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We’re entering the final laps of this season’s group stages of the Champions League and we’re taking a close look at Tuesday’s round of matches in Groups A and B. Shakhtar Donetsk host Real Madrid in one of the early kickoffs, where a win for the home side would put them level on points with the Spaniards.
Atletico Madrid have the champions Bayern Munich in town and they’re in need of a victory as Lokomotiv Moscow, should they win, will overtake them if the Madrid side lose. Finally, Group B leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach have Inter to face and while they have some breathing space, Inter are going to have to go all out for a win if they have any hopes of qualifying for the next round. With so much to play for these could be tense matches. Let’s have a look for some value in the markets.
Shakhtar aren’t on the best of runs and they really need to be on their game here. They’re currently three points behind Real and a win will draw them level with their final match away to Inter next week. They’re good enough to do it but, things are tough at the moment. They’ve won two, drawn one and lost one of their last five, two of which were against ‘Gladbach – and they’ve conceded an eye-watering 10 goals over both matches.
At home things aren’t any better, they’ve won one, drawn three and lost one of their last five. Most worryingly of all, they’ve only scored in one of their last five home CL matches. Real aren’t in fantastic form either, winning two, drawing two and losing one of their last five away matches. But, they’re a different machine in the Champions League, winning six of their last nine on the road, drawing one and losing two.
As usual with Real Madrid matches the market tends to over-expect goals. Over 3.5 goals has only landed in three of those nine away matches and Shaktar at home in the Champions League share the same stats. The value is with Under 3.5 goals here.
Unlike the above match, both of these teams are in robust form. Atletico have won three of their last five and drawn the other games, while Bayern have won four and drawn one. At home Atletico have won four and drawn one of their last five. Meanwhile Bayern have won all five, indeed they’ve lost just one of their last 15 on the road in all competitions.
The market has sided with Atletico here even though they’re going to be without both Diego Costa and Luis Suarez. Bayern have a few on their treatment table too but Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman should all feature.
Bayern don’t need the points though, they’re seven points ahead and can’t be caught, but we can’t see them taking their foot off the throttle here. Why would they ease up on Atletico? If they can put them out of the competition, they won’t have to play them later. The price on the Bayern Double Chance is decent too, but there’s more value here in the Draw No Bet.
‘Gladbach look to have a bit of breathing space here, but should Shakhtar pull off a shock then they’ll need a good result away to Real on the final matchday so really, while it looks good they can’t really afford to lose. Two losses and they’re off to the Europa League. They’ve in decent form though with three wins, one draw and one loss over their last five matches.
At home, they’ve won three and drawn two of their last five. They’ve been scoring for fun as well, 14 goals over their four CL matches and 17 over their 9 Bundesliga matches. Inter have two wins, one draw and two losses over their five most recent matches. On the road they’ve won two, drawn two and lost one.
They’re not scoring nearly as much as ‘Gladbach, scoring 10 over their five most previous matches, conceding eight. Both Teams to Score is available at pretty slim odds, but with so much to play for we can’t see this ending as square. We’re going with BTTS, No Draw here.
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