Wednesday is something of a Judgement Day in this season’s Champions League: who will book their place in the knockout phase, who will keep their dreams of doing just that alive and who will face their final curtain?
Here is the pick of Wednesday’s Champions League betting tips:
FK Rostov vs Bayern Munich (5pm)
A match picked out purely for the betting value linked to it, we must expect Rostov to over-achieve in their expectations in this one and thus make a mockery of the bookmakers.
Now, let’s get one thing straight: we’re not suggesting the Russians will beat the German behemoth. But at 14/1 to win, clearly there are other avenues of value to explore.
If you weren’t aware, Bayern have won just two of their last six Bundesliga matches (three draws, one defeat) and conceded at least one goal in five of those, and they have also shipped in their last trio of Champions League outings. This outstanding side clearly has frailties in defence.
But we know they are a better side than Rostov – they thumped them 5-0 earlier in the campaign – but with the Russians netting in 2/4 Champions League starts we quite fancy them to register here too.
Bayern Munich to Win & Both Teams to Score (21/10 with Betfair)
Arsenal vs PSG (7:45pm)
This is your classic ‘winner takes all’ battle: Arsenal and PSG, with near identical records in Group A, will duke it out at the Emirates Stadium for the right to be crowned group winners and secure themselves what should be an easier draw in the last 16.
The reverse fixture finished 1-1 in Paris, and in truth we have little else to work with. But our betting endeavours can be supported by the knowledge that in matches of this context goals usually flow; especially if an early one is knocked in.
Combined 5/8 have witnessed Over 2.5 Goals in this season’s competition, although Arsenal’s domestic return of both teams scoring in four of their last five matches is eye-opening. The Parisians don’t concede many, but lest we forget this is a Gunners outfit that has netting at a rate of greater than 2.00 goals per 90 minutes this term.
Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (6/5 with Coral)
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Manchester City (7:45pm)
Manchester City’s win over Barcelona last time out really put the cat amongst the pigeons in Group C, and leaves Pep Guardiola’s men with the tantalising prospect that they can finish first, second or third in the group with 180 minutes of action left on the clock.
Wednesday’s opponents Borussia M’gladbach are three points behind the Citizens but with an inferior goal difference, and as such they will be looking to secure a healthy victory on home soil. The downside to that is that City can counter attack at breakneck speed, and that it likely to be an avenue they exploit.
The face that Monchengladbach have just four points from four matches – despite tackling hapless Celtic twice – is perhaps indicative of their lack of quality, and they were ruthlessly put to the sword by City in the reverse fixture, which they won 4-0. The hosts have won just three Bundesliga matches all season and lost four out of six.
Most eye-catching is that all four of City’s Champions League matches thus far have witnessed at least four goals, with three or more in Monchengladbach’s meetings with Barcelona and City themselves. It could be raining goals in Germany, but we fancy there will only be one winner.
Manchester City to Win & Over 2.5 Goals (11/8 with Ladbrokes)
Celtic vs Barcelona (7:45pm)
There is a feeling that Celtic, historically at least, tend to raise their game when the very best visit Celtic Park. How else can we explain their 3-3 draw with Manchester City earlier in the season, or the fact that the last couple of times that Barcelona have visited Glasgow they have been beaten 1-2 and escaped with a narrow 1-0 victory?
Even with their side out of the competition, it is taking on sides like Barcelona that really get the Bhoys faithful rocking, and a raucous atmosphere will be expected on Wednesday night.
It takes a brave punter to write Barca off, but there are converging trends of interest. They tasted defeat in their last Champions League outing to City, and on Saturday they couldn’t break down a dogged but limited Malaga side in a 0-0 stalemate.
Forget your perceptions about Scottish football for one moment: Celtic are capable of grossly over-achieving in front of their own fans on nights like these.
Celtic +1.25 Handicap (11/8 with bet365)