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Simon Gott 19th Nov 2012 - 13:54

Qualification Anticipation!

Another feast of Champions League football awaits this week with qualification on the minds of four of the British teams in action and as usual William Hill have offers on every game involving one of our big 5.

Tuesday's action

Celtic(6/1) play away to Benfica (4/9) Draw (10/3) - 19:45 Sky Sports 2 - and are just 90 minutes away from qualification from the group stages, no mean feat from a group containing 4 time winners Barcelona, and a win on Tuesday night will guarantee that.

Hoops manager Neil Lennon is confident of having Georgios Samaras (9/1 first/last, 10/3 anytime) back after being taken off against Aberdeen at the weekend.  The same can be said of Kris Commons, taken off with a dead leg on Saturday (10/1 first/last, 7/2 anytime).  Lennon is hopeful other key men will also be in contention for a place with the likes of Gary Hooper, Scott Brown and Joe Ledley training again.  Former Aberdeen man Charlie Mulgrew ( 16/1 first/last, 6/1 anytime) should also start with Lennon commenting that "it was hard not to pick him now, he has turned into an all round footballer".

We have enhanced Mulgrew & Celtic to win from 16/1 to 25/1 and Cardozo & Benfica from 11/10 to 2/1

Another British side harbouring hopes of qualification is Chelsea (7/2) who take on Juventus (17/20) Draw (12/5) in Turin on Tuesday night - 19:45 ITV1 -  and a win in the Juventus Stadium will guarantee qualification to the knockout stages with a match to spare.

The reigning champions have no new injury concerns but captain John Terry is still ruled out with the knee injury sustained against Liverpool.   Manager Roberto Di Matteo has called on his team to show their class, claiming that qualification from the group stages is getting harder each year: "We had APOEL, who showed how a relatively small club can do very well in the Champions League.  Every season you see teams surprising in the Champions League."

We have enhanced Mata to score and Chelsea to win to 12/1 from 8/1 and Pirlo and Juventus 7/1 from 5/1

Manchester United (11/5) - Tuesday 19:45 kickoff Sky Sports 4 - have no such worries.  They have a 100% record in the group stages so far this year and have already qualified for the last 16 as group winners.  As such Sir Alex is likely to make changes to the side beaten at Norwich at the weekend and give a few of the kids a run out against Galatasaray (23/20) Draw (5/2) Tuesday's game in Turkey may see a return to the side for Wayne Rooney (13/2 first/last 15/8 anytime) whose omission at the weekend due to tonsillitis cost United a place at the top of the Premier League.

We have enhanced Umut Bulut & Galatasaray to 3/1 from 11/5, Welbeck & Man Utd to 8/1 from 11/2


Wednesday's action

Still with a sliver of a chance of making it through are Manchester City (23/10) who take on Real Madrid (11/10) Draw (5/2) at the Etihad on Wednesday - Sky Sports 2 19:45 kickoff.  If the prospect of needing to claim maximum points from the Spanish giants isn't daunting enough, they need help from other teams in group D to stand any chance of progressing.   Striker Carlos Tevez (7/1 first/last, 2/1 anytime) still believes that City's "team of champions" can still make it through saying "It's going to be tough to get through to the knockout stages but we need to draw strength from the memories of last season"  If - as so often already this season - City lose an early goal we go 10/1 for city to go behind but still win.

We have enhanced Aguero & Man City to 6/1 from 4/1, Ronaldo & Real Madrid to 2/1 from 6/5.


Arsenal( 1/3) can book themselves a knockout stage berth with a win against Montpellier (8/1) Draw (4/1) at the Emirates on Wednesday - 19:45 kickoff Sky Sports 4.  With midfielder Aaron Ramsey (15/2 first/last, 9/4 anytime) believing that it is vital they beat the French side to qualify with a game to spare.  He said "The group is pretty close at the moment, so yes I think you could say that we have to win this game, and we are at home so hopefully we can put ourselves in a strong position to qualify"

We have enhanced Walcott & Arsenal to 2/1 from 5/4 and Herrera & Montpellier to 16/1 from 12/1.





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