Champions League Tuesday - betting preview
Champions League Tuesday
Olympiakos v Arsenal - 19:45 - live on ITV1
Arsenal are safely through to the knockout stages and have left a large amount of talent back at home as Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Jack Wilshire, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker will all be watching on TV. The Gunners could hand senior debuts to as many as five players. Olympiakos also have little to play for as they will be bowing out of the Champions League and in to the Europa League upon the final whistle.
Olympiakos (7/5) will fancy their chances of going out on a high following Arsenal's team news and the 7/5 represents good value against a travelling inexperienced Gunners side. The Greeks have hosted Arsenal twice in the final game of the group stage and have a perfect two wins to show for their efforts and completing a hat-trick of wins certainly doesn't seem beyond them, especially when you consider how strong they are at home (seven from seven in the league).
The main danger men for Olympiakos will be Rafik Djebbour (6/1 First/Last, 7/4 Anytime) and Kostas Mitroglou (13/2 First/Last, 15/8 Anytime), the latter being the pick to score at anytime as he has found the net in three out of five of Olympiakos's group games this season, including at the Emirates, as well as scoring a few domestically. They will be no pushovers for an Arsenal side that have just 1 clean sheet from 22 away games in Europe.
Arsenal (19/10, Draw 23/10) will field a vastly changed and inexperienced squad with the amount of regulars left behind. The Gunners are just one point behind Schalke and have a chance of going through top if the German side slip up away at Montpellier, with their poor domestic form Arsene Wenger would rather get his players match fit rather than chase that top spot.
Trying to guess the Arsenal team could be tricky but Arsene Wenger will certainly be expecting players with plenty of experience such as Gervinho (6/1 First/Last, 7/4 Anytime) and Ramsey (10/1 First/Last, 7/2 Anytime) to step up into roles of leaders. A major key for them pushing forward will be the pace of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and he is 11/1 First/Last, 4/1 Anytime which both seem massive.
On reflection I think Olympiakos will be able to sneak past the Gunners with 2-1 (8/1) and 3-1 (18/1) looking the most likely outcomes as Arsenals away frailty and inexperience eventually tell making Draw/Olympiakos a great shout at 9/2. This should be quite an open game too so over 2.5 goals (10/11) and both teams to score (13/20) should be well worth your consideration.
Best Bet: Mitroglou anytime @ 7/4
Worth a punt: Draw/Olympiakos @ 9/2
Dortmund v Man City - 19:45 - live on Sky Sports 2
Man City head into Dortmund with a place in the Europa League the best they can hope for from a largely disappointing Champions League campaign. In order to claim that Europa League spot the Citizens have to beat the German Champions while hoping that Ajax don't win in Madrid.
Dortmund (21/20) are already through to the knockout stage ahead of Real Madrid and the German champions will be thankful they don't have to get something from the game with a number of their squad carrying knocks and unlikely to be fully fit. They could be without captain Sebastian Kehl, Neve Subotic and Sven Bender.
The Germans may rotate some of their squad with their position done and dusted but as one of the best and most technical sides in Europe whoever starts is going to be able to cause Man City problems. The two main men should start in Mario Gotze (7/1 First/Last, 2/1 Anytime) and Robert Lewandowski (9/2 First/Last, 6/5 Anytime), the pair produce some sublime link up play and will be attempting to be the architects of City's downfall.
Man City (12/5, Draw 5/2) have been underwhelming this season and Roberto Mancini is coming under fire and was booed by his own fans following the substation of Carlos Tevez in the 1-1 draw with Everton. The Citizens need to get their season back on track but should be out of Europe as this looks a tough task, they will be without David Silva, Yaya Toure, Aleksander Kolarov and Gael Clichy for various reasons, the losses of David Silva and Yaya Toure will be key and they may see Dortmund overrun the midfield.
Man City will turn to Sergio Aguero (7/1 First/Last, 2/1 Anytime) and Carlos Tevez (8/1 First/Last, 11/4 Anytime) to fire them past Dortmund and hope that Real Madrid do the business in the Bernabeu to allow them to progress. They will have to get up to tempo quickly in order to avoid letting Dortmund get a foot on the ball and dictate the play. They can get a result, but I can't see them getting a win they need.
The most likely outcome is a 1-1 draw (13/2) and it's worth noting that Dortmund have conceded six goals in the last 5 minutes so far in the Champions League making Man City to score in the last 15 minutes at 9/4 huge value as they get desperate and throw everyone forward. The last goal scorecasts of 1-1 with Carlos Tevez (70/1) and Sergio Aguero (65/1) both are worth a small bet at a big price.
Best Bet: both teams to score @ 8/15 (despite the shorter than normal price)
Worth a punt: 1-1 draw @ 13/2