Tuesday's Champions League preview
Tuesday's Champions League preview
Real Madrid v Man City - 19:45 live on ITV1
Jose Mourinho's side may have made a poor start to the season domestically but they are still a force to be reckoned with, especially in Europe, and Man City may be lucky to leave the Bernabeu with at least a point.
Real Madrid begin their sixteenth consecutive campaign in the Champions League and have progressed from the group stage on every occasion. Los Blancos have 99 Champions League game wins and they stand a decent chance of making Man City victims number 100, they have won their previous 34 opening home games in this competition and the previous edition but their record against English clubs is just two wins from seven to give Man City a glimmer of hope.
Real Madrid (8/11) lost at Sevilla in their last fixture which left manager Jose Mourinho to question the commitment of his players as their poor start has seen them lose twice, the same as last season already, and they sit a massive 8 points behind Barca. Ronaldo (7/2 First/Last, 4/6 Anytime) has also refused to celebrate goals on occasions this season due to his "professional unhappiness" and if ever there was a good time to be playing Madrid it would be now.
Man City (4/1, draw 5/2) on the other hand have started the season relatively well in comparison and are unbeaten from four league games with 2 home wins and 2 away draws to show for it. Roberto Mancini may well be boosted by the return to the starting line-up of injury victims Sergio Aguero (8/1 First/Last, 11/4 Anytime) and Gareth Barry. Aguero is back in training after injuring his ankle on the opening day while Barry made a return from the bench at Stoke.
The Citizens have only faced Spanish sides in seven competitive games but those games have produced a glut of goals, 26 in all, including doing the double of Villareal last year with 3-0 and 2-1 victories. It's likely we will see more of the same here as Real Madrid have failed to score in only 1 of their past 25 Champions League games and Man City have a wealth of attacking talent able to take advantage of Real Madrid's wobbly start. Both teams to score can be backed at 13/20 while over 2.5 goals is 8/13 and both look likely to be the best bets of what should be an entertaining game
We have our usual offering of fantastic enhanced wincasts, here you can back Ronaldo in a Real Madrid win at 6/4 or Tevez in part of a Man City win at 9/1!
Both teams to score @ 13/20
Over 2.5 goals @ 8/13
Worth a Punt:
2-2 Draw @ 14/1
Real Madrid/Draw @ 14/1
Montpellier v Arsenal - 19:45 live on Sky Sports 2
Arsenal travel to Champions League newcomers Montpellier as they begin their bid to complete a 10th consecutive season where they progress from the group stages. They have started the season well and have a good record in France so will make the trip across the channel full of confidence.
Montpellier (12/5) are making a debut season in the Champions League following the stark turn around in fortunes which led to a shock first Ligue 1 title last season. This year they have struggled to find the net which has seen them take just 4 points from their opening 5 games. The French champions signed Anthony Mounier (10/1 First/Last, 7/2 Anytime) and Emanuel Herrera (15/2 First/Last, 9/4 Anytime) in a bid to replace the goals they lost with the sale of Olivier Giroud who will line-up against them in an Arsenal shirt however they are yet to click.
Montpellier are likely to struggle due to a lack of European experience and their poor domestic form. They are winless in their last 4 home European fixtures (2 draws and 2 defeats) and I see no reason for that run to come to an end against the Gunners.
Arsenal (5/4, draw 21/10) are in their 15th consecutive Champions League campaign and have amassed a near perfect record in France. They have won four and drawn one and the once popular chant of 1-0 to the Arsenal has been well heard as their last three games have all ended with that score line and so the 6/1 about a fourth consecutive 1-0 looks tempting to say the least.
The Gunners have some problems of their own as they head to France without number 1 goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny as he has been ruled out with an ankle injury and so Vito Mannone will get the nod, it may not matter who is in net for Arsenal if Montpellier continue their goal shy ways. With La Paillade conceding plenty of silly goals their former player Olivier Giroud (9/2 First/Last, 6/5 Anytime) will fancy his chances of opening his Arsenal account while the rest of the front line that put 6 past Southampton will be relishing the trip.
For this one it's definitely worth staying on the side of Arsenal as they are more than capable of landing a big win. Arsenal 3-0 looks very tempting at a big price while 2-0 is 9/1 for those that are slightly more cautious. I think Montpellier will draw a blank against the solid Arsenal defence that has been revolutionised under the guidance of Steve Bould and so both teams NOT to score is tempting at 19/20 (4/5 to do so) and Arsenal to win to nil can be had at 23/10
Again don't miss out on our enhanced wincasts, we have Herrera and Montpellier enhanced to 6/1 while Podolski and Arsenal gets a boost to 7/2!
Arsenal @ 5/4
Giroud to score and Arsenal to win @ 11/5
Worth a Punt:
Arsenal to win to nil 23/10
Arsenal 3-0 @ 20/1