Liverpool v Spartak Moscow: Liverpool win – 2/9
Let’s be honest for a second, Liverpool should be heading into tonight’s tie with Spartak Moscow with top spot and qualification for the knockout stages already in the bag. However, a second half horror show in Seville has left them needing a point at home against the Russians to insure progression.
It’s sure to be nervy night at Anfield and Jurgen Klopp will be hoping the stunning attack at his disposal can put the issue to bed as early as possible later. Mainly because he’s got the small matter of a Merseyside derby at the weekend to worry about as well.
The Reds will be encouraged though by the fact they’re currently seven games unbeaten in the competition and that Spartak have a woeful Champions League away record – losing 22 games out of 28.
While Liverpool usually like to keep us on the edge of our seats, we reckon they’ve got more than enough to see off the men from Moscow at 2/9 later. However, Klopp’s charges seem to like to do things the hard way, so if you fancy a tetchy affair – a win for The Reds with both teams scoring offers a little more value at 5/4.
Shakhtar Donetsk v Man City: Draw – 12/5
The more this writer looks into this fixture, the more a draw at 12/5 leaps in his face in the style of Pep Guardiola to Nathan Redmond.
City are already assured of topping the group, sitting pretty on 15 points from five games and with a potentially title-deciding Manchester derby ahead on Sunday, you’d expect a practical Pep to rest a number of bodies for the long trip to Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine.
Shakhtar Donetsk have impressed in Group F, knocking off Napoli at home on Match Day one and Feyenoord twice to leave them only needing a point later to ensure a spot in the next round.
A stalemate tonight seems to suit both sides and don’t be surprised to see them take the foot of the gas later if that result is on offer with 20 minutes to go.
Tottenham v Apoel Nicosia: Tottenham (-1.0) – 8/11
So, things haven’t been going the way of Mauricio Pochettino and Spurs lately, one win in five outings tells that story. But, what better way to get back on the horse than leathering some Champions League minnows at Wembley.
Don’t get us wrong, Apoel have had their uses in the Champions League this season – just ask Borussia Dortmund! The German’s failed twice to beat the Cypriot outfit and could yet lose their Europa League spot to them with results take a turn later.
However, the Nicosia-based side looked very much like a team who’d given up the ghost in Europe last time out as Real Madrid trounced them 6-0 on the Mediterranean island and this trip to London should be no picnic for them either.
No doubt Spurs will rest some first-teamers, but they should have more than enough firepower in reserve to blast the 8/11 (-1.0) handicap right out of the water. If not for nothing else, then just to get a tick back in the winning column once more.
* All odds correct at time of posting.