Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: UEFA Champions League: Matchday 4 Preview

UEFA Champions League: Matchday 4 Preview

Diogo Jota scored a hattrick in the 5-0 demolition of Atalanta

Matchday four of the UEFA Champions League is upon us and as fans we will get to watch a repeat of the last round’s ties but this time around it will take place at the opposite home grounds as the previous matches.

Paris Saint-Germain hosting RB Leipzig will headline the round of fixtures on Tuesday as both clubs will be looking to close the gap left by Manchester United when the Red Devils suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at the home of the Turkish Super Lig champions Istanbul Basaksehir.

Wednesday evening all eyes will be on Real Madrid who travel to the iconic San Siro Stadium to lock horns with Inter Milan, who will be desperate to avenge the 3-2 defeat in Spain.

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Tuesday 24 November

Group E

Rennes 9/2
Draw 33/10
Chelsea 5/10

Rennes will be looking to muster any sort of result that will help them off the foot of the Group E standings and challenge Krasnodar for the third spot that will secure their path to the UEFA Europa League. The Red and Blacks were convincingly beaten in London by a 3-0 margin with Belgian speedster Jeremy Doku only coming on as a substitute for 30 minutes. If Rennes are to stand any chance of upsetting the English giants, Doku has to play from the start. Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech is finally in the first-team and is already showing signs that he can replicate the form he showed in Ajax colours for Frank Lampard’s Blues. The Moroccan international netted a brace against Central African Republic and will be aiming to maintain his stellar displays. Chelsea are the first team in my multiple at 5/10.

Krasnodar 17/4
Draw 31/10
Sevilla 6/10

Krasnodar come into the clash losing five matches on the trot across all competitions, conceding more than twice for all five games in this period. The Russians have little experience in this elite league and realistically should be battling it out with Rennes for third spot in the group. Sevilla were given a scare in Spain coming from behind to claim a 3-2 victory thanks to Ivan Rakitic finding the net as well as a Youssef En-Nesyri brace. Los Palanganas surely have learned from the mistakes made in the first half of the previous encounter. Clean Sheet Away Team is worth a punt at 29/20; however, I’m going to keep it simple and back the away win at 6/10.

Group F

Borussia Dortmund 1/4
Draw 5/1
Club Brugge 8/1

Goals from Thorgan Hazard and Erling Haaland secured an easy 3-0 victory for Borussia Dortmund in Belgium. The Yellow and Blacks will be aiming for top spot in the group and Haaland will be trying to add to his impressive tally of 14 UEFA Champions League goals from his first eight appearances in the competition. Club Brugge have won just once in five games across all competitions which doesn’t bode well for their chances against a team with such a powerful forward line. The Belgian champions are without South African forward Percy Tau but will look to their previous meeting to Signal Iduna Park where they held on for a goalless draw for belief that they could come away with a positive result. Haaland Anytime Goalscorer will be available closer to kick off, I also suggest backing Home to Win Both Halves (Yes) at 15/10.

Lazio 6/10
Draw 29/10
Zenit St. Petersburg 4/1

Lazio will be rueing the opportunity missed to go clear at the top of Group F by drawing with both Club Brugge (1-1) and Zenit St. Petersburg (1-1) after beating Borussia Dortmund (3-1) in the opening round of matches. Two weeks ago, Lazio shared the spoils in 1-1 draw with Serie A champions Juventus thanks to Ecuadorian Felipe Caicedo who was also on target in the reverse fixture against Zenit. The Russian Lions will be looking to replicate last season’s performances where they beat Benfica and Lyon in the group stages – their only wins from their last nine Champions League matches. My money is on Lazio to make home advantage count in Rome at 6/10.

Group G

Dynamo Kiev 7/2
Draw 29/10
Barcelona 7/10

Dynamo Kiev face an uphill task trying to qualify from a group that consists of European giants Barcelona and Juventus. The Ukrainians’ best finish will be beating Hungarian champions Ferencvaros to third spot in order to join the UEFA Europa League. Barcelona doesn’t have the fear factor that they previously boasted and Dynamo Kiev will be looking to exploit their weaknesses. The Catalans have put faith in a lot of young players and could possibly suffer with fatigue after squaring off against the hard-tackling Atletico Madrid in La Liga action. Ansu Fati is set for a four-month spell on the sidelines and Sergio Busquets is also due for knee surgery which will certainly leave Barca manager Ronald Koeman under pressure. I’m going for Both Teams to Score (Yes) at 6/10.

