Bayern Munich (-1.0) v Celtic – 10/11
Although this scrap may feature two clubs sitting on top of their respective domestic leagues, don’t be fooled into believing that this is a battle of equals.
Bayern arrive in Scotland knowing that not only have Celtic never beaten the Munich outfit in the Champions League, the Bhoys have failed in every attempt to topple German opposition (drawn two, lost three) since the competition rebranded in 1992.
Unfortunately for Celtic, their battle became for the third-placed Europa League spot the second they were drawn with the German giants and French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain came out of the hat with them in Group B. They’ve also failed to grab a victory in any of their last five home outings in the Champions League, so we’re not expecting any surprises at Celtic Park tonight.
Still, the atmosphere in Glasgow is sure to be cracking as always on a European night. However, the smart play here is Bayern Munich (-1.0) at 10/11 and that’s where our money’s going.
Man United to beat Benfica – 4/11
Besides a blunderous blip at Huddersfield, for the most part Jose Mourinho has got his Manchester United grinding opponents into submission this season and while it hasn’t been exactly Spielbergian viewing, you can’t argue with the results.
The Red Devils have only conceded five goals in the Premier League and Europe this season – good luck moving that parked bus from its spot, Benfica!
Looking at the stats, one in particular leaps out at us harder than Nemanja Matić’s tackling and that’s the fact United have never failed to score in the ten times the clubs have met in competition. This makes a Manchester win to nil at 10/11 a very tempting wager.
However, since we are taking a slight punt on our next selection we’re going to go with a straight victory for Jose’s men at 4/11 and that seems as safe as David De Gea’s goals at the moment.
Roma and Chelsea to draw – 13/5
The only thing tastier than Roma v Chelsea tonight would probably be a slice of pizza from the Italian capital itself. Honestly, if this tie is half as entertaining as their encounter at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago, then we’re all in for a treat.
The Blues quickly found themselves 2-0 down fairly early on that night, before goals from former Man City men Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Džeko (who netted a brace) turned the game completely on its head with 20 minutes to go. Just when you thought the drama was finished, Eden Hazard popped up five minutes later to level it at 3-3 to cap off a crazy night in south-west London.
Meetings between these two tend to be even, and the record supports this: in the three ties they’ve contested, there’s been a win apiece and a draw.
They look impossible to separate and we can’t part them either, so we’re leaning towards the 13/5 at the Stadio Olimpico later.
* All odds correct at time of posting.