Arsenal against Bayern Munchen is Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League glamour game and one thinks that backing both teams to score at the Emirates Stadium represents the best way to make a decent profit betting on the latest batch of matches.
Pardon the pun but Arsenal’s poor position in UEFA Champions League Group F means that the Gunners have to come out all guns blazing at home to the section leader. Arsenal has to play catch up in the pool and anything less than maximum points from its home date with Bayern Munchen may prove insufficient for the Gunners to reach the last 16 for the 16th consecutive season. So one is going to take it as written that Arsenal will attack Bayern from the outset.
It would take a brave punter to bet on Arsenal keeping a clean sheet on Tuesday. Arsenal’s defence is its weakest link and Bayern Munchen’s scoring statistics are superb – Pep Guardiola’s side has found the back of the net in each of its last 17 competitive games since it lost 0-1 at home to Augsburg in the German Bundesliga, albeit with a couple of excuses. For the record, Bayern had its goalkeeper, Pepe Reina, sent off in the 13th minute and it undoubtedly had its mind on its UEFA Champions League rescue mission versus Barcelona that was scheduled for just a few days later.
Odds of -175 are available about both Arsenal and Bayern Munchen scoring in their UEFA Champions League Group F blockbuster, a match that the Gunners have to win to make amends for losing to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos and a match in which victory for Bayern would go a long way to not only winning the section but also eliminating a major rival.
Also on Tuesday, Zenit will entertain Lyon in UEFA Champions League Group H and one likes the odds on offer about the St Petersburg-based team maintaining its 100 per cent record in the pool with a home win over its injury-ravaged opponent.
Lyon’s form has taken a turn for the worse since its star playmaker, Nabil Fekir, had a full international debut to forget on 11 September. Fekir ruptured knee ligaments in France’s friendly against Portugal and he is forecast to miss most of Lyon’s campaign. Lyon has won two, drawn four and lost two of its eight games across all competitions since Fekir ended up in hospital, with none of its wins occurring away from home. Zenit has stamped itself as the side to beat in UEFA Champions League Group H and odds of -105 about the Russian team are too good to miss.
Finally, one thinks that Atletico Madrid will make a mess of Astana when the teams clash for the first time in UEFA Champions League Group C in the Spanish capital city.
Astana was extremely lucky to get past HJK in an early UEFA Champions League qualifying round – Evgeny Postnikov’s late strike prevented the Finnish side progressing on away goals – and the Azerbaijani team was unimpressive in defeating APOEL 2-1 on aggregate. Astana is one of the weakest sides to make the UEFA Champions League group stage and one cannot see anything other than a straightforward Atletico Madrid victory at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday.
One’s initial instinct was to bet on Atletico Madrid beating Astana to nil but bookmakers have crunched their odds about that eventuality to such an extent that there is no obvious value. Therefore, one’s third and final UEFA Champions League pick is Atletico to cover a two-goal spread at odds of +150 with SkyBet. The gulf in class between Atletico and Astana is considerable – one rates the Azerbaijani team as the equivalent of a Spanish Primera Division struggler and even that assessment may be somewhat on the generous side.
Arsenal v Bayern Munich BTTS
20th October 19:45 GMT
Zenit to beat Lyon
20th October 19:45 GMT
Atletico Madrid -2 to beat Astana
21st October 19:45 GMT