Juventus 1/8
Draw 7/1
Ferencvaros 17/1

Cristiano Ronaldo will be targeting a few goals to extend his record as the top-goalscorer in the history of the competition when the Old Lady host the Hungarian champions, who are minnows in the UEFA Champions League. The bookies give Ferencvaros no chance whatsoever at odds of 17/1 for a win. Ferencvaros have scored in each of their three games so Both Teams to Score (Yes) is a good option to look at with odds of 27/20. Ronaldo anytime goalscorer is worth a punt as well, but I suggest selecting Home to Win Both Halves (Yes) at 19/20 as the best option when looking for value in this match.

Group H

Paris Saint-Germain 11/20
Draw 7/2
RB Leipzig 39/10

Paris Saint-Germain were without star forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe when the Parisians fell to a 2-1 defeat in Germany and also ended the game with nine men as Idrissa Gueye and Presnel Kimpembe were shown red cards. Thomas Tuchel will be sweating on the fitness of his €400 million duo, Mbappe and Neymar, but will be happy with Moise Kean who has stepped up by scoring five times in his last five appearances. RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann will be desperate to do the double over his German counterpart Tuchel to give Leipzig the upper hand in this “group of death” and avenge last season’s semi-final loss to PSG. Dayot Upamecano will be the key player if RB Leipzig are to come away with a favourable result. The young French central defender allows Nagelsmann to employ outlandish tactics to catch the opponent unaware because he has a player that can successfully fulfil two positions on the field at the same time. Upamecano is dominant at the heart of defence and drives with the ball at his feet very well into the deeper-lying midfield areas. If the defender can pocket Neymar and Mbappe, his stock will continue to rise and have a successful outing in his homeland France. I strongly feel RB Leipzig won’t lose this one and I’ll be backing them on the Double Chance at 13/10.

Manchester United 1/4
Draw 47/10
Istanbul Basaksehir 9/1

Manchester United will be hoping for a draw in Paris to regain a stronghold on Group H and can’t afford to drop points to Istanbul Basaksehir again when the Turkish Super Lig champions visit Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to set his team up to play on the front foot on home soil which will surely reap goals. Scott McTominay and Fred have been used as a double-pivot midfield in recent games but Paul Pogba will be knocking on the manager’s door after a few decent performances for France. Pogba has underwhelmed in a United shirt but will be aiming to prove his doubters wrong. Istanbul Basaksehir took advantage of comical mistakes made by the United defence and Solskjaer has surely learnt his lesson from the humiliating defeat last time out. The hosts should be considered bankers but if you’re searching for more value select Home To Win To Nil at 11/10.

Wednesday 25 November

Group A

Bayern Munich 2/9
Draw 6/1
Salzburg 8/1

Bayern Munich were put on the back foot by Salzburg during the last meeting. The Bavarians needed to come from behind twice but displayed their class in the final 10 minutes by scoring four times, leaving Austria’s Red Bull Arena as 6-2 winners. The youthful Salzburg frontline of Sekou Koita, Patson Daka, Noah Okafor and Mergim Berisha will cherish this opportunity at the grand stage against the champions and play with no fear, but I can’t see Bayern Munich losing this one as they target their 15th straight UEFA Champions League victory. There’s little value on the home win, go into the Multiscores market and select 1:0, 2:0 OR 3:0 at 39/10.

Atletico Madrid 2/9
Draw 47/10
Lokomotiv Moscow 11/1

Atletico Madrid put most punters out of their multiples in Tuesday’s early kick-off last time out as they were held to a 1-1 draw against Lokomotiv Moscow. Los Rojiblancos are a serious threat to any opposition with in-form Alvaro Morata leading the line and Joao Felix enjoying a rich vein of form. Atleti host Barcelona in La Liga action prior to this match and won’t have the task of traveling to Russia this time around. Diego Simeone’s troops have only tasted defeat twice (Real Madrid & Barcelona) at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano from their last 55 clashes across all competitions. Lokomotiv Moscow are priced at 10/1 for the win because they come into the clash winless in six games, where they’ve suffered four losses. Atletico Madrid look a banker at 2/9, however, I suggest taking Home To Win To Nil at 15/20.

