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Big Guns to Fire in Wednesday’s Champions League Ties
Eric Roberts 2017-11-21 in Football Tips
Another round of top-level matches come our way on Wednesday night as the Champions League continues. The pick of the ties is probably Juventus versus Barcelona, but Atletico Madrid versus Roma runs it a very close second. The Spanish club, so successful in recent UCL seasons, is on the verge of going out of the competition at this first stage and trails both Roma and Chelsea in group C.
Nothing less than a win will be good enough for Atletico on Wednesday night but Roma have shown their credentials this term, particularly with a 3-0 victory over Chelsea on the last match day. The Madrid club have only won two of their last ten fixtures across all competitions and the Italian side arrive in the knowledge that a draw will see them through to the knockout phase.
Barcelona thumped Juventus 3-0 when they met at the Nou Camp earlier in the season but both clubs are hot favourites to qualify from group D ahead of Sporting and Olympiakos. That makes this match a straight contest for first place and a win or a draw for Barcelona should secure top spot.
Celtic must have bemoaned their luck when the draw was made to discover that they were up against Bayern Munich and PSG in group B, and true to form they have lost all fixtures so far versus those sides. Their opening match in the UCL this season was at home to PSG where they were humbled 5-0, and they will travel to Paris with little confidence on Wednesday evening. PSG are yet to be beaten in any competition this term and their embarrassment of riches in attacking areas explains why they are regularly beating sides by three or four goals.
Juventus v Barcelona
Our first tip is for Barcelona to win at Juventus at odds of 3/22.50+1501.501.50-0.67 with BetVictor and Bet365.
The Italians warmed up for this in the worst possible style by losing 3-2 at Sampdoria, goalkeeper Gigi Buffon missing the game after Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup last week. He is expected to be back for Wednesday evening’s match, but whether he can keep out a rampant Barcelona side is another matter.
The loss of Neymar to PSG came as a surprise to Barcelona fans over the summer but it has hardly halted their progress as they currently sit top of La Liga – four points clear of Valencia and a huge ten points ahead of Real Madrid. They’ve won three of their four Champions League games so far this term, with an uncharacteristic draw coming on the last match day when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Olympiakos. However, they remain unbeaten in all competitions this season and in Messi and Suarez, have one of the most potent strike forces in Europe.
Juventus grip on Serie A could be slipping and they currently trail both Napoli and Inter at the head of the Italian league table. Much has been made of the fact that they have an ageing defence and clean sheets have been few and far between this year for a side which rarely conceded over previous seasons. There is no urgent need for either team to win this game, but on balance, Barcelona are the better side in better form.
Atletico Madrid v Roma
Atletico Madrid need to win on Wednesday night, but a better bet is on Roma or Draw at odds of 19/201.95-1050.95-1.050.95 with 888Sport.
Atletico have struggled to reach the heights of previous seasons this term and like their Madrid neighbours, are ten points adrift of Barcelona at the top of La Liga. It’s been a poor effort in the UCL too, where they’ve been beaten at home by Chelsea, and drawn twice with group minnows Qarabag. It was a 0-0 draw when they met Roma away in Italy back in September, and after winning just two in ten, it is a brave punter who takes them to come good here.
Roma have been one of the most impressive sides in the UCl this season, very nearly beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge before being pegged back for a 3-3 draw. They confirmed their superiority over the Blues in the return match with a very comfortable 3-0 win in Italy. That puts them top of the group ahead of the English side, and even a draw here against Atletico will guarantee Roma a place in the knockout stages. If the Spaniards press for goals – which they surely must at some point in the game – there are few sides better at exploiting space on the break than Roma.
PSG v Celtic
Finally we’ll take odds of 39/501.78-1280.78-1.280.78 with BetVictor about PSG wiping the floor with Celtic and covering a -2.5 Asian handicap.
It was 5-0 when these two met in Glasgow earlier in the season, Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani all on the scoresheet. Even if PSG elect to rest any of those players the likes of Draxler and Di Maria are more than capable of stepping into the breach. The Paris club have beaten a -2.5 handicap in each of their last four matches, whether in the UCL or Ligue 1 in France.
Celtic beat Anderlecht away from home in this competition and will play them at home on the final match day. They should be good enough to confirm third in the group and take the Europa League spot, which is probably the best they could have hoped for after the draw for this group was made.
Barcelona to beat Juventus
Wednesday 22nd November, 19:45 GMT
Roma or Draw – Double Chance
Wednesday 22nd November, 19:45 GMT
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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