The pressure is on for Champions League qualification as the final round of games approaches. The betting is very interesting and our tipster has been looking at the betting and permutations to find some value free picks
The final game week is just around the corner in the Champions League, with huge matches which will shape the course of some big teams' seasons across Europe. We’re going to look at three of the tightest groups and what may happen.
Let’s get the easy one out of the way first, the Bulgarians go to the competition’s co-favourites with a chance of finishing third and booking a Europa League spot, but can’t topple the other two to get second because of the head-to-head records.
Liverpool face Basel at Anfield with the English side on five points and the Swiss on six, so it’s plain and simple for Brendan Rodgers’ men: only a win will do. Basel have lost both away games and only scored one goal, so you have to favour the Reds, but the soccer odds at a 4/6 price isn’t too tempting. I’d play Liverpool win and over 2.5 goals at 6/4.
Soccer Pick: Liverpool win and over 2.5 goals 6/4 at Pinnacle
This group is wide open with any one of Bayer Leverkusen, Monaco and Zenit St Petersburg capable of winning the group. The Germans lead on nine points, the French have eight and the Russian side are third with seven points.
The final fixtures see Zenit travel to France and Benfica welcome Leverkusen and I can see a switch in the top two.
Andre Villas-Boas had his team flying in the Russian Premier League at the start of the season with eight straight wins and goals galore, but they have drawn two, lost one and won three of their last six. They have the ability to go to Monaco and win, but if they go for it, I fear they will get picked off. A draw for Monaco would be enough to at least seal second spot.
As for the German side, they have it in their own grasp with Benfica playing for pride. Even if the Portuguese beat Leverkusen and Zenit lost, the Russian’s have beaten them twice, so would go through. I’m taking Benfica for my soccer picks to spring a surprise here and at least hold the Germans.
Soccer Pick: Monaco to top the group 3/1
Manchester City looked dead and buried at 2-1 down to Bayern Munich on Tuesday, but thanks to some lax defending from the co-favourites to win the Champions League, Sergio Aguero was given two opportunities to add to his earlier penalty and he gratefully took them to seal a 3-2 win.
Roma missed their chance by only drawing with CSKA and technically any of the three could join Munich in the knockout stages.
CSKA go to Bayern and City travel to Rome in Game Week Six. If both games are drawn, Roma get the second spot by virtue of winning the mini league between the three sides. You’d expect the Moscow team to lose at Bayern, so what happens then?
The first game between City and Roma ended in a 1-1, so Roma need a 0-0 draw or a win to progress, whereas Manuel Pellegrini’s men must draw 1-1 or better to get into the draw, because the head to heads would be the same, so it then goes on goal difference and Roma’s 1-7 defeat at home to the Group winners will come back to haunt them.
Despite that horror show against Munich, Roma have the best defence in all the top domestic divisions, so will be confident of shutting City out. I’m taking Roma to play sensibly and look to hit Aguero and Co on the break.
Soccer Pick: Roma to qualify 6/5