The final round of group stage action has arrived. There are a couple games which are dead rubber but simultaneously there are games which we simply must watch – and of course take full advantage of on our local Hollywoodbets betting slip!
Tuesday 7 December
RB Leipzig 51/20
Manchester City 9/10
Manchester City have already secured qualification at the top of group A, so we’ll likely see a heavy rotation for Pep Guardiola’s men. Leipzig has had a horrible season thus far, but I’m still not confident backing the visitors. I think goals could be expected given both side’s failing in their respective defensive thirds though.
Back both teams to score (Yes) at 9/20.
Paris Saint-Germain 7/20
Club Brugge 6/1
PSG have qualified already but will likely want to close out the group stage with a win. There have been questions raised about their performances of late – and rightly so!
They haven’t hit the straps you would expect from a side littered with talent and quality, simple as that. Brugge will play with the added incentive of knowing a draw would secure them a spot in the Europa League. I think Over 2.5 goals at 4/10 will see us through unscathed.
This is truly a dead rubber. Ajax have qualified as group winners and Sporting come through as runners up. I would be surprised if either side fielded a team to have a real go – so we must tread carefully.
I wouldn’t be in a hurry to add this to any major multiple but given the success both have had; I think they cancel each other out.
FC Porto 33/20
Atletico Madrid 7/4
For the first time in what feels like forever, Atleti are in a rather precarious situation. They need a win here to ensure they still enjoy some sort of European competition in the new year!
Their Champions League hopes are also tethered to Liverpool getting a positive result against AC Milan. However, Porto have it all to play for, they will go through should they avoid defeat and given their home record it isn’t hard to see them do just that. Unbeaten at home in their last five games. Atleti are currently on a horrendous run. I back the ‘upset’ home win – if it’s still seen as one.
Real Madrid 5/4
Inter Milan 2/1
I think Madrid win this. They are in a positive place and will know a victory here sets up their derby the weekend perfectly. Inter have struggled against the so-called bigger teams this term and they haven’t beaten the hosts in the last three attempts.
I can’t see past the home win.
AC Milan 1/1
If there was ever a time to have a bet against Liverpool in the Champions League – it is now. The Reds are playing away from home, having already secured top spot they will surely ring the changes, and crucially…the hosts know they need a win to hope to stay in the competition.
This enough to convince me to take full advantage of an even money home win.
Shakhtar Donetsk 1/1
FC Sheriff Tiraspol 44/10
There won’t be too many people watching this game…but there might be plenty of value on offer here. Shakhtar have struggled in Europe this year, winning just once at home and failing to really register performances of substance.
Sheriff have avoided defeat in Madrid, Zagreb and Belgrade already. Knowing a repeat of this on Tuesday night will see them qualify for the Europa is a vital incentive for the club. Back the away side on the win/draw double chance at 5/4.
Borussia Dortmund 1/4
Erling Haaland. That’s it, that’s all I need to say. When the Norwegian was out injured Dortmund lost four from seven…he’s back and instantly the fortune for Marco Rose’s change. The reality is Besiktas cannot compete with Dortmund. So, without further ado, back the hosts on the (-2) Handicap at 15/10.
Wednesday 8 December
Chelsea travel to Russia knowing that a win would secure top spot in their group. It will certainly be the target for Thomas Tuchel but I’m just not confident in the blues these days. I think their performances of late leave a bit to be desired and I think they will struggle on Wednesday evening.
For defensive solidity to conceding five goals from their last three games, compounded with a lack of just killing off opposition…I think Zenit might be in with a sniff. Back the home side on the win/draw double chance at 13/10.
Juventus have it all to play for here. if the Italians win, they can earn top spot in the group (assuming my Zenit/Chelsea prediction is correct). Malmo are already eliminated and cannot play for anything past their pride.
The visitors haven’t scored against their hosts in any of their previous encounters and I cannot see why that changes on Wednesday night. The bet almost picks itself here…Juventus win to nil at 7/10.
Dynamo Kyiv 15/2
Benfica can almost taste qualification. Should they beat Dynamo and Barcelona fail to beat Bayern Munich. Benfica are yet to concede a UCL group stage goal against anyone other than Bayern. The hosts come into this game off a tough derby experience.
Dynamo will finish last irrespective of the result of this game, Benfica have it all to play for and I think they win. For extra value back the hosts and Over 1.5 Goals at 11/20.
One of the more exciting permutations on the day. Atalanta must win to make the last 16 whilst Villarreal require just a solitary point. Goals are guaranteed here, neither side can find any sort of defensive progress, but they won’t pay too much attention to that.
I suggest backing both teams to score and over 2.5 goals. Place your bet early and then sit back and enjoy the spectacle.
Neither side come into the game with any idea of form. Lille have been inconsistent domestically, guilty of squandering too many opportunities to secure maximum league points.
Wolfsburg have seemingly gone off the rails a little, after starting their campaign off so brightly only to now fall by the wayside does nothing for the morale and confidence of the club.
Neither side can offer any confidence for the punter, but I would tentatively sit on the Lille win/draw double chance at 11/20.
RB Salzburg 2/1
Another exciting permutation awaits. The winner of this tie will secure progress into the next round! Salzburg are unbeaten at home all year and I would not look at such a statistic lightly.
Salzburg remind me a little of Leeds, they only acknowledge one way to play which is complete and unrelenting attacking football. Naturally, this makes for an incredibly interesting game given that both sides have attacking talent in great measure.
I think both teams to score is a banker. Get on at 13/20.
Manchester United 4/10
Young Boys 6/1
Young boys will not be playing the same United they encountered at the opening group stage games. The visitors earned a brilliant result that day but I’m not sure a repeat of that occurs at Old Trafford.
United have already secured qualification so we might see squad rotation, but they won’t risk breaking any sort of momentum. They have superior players in every area of the pitch, and I can’t see past a comfortable home win.
Bayern Munich 6/10
How do Barcelona win this game? as silly and simple as that sounds – I just can’t see where they would be able to outplay Bayern. The home side has introduced the idea of German Engineering into the football realm, and I cannot help but enjoy it.
Barcelona manager Xavi suggested that his side was unable to find a victory against Benfica due to them playing with anxiety…well if that’s the case then on Wednesday evening it could be ugly.
Failure to secure a result puts the Spanish giants into the Europa (it didn’t feel right to write it and I’m sure it will be stranger to see!)
With all the respect in the world, I think Bayern at 6/10 is a gift.
QUAD @ 6/1
Juventus Win To Nil 7/10
Salzburg v Sevilla: BTTS (Yes) 13/20
Bayern Munich Win 6/10
Manchester United Win 4/10
Written by Ryan Liberty