Champions League Betting Preview – Wednesday
CSKA Moscow v Roma
- Roma have won just 2 of their 8 away games in all competitions this season (v Empoli and Torino)
- CSKA were beaten comfortably in Rome but they’ll be happy to have Igor Akinfeev back between the sticks. Their captain was suspended for that game.
- Roma have failed to win any of their last 6 Champions League road games with 2+ goals conceded on each occasion.
- Roma have conceded at least one goal in all of their last 29 road games in the Champions League.
- CSKA have only failed to score once in their last 8 UCL home games, that one game came against Basel last season.
- Domestically Roma have been really struggling defensively, they rank 12th in the league for xGA and are allowing the 4th most shots on their goal in Serie A this season.
- Robert Olsen (GK) who we criticized at the start of the season has actually been playing very well lately, thanks to him Roma’s defensive numbers aren’t amongst the league’s worst.
Valencia v Young Boys
- Valencia now sit 15th in the league after losing to Girona at home at the weekend, Los Che have had a dire start to their season and will need a win here if they’re to have any chance of reaching the knockout rounds.
- The result to Girona looks worse than it actually was, Valencia controlled that game and dominated proceedings generating 2.53 xG to Girona’s 0.38. If they can put in a similar performance here it should be enough to see them win comfortably.
- Fortunately for them, their opponents tonight will be Young Boys, a team that generally struggles on the road in this competition.
- Since 2015 YB have played 7 away games in the UCL (incl qualification) and have a record that reads W1 D0 L6
- In their losses, they conceded 2+ goals on each occasion
- However, YB were the better side when they met in Bern (1-1) and will be confident they can take something from this game.
- In terms of team news Valencia will be welcoming back Guedes, he missed the game in Bern.
- This is a must-win game for Valencia if they’re to catch Man Utd in 2nd place, nothing less than a win will do.
Bayern v AEK Athens
- Bayern are a club in crisis at the moment both on the field and off the field.
- Niko Kovac is now under immense pressure to improve results after Bayern dropped more points at the weekend when the hosted Freiburg (1-1)
- German news outlet BILD have also reported that some players are pushing for Coach Kovac to be removed as they don’t think he has what it takes to manage at this level.
- Bayern, however, have won 10 of their last 11 home games in the UCL against teams not from a “Top 5″ league and shouldn’t have any problems in this one.
- AEK have lost all 3 of their group games this season conceding 2+ goals in all.
- With that being said Bayern have been extremely inefficient in front of goal lately and have struggled against teams implementing a low block tactic, If AEK can get their tactics right they may just be able to frustrate the Germans and come away with something.
- In terms of team news Robben and James are unlikely to start but apart from that Bayern will be at full strength.
Benfica v Ajax
- Ajax find themselves top of the group tied with Bayern on 7 points, the Dutch side will want to avoid defeat here to keep distance between themselves and Benfica.
- In the last encounter between the sides, we seen a fairly even contest with Ajax relying on a last-minute winner to seal the points.
- One worrying trend for Benfica is the number of good chances they’re giving their opponents, against Bayern, Ajax, and AEK, and PAOK (qualification) they gave up at least 1.8 xGA in each game.
- Domestically Benfica are struggling too and have just tasted back to back defeats to mid-table opposition in Portugal (Moreirense & Belenenses)
- Since losing to PSV in the Eredivisie Ajax have been playing excellently with 8 wins from 9. Their only dropped points came at the Allianz when they drew 1-1 with Bayern Munich
Juventus v Man Utd
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Lyon v Hoffenheim
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Plzen v Real Madrid
- This is the second game in charge of interim coach Solari, in his first game they defeated newly promoted Valladolid 2-0 but as the xG shows this was a closer game than it should have been (1.72-1.00)
- Real Madrid only scraped past Plzen in the Bernabéu despite being enormous favourites, we can expect Plzen to play with confidence here after that result.
- Real Madrid’s squad for this game leaves them short in defence. Only Ramos, Nacho Reguilón, Odriozola, and youth player Javi Sanchez have traveled to the Czech Rep.
- If we dismiss the Copa del Rey game last week Real Madrid have conceded 13 goals in their 6 road games this season and have kept 0 clean sheets.
- Plzen’s recent record in Europe, however, shouldn’t inspire much confidence, They’ve conceded 12 times in their last 5 European outings
- Plzen will be without CF Krmencik, The Czech International scored a brace against CSKA and will be sorely missed.
Man City v Shakhtar Donetsk
- With the Manchester Derby at the weekend, Pep Guardiola is set to rotate his squad, Danilo, Delph, Zinchenko, Foden, Gundogan could all see game time.
- Shakhtar have only failed to score once in their last 15 fixtures, that came at home against Man City, they did, however, play attacking football and had 14 attempts on goal and an xG of 0.57.
- Prior to their game with Shakhtar, City had not kept a clean sheet in 5 UCL games
- City have lost their last 3 home games in the Champions League conceding 2+ in each
- Man City have scored 2+ goals in the 3 previous meetings between the clubs since the start of last season.
- The Ukrainian champions have lost on six of their seven trips to England
- Shakhtar’s attacking threat will be improved for this game with Fonseca stating that Taison is fully fit.
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