The penultimate round of UEFA Champions League group matches are less appealing than the four that have preceded them but, even so, there are some interesting bets available.
Top of one’s UEFA Champions League punting list is Porto, which leads Group D, to get the better of its closest rival in that pool, Schalke in Portugal on Wednesday. This week’s other UEFA Champions League Group D game will be run and won (or drawn) before Porto and Schalke clash and, if that game results in anything other than a Galatasaray away win over Lokomotiv Moskva, the Portuguese Primeira Liga team and the German Bundesliga side will be assured of reaching the next stage with not one but two matches up their sleeves.
Porto has been victorious in 11 of its last 12 games across all competitions, including winning each of its last eight matches, and their UEFA Champions League Group D collateral form lines are stronger than those of Schalke. Porto drew 1-1 at Schalke in the reverse UEFA Champions League Group D fixture and the Dragons blew one of their two penalty kicks.
Schalke is 14th on the German Bundesliga ladder but that is harsh on the Royal Blues because, according to expected points, they ought to be a win or two better off and seventh. Creating and converting chances has been Schalke’s Achilles heel this season, particularly away from home where rarely have the Royal Blues scored more than once in a game.
The odds bookmakers are offering about Porto beating Schalke at -120 with Black Type are more than fair and, if Galatasaray does not derail the UEFA Champions League Group D challenge of Lokomotiv Moskva, those odds are likely to shorten because, in a dead rubber, one would much rather back an in-form home team than an away side that was lucky not to lose September’s reverse fixture.
TOP TIP! – Porto to beat Schalke @ -120
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TOP TIP! – CSKA Moskva to beat Plzen @ -125
Plzen’s UEFA Champions League adventure is guaranteed to end next month and, unless the Czech Liga team beat CSKA Moskva in Russia on Tuesday at -125 with Bet365, it will be out of European tournaments entirely. Odds not much below even money about CSKA Moskva making the most home advantage versus the weakest side in UEFA Champions League Group D seems fair enough. According to one’s UEFA Champions League Group D collateral form analysis, CSKA Moskva is superior to Plzen, not least because the reverse fixture resulted in a 2-2 draw.
CSKA Moskva is third on the Russian Premier League ladder and, according to expected points, the Militarians deserve second ranking just behind Zenit. Czech Liga expected points data is not freely accessible but suffice to say Plzen is probably fortunate to be second in that championship given its goal difference is only plus nine following 16 rounds.
TOP TIP! – Dortmund -1 to beat Club Brugge @ -120
For one’s third UEFA Champions League selection one is going with Dortmund to defeat Club Brugge by more than one goal when they go head to head in Germany on Wednesday at -120 with Betway.
Dortmund won 1-0 at Club Brugge when the UEFA Champions League Group A rivals met two months ago and the Black and Yellows were good value for their road success even though they took until the 85th minute to break the deadlock. Dortmund is top of the German Bundesliga ladder and, while Bayern Munchen and Leipzig supporters who trust expected points may take issue with the Black and Yellows holding that ranking, it is hard to knock a team with just one defeat against their name across all competitions.
Club Brugge cannot miss out on at least a spot in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage but, if the Blue and Blacks fall behind at Dortmund, there is not much value in them risking life and limb to chase down the deficit versus what is, clearly, a strong Black and Yellows outfit in front of their incredibly passionate and intimidating home fans.
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