Group B

Borussia Monchengladbach 5/10
Draw 7/2
Shakhtar Donetsk 9/2

Borussia Monchengladbach were absolutely dominant in their 6-0 victory in Kiev. Alassane Plea netted himself a UEFA Champions League hat-trick in Ukraine a week after Marcus Thuram’s brace against Real Madrid, so, head coach Marco Rose will be confident his strikers will deliver when it counts most. Swiss international Breel Embolo also provides a huge threat to defenders with his scintillating speed and trickery on the ball. Shakhtar Donetsk are priced as huge outsiders following the 6-0 defeat but could surprise everyone and turn the group on its head again. Shakhtar are capable of playing brilliant, attacking football that could punish any team on their day. Taras Stepanenko and Junior Moraes were left out of the starting eleven and the lack of experience was there to be seen. Both Teams to Score (Yes) is my banker from Wednesday’s fixtures at 6/10.

Inter Milan 11/10
Draw 26/10
Real Madrid 43/20

Inter Milan have failed to win seven of their last eight matches and questions have started being asked about manager Antonio Conte and why he isn’t displaying his usual enthusiastic personality on the touchline. Conte’s fired back and told the media to “lay off the wine”. The Nerazzurri coach is definitely under pressure with the current results, but he is a class manager and has the tools to get back to winning ways. Romelu Lukaku will return to the team after missing the clash in Spain which will be a huge lift to his teammates, especially Lautaro Martinez with both strikers sharing a wonderful understanding as strike partners. Real Madrid gave away three penalties and scored an own goal which helped Valencia beat Zinedine Zidane’s men 4-1 before the international break in La Liga action. Los Blancos have been inconsistent this season and have failed to keep a clean sheet in seven matches. Inter Milan are tipped to prey on Madrid’s weaknesses and edge this encounter at 11/10.

Group C

Olympiacos 9/1
Draw 9/2
Manchester City 3/10

Olympiacos arguably have talent and experience within their squad but it’s difficult for anyone to match Manchester City’s depth with the likes of Rodri, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias on the bench, the Citizens still ran out 3-0 winners at the Etihad Stadium. The last time the Greek club hosted English opposition, the Red-Whites held Tottenham Hotspur to a 2-2 draw with Daniel Podence who now represents Wolves finding the net on the night. City aren’t at their majestic best but have lost just twice during their UEFA Champions League travels in three seasons. Select Pep Guardiola’s team on the (-1) Handicap for a convincing win at 15/20.

Marseille 37/20
Draw 22/10
Porto 29/20

Marseille have suffered three losses on the bounce which leaves them rooted to the bottom of Group C. Dimitri Payet wasted his opportunity to draw the Olympians level by blazing his penalty over the crossbar without testing the goalkeeper which would have been the biggest disappointment. Andre Villas-Boas is under pressure to deliver the goods and recently hit back at his critics by saying if he had Guardiola’s players, he would play attractive, possession-based football but explained he has to use his current tactics because of the quality or lack thereof in his Marseille squad. Porto are in a great position to secure qualification to the round-of-16 stage. If the Dragons manage to claim maximum points in this encounter, they’d just have to avoid defeat to Olympiacos to qualify. Porto’s midfield has some brilliant players who are gifted in one-on-one situations and frequently dribble passed their opponents to provide service to the target men strikers up top. It’s a bold call but my money will be on Porto at 29/20.

Group D

Liverpool 13/20
Draw 33/10
Atalanta 33/10

Liverpool’s injury crisis in defence was non-existent as the Reds pulled off an incredible 5-0 win over Atalanta in Italy thanks to a Diogo Jota hat-trick. The Portuguese forward has been on fire since his Liverpool debut but now the pressure will be on his shoulders to deliver with Mohamed Salah still recovering from Covid-19. Roberto Firmino has been questioned in recent weeks and with Salah’s absence Firmino has the perfect opportunity to prove his doubters wrong. Atalanta take chances with their football and leave space in behind that was exploited by Jota, Salah and Sadio Mane. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men can’t afford to make those mistakes again if they’re to have any chance of beating Ajax to a round-of-16 slot. Instead of picking a winner, take Both Halves Over 1.5 Goals at 43/20.

Ajax Amsterdam 3/10
Draw 47/10
Midtjylland 7/1

Ajax come into the clash as huge favourites despite only beating Midtjylland 2-1 in the reverse fixture in Denmark. The hosts clearly have more experience and quality in their ranks to play in this competition with Midtjylland’s main threat being Pione Sisto who is gifted with amazing speed. Erik Ten Hag’s men will claim maximum points but with their tendency of scoring goals very early in matches I’ve decided against picking a winner. Go with Over 2.5 Goals at 7/20.

Chelsea Win 5/10
Lazio Win 6/10
RB Leipzig Win/Draw 13/10

Manchester City (-1) Handicap 15/20
Inter Milan Win 11/10
Porto Win 29/20

Written by Bryan Naicker