Champions League Predictions: Tuesday Games Straight Up Picks
UEFA Champions League Predictions Today
PSG's trip to Bayern Munich represents the biggest clash out of the eight Champions League matches to be played on Tuesday night, although it is certainly not the most important. Atletico Madrid's hopes of reaching the knockout stage hinge on both a successful trip to Chelsea and a miracle in Azerbaijan, while Italian champions Juventus are still not assured qualification. Below are all the three-way odds, brought to you by Bet365.com.
Group A - Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow
Manchester United fans will still be scratching their heads after their injury-time 1-0 loss to Basel on matchday five, although it's highly unlikely this result will change the fact that they will progress to the knockout stages as winners of Group A. Needing just a point in this match (and potentially not even that), United are the clear favourites to win this one and should do so even if Jose Mourinho sends out a second-string side.
With a match against English Premier League frontrunners Manchester City on the horizon, it is likely that we will see changes to the side that defeated Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday. While this may open the door for a CSKA side that needs to win well to be any chance of qualifying, we can't see the Russians taking all three points here. The draw is always a possibility when Mourinho is in charge, but not this time.
Group A - Benfica vs Basel
Both Basel and CSKA Moscow are locked on 9 points and travelling to play away games, yet the path to progression looks to be clear for the Swiss champions. While Moscow travel to Manchester to face one of the top teams in Europe, Basel will fly west to Portugal to come up against a side that has belied it's European experience and failed to win a single game in this campaign.
The only consolation for Benfica, who have scored just one goal in their five Champions League fixtures, is that their two home losses have been by a single-goal margin. You would expect that they will come out firing in their final European home fixture of the season, as no team wants to go 0-6, however Basel should arrive full of confidence after knocking off Manchester United at home and will be the more desperate here.
Group B - Bayern Munich vs Paris Saint-Germain
PSG have been unstoppable in this year's Champions League, and our pre-tournament pick for the outright win in the 2017-18 competition will be looking to make it six from six with a win over Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich. Both sides have already secured progression into the knockout round, with PSG guaranteed to finish top of group B unless Bayern Munich can manage a ten goal victory.
Despite playing at home, we can't back Bayern here. Munich have had a solid season, and have won seven of their last eight matches domestically, yet PSG are on another level at the moment. The Parisians have already set the record for goals scored in the group stage of a Champions League campaign and have conceded just once in the competition. Although they have already qualified, they will be looking to send a message to the other top teams by winning here.
Group B - Celtic vs Anderlecht
It was never going to be easy for these two sides in Group B. Facing both the German champions and the world-class PSG meant it was always likely this match would decide who goes to the Europa League and who will have to try again next year.
Celtic won the first match between the two sides in Belgium 3-0, and will therefore be odds on to repeat the performance in front of their passionate home supporters. Anderlecht can knock Celtic out of third-place with a 3-0 win of their own, however that seems as unlikely as their original chances of qualifying for the knockout stage. Back the green and whites to finish their European campaign on a high -118.
Group C - Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid
This one is tough to pick; both sides are in great form and still have plenty to play for in this match. Chelsea have already qualified for the round of sixteen, although anything less than a win leaves the door open for Roma to qualify from Group C as group winners, potentially pitting Chelsea against a team like PSG or Barcelona in the second round.
For Atletico the equation is simple - win or start preparing for the Europa League. Yet even if the team from Madrid do take all three points they will still need Roma to drop points at home to Qarabag, a result that is extremely unlikely even considering the Azerbaijani outfit managed two draws against Atletico.