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Supporting under two and a half goals in the UEFA Champions League Group B game between Atletico Madrid and Juventus is the best way to tackle the second round of group matches.
Juventus travels to Madrid having its extended its run of clean sheets in competitive games to nine matches with its 3-0 road victory over Atalanta in Italian Serie A. Given that Juventus is away from home against last season’s UEFA Champions League runner-up, one would think that it will be doing really well to score more than one goal on Wednesday and, if Juve does not score at least twice, it is going to take something out of recent character from the road team’s defence for under-two-and-a-half-goals punters to lose.
Atletico Madrid banged in four goals versus Sevilla in its Spanish Primera Division home win last time out but two of its goals were in the last eight minutes. At home to truly top-class teams, Atletico Madrid’s last three tallies have been one versus Barcelona, zero versus Chelsea and one versus Real Madrid. Atletico Madrid had the services of Diego Costa for two of those three big games as well.
The state of UEFA Champions League Group B means that a draw would suit Juventus down to the ground. Having lost 2-3 away to Olympiakos in the first round of UEFA Champions League Group B matches, Atletico Madrid could do with three points but, more importantly, it cannot afford to lose because its nightmare is being six points behind Juventus and Olympiakos in a group that features a potential whipping boy in Malmo.
Ladbrokes and Sky Bet are listing odds of 31/50 1.62 -161 0.62 -1.61 0.62 that the UEFA Champions League Group B game between Atletico Madrid and Juventus goes under two and a half goals. It is the play of the round, primarily because Juventus and its ability not to give away soft goals. Only four times in its 36 matches this year has Juventus conceded more than one goal in a game.
Zenit is building a great record under Andre Villas-Boas and it should go into its UEFA Champions League Group C game at home to Monaco with nothing to fear from the fading French Ligue 1 side Monaco that is 12th in its domestic division.
Villas-Boas had overseen 13 wins in a row for Zenit prior to its 0-0 Russian Premier League home draw with Spartak Mosvka on Saturday, with the St Petersburg-based team’s series of victories including a 2-0 win at Benfica two weeks ago. One should note that Zenit was leading 1-0 before Benfica went down to 10 men and scored its second goals not long after.
Monaco has lost half of its eight French Ligue 1 matches as it struggles to come to terms with a host of departures, the most significant of which was James Rodriguez to Real Madrid following his fantastic FIFA World Cup. Without Rodriguez, Monaco has managed just seven French Ligue 1 goals and its opening UEFA Champions League Group C game should have ended in a heavy home loss to Leverkusen rather than a 1-0 win.
Not once in any of its nine matches across all competitions this season has Monaco scored more than one goal, whereas Zenit has hit two or more goals 10 times in its 15 games.
BetVictor and Ladbrokes are offering odds of 73/100 1.73 -137 0.73 -1.37 0.73 that Zenit makes it two wins from two matches in UEFA Champions League Group C, odds that are perfectly reasonable to snap up.
Finally, one may think about chancing Porto at odds of 21/10 3.10 +210 2.10 2.10 -0.48 with BetVictor to win its UEFA Champions League Group H game against Shakhtar Donetsk in the neutral city of Lviv.
The continuing conflict in Ukraine has resulted in Shakhtar Donetsk’s home matches being moved 1,000 kilometres west to Lviv, thereby either eliminating the side’s home advantage or reducing it significantly. One was expecting to see the UEFA Champions League Group H game chalked up with both teams at the odds so Porto represents the value play.
Porto is undefeated in its nine domestic and continental matches this term and it won both games when it lined up versus Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League group stage three years ago, including a 2-0 victory in Ukraine.
Porto to beat Shakhtar Donetsk
30th September 19:45 GMT
Odds: 21/10 3.10 +210 2.10 2.10 -0.48
Where to Bet: BetVictor