Wednesday’s set of Champions League fixtures sees the title-holders Real Madrid mount their defence of their trophy, Leicester City make their tournament bow and Spurs lining up against a handy Monaco outfit.
Here’s the best of the betting tips:
Legia Warsaw vs Borussia Dortmund (7:45pm)
We were overjoyed to see the Dortmund -1 handicap available at even money given the attacking quality in their squad. They didn’t play in the Champions League last season of course, but in the last two years they have cleared a -1 handicap away from home against the likes of Galatasaray, Anderlecht, Ajax and Zenit; four sides who you would perhaps suggest are stronger than the hosts here.
In the past three weeks alone Legia have tasted defeat to such giants of the modern game as Arka Gdynia and Nieciecza, and so the omens are not good for a side deeply ensconced in mid-table mediocrity in the Polish Ekstraklasa.
With the likes of Aubameyang, Schurrle, Gotze and Kagawa all expected to make the trip to Poland, Dortmund should be comfortable in victory.
Borussia Dortmund -1 Handicap at Evens with William Hill
Club Brugge vs Leicester City (7:45pm)
Leicester’s start to life as Premier League champions has hardly been a glittering affair, but luckily for them Club Brugge are making a similar hash of their attempt to defend their Belgian Pro League crown.
Brugge have lost three of their last five games, so if the Leicester players were in a bad mood following their 1-4 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool then they had better step out of it now: this is a fine chance for them to get their Champions League career started with a win.
What the Belgians make of Leicester’s style of football is anybody’s guess, but one thing for sure is they are unlikely to have witnessed many strikers quite like Jamie Vardy before. His all-action, channel running style could be a big bonus for his side in this competition, and at 2/1 to score anytime with Paddy Power he will have plenty of backers.
But don’t expect a high scoring game: four of Brugge’s six outings have gone under the 2.5 goal mark, and while Leicester are struggling to contain opponent’s at the minute they will certainly look to make this contest a tight and conservative affair.
Tottenham vs Monaco (7:45pm)
No man is an island, so the old saying goes, but if Tottenham are to progress in this year’s Champions League then they will need Harry Kane to put in some rather gargantuan performances for his side.
A lack of goalscoring options on the bench means that Kane is the main man for Spurs, and when he doesn’t find the net it is hard to see where the goals are coming from for Mauricio Pochettino’s side (Saturday’s demolition of hapless Stoke aside).
Monaco are making rather sanguine progress this season, and have scored two or more goals in three of their four Ligue 1 outings to date. Spurs’ defence is solid enough but prone to the occasional lapse, so the French outfit won’t be overawed by the occasion.
But the Lilywhites are improving with each game this term, and with Kane breaking his duck for the season on Saturday expect him to go on a little roll from here.