It’s time for round 2 of our top Champions League betting tips. We were treated to some tremendous matches in the opening round of the Champions League, with Liverpool’s dramatic late win over PSG at Anfield the pick of the bunch. Jurgen Klopp’s side was always going to be up against it vs the free-spending French champions. However, The Reds had given a great account of themselves with the scores locked at 2-2 going into the final few minutes.
Sturridge and Milner were both on target, with their goals cancelled out by Meunier and Mbappe. There was to be one final twist in the tale as Firmino struck a winner deep into stoppage-time. Coming so late at the end of the fixture it handed Liverpool all three points and a winning start to Group C.
Elsewhere and there were wins for Man Utd, Real Madrid, Lyon, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Galatasaray, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.
Great news – week two brings plenty more excitement. Firstly, there’s Man City going to Germany needing the win; then there’s United in with Spanish opposition getting the chance to take control of the pool. Of course, we also have Liverpool flying off to Italy.
Our team preview two matches we believe offers punters the best chance to land a profit…
Hoffenheim v Man City
Last season’s Bundesliga bronze medalists have been dropped into Group F alongside Lyon, Shakhtar and Man City. Few expect them to get out of the division in one piece, but they made a fine start to their campaign, picking up a draw away to Shakhtar Donetsk in a four-goal thriller. The Germans nicked an early lead thanks to Grillitsch and went into the break 2-1 ahead, Nordtveit scoring after dos Santos had brought the sides level. The hosts weren’t to be beaten, however, Barberan having the last say on 81 minutes.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side followed that with a useful home draw vs Borussia Dortmund when back in Bundesliga action. They again took the lead, de Lira breaking the deadlock just before half-time and looked well on their way to the three points when Diallo was sent off midway through the second period. Pulisic rescued a point for Dortmund late in the tie, however, scoring for the 10 men with 84 minutes on the clock. The inability to see out a match from a winning position will surely hamper their progress.
Man City’s Poor European Form Continues
Manchester City travels looking to snap a run of poor form in the Champions League following a 2-1 reverse at home to Lyon last time. The French invaders went 2-0 up with Cornet and Fekir both finding the net. They were able to bag a maximum pay-out despite Silva hitting a reply to set-up a nervy finish. Lyon was sharp and fully deserved the points. However, The Cityzens were also poor… unrecognisable from the side who were all-conquering in last season’s Premier League.
That defeat means City are now one of only two English sides who have lost three consecutive home matches in this competition, Tottenham being the other. That needs to be addressed, and quickly, or they could find themselves out of the competition at the earliest opportunity, despite being one of the bookies’ favourites to lift the trophy.
City-zens Can’t Be Trusted
We can’t back Manchester City with any real confidence in this competition at the minute, certainly not until we see better from the blue moon. They are more than good enough to beat Hoffenheim, but they just can’t be trusted until they turn the corner and bring their league form into Europe. The away day is 2/5 favourite with Ladbrokes and there’s no value in that. You’ll find the draw marked up at 19/5 with the same firm and a Hoffenheim cheer available at 13/2.
We’re going to avoid the match betting prices completely and, instead, take a punt on the game producing over 3.5 goals at a handy 11/10 with Coral. That’ll do a job in your accumulators and with both managers fancying their chances at claiming the win this should be an open contest.
What the Stats Say
Hoffenheim and Manchester City have never met in competitive action before now, so there’s nothing for lovers of the stats to go on. However, TSG finished third in the Bundesliga last term behind Bayern Munich and Schalke.
The last time City met Munich in Germany they lost 1-0 to a late Jerome Boateng goal but three of the last four games involving the sides gave us four or more goals. When Man City met Schalke away from home they won 2-0, Benjani and Stephen Ireland claiming goal bonuses back in 2008. That followed on from a stunning 5-1 win when the pair faced off in England.
Man Utd v Valencia
Manchester City finds themselves in quite the opposite situation to their neighbours where they are showing decent form in Europe but failing to deliver domestically, certainly this season. The Red Devils dropped points in three of their first six top-flight matches, leaving them down in seventh. Jose’s troops were beaten by Brighton and Tottenham – back-to-back – and had to settle for a frustrating draw at home to Wolves last month.
They did get off to the perfect start in Group H when dealing out a 3-0 beating to Young Boys, leaving pundits and punters with a question to answer – was United sublime that night or are Young Boys in over their head? We’ll certainly find out as the group campaign goes on. Pogba fired a double that night before Martial added the finishing touches to what was a thoroughly impressive performance. Mourinho has taken some stick in the early exchanges of this season but there’s no denying his men did a professional job against the Swiss Super League outfit.
Los Che Looking to Wipe the Slate Clean
Like the boys from Bern, Valencia also started with a defeat. They went down to Juventus in what was an enjoyable match for the neutral. The Spanish side, fourth in La Liga last season, enjoyed home advantage against the Italians. However, they couldn’t make it count, even with Cristiano Ronaldo sent off inside the first half an hour. Playing with 10 men didn’t appear to hamper the Serie A champions too much; especially when given a double helping hand, Pjanic scoring from the penalty spot on 45 and 51 minutes. That generosity will have to stop.
The match was closer than the final score would have you believe, the possession stats returning 54-46 in Valencia’s favour. Valencia also had an astonishing 26 shots at goal. However, they managed to put just six of them on target and that’s where the problem lies. Compare that to their opponents who put six of 10 on point, scoring two. Los Che will be eager to learn the lessons of that night, wipe the slate clean and leave Old Trafford with something to show for their efforts.
Man Utd Too Tight at This Stage
This is a difficult puzzle to solve as all the pieces don’t yet fit into place. Were Man Utd good in week one or did they brush past a side who will go on to become the group’s whipping boys? Valencia caused the bulk of their own problems against Juventus. However, for the most part, they were able to match a very good side. The match prices have Man Utd as 4/7 favourites. Tight, but that’s one of the better quotes available if backing the locals. You can side with the draw at 16/5 (888sport), Valencia an eye-catching 11/2 with the same online bookie.
At this stage, there are too many question marks hanging over both sides. We certainly wouldn’t be in a rush to back United at cramped odds against any decent opponent until their form settles down. Are they good enough to win this match? Of course. Will they win this match? There’s far too much of a risk involved to get your money down at 4/7. So, we’re off back into the special markets. Ladbrokes are giving 4/5 on both teams finding the net. In our opinion, that’s a bet good enough to back as a single or use in your midweek multiples.
What the Stats Say
Manchester United and Valencia have met eight times in the past. Of those, the head-to-head stats read Man Utd 2-1 Valencia with five draws. The rivals last clashed at this venue in the Champions League back in 2010; back then they scrapped out a 1-1 finish, Anderson and Pablo Hernandez the scorers.
Interestingly, three of the four meetings on English soil have ended all-square; each of the last two have produced 1-1 results. Those looking to take their lead from the stats will be delighted to see another two-goal draw marked up at 7/1 (Coral). Worth a wager at interest stakes?
Champions League Betting Tips: Recommended Bets
Hoffenheim v Man City over 3.5 goals @ 11/10 (Coral)
Man Utd v Valencia both teams score @ 4/5 (Ladbrokes)