Champions League Betting info
Bayern v Benfica
- Bayern are coming into this game in crisis mode domestically after drawing 3-3 at home with newly promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf.
- The Bavarian’s now trail league leaders BVB by 9 points and Manager Niko Kovac is close to being shown the door.
- Europe, however, has been a different story with 3 wins from 4 albeit with 2 of those coming against a weak AEK side.
- Bayern will be without James, Thiago, Coman, Tolisso, and possibly Gnabry. Ribery and Robben both expected to start.
- There have been reports of growing discontent between the players and the Coach.
- The Allianz which was once a fortress for Bayern has disappeared this season, looking at their last 6 in all competitions we see only 1 win and only 1 clean sheet (v AEK Athens)
- On the road Benfica have picked up 1 win (AEK) and 1 loss (Ajax)
- The loss to Ajax was a tough one to swallow for them as it was a very even contest (xG 1.82-2.18) and took at last minute winner to separate the sides.
- In the last encounter between these sides, Bayern were worthy 2-0 winners (xG 2.2-0.81)
- Benfica have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 9 away games in the Champions League and have managed only two wins, both came against Greek teams (PAOK & AEK)
- The last time Benfica travelled to Germany they got beaten 4-0 by Dortmund
- Benfica really need a win here if they’re to stand any chance of qualifying, their only hope is that Bayern’s internal problems show up on the pitch.
AEK v Ajax
- A win will almost certainly guarantee Ajax passage into the last 16 so we can expect them to take the initiative.
- AEK have lost all 4 of their Champions League group phase games conceding 2+ in every game so far.
- The Greeks are languishing in 7th place in the Greek Superleague and have now failed to win any of their last 4 and have scored only once in their last 380 mins of play.
- Ajax will be without one of their best creative talents as Ziyech is sidelined with an injury. Neres should step in to take his place.
- Domestically Ajax are on a 7 game win streak with an average of 3.7 goals scored per game.
- On the road in the Champions League, however, Ajax have drawn their last 4 and have won only two games (incl qualifiers) in the last 7 years.
- With that being said I think we can safely say that this generation of Ajax players is special and can have a very successful European campaign if performances are maintained.
CSKA Moscow v Plzen
- After beating Real Madrid at home last Month CSKA are still in contention of reaching the last 16.
- A win here over third weakest team in the tournament is an absolute must if they’re to keep their hopes alive.
- Plzen can still hope to reach the Europa League so they won’t lie down without a fight either.
- The Czech’s drew 2-2 with CSKA back in September but judging by the chances created in that game the Russian’s had the upper hand despite the scoreline.
- This is Plzen’s 3rd appearance in the UCL group stages and they lost every single road game they’ve ever played bar one (2011 – win over BATE)
- Their last 5 road games in the UCL group stages has seen them lose every single game and concede 2+ goals in every encounter.
- CSKA’s home form in the Champions League has been decent in recent years especially against teams from outside “Top 5 leagues”
- Plzen are still without their main goalscoring threat Michal Krmencik (injured).
- Both teams have been really poor at limiting opposition chances. CSKA rank 26th in the competition while Plzen rank 30th.
Roma v Real Madrid
Hoffenheim v Shakhtar
- The German outfit have been electric going forward this season but vulnerable at the back.
- Hoffenheim’s xG numbers have been on a par with some of the elite teams in this competition we rank them as the 10th best attacking in the competition ahead of the likes of Napoli, Inter, Dortmund, and Ajax.
- Being at home we expect them to make life very difficult for Shakhtar who are having one of their worst European campaigns in recent years
- Shakhtar have the 2nd worst defensive record in the competition with 13 goals conceded already. It is worth noting however that their xGA is only 8.96
- Shakhtar have won only 1 of their last 10 away games in the Champions Leauge (1-2 v Feyenoord)
- Hoffenheim should be the more motivated of the two sides with a win keeping them in contention of qualification
- Shakhtar can mathematically make it too so we should see both teams going all out for the win.
- Hoffenheim were the better side when these two drew 2-2 in Ukraine (xG 1.63-0.46)
Juventus v Valencia
- Juventus are top here with 9 points but will be eager to record another win after their shock defeat to Man Utd in the last round.
- Valencia who are in 3rd on 5 points will be desperate to avoid defeat to keep their hopes alive but in reality, they’ll probably need to come away with a win here to have any chance of qualifying.
- Luckily for Valencia, they have hit a rich vein of form after a disappointing start to the season and will be coming into this game with some hope they can upset the odds.
- Surprisingly for Juve, they have failed to win their last 5 home Champions League matches against a team from a “Top 5” league (W0 D2 L3)
- Juve do however lead the competition for xG with 10.78 generated so far this campaign so we can once again expect them to give Valencia a lot of problems.
- Juve have kept only 2 clean sheets in their last 6 home games in all competitions so Valencia should be confident that this Juve backline isn’t totally impenetrable.
- In terms of team news, both teams will be close to full strength with no notable absences
Lyon v Man City
- Lyon handed Man City a shock defeat at the Etihad the last time they met (1-2)
- If Lyon can avoid defeat here they’ll be guaranteed to be in 2nd spot heading into their last group match with Shakhtar.
- Keeping the worlds best attack at bay is not going to be easy, City have scored 2+ in 7 of their last 8 in all competitions (3.75 average)
- Man City who the current favourites to win this competition have outplayed all their opponents in the UCL this season including the last meeting between these sides which seen City dominate the possession and chances created (xG 1.84-0.98) tally.
- City will, however, be fielding a weakened XI with a number of players out injured. Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Benjamin Mendy, Kevin De Bruyne, and Ilkay Gundogan will all miss out.
- Lyon have failed to keep a clean sheet in this competition and have conceded 2+ goals in their last 3 Champions League games (Hoffenheim x2 & Shakhtar)
- The French side are also giving up 18.1 shots per game on their goal which is the 3rd worst in the competition. Domestically they’ve been just as bad ranking 2nd worst with 12.9 allowed per game.
Man Utd v Young Boys
- Man Utd will practically seal their place in the last 16 with a win here against the weakest team in the group.
- Mourinho has hinted that their will be changes from the XI that disappointed at the weekend against Crystal Palace (0-0).
- A CB pairing of Phil Jones and Eric Bailly is expected as Lindelof is out injured and Smalling is set to be rested.
- Man Utd have failed to win their last 3 Champions League games at Old Trafford (Sevilla, Valencia, and Juventus)
- Man Utd have been among the worst attacking teams in the tournament so far with an xG of only 4.73, YB’s even have a higher total (5.13)
- YB have lost both away games this campaign conceding 3 goals on each occasion
- The Swiss side also rank 4th worst in the competition for xGA and Goal conceded so Utd shouldn’t have problems creating chances.
- The visitors will be without Sanogo (suspended) in central midfield, he’s an integral part of the team and plays almost every game. (Top Goalscorer Guillaume Hoarau also a doubt)
- When these two met in Bern it was a fairly close contest despite the scoreline (3-0) YB who don’t really have anything to play for will probably play aggressively hunting for a shock win
- YB are currently on course to smash the most goals ever scored in a league campaign, this is a team that knows how to attack well. If they can put it all together on the night against higher level opposition is another story.
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