Tuesday’s Champions League Betting Previews
The weekend is over, you've seen and bet on Swansea v Liverpool and now it's time to watch Europe's finest compete against each other in the UEFA Champions League. But what should I bet on, you ask? Well, I've covered the games that are being screened on British TV and made picks in each:
If you didn't already know, competing in the UEFA Champions League for the second time in their history, Viktoria Plzen (9/2) are the reigning Czech Gambrinus Liga champions. Dubbed 'Little Barca' a few years ago for their style of play, the Czech outfit play attractive, short passing football.
Of course, we all know Man City (8/11) and their record in European football since the club started to challenge for major honours a few years ago - which consists of two Champions League group stage exits and a Europa League embarrassment to Sporting Lisbon.
Now, in terms of potential goalscorers and Headline Offers, we have Daniel Kolar (14/1 to score first, 10/3 anytime) to score and Plzen to win at 12/1, with Aguero (6/1 to score first, 6/5 anytime) to find the back of the net and Man City to win at 5/2.
Also, because Man City conceded in every Champions League game last season but scored in 5 out of 6 games, our Opta Offer is both teams to score and Man City to win at 3/1.
In conclusion, Man City haven't impressed me recently - or you I'd guess - and the Citizens have proved time after time that they're novices in Europe and cannot be trusted. Pellegrini and his charges will play better teams than Plzen in Europe this season, such as Bayern Munich, but the Czech team are capable in front of goal, enjoy home advantage and are worth a punt on a draw no bet basis, I think.
Worth a punt: Viktoria Plzen - draw no bet (12/5)
Now under the stewardship of former Everton coach David Moyes, Manchester United (8/11) have so far failed to consistently impress in 2013/14. Of course, the Red Devils defeated Wigan to lift the Community Shield, but you'd expect them to do that, particularly as Wigan are now a Championship team.
Moyes' men did, however, impressively put Swansea to the sword, winning 4-1 at the Liberty stadium on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season, but that was followed by a sleep inducing 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford and a 1-0 loss away to Liverpool.
Man United did beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at the weekend, but they played against ten men for most of the game - and it wasn't impressive viewing, either.
Indeed, while I'm tempted to recommend Man United because of home advantage and an 8/11 price, their German opponents today, Bayer Leverkusen (9/2), currently occupy 3rd position in the Bundesliga standings, have the league's top scorer from 2012/13 in Kiessling (9/1 to score first, 2/1 anytime) and, with a total of 17 goals scored and conceded in 6 league games, look very capable of giving an 'iffy' Man United team a hard time at Old Trafford in a goal laden game.
Also, for what it counts, there have been over 2.5 goals scored in 5 out of Leverkusen's last 6 games in the Champions league.
Finally, our Headline offers are Robin van Persie (4/1 to score first, 4/5 anytime) to score and Manchester United to win at 2/1, and Kiessling to score in a Leverkusen win at 9/1. The Opta offer, which is well worth a punt, I think, is both teams to score and Man United to win at 3/1.
Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals (7/10)
Managed by Faith Terim - formerly of Fiorentina and AC Milan - Galatasaray (5/1) are the reigning Turkish Super League Champions, winning for the second successive season last May.
Gala have a plethora of players well known to British fans, such as Didier Drogba (8/1 to score first, 11/4 anytime), Emanuel Eboue and Wesley Sneijder (9/1 to score first, 10/3 anytime).
Real Madrid (8/13), though currently undefeated in 2013/14 La Liga competition, have not played to their usual standards since Carlo Ancelotti took the reins. Indeed, Los Blancos had to rely on Isco (6/1 to score first, 7/4 anytime) to defeat Real Betis 2-1 at the Bernabeu on matchday one with a late goal, while they could only win 1-0 away to Granada on matchday two, with a 3-1 home win over Athletic Bilbao sandwiched in between a 2-2 draw away to Villarreal last Saturday evening.
However, in conclusion and despite Gala beating Real 3-2 in Turkey last season, I still fancy Real Madrid to expose Gala's poor defence and walk away with all three points, but with the Turkish side also on the scoresheet.
Of course, along with our Headline Offers of Drogba to score and Galatasaray to win (14/1) and Ronaldo to score and Real to win (11/10), I'll have to give Gareth Bale (5/1 to score first, 5/4 anytime) a mention after he scored on his debut. I've no idea if he'll start or be on the bench in Turkey, but he's made a great start to his Real Madrid career.
Finally, our Opta Offer is Ronaldo (11/4 to score first, 8/13 anytime), who was the leading scorer in last season's Champions League (12 goals) - scoring 3 against Galatasaray in 2 games - to score 2 or more goals at 3/1.
Recommendation: Both teams to score and Real Madrid to win (2/1)
Worth a small punt: Drogba anytime (11/4)