There’s little merit in being unoriginal – but we’ll take the hit and go for profit instead.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice for Juve at the weekend in the Old Lady of Turin’s 2-1 win over Sassuolo to open his Serie A account.
With 120 goals in 153 Champions League games, the 33-year-old’s move to Italy was a €100m gamble to get Juve closer to the business end of a coveted Champions League title. Wednesday night’s tie gives him some chance to repay that massive investment.
Juve are unbeaten in four games in Serie A and with Ronaldo likely to use his trademark free-kicks and take any penalties that come their way, he looks a fair price at evens to score at anytime against Valencia in their Group H opener.
The Citizens won five of their six Champions League games last season before Liverpool dumped them out over two legs in the quarter finals and Pep Guardiola’s side will be keen to get off to a strong start again.
Their first three home ties saw 2-0, 2-1 and 1-0 victories over Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli & Feyenoord respectively as City combined attacking flair and good game management to get the results they needed and eliminated any kamikaze defending.
Lyon will present their own problems and should offer more opposition to City than the weekly cannon fodder the lower tiers of the Premier League throw at them, but nothing a side with aspirations of winning the tournament outright shouldn’t cope with.
While the French club are dodgier on the road than Brighton, they’ve recently snagged Moussa Dembele from Celtic and can also call on United reject Memphis Depay upfront as they look to improve their one win in eight ratio away to English opposition.
City are a prohibitive 1/6 to win the Group F encounter but the match to end with under 3.5 goals at evens gives us a little more juice in the price.
Three Champions League titles in a row weren’t enough to keep Zinedane Zidane in the hot-seat at Madrid and it now falls to Julen Lopetegui to deliver a fourth consecutive title to Los Blancos.
Real have not lost an opening home group game since October 2009 when Milan beat them 3-2, but Wednesday’s opponents Roma are no mugs and reached the semi-finals last year, before eventual runners-up Liverpool dispatched them.
The Italians uncharacteristically let a two-goal lead slip at the weekend against Chievo and will be keen not to concede early – or at all – in this Group G baptism of fire.
Again, the home side are 1/3 to win the match over 90 minutes, but a little tweaking can get us 5/6 that there are under 3.5 goals in the game.