have lost to Man United, and a defeat in this match could spell disaster for their chances to reach the knockout stages. Liverpool host Atalanta without Virgil Van Dijk, which will be a thrilling contest seeing as the Premier League champions are always free-scoring and the Italians scored 98 goals in Serie A alone last season.

However, the headline fixture has to be Real Madrid who come into the clash with Inter Milan bottom of Group B. Antonio Conte’s men are always difficult to beat and Zinedine Zidane has a point to prove that he can be successful in this competition without Ronaldo in his team.

Let’s get to the preview where we’ve handpicked a selection of bets that have plenty of value on offer.

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Tuesday 3 November

Group A

Lokomotiv Moscow 15/2
Draw 36/10
Atletico Madrid 7/20

Lokomotiv Moscow will fancy their chances at the RZD Arena when Atletico Madrid come to town. The Russians gave Bayern Munich a run for their money last week but inevitably left with nothing after suffering a 2-1 defeat. Atletico Madrid found themselves in the same group as this opponent last season, winning both clashes 2-0. Joao Felix is expected to continue his rich vein of form that saw the 20-year-old Portuguese attacker score four times in his last two appearances against Salzburg and Osasuna. Atleti is tipped for the win at 7/20, but if you’re looking more value try the Away Win to Nil market at 19/20 odds.

Salzburg 57/10
Draw 47/10
Bayern Munich 7/20

Salzburg will be looking to secure third spot in Group A to continue their European journey in the Europa League. With holders Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in this group, it would be unrealistic to hope for more. The biggest positive for the Austrians ahead of this clash is they have scored two goals in each of their two opening games against Lokomotiv Moscow and Atletico Madrid. Under the tutelage of Hans Flick, Bayern have a 100% record in this competition with 13 straight victories. The trend is expected to continue but I think Salzburg have a goal in them, especially with the form 20-year-old midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai is enjoying. Bayern Munich and Yes at 9/10 is tipped in the Matchbet and Both Teams to Score market.

Group B

Shakhtar Donetsk 2/1
Draw 26/10
Borussia Monchengladbach 23/20

Group B has been turned on its head with Shakhtar Donetsk leading the way followed by Tuesday evening’s opponents Borussia Monchengladbach and the two heavyweights Inter Milan and Real Madrid. Shakhtar have been underdogs in their first two matches against Real Madrid where the Ukrainians won 3-2 and held Inter Milan to a goalless draw. Borussia Monchengladbach also held their own against top quality opposition, sharing the spoils in 2-2 draws with both Inter Milan and Real Madrid. Marcus Thuram’s brace against Los Blancos will be highlight of his young career. With these sides tendency of playing out goal-filled thrillers, the smart bet would be Over 2.5 Goals at 6/10 odds.

Real Madrid 17/20
Draw 29/10
Inter Milan 26/10

Real Madrid’s captain Sergio Ramos is back in action and the results have improved in the three matches he has returned. The Spanish giants have shockingly won just once in their last seven home matches in this competition. Zinedine Zidane will be looking to replicate the form during their golden period in the UEFA Champions League. Eden Hazard is fully fit and it remains to be seen if he will reach the heights he did under the opposition manager Antonio Conte at Chelsea. Inter Milan drew their opener with Monchengladbach and were very unlucky not to claim maximum points against Shakhtar Donetsk in a match the Italians dominated but kept striking the woodwork on numerous occasions. Inter Milan are expected to keep it tight and go for the win at the death. For that reason, I’m going into the Highest Scoring Half Away Team market and backing 2nd half at 15/10.

Group C

Porto 8/10
Draw 49/20
Marseille 33/10

Porto played some good football at Manchester City but left with nothing as Pep Guardiola’s men ran out 3-1 winners. The Dragon’s first points were put on the board in 2-0 win over Olympiacos last time out with Portuguese duo Sergio Oliveira and Fabio Vieira thoroughly impressing and getting on the scoresheet. Marseille need to pull up their socks after back-to-back defeats to Olympiacos (1-0) and Manchester City (3-0), without finding the back of the net. Questions will surely be asked about coach Andre Villas-Boas if he suffers a loss in his home country that will surely eliminate any chance of qualifying from the group. With the French side having the unenviable record of 11 straight defeats in the UCL, my money is on Porto at 8/10.

Manchester City 1/5
Draw 57/10
Olympiacos 11/1

Manchester City are priced as bankers because the only two Champions League games the Citizens have lost in their last 20 appearances have been defeats to Tottenham and Lyon that knocked them out of the competition altogether. Guardiola has suggested rumours of a return to Barcelona are false in recent weeks and that he was brought to Manchester to lift this cup and its exactly what he plans on doing. Olympiacos are winless in five Champions League matches away from home with just one draw and four defeats. With the Premier League game against Liverpool coming up on the weekend, I still see City winning comfortably. Go with Totals: Over 2.5 Goals at 7/20.

Group D

Atalanta 21/20
Draw 29/10
Liverpool 21/20

Atalanta aren’t in the best of form when it comes to their recent results but one thing is for sure, when this team takes the pitch goals are guaranteed. Duvan Zapata clawed Gian Piero Gasperini’s team back into the contest against Ajax. Zapata cancelled out Ajax’s first-half goals with a second-half brace that helped earn the Italians a share of the spoils. Despite losing their most influential player in Virgil Van Dijk against Everton in the Merseyside derby, Liverpool have gone on to win their next four matches across all competitions. Both Teams to Score and Totals: Over 2.5 Goals should be considered a banker at odds of 7/20. However, I’m going into the Matchbet and Both Teams to Score market and backing Liverpool and Yes at 18/10.

