*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change
8.00pm Tuesday: Liverpool v Ajax – Over 3.5 Goals
Liverpool’s injury issues are well documented, but they still boast one of the best attacking line-ups in Europe with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota capable of destroying any team.
Defensively they have left a lot to be desired of late, and this is a crucial game in their Champions League group, as defeat could see them slip to third depending on Atalanta’s result. Their xG process in the group stage has been okay (1.6 xGF, 1.3 xGA per game), and they were fortunate to win in Amsterdam on matchday one (xG: AJA 1.4 – 1.3 LIV).
Ajax did the business twice over Midtjylland, creating better chances on both occasions, but they too appear vulnerable defensively – allowing 1.3 xGA per game in the group stage. Goals should be on the cards here, and I see this being end to end as neither team are convincing defensively right now. We make Over 3.5 goals odds on, so the even money available is a value play.
8.00pm Tuesday: Borussia Monchengladbach v Inter Milan – Over 2.5 Goals
These two played out a cracking 2-2 thriller in the reverse game, with Inter dominating the ball and creating chances but also looking very susceptible to the Gladbach counter-attack (xG: INT 3.5 – 1.5 BMG).
The Germans simply thumped Shakhtar twice in their last two matches by an aggregate of 10-0, the same Shakhtar side that beat Real Madrid in Spain and drew with Inter in Ukraine. Marco Rose’s side shouldn’t be underestimated here, and they have shown that they have the attacking talent to really hurt an Inter Milan side desperate for points.
It is a desperate situation that Inter find themselves in, bottom of the group with just two points, in need of winning their last two matches to have any chance of making the knockout stages. Their underlying numbers haven’t been bad at all (1.6 xGF, 1.2 xGA per game) – they have just been on the end of some unfortunate results.
Antonio Conte’s side have to go for broke here, which could lead to a wide-open game that sees plenty of chances and goals at either end. Over 2.5 goals is the only way I see this going here.
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8.00pm Wednesday: Ferencvaros v Barcelona – Over 2.5 Goals
It is fair to say that Ferencvaros’ debut Champions League campaign has been a baptism of fire, picking up just a point from four games, being comfortably beaten by Barcelona and Juventus (twice).
While Juve left it late last week, Ferencvaros rightly lost in Turin, though they hit the net again. The Hungarians have scored in every UCL game so far, averaging 1.1 xGF per game, so don’t be surprised to see them notch again.
Barcelona have won all four of their Champions League games so far, boasting a stellar process that shows just how many chances they are creating every game (3.0 xGF, 1.1 xGA per game). While they may ring the changes here having already qualified, it is worth noting that they rang the changes last week at Dynamo Kyiv, and still romped to a 4-0 success (xG: DYN 0.4 – 3.0 BAR).
Ronald Koeman is in an enviable position of being able to rotate his team during this crazy schedule, but it should still result in a comfortable and high-scoring Barca win, with over 2.5 goals appealing, albeit at a short price.
A winner takes all clash in Group E, with Sevilla and Chelsea both already qualified. This game will go a long way to deciding who qualifies as group winners.
Sevilla snatched the win at Krasnodar last week, scoring in the 95th minute to earn a deserved win (xG: KRA 1.1 – 2.0 SEV), and they only narrowly edged past the same opponent in matchday three. While those games have been high-scoring, I expect to see a more reserved performance in this game, as Julen Lopetegui will know that Chelsea will cause more problems in an open game than their other group opponents.
Chelsea secured qualification with a deserved 2-1 win at Rennes thanks to a 91st minute Olivier Giroud goal (xG: REN 1.3 – 2.1 CHE). The Blues have been excellent defensively in this competition so far, allowing just 0.7 xGA per game, Sevilla have been only marginally worst at 0.8 xGA per game, so I am expecting defences to come out on top here. Under 2.5 goals makes appeal.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change.
Champions League bet summary
8.00pm, Tuesday: Liverpool v Ajax – Over 3.5 Goals
8.00pm, Tuesday: Borussia Monchengladbach v Inter Milan – Over 2.5 Goals
8.00pm, Wednesday: Ferencvaros v Barcelona – Over 2.5 Goals
8.00pm, Wednesday: Sevilla v Chelsea – Under 2.5 Goals
All four of these picks in an accumulator produces odds of approximately 7/1
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