With the Champions League is entering the crunch period, we take a look at the three most realistic betting picks to watch out for on Tuesday.
While Manchester United and Barcelona continue to fight in the face of adversity, Chelsea are aiming to build on their outstanding start to the season.
If you are looking to bet on the Champions League this week, make sure you check the details before betting on any of the teams. Let’s get to the three big games this week:
A knockout stage ticket
Chelsea have a winnable Champions League engagement laying ahead as they take a trip to the Eleda Stadion to meet Group H minnows Malmo.
Thomas Tuchel’s side swept the Swedish outfit away in the reverse fixture with an overwhelming 4-0 win at Stamford Bridge to keep a three-point advantage over third-placed Zenit St Petersburg.
But while the Blues have won both group stage matches at Stamford Bridge without conceding, their solitary road trip resulted in a narrow 1-0 defeat to current Group H leaders Juventus.
It is worth noting that the Premier League heavyweights last lost two consecutive away games in the Champions League in November 2012 under Roberto Di Matteo.
It is likely to stay that way, considering Chelsea are unbeaten in their seven European match-ups against Swedish clubs (W4, D3) and have won all three UEFA-sanctioned encounters against Malmo by an aggregate score of 9-1.
Tuchel will be without Mason Mount, Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku, with the latter pair have yet to recover from injuries they picked up in the reverse fixture.
However, Chelsea have scored ten goals in two Premier League wins following their thrashing of Malmo, doing so without Werner and Lukaku.
Prediction: Chelsea to win despite a -1 handicap
Man United’s path to redemption continues in Bergamo
Encouraged by a 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, Manchester United will look to translate that momentum to Europe when they take on Atalanta at the Gewiss Stadium.
Despite accelerating Nuno Espirito Santo’s dismissal in north London, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still feels insecure about his long-term future at Old Trafford.
While it may sound surprising, the Champions League has offered most of the relief for Solskjaer’s men who enter this round occupying the top spot in Group F.
The Red Devils have bounced back from a frustrating 2-1 away defeat to Young Boys on Matchday 1 with back-to-back come-from-behind wins over Villarreal and Atalanta.
Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired comeback at Old Trafford last time out saw United maintain their impressive recent Champions League record against Italian opponents, having now lost one of their previous 11 such match-ups (W8, D2).
The English giants hold a two-point lead over Villarreal and Atalanta, meaning they cannot afford complacency if they are to avoid last season’s scenario.
United finished third in their respective Champions League group last season despite sitting at the summit after the opening three matchdays, which should be a valuable lesson for Solskjaer’s team this time around.
Prediction: Manchester United to win
Barcelona play to save their embarrassing season
Barcelona are set to return to their European commitments amid domestic unrest that led to Ronald Koeman’s sacking last week as they head to Ukraine to take on Dynamo Kiev.
A hard-earned 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Camp Nou saw Barcelona bring a five-match winless run in the Champions League to a halt (D1, L4).
It also helped the Catalan powerhouse get off the mark in this season’s Group E following a brace of 3-0 losses to Bayern Munich and Benfica in the opening two rounds.
Barca’s post-Koeman era began with an uneventful 1-1 home draw with Deportivo Alaves in La Liga, raising doubts over their ability to grind out a result at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium.
As for their European exploits this season, Barcelona’s return of a single goal scored in Group E so far represents their lowest goal tally after three matches of a single European campaign.
Currently third in the table, one point adrift of second-placed Benfica, the Spaniards face the prospect of missing out on the Champions League knockout stage for the first time in 17 seasons.
With a formidable trip to Bayern Munich and an awkward home clash against Benfica awaiting Barcelona, they can ill-afford to lose if they are to remain in contention for a top-two finish.
Given the importance of this match for the la Liga side and considering Dynamo Kiev have yet to score in the Champions League this term, a low-scoring affair looks to be on the cards.
Prediction: Under 2.5 goals
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