Spurs and Leicester are the English contingent in Wednesday’s Champions League matches, on a night that also sees Juventus and Real Madrid in action.
This time a year ago the Leicester players and staff could have only dreamed about appearing on the same billing as those European giants, but they’ve handled the reality with expertise and are on the cusp of the knockout stages. Claudio Ranieri has overseen the perfect start to the Foxes’ UCL campaign with three wins from three putting them top of group G with nine points. They’re yet to concede a European goal after successfully getting the better of Club Brugges, Porto and Copenhagen. The latter are Wednesday night’s opponents as Leicester travel to Denmark looking to take one step closer to group qualification.
Spurs meanwhile go back-to-back against Bayer Leverkusen in a much tighter group position. Monaco lead group E with five points, Spurs follow with four, and Leverkusen are one place back with three points. CSKA Moscow are bottom of the group with two points, and this section could go to the wire in the race for a top two finish. Leverkusen and Spurs played out a remarkable 0-0 draw in Germany two weeks ago – remarkable because the ball somehow stayed out of the net for 90 minutes. A win at Wembley would be a huge result for Spurs, but it will be tough against a quality Leverkusen side.
Tottenham v Leverkusen
We’re starting with that game, and despite the recent result, over 2.5 goals looks tempting at 9/101.90-1110.90-1.110.90 with Marathonbet.
Anyone who watched the game two weeks ago will tell you that there were enough chances for a 3-3 draw, but a combination of poor finishing and superb goalkeeping resulted in the most unlikely of 0-0 draws. Hugo Loris in particular was in outstanding form for Spurs, but they can’t rely on the French keeper to pull them out of trouble all of the time. Goals have been a problem since Harry Kane suffered his injury, and the news that he may be back for the North London derby will be music to Spurs’ fans ears. He won’t return in time for this one though, and Mario Pochettino will be aware of the importance of a win.
After losing at home to Monaco on match day one, Spurs won in Moscow and gained that point in Leverkusen. With a trip to Monaco to come, the two home games against CSKA and Leverkusen have become vitally important. Pochettino plays an attacking style anyway, but he will surely be asking his players to go out and get at Bayer from the first whistle. Equally, the German side are very dangerous on the break, with former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez leading the line. Leverkusen have only failed to score once in their last 20 away games, and only five of those have featured less than three goals.
Playing at Wembley means it’s not a normal ‘home’ game for Spurs, and they have to prove they can handle it, but they’ll have a big crowd behind them and this is set up for an end-to-end game.
Copenhagen v Leicester
Leicester can do no wrong in the Champions League and they’re worth backing to get at least a draw in Copenhagen at 4/61.67-1500.67-1.500.67 with BoyleSports, Coral and Unibet.
The Foxes’ strength of last season was sitting back and defending in numbers before hitting teams with devastating pace on the break. The way that group G is set up means that they’ve earned the right to utilise those tactics in the remaining games. Three straight victories and nine points puts them within touching distance of the next stage. Copenhagen and Porto are next with four points each, while Club Brugges have lost to all three other teams so far. Away games against the Danes and the Portuguese will be big tests for Leicester, but the home game versus Club Brugges should be a perfect opportunity to seal qualification if it’s not already in the bag by then. With their two rivals set to play each other, Leicester need three points at most to secure qualification and Ranieri would surely be happy to return from Denmark with a point.
It should be noted that Copenhagen have a superb record at home, and this will be Leicester’s biggest test on the European stage so far. The Danes have won 17 of the last 20 home matches (drawn the other three), but the quality of opposition in the Danish league is a far cry from that in the Champions League. They have little option but to attack Leicester in search of three points, and that could play into the hands of the counter-attacking Foxes.
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon
Finally, one of the bankers of the evening is Borussia Dortmund to beat Sporting Lisbon at home at 1/21.50-2000.50-2.000.50 with Coral and BetVictor.
The likes of Juventus and Real Madrid are heavily odds-on, but Dortmund ought to be rated in a similar vein as they take on a side they beat 2-1 away on the last match day. The German side may be a little off the pace in 6th in the Bundesliga, but they’re level-pegging with Real Madrid on 7 points in group F.
Sporting Lisbon have lost to both of those clubs, and only gained three points by virtue of beating group whipping boys Legia Warsaw. They’ve only won one of the last five away matches in all competitions, and travel to a Dortmund side that is rarely beaten on home soil in front of their famous fans.
Tottenham v Leverkusen – Over 2.5 Goals
Wednesday 2nd November, 19:45 GMT
Leicester or Draw
Wednesday 2nd 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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