Midtjylland 7/2
Draw 32/10
Ajax Amsterdam 13/20

Midtjylland find themselves in a group of teams that play attacking football and pride themselves on scoring goals. Convincing defeats to Atalanta (4-0) and Liverpool (2-0) give very little hope for the Danish SuperLiga team of even making third spot when they host free-scoring Ajax in Tuesday’s late kick-off. Ajax made Liverpool work for a 1-0 win in their opening encounter and were in pole position against Atalanta but a lack of concentration saw the Dutch champions settle for a share of the spoils. Ajax are tipped for the win confidently at 13/20.

Wednesday 4 November

Group E

Chelsea 7/20
Draw 39/10
Rennes 13/2

Chelsea seem to have gotten their business in order with the arrival of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. The Senegalese shot-stopper has helped the Blues keep five clean sheets from six games and will surely want to extend the streak when he takes on his former employers. Finally, everyone that was signed in the transfer window has started together and we can clearly see the quality shine through with Frank Lampard’s men posing a serious threat when they properly gel as a unit. It might sound like a wildcard right now, but watch out for the Blues in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Rennes were stubborn and made Sevilla toil for a 1-0 victory in the last round of matches. The French side have little, if any, chance against their expensively assembled opponents in London. Take Home Win to Nil at 12/10.

Sevilla 1/4
Draw 47/10
Krasnodar 19/2

Sevilla’s Champions League matches are taking a toll on their La Liga performances. Around their two matches against Chelsea and Rennes, Sevilla have lost all three league matches to the likes of Granada, Eibar and Athletic Bilbao. Los Palanganas need to properly rout a team 5-0 to pick up the team spirit and Krasnodar will be the perfect target. If Krasnodar are to stand any chance in this clash, it would come from Remy Cabella or Marcus Berg. The hosts are yet to concede in the competition and I’m expecting more of the same against a toothless Krasnodar team who are yet to score. Home Win to Nil is my play at 19/20.

Group F

Zenit St. Petersburg 33/20
Draw 23/10
Lazio 16/10

Zenit St. Petersburg have started poorly in defeats to Club Brugge (1-2) and Borussia Dortmund (2-0). The Russians were fortunate to score their only goal against Club Brugge after a shot against the upright hit the back of the goalkeeper and rolled over the line. Artem Dzyuba is a threat aerially and uses his physique very well to bring his teammates into play. More service to Dzyuba and there is a possibility of getting something out of the game. Lazio started like a house on fire, brushing aside Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in Rome but then disappointingly drew 1-1 with Club Brugge in Belgium. The Italians clearly have more quality and I can’t see them losing this one. Back Lazio on the Double Chance at 9/20.

Club Brugge 38/10
Draw 31/10
Borussia Dortmund 6/10

Club Brugge are in quite a decent position going into this game against the group favourites with four points to their name. The Belgians seem to be prioritizing their Champions League fixtures because their form in the league is going through a dip. Erling Halaand is expected to return to action after missing Dortmund’s Bundesliga victory at Arminia Bielefeld. Halaand has scored in three of Dortmund’s last four Champions League games and will surely want to put Club Brugge to the sword before the much-anticipated league encounter with bitter-rivals and holders of the Champions League, Bayern Munich on Saturday. I’m going for Borussia Dortmund on the (-1) Handicap at 15/10.

Group G

Barcelona 1/8
Draw 7/1
Dynamo Kiev 17/1

Barcelona were impressive in their 2-0 win over Juventus last week. Lionel Messi and their array of young prospects looked very good but consistency will always be the issue when it comes to young players. In La Liga action against Alaves last weekend, Barcelona struggled to replicate that performance and didn’t look like the Barca teams of old who effortlessly move the ball across the park to stretch opponents and create openings. Ronald Koeman is winless in four league matches, so any slip up in the UCL could spell the end for the Barca legend. Dynamo Kiev will inevitably be scrapping for third spot in this group with first-timers Ferencvaros. The Ukrainians last travelled to the Camp Nou back in 2009 when the Catalans were at the peak of their powers, however, I give them very little chance even if Koeman plays half of the youth team. Home to Score in Both Halves at 5/10 is well worth a punt.

Ferencvaros 11/1
Draw 47/10
Juventus 2/9

Ferencvaros will have the pleasure of facing Cristiano Ronaldo as the top-scorer in Champions League history made his return off the bench in Serie A action last weekend and is expected to feature when Juve travel to Hungary. If Ronaldo’s international record is anything to go by, he wouldn’t want to sit out this match, instead he’ll be aiming for a hat-trick to further improve his personal accolades. I’m backing Cristiano Ronaldo in the Anytime Goalscorer market at 6/10.

Group H

Istanbul Basaksehir 13/2
Draw 38/10
Manchester United 7/20

Istanbul Basaksehir come into the clash after losing both their Group H matches by a 2-0 scoreline to RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain. Manchester United, on the other hand, have beaten PSG 2-1 in Paris and played hosts to RB Leipzig where the Red Devils ran out as 5-0 winners. The away win offers little value, take Away to Win Both Halves at 39/20 if you’re looking for more value.

RB Leipzig 2/1
Draw 51/20
Paris Saint-Germain 12/10

This will be an intriguing contest between two sides that met in the semi-final stage last season. RB Leipzig were one of the teams to watch but fell to the much stronger and wealthier backed PSG team by 3-0. Paris Saint-Germain will look to this game to regain a stronghold on the group and have an edge when it comes to quality with the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. PSG offers great value for the win at 12/10, get on!

Atletico Madrid – Away Win to Nil 19/20
Porto Win 8/10
Liverpool Win and BTTS (Yes) 18/10

Chelsea Home Win to Nil 12/10
Borussia Dortmund (-1) Handicap 15/10
Cristiano Ronaldo Anytime Goalscorer 6/10

Written by Bryan Naicker