By News Team
2nd November 2021
With plenty of drama set to lie ahead in the Champions League this week, we preview three key games from Matchweek Four of the group stages below.
Tuchel’s team unfazed
Thomas Tuchel’s Premier League leaders, Chelsea, travel to Malmo in the earlier of the two Champions League kick-off times on Tuesday. The west London side will square off against the Swedish side having made light work of their opponents in the reverse fixture with a 4-0 win.
It was routine stuff for Tuchel’s side in that game, and hopes will firmly be on another routine victory here as Chelsea could do with the breathing space three points would afford them. Third-placed Zenit St Petersburg are only three points behind them in Group H and with a clash against leaders Juventus (albeit an out of form one) on the horizon, Chelsea would like to head there with a win under their belts. One area of concern, however, would be Mason Mount missing out at Newcastle on Saturday in the Premier League. It’s unclear how long the England midfielder will be out for and doesn’t look set to play a part in this fixture.
Having ran out 4-0 winners at Stamford Bridge last month, it would be incredibly unlikely to see Chelsea lose here and they are the heavy 1/5 favourites coming into this one. Malmo can be backed at 16/1 to give Tuchel’s makeshift frontline a lesson in forward play and take an unlikely victory.
Red Devils to continue to rebuild form?
Manchester United responded to an embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Liverpool with a 3-0 win away at Spurs on Saturday, and it has eased some of the pressure on boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Up next for United is a trip to Atalanta on Tuesday. They pulled off yet another comeback victory when overturning a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 against the Italians when the two sides met a couple of weeks ago, and while it may seem a good result on paper, it’s characteristic of this team which is not a good thing. They played poorly throughout and a repeat of that should mean a home win here and that’s reflected in Atalanta’s price of 17/10.
However, this match-up does look certain to provide entertainment, with a five-goal thriller at Old Trafford which saw plenty of efforts on goal and plenty of chances created (35 in total). That, along with the inconsistencies of both sides, looks like it’ll be a difficult game to predict which is reflected in the market. United are the slight favourites at 29/20 but this is very much an anything could happen situation. Both teams to score is priced at 4/9.
Fireworks to follow at Anfield
You could hardly ask for more in a football game as we saw when Liverpool and Atletico Madrid last met. The fixture saw an incredible five goals, two braces, a red card for Antoine Griezmann, a winning penalty and four goals in the first half alone.
Mohamed Salah had netted within the first ten minutes and moments later Naby Keita stunned the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano further. But it was Griezmann who then went on to net a brace to claw the La Liga side back into the game before his second half sending off. The Spanish club tried to see out the draw but eventually fell to Salah’s second goal from the penalty spot, which led to the Premier League side extending their unbeaten run.
Liverpool have been dominant in the Premier League this season, winning six and drawing four without succumbing to a loss, although they were held at the weekend when Brighton also managed to come back from a two-goal deficit to take a point in typically gritty fashion.
Liverpool are the odds-on favourites at 8/13 to take this fixture at Anfield on Wednesday, while the Spanish club can be backed at 9/2. However, if you have no allegiance with either club then the only thing you can hope for is as much entertainment as we saw the last time these two came together.