By William Hill
Last Updated: 27th November 2019
The Champions League continues on Wednesday evening with Chelsea and Liverpool among the teams in action. We preview the key betting tips and talking points.
Draw could be enough for Chelsea
Things couldn’t be much tighter in Group H, with Ajax, Valencia and Chelsea all sitting on seven points as they bid for the knockout stages, while Lille remain at the foot of the table with one point.
With Valencia still to play Chelsea and Ajax, the Blues go into the game knowing that a share of the spoils will set them on their way to qualification ahead of their final game at home against Lille.
Frank Lampard’s side will certainly arrive in Spain with a lot of confidence having won seven of their previous eight away games in all competitions, with the only defeat coming against Manchester City last time out.
Valencia are having a pretty ordinary season domestically, winning just five of their 14 La Liga games leaving them 10th in the standings, though they are unbeaten in their seven home matches.
However, the idea of Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium being impenetrable was blown out of the water when Ajax put three past them and it’s no surprise to see Chelsea priced up as the even-money favourites.
The west London side won’t have it all their way, though, and with just one defeat in nine at home for the Spanish club, it’s very easy to swerve that short price, especially as Valencia won at Stamford Bridge this season.
He hasn’t done it so far this season, but with qualification so important for the Blues it would be no surprise to see Lampard rein it in a little bit and the draw looks tempting at 13/5.
Oxlade-Chamberlain to score again for Liverpool
Liverpool were beaten 2-0 by Napoli in Italy in September and despite topping Group E and the Premier League, Jurgen Klopp’s side are yet to keep a clean sheet at home this season in all competitions.
Both Red Bull Salzburg and Genk, who fill the spots under Liverpool and Napoli in Group E, netted at Anfield, with the former managing to grab three as the Reds’ defensive frailties were exposed for all to see.
At odds of 4/11, it’s impossible to back Liverpool and instead it’s worth looking at goalscorer markets instead, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looking tempting value to net anytime at 9/5.
The former Arsenal man has returned from a long injury lay-off with a desire to be a huge part of this Liverpool team and has already netted three in the Champions League this season, the same as Mohamed Salah, who has been struggling with injury.
Oxlade-Chamberlain started last weekend’s victory against Crystal Palace and with a spot in the starting line-up expected here, he looks better value than the likes of Salah, Sadio Mane and Divock Origi.
Haaland to impress once again
It may not be the tie of the round, but it’s difficult to look away from Genk’s home clash against Red Bull Salzburg, or rather Leeds-born youngster Erling Braut Haaland, who has been scoring goals for fun for Salzburg this season.
Salzburg’s progression past the group stages looks unlikely, but Haaland is playing with such potential that a move to a European giant looks a foregone conclusion, with Manchester United reportedly among those keen.
It’s hardly surprising as the 19-year-old boasts a goal on average every 39 minutes and has already bagged seven in the Champions League this season, more than the likes of Harry Kane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
He found the back of the net both home and away against Napoli and was also on target at Anfield, so should have no problem adding to his collection again, having already scored a hat-trick against Genk in September.
At 13/20, the bookmakers are certainly taking no chances on Haaland to score anytime, with Genk conceding 12 goals in just four games. However, the 3/1 available on the striker scoring two or more goals looks a good bet.