Man United v Young Boys, Tuesday, 8pm
If there’s one team that can sympathise with Manchester United recent woes in front of goal, it’s runaway Swiss table-toppers Young Boys.
While scoring in their own domestic league isn’t a problem for Young Boys, they have found it to be quite an issue when they step up to Europe’s premier club competition. The Bern-based outfit have only managed two goals in their four Champions League games to date (conceding ten in the other direction) and one of those goals was from the penalty spot.
They face a Red Devils outfit on Tuesday who’ll be glad to park their Premier League worries temporarily. Having pulled off a cracking result in Turin last time out, Mourinho knows that progression in Europe is key to his employment prospects and a win against the Swiss minnows could seal that (if Juventus do them an expected favour against Valencia).
It may not be as pretty as whatever haircut Paul Pogba will sport this week, but even Man United can’t waste this chance and when you take Young Boys’ struggles to score into account, we’re tipping a victory to nil for Jose Boys at Evens.
Verdict: Man United To Win to Nil @ Evens
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Lyon v Man City, Tuesday, 8pm
Despite mercilessly battering all before them, something tells us Pep Guardiola and his Man City charges have been waiting for this one.
After all, the Champions League remains the white whale for the mega-rich Sky Blues and then you have to factor in that Lyon endangered their ultimate goal by plundering a rare victory at the Etihad Stadium on Match Day One.
We’ve seen Man City ruthlessly smash the Premier League’s mid-table fodder when their nothing other than Premier League points were on offer, so can you imagine what they’ll be like on Tuesday when they have something to prove.
Revenge will be on Guardiola’s mind here and we wouldn’t want to be in Lyon’s shoes when it comes. City are on an effortless eight game winning streak at the moment and it should become a nifty nine in-a-row in France at 4/11.
Verdict: Man City to win @ 4/11
Juventus v Valencia, Tuesday, 8pm
Manchester United’s last-gasp 2-1 away win at Juventus on match-day four, should set off a chain of events that sees both clubs qualify for the next phase.
The Italian champions will have been stung by that defeat and will want to get over the line and enhance their Champions League credentials again at the Allianz Stadium and the Old Lady will be 100 per cent motivated to beat Valencia.
Since that shock defeat to United, Juventus have beaten AC Milan 2-0 away with Mandzukic and Ronaldo scoring, as the pair did in the 2-0 victory over Spal last weekend.
The Italians are 2/5 to beat Valencia over 90 minutes on Tuesday, but a return to their iron-clad defensive fortress is predicted. We’ll take Juventus to win to nil and advance to the next round, regardless of what happens in Manchester.
Verdict: Juventus to win to nil @ 13/10
Bayern Munich v Benfica, Tuesday, 8pm
Things aren’t going to plan for the German champions in the Bundesliga, who were accused by coach Niko Kovac of comedic defending in their 3-3 draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf at the weekend.
That result leaves them nine points behind Dortmund in their domestic league, but Munich should revert to type against Benfica where only Real Madrid have beaten the reigning Bundesliga champs at home in the last five seasons of the Champions League.
Bayern have won to nil in five of their last six games in Europe’s premier club competition, while Benfica haven’t scored on the road in six of their last seven games in this tournament.
A win sees Munich qualify from Group E and while backing them at 2/9 is a little above our pay grade, Bayern at -1 on the handicap betting makes those odds a little more palatable at 5/6.
Verdict: Bayern -1 on the handicap @ 5/6Head over to PaddyPower.com for the latest Premier League and Champions League odds
* All odds correct at time of posting.