Hoffenheim versus Liverpool is, arguably, the pick of this week’s UEFA Champions League matches and it should be a great game in which both teams get on the scoresheet.
Unbeaten at home throughout last season’s German Bundesliga competition, Hoffenheim was the only side to win its head to head against Bayern Munchen. Hoffenheim lost touch with the top three in the final stages of the German Bundesliga term but Hoffe were worthy of their fourth place and just Bayern lost fewer games than them. Hoffenheim’s success was built upon its attack, which found the back of the net in 31 of Hoffe’s 34 German Bundesliga matches – they failed to score versus Augsburg (home), Wolfsburg (home) and Frankfurt (away). Of even more relevance to one’s suggested bet, both teams scored in 22 of Hoffenheim’s 34 German Bundesliga games, including five of Hoffe’s six matches against UEFA Champions League qualifiers Bayern, Leipzig and Dortmund.
Liverpool, which has announced that it will line up without Barcelona transfer target Philippe Coutinho, featured in the second highest scoring game of a high-scoring opening round of the English Premier League. Liverpool drew 3-3 at Watford in an English Premier League match that highlighted that the Reds will need to improve defensively if they are going to challenge for their first divisional title since 1990 – the Hornets are a long way from the division’s most dynamic side. Liverpool scored in 33 of its 38 English Premier League games last season and both teams rustled the onion bag in 24 of those matches. Like Hoffenheim, Liverpool’s domestic games versus its biggest rivals were entertaining – both sides scored in seven of the 10 English Premier League matches that the Reds played against Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
SunBets is offering odds of -149 about both Hoffenheim and Liverpool scoring in their UEFA Champions League game on Tuesday and that rates as the best bet on the coupon.
Celtic is far too short odds to get the better of Astana in their second UEFA Champions League tie in recent years and, in all honesty, the program is not the most enticing from a punting perspective, not least because so many of the teams have yet to get into the swing of their domestic seasons.
Of the UEFA Champions League match favourites, the ones in which one is most interested are Napoli and Olympiacos.
Many good judges are tipping Napoli to roll Juventus in Italian Serie A this term and the Partenepoi warmed up for its UEFA Champions League assignment at home to Nice with a 2-0 win over Espanyol. Napoli is attractive at odds of -303 with several bookmakers, including Paddy Power, SkyBet and William Hill, because Nice has had a poor start to its French Ligue 1 campaign, losing 0-1 at Saint-Etienne and 1-2 at home to Troyes. Also, Nice required away goals to sneak past Ajax in the previous UEFA Champions League round and most impartial observers considered them lucky to progress.
Only European giants tend to topple Olympiacos at home so the Legend have to be of interest at odds of -175 with Betfred, Marathonbet and William Hill to beat Rijeka. Olympiacos, which defeated Partizan 5-3 on aggregate to reach this stage of the UEFA Champions League, welcomes a Rijeka side that has lost back-to-back Croatian 1 HNL games to Osijek and Dinamo Zagreb, failing to score a single goal. Rijeka lent on away goals to eliminate Salzburg earlier this month and Olympiacos is a level or two above the Red Bulls.
Hoffenheim v Liverpool – Both teams to score
Tuesday 15th August, 19:45 GMT
Napoli to beat Nice
Wednesday 16th August, 19:45 GMT
Olympiacos to beat Rijeka
Wednesday 16th August, 19:45 GMT