The group stages of the Champions League return this week and there are some huge matches in store across Tuesday and Wednesday. The pick of the round among many high class matches is a repeat of last season’s quarter final between Juventus and Barcelona.
We’ll have match previews for all the big games across the two nights, but another aspect we’ll be looking at this season is the use of statistics in betting – particularly in relation to corner kicks which have become more and more popular amongst the betting public. There are a number of websites which provide detailed historical stats on everything from throw ins to goal kicks, and this is a weapon that should feature in any punter’s arsenal. This kind of information has never been so freely available, and we hope to take advantage this week. The three games which appear to ripe for corners include that Barcelona v Juventus match, as well as Celtic v PSG and Leipzig v Monaco.
Celtic return to the Champions League this season and their first task is to host the allstars of Paris in what will be a huge match at Celtic Park. Neymar has very quickly become the jewel in the PSG crown since his move from Barcelona, and many will expect this to be a routine thrashing against a limited Celtic team. Those punters should beware of diving in at short prices though, because Celtic have had a habit in the past of embarrassing giants of the European game in front of their partisan supporters.
Moneybags Leipzing may not have made many friends on their journey to the upper echelons of German football, but they can’t be denied the opportunity to test their mettle against the best on the continent after an incredible season last term. they start with a mouth-watering home match against last year’s semi finalists, Monaco, and it promises to be some occasion.
Barcelona v Juventus
The odds for corners are yet to be released at the time of writing, but will be updated as soon as the bookmakers release their markets. Typically a line of over or under 10.5 corners is the bet, and the likes of Bet365 and William Hill tend to offer decent prices. Update: BetVictor go -105 about over 10.5 corners in the match.
In the case of this match we’re tipping over 10.5 corners as these two replay the quarter final of last year’s competition in the opening game of group D. The Nou Camp is the stage and there is no doubt that Barca will be looking to exact revenge for the 3-0 aggregate defeat they suffered back in April.
The first match where the damage was done was in Juventus as the Old Lady scored three without reply. That game featured five corners for Juve and eight for Barcelona – a total of 13 corners over 90 minutes. The return leg saw Juve camp in as Barca threw the kitchen sink at them. The Catalans racked up 13 corners of their own that night at the Nou Camp and Juve chipped in with four as well to make it a total of 17 corners overall.
The stakes are lower in this group game, but both teams will be looking to get off to a good start as results between them are likely to decide who will finish first and second in the section.
Barcelona’s possession base game hasn’t always been associated with a high corner count, but in recent times they have used the width of the pitch to a greater extent which in turn has led to more corners being won. Their general attacking style has also meant they are quite capable of giving up goals and corners at the other end. Their most recent La Liga matches against Alaves and Espanyol have seen corner counts of 15 in each game.
Celtic v PSG
The same bet of over 10.5 corners applies to Celtic’s game versus PSG on the same night, although we will need to wait to see whether the bookmakers increase the margin to over 11 or over 12. Update: Betway are offering a huge +120 on over 10.5 corners.
PSG are in irresistible form leading up to this one, and are scoring goals for fun. They thrashed bottom club MEzt in Ligue 1 over the weekend, but the corner count makes for interesting reading. The Paris side racked up seven corners but also gave up six to the opposition. There’s no doubt they’ll spend plenty of time attacking at Celtic Park, and last-ditch defending by the home side should lead to a healthy corner count.
Celtic are also a team that regularly goes high on corners, producing 15 and 12 in their last two Scottish Premiership matches against St Johnstone and Hamilton. Obviously PSG are a million miles from that pair in terms of quality, but Celtic can be expected to have a real go at any side on home turf, and they should make their own contribution to a high corner kick count here.
RB Leipzig v Monaco
Finally it’s over 10.5 corners at -110 with Unibet in a clash between two very attacking sides in a match that should be excellent for the neutral to watch. Monaco were a breath of fresh air in last year’s Champions League, playing their part in some incredible high-scoring games. Their focus on attack directs most games they play in, and it’s usually end-to-end stuff when the side from the French Riviera are concerned.
Leipzing are also an attacking side which can rack up the corners – they scored 14 in their most recent Bundesliga game at Hamburg – so this first foray into the Champions League is fancied to go high on the corner kick mark.
Barcelona v Juventus – Over 10.5 Corners
Tuesday 12th September, 19:45 GMT
Celtic v PSG – Over 10.5 Corners
Tuesday 12th September, 19:45 GMT
Leipzig v Monaco – Over 10.5 Corners
Wednesday 13th September, 19:45 GMT