It’s that time of the blog where I come up with a hilarious metaphor to summarise the fixtures ahead…
Well, we’re into the business end of the Champions League, with teams more keen for 3 points than somebody who loves committing motor offences.
Let’s dive straight in with my tip of the day. Real Madrid head across the Iberian border to face Sporting Lisbon knowing they have to win to ensure the battle for top spot in Group F goes down to their final fixture against Borussia Dortmund, whilst also ensuring their safe passage through to the last 16. BoyleSports are offering 8/13, which you won’t get very often for a Real Madrid side facing a defence with just one home clean sheet in their last four. Take it while you can.
While we’re in that group, Dortmund are a staggering 1/10 to dispose of Legia Warsaw. Ridiculous odds for a Champions League game. But if you’re after a bet to keep you interested in this one, back Dortmund striker Aubameyang to score two or more goals, at 6/5 with Ladbrokes.
Over to the English clubs, Leicester need just a point in their home game with Brugge on Tuesday to make it through to the last 16. While the Foxes’ form in the Premier League has been poor, their run in the Champions League has been the polar opposite. 13/20 for a Leicester to make it through in style with a win should be your first port of call in the search for legs on your acca. You can get a pricey 11/10 for Claudio Ranieri’s side to keep their fifth successive European clean sheet against a side that have bagged just once in this season’s competition.
Tuesday also sees Spurs in action in a crunch game against Monaco. A defeat, coupled with a Bayer Leverkusen win in Moscow would see Spurs eliminated, so stakes are high. Monaco boast a pretty formidable home record. They’re unbeaten on their own patch this season, and have scored six goals twice in their last three home games, with a 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow in between. 13/8 for the French side to finish Spurs off is where the smart money is, and a tenner on Spurs to put up a fight by scoring in a Monaco win is worth taking a chance on, at 4/1.
The other game in Spurs’ group is anyone’s guess. CSKA Moscow’s league win at the weekend stopped a run of five without a win, while Bayer Leverkusen’s late defeat to Leipzig last Friday halted a run of five without defeat. Football, eh? At this point in the group stages you need to be looking at which sides need the victories most. Leverkusen could qualify for the knockout round with a win, and that’s good enough for me. Get it at 11/10 with Ladbrokes.
On Wednesday, Man City look a steal at 4/5 to beat a Borussia Monchengladbach side that have lost back-to-back games and are without a win in four. City go through to the next round if they win, which should make your decision slightly easier. Back them to get the job done.
The last English side to cover is Arsenal, as they face PSG in one of the marquee ties of the gameweek. Winner of this one will probably top the group, with the Gunners currently holding the goal difference advantage, so the onus is on the French side. PSG to score the game’s first goal is an enticing 6/5, while PSG to be leading at half-time and a draw to be the final result is a huge 12/1. Worth a tenner of anyone’s money.
Last up, I’ll point you in the direction of Besiktas if you’re looking for a well-priced home punt. The Turkish side are unbeaten at home since February, and face a Benfica side that have never won an away tie in Turkey. 19/10 is your price for a home win. Go get it, tiger.
El Capitano’s tip of the day: Real Madrid at 3/5 to win at Sporting Lisbon