The Champions League continues this week with four big first leg games played Tuesday and Wednesday night. Below is a brief summary of the games and my predictions of the outcomes, I’ll admit to having a minor disaster with my recent weekend Premiership predictions but it has been the only speedbump so far and the Champions League has been good for me personally, with big wins on Lyon qualifying against Real Madrid, and Inter beating Chelsea in both legs.
Lyon v Bordeaux
Lyon really impressed in the last round against Real Madrid and should walk through here. They are 11/10 to win on the night and 8/11 to qualify and I think those odds should be snapped up. Bordeaux have proved to be a quality side in this competition and are topping a very tight French league, so this will be close; but Lyon should have the edge.
I can’t imagine there being many goals here but at 11/20 the bet of -2.5 goals is safe but short, whilst Lyon to win by 2-0 is nicely poised at 8/1. With this being an ‘all French’ affair the tensions should be high as domestic rivalries flair up, so check out the bet of ‘+4.5 cards to be shown’ at Evens. A nice price to take when those yellows start flying.
Bayern Munich v Manchester United
Man Utd are the favorites to win this first leg but it will be a struggle. I will certainly be putting my money on United to qualify here but the price is a little short at 4/11. For the money in this tie I think we will have to look elsewhere. Rooney has been rested in preparation for this match and the striker is on great form so he would be a good bet to score anytime at 11/10 and with the array on talent on display I also reckon the bet of ‘2.5+ Goals’ is sound at 43/40.
A lot of away teams are happy to settle for a draw in the first leg but Man Utd proved otherwise against AC Milan when they went all out for the win and got what they wanted. Personally I will be sticking to the Draw here at 11/5, but that’s not a strong tip, just a feeling, it’s late in the competition and I don’t think Bayern will crumble like Milan did. For those who think Manchester United will take this why not try the bet for ‘Rooney to score and Man Utd to win’ which is holding nice odds of 3/1.
Arsenal v Barcelona
Barcelona will surely be fighting in the Final with Man Utd in this competition so take the bet for them to qualify here at 2/5 but expect a leisurely pace at The Emirates as Barca wait to take The Gunners down in Spain, so look for a draw at 2/1 on the night. Bookies are also offering 11/2 for a score of 1-1 which seems like a good bet, Arsenal have struggled to score recently but will certainly be pushing for the goals, whilst Barca will be content with a score draw.
Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow
I really can’t see this game going beyond Inter and with odds of 2/5 for a win on the night and 2/7 for them to qualify, there is nothing to tempt me there. If you have the big bucks and are happy to take the small winnings then go for it, but there has to be something else in this tie.
The first goalscorer is a tricky one as Eto’o and Milito are both on form and the first chance could fall to either, it could be worth taking both (odds of 7/2 and 3/1) to hedge your bets, but then Pandev, Sneijder or many others could easily ruin your night. What is certain is that there will be goals, so at 43/40 I suggest the bet of ‘+2.5 goals’ and would also punt for a Handicap bet for Inter as I see them comfortably going into the second leg with at least a two goal lead.