Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: UEFA Champions League: Matchday 5 Preview

UEFA Champions League: Matchday 5 Preview

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is under severe pressure

The penultimate round of group stage clashes serves up a few mouth-watering contests. Atletico Madrid are desperate to secure qualification to the Round of 16 when they host reigning-champions Bayern Munich.

Injury-stricken Liverpool host Ajax Amsterdam after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Atalanta at Anfield that has made the situation in Group D very sticky with three strong contenders but only two places up for grabs.

Chelsea make the trip to Sevilla to decide who will top Group E, while Manchester United and PSG close off the round of matches. The Parisians will travel with all their superstar players, compared to the previous meeting, which suggests we’re in for an intriguing matchup.

Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Chelsea, Sevilla, Barcelona and Juventus have all qualified for the next stage, leaving the rest of the clubs to find it out in matchdays Five & Six.

We have a great preview with valuable tips that you should be climbing on. Let’s get to it. 

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Tuesday 1 December

Group A

Lokomotiv Moscow 39/10
Draw 32/10
Salzburg 6/10

These opponents played out to an entertaining 2-2 draw in the opening round and will battle it out for the third spot which gains entry to the UEFA Europa League. Lokomotiv Moscow have drawn three of their four matches in Group A, coming off a gritty performance having kept a watertight defence in the pouring rain at Atletico Madrid’s Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, earning another point from a goalless draw that left Diego Simeone completely frustrated. Salzburg only have one point from the opening day, going on to lose their next three matches. The Austrian side will take confidence in 20-year-old Dominik Szoboszlai and 21-year-old Sekou Koita both scoring hat-tricks this past weekend in league action. The betting has dropped significantly for Salzburg to win from last week. Over 2.5 Goals is the safer play at the same price – 11/20.

Atletico Madrid 9/10
Draw 26/10
Bayern Munich 26/10

Atletico Madrid’s betting shortened from 14/10 to 9/10 over the weekend. Diego Simeone’s men are forced to do it the hard way after not taking their chances last week against Lokomotiv Moscow. Los Rojiblancos are desperate for the win and Bayern Munich are expected to rotate their squad, however, with the five substitutes rule, the Bavarians could change half their team in the latter stages. Bayern Munich played Atleti off the park in a 4-0 humbling in the last meeting. The Spaniards will be aiming for their fifth straight clean sheet after shutting out Cadiz, Barcelona, Lokomotiv Moscow and Valencia. Goalkeeper Jan Oblak has kept six straight clean sheets for club and country, so Atletico have the right man between the sticks to make it possible. Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka haven’t travelled with the team which makes me strongly fancy Atletico. A cagey, hard-fought contest is expected, I suggest backing Under 2.5 Goals at 21/20 odds.

Group B

Shakhtar Donetsk 5/1
Draw 39/10
Real Madrid 9/20

Shakhtar Donetsk’s scintillating first half performance in their opening round 3-2 victory over Real Madrid was phenomenal. Unfortunately for the Ukrainian side, it has been downhill ever since as they’ve failed to impress. The Miners come off back-to-back 6-0 & 4-0 defeats, home and away to Borussia Monchengladbach which doesn’t bode well for their chances. Real Madrid failed to beat the weaker Group B teams, Shakhtar and Monchengladbach, but went on to complete a double over Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan. Los Blancos come off a disappointing La Liga defeat to Alaves last Saturday. Zinedine Zidane’s team will be bolstered with the rich vein of form Karim Benzema is enjoying, scoring five goals in his last four appearances. Benzema is expected to start after being rested against Alaves. Unfortunately, Eden Hazard’s bad luck with injuries continues as his return to first team action has been once again interrupted by injury, this time around it’s a damaged hamstring. I’m confident Zidane’s men will win comfortably, take Real Madrid on the (-1) Handicap at 9/10.

