The UEFA Champions League group stage concludes this week and, while there are several either dead rubbers or dead boring matches on the program, there are at least a few interesting games if punting is your favourite hobby.
It is not often you are able to back Barcelona at odds against to win at home so, even though Barca have locked away top spot in UEFA Champions League Group B and the seeding the knockout stage that comes with it, one cannot resist having a punt on them beating Tottenham in Spain.
Tottenham will reach the UEFA Champions League knockout stage if it equals or betters Internazionale’s result in their respective Group B closers on Tuesday. Internazionale is short odds to defeat PSV in Italy so the pressure really is on Tottenham to get something – and most probably a win – out of its visit to Camp Nou. Several pundits, most notably former Barcelona and Tottenham forward Steve Archibald, have opined there is no way Barca are going to coast versus Spurs because that is not their mentality and you see it manifest whenever they play the Spanish Primera Division’s minnows.
Fresh from a 4-0 Spanish Primera Division away victory over city rival Espanyol in which Lionel Messi opened and closed the scoring, Barcelona will be keen to extend its winning sequence to five matches. Barcelona thrashed Tottenham 4-2 in October’s reverse UEFA Champions League Group B fixture when, in truth, Barca showed how much ground Spurs have to make up if they are going to challenge for not only domestic honours but also international ones. Arsenal was too good for Tottenham in the last big game Spurs played and one cannot help think they will fail against a Barcelona side that is three points clear at the top of the Spanish Primera Division and whose fans demand nothing but the very best.
TOP TIP! – Barcelona to beat Tottenham @ +110 with Bet365
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TOP TIP! – Both teams to score in Liverpool versus Napoli @ -169
UEFA Champions League Group C is fascinating with one round to go and the match of the week is Liverpool versus Napoli in England at -169 with 188Bet, with the Reds needing to win to have any chance of qualifying the knockout stage of a tournament in which they made the final last season. Napoli will get through to the UEFA Champions League last 16 if it draws at Liverpool or if the Partenopei lose and Paris Saint-Germain slump at Crvena Zvedza, which one thinks is unlikely. So inside a pumped-up Anfield on what Liverpudlians like to call one of those special European nights one thinks there will be lots of goalmouth action and money to be made on the punt.
Backing both teams to score is the way that one wants to play the UEFA Champions League Group C blockbuster between Liverpool and Napoli. Liverpool has scored in 15 of its 16 English Premier League games, while Napoli has hit the back of the net in 13 of its 15 Italian Serie A matches. It is certainly possible Liverpool will beat Napoli but one does not want to back the Reds at their general odds because they have won only one of their four English Premier League games against fellow top-six sides, conceding goals in three of those matches. Both teams have scored in each of Napoli’s six Italian Serie A games in which it has faced another top-eight side. The state of play in UEFA Champions League Group C lends itself to sparks flying so one is happy to take the fairly short odds about one’s suggested option.
TOP TIP! – Internazionale to beat PSV @ -286
Finally, the best of the UEFA Champions League shorties is Internazionale, which should complete a Group B double over PSV at -286 with 188Bet. If you are looking to have a nibble at some of the big odds available on this week’s UEFA Champions League coupon it is plausible Lokomotiv Moskva and Valencia may be more motivated than Schalke and Manchester United respectively.
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