UEFA Champions League - Midweek Battles Decide Who Advances To Knock-Out Phase

Jim Makos

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 8:57 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 8:57 PM UTC

Teams will be fighting for their last chance to progress to the next round of the UEFA Champions League this week. Where is the money? 

Group A

Arsenal and Basel compete against each other in Group A, while Basel has the home advantage. Arsenal could not bend Paris Saint-Germain on the previous match day as the French canceled the two scores of the Britons. Both Arsenal and Paris are through to the knockout phase, while Ludogorets or Basel will move over to Europa League.

Basel’s odds drifted a bit on Monday. Combined with the shortening soccer odds for Ludogorets to finish third in the group, I bet Basel won’t surprise the betting markets.


Group B

BesiktasşJK has been outstanding so far on its performance - considering especially the extraordinary match they had visiting SL Benfica. Even though Besiktas has been pounded by a 3-0 score, somehow the Turks managed to get things right and rallied to the final draw. Not only that, but they got the victory sheet when they visited Napoli, as well! In fact, that’s their only win till now in the Champions League group stage!

Benfica now fears that this unfortunate result may stymie its progress to the next round. In the meantime, Besiktas JK is looking forward to their victory on Tuesday against FC Dynamo Kyiv, who is going to finish fourth in Group B. A win will carry them to the next round but if they lose they will end third in the standings. Nonetheless, if they hold a draw, they could hope Napoli is unlucky against Benfica in Lisbon.

By the way, Lisbon is the place to be on Tuesday. The two teams are expected to fight till the end as the winner only will make it through in Group B if Besiktas JK wins on Tuesday. Benfica and Napoli both have eight points.

Benfica surely has the momentum when it comes to finishing first in the group, as their odds have been shortening down to +150 (2.50) at some of the best sportsbooks online.


Group C

Celtic FC visits Manchester City on Group C as the team is out of UEFA tournaments this year after the draw at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach and the 2-0 defeat by FC Barcelona on November 23. Manchester would obviously like to maintain their 100% home record, while Barcelona will advance to the knockout phase as the group winner.

Unless Gladbach or Celtic are due for a shock, favorites seem quite strong in this group’s final games where everything has been already decided.


Group D

Atletico and Bayern have both secured their places into the next round. At the same time, Rostov and Eindhoven will battle each other out on Tuesday for a spot in the Europa League and maybe that’s where we should focus.

PSV certainly poses as the favorite in their clash against Rostov, but odds have been drifting on Monday, indicating gamblers betting against the home team. Maybe Rostov’s +450 at WilliamHill seems too generous for some.


Group E

In Group E, AS Monaco FC and Bayer 04 Leverkusen are feeling relaxed in their encounter on match day six. The teams stand on the two top positions and have guaranteed their pass to the next round. On the second day of the competition, the German team took the lead 1-0 in France thanks to Javier Hernández's strike while Kamil Glik saved Monaco at minute 94. Monaco earned its first place with a home win by 2-1 against Tottenham Hotspur FC on day five, since Leverkusen held 1-1 draw at CSKA Moskva.

CSKA and Tottenham will be fighting for a place in the Europa League draw on Wednesday. By the looks of CSKA odds to finish last, I’d say Tottenham will make it into Europa League.


Group F

Real Madrid should take out Borussia Dortmund to advance as Group F winner. Dortmund has beaten Legia Warszawa with the impressive score of 8-4 and holds an advantage over Madrid by two points. The Germans are competing just for a draw to get things going, whereas Legia and Sporting will be competing for a Europa League transfer spot.

I bet Sporting will retain their advantage over Legia, as the away team’s odds have already been climbing.


Group G

FC Porto needs a win against Leicester City FC to secure a spot in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. The hosts stand second with just two points above F.C. Copenhagen in the section.

If they secure this match on Wednesday their progress is guaranteed. But if they miss an opportunity to score, the third on Group G, FCK, may overtake them by scoring victorious against Club Brugge KV on the other fixture of Group G.

And yet again, if they lose, the Danish title holders, F.C. Copenhagen, who will challenge Club Brugge KV on matchday six, could still have a chance in this round.


Group H

Lyon and Sevilla are going head to head for a ticket to the next round, and a draw would see Sevilla advance to the knockout phase. That’s one of the reasons why Sevilla is -450 to qualify over +300 for Lyon at Bet365. Juventus will presumably have an easy night hosting a game against the still goalless Dinamo Zagrab!

Porto has an advantage after safeguarding a draw on matchday five, which placed København on the unpleasant position hoping for the impossible. Their ascending odds to advance to the next round tell the whole story, really.

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