The penultimate round of Champions League fixtures can make dreams come true or break hearts; it’s like your standard Saturday night in Warrington.
A number of teams are well placed to secure qualification to the knockout phase on Tuesday night, while for others pride is the name of the game. Some are set to suffer the ultimate indignity: qualification for the Europa League.
Here’s the pick of Tuesday’s Champions League betting tips.
CSKA Moscow vs Bayer Leverkusen (5pm)
Just occasionally, the Champions League group phase throws up some rather interesting sub-plots and stories, and while Spurs’ home horrors have been the main talking point in Group E the fact that all four teams can still progress to the last 16 is a mouth-watering twist.
The problem for CSKA Moscow, to be blunt, is that they can’t defend: 30 Champions League outings without a clean sheet is testament to that. They have also failed to win any of their last eight matches on home soil in this competition; hardly red hot form, and that’s unsurprising given that the mercury is expected to reach -7˚ in Moscow this week.
Mind you, defensive frailties are nothing new to Bayer Leverkusen, who themselves have conceded in six of their last seven fixtures on the road in this competition. Our wagers in this one basically add themselves to our betslips.
Bayer Leverkusen to Win (6/5 with Betfair)
Over 2.5 Goals (19/20 with William Hill)
Monaco vs Tottenham (7:45pm)
The other half of the Group E equation features Monaco (eight points) and Tottenham (four). Assuming Leverkusen win in Moscow, you would suggest nothing less than three points will do for the Londoners here.
Pessimists and optimists will disagree on Spurs’ recent form: unbeaten in twelve in the Premier League, but they have actually only one won on their last five (four draws). It’s hard to get an accurate read on them right now.
What we do know is that their Champions League struggles have stemmed from their ‘home’ form – whoever’s bright idea it was to move their matches to Wembley Stadium was, erm, a little foolish – but a win at CSKA and a draw in Leverkusen suggest they are still capable on the road.
But it is easy to like this Monaco outfit, who are yet to lose in this year’s Champions League top Ligue 1. They know that avoiding defeat will all but secure their place in the last 16.
Monaco +0 Asian Handicap (4/5 with bet365)
Under 2.5 Goals (4/5 with Coral)
Leicester City vs Club Brugge (7:45pm)
If you see a Leicester City fan don’t pinch them; they’re not dreaming. Less than six months after lifting the Premier League trophy, they need a solitary point against hapless Club Brugge to reach the last 16 of the Champion League.
The Belgians have lost four of four, scored one goal and conceded ten: they are the epitome of ‘out of their depth’. The Foxes, in their KP Stadium home, should have far too much firepower.
Of course, Claudio Ranieri’s side have been rather disappointing in defending their league title, but generally have saved their best performances for this competition. Brugge, out of the Champions League and fourth in the Belgian Pro League, are yet to discover form in any format.
Three of their four outings in this tournament have witnessed three or more goals, so in front of an adoring home crowd we have to expect the Foxes to give them a good licking.
Leicester -1 (6/5 with Paddy Power)
Islam Slimani Anytime Goalscorer (11/8 with Betfred)
Sevilla vs Juventus (7:45pm)
Sevilla remain one of the most intriguing betting propositions in European football: hopeless on their travels, near impenetrable on home soil. That has at least served them well in Group H, which they top with ten points ahead of Juventus on eight and Lyon on four.
So, they are through to the last 16 bar the shouting, but as we know finishing top of the group, theoretically at least, secures an easier draw in the first knockout round. So, the Spaniards will be looking to make home form count on Tuesday.
Juve will be going for the three points and, as an odd stat that might help them, they haven’t actually drawn an away match in the Champions League in fourteen attempts; with ten wins and four defeats. It could be a similar case of all or nothing here.
The Old Lady have looked vulnerable at times domestically with a pair of defeats against the Milan sides already, and so we’re happy to side with the Spaniards in a low scoring affair: each of their last five has witnessed at least one of the teams failing to net.
Sevilla Draw No Bet (Evens with BetVictor)
Both Teams to Score – No (19/20 with BetVictor)