Borussia Monchengladbach 37/20
Draw 26/10
Inter Milan 5/4

Borussia Monchengladbach top Group B coming into this clash and are unbeaten at Borussia Park this season. Real Madrid needed to late goals from Benzema and Casemiro to come away with a point during their visit to Germany. The Foals goalkeeper Yann Sommer will have his work cut out against Romelu Lukaku who scored a brace in the previous meeting between these sides as they settled for a share of the spoils in Italy. Inter Milan will be desperate to win their remaining two matches, with two draws against Shakhtar Donetsk and Monchengladbach earning their two points that finds the Nerazzurri rooted to the foot of the table. This is a massive six-pointer and a goal-fest is expected to battle it out for a spot in the Round of 16 with Conte’s men prevailing. Go into the Matchbet and Both Teams to Score market and select Inter Milan & Yes at 47/20.

Group C

Marseille 14/10
Draw 2/1
Olympiacos 21/20

Marseille have lost all four group games but still have a chance to draw level with Greek opponents Olympiacos on three points if they manage to snatch the victory. Andre Villas-Boas has the unwanted record of losing 13 straight Champions League matches and will know that beating Olympiacos to third spot and continuing their journey to the Europa League will be considered success given the resources he has at the French club. Villas-Boas will take confidence in Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet both finding the net against Nantes in Ligue 1 action last Friday. Olympiacos will need to avoid defeat to retain their third position, a draw will be enough for coach Pedro Martins’ team, however, with Marseille on the ropes the Portuguese manager will look to put this game to bed that could potentially set up a showdown against Porto for second position that will be much more valuable. A low-scoring affair is expected, Under 2.5 Goals is a great bet at 6/10 or you could opt for Olympiacos on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 11/20.

Porto 17/4
Draw 3/1
Manchester City 6/10

Porto made light work of Marseille and Olympiacos with comfortable victories without conceding any goals. The Dragons sit on nine points and are in pole position to qualify from Group C along with Manchester City who have a perfect record of four straight wins. Midfielder Sergio Oliveira is in red hot form scoring in each of his last three Champions League games. Porto have won 11 of the 12 matches at the Estadio Do Dragao this campaign and will have to be at their best to stand any chance of upsetting Pep Guardiola’s men. Sergio Aguero will remain in Manchester after feeling discomfort in his knee with the rest of the squad travelling, so changes are expected to be made to City’s starting XI, but the squad has enough depth to get the job done in Portugal. However, I’m backing Porto to find the net. Take Manchester City & Yes at 2/1 odds in the Matchbet and Both Teams to Score market.

Group D

Liverpool 7/10
Draw 31/10
Ajax Amsterdam 3/1

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp frustratingly stated, “if you don’t have a shot on target, that’s not a good sign” following last week’s 2-0 defeat at Anfield to Atalanta. The result came as a huge surprise given Liverpool had just destroyed Atalanta 5-0 in Italy the previous week, without their long list of injured players. The way in which the Reds lost would have hurt Klopp and his players but looking at the standings in this group, it also drew both Ajax and Atalanta within touching distance as both sides trail Liverpool by two points. Erik Ten Haag’s Ajax could consider themselves unlucky as they almost got the better of Liverpool but failed to convert multiple chances when these European giants met in the Netherlands. Georginio Wijnaldum tried his best to usurp Ajax in his homeland with his persistence paying off as Sadio Mane’s shot deflected off Nicolas Tagliafico for an own goal that decided the match 1-0 in favour of the Reds. Mane was rested in last weekend’s draw at Brighton and I’m expecting Liverpool’s number 10 to have a man of the match performance. Take Home to Score in Both Halves at 23/20.

Atalanta 2/11
Draw 6/1
Midtjylland 11/1

Atalanta return home to Bergamo with the huge scalp of Liverpool as Gian Piero Gasperini’s charges completely dominated the game by working their socks off. The Italians afforded Liverpool zero shots on target as they covered every plaid of grass to stop the much stronger opposition from playing their brand of “heavy metal” football. This time around expect La Dea to go full throttle in attack as they aim to replicate the 4-0 victory over Midtjylland in Denmark two months ago. Midtjylland have conceded 11 times while scoring just twice in four defeats on the bounce. Back Home to Score in Both Halves (Yes) at 6/10.

Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich: Under 2,5 Goals 21/20
Manchester City Win & Both Teams to Score 2/1
Liverpool vs Ajax: Home to Score in Both Halves 23/20

Written by Bryan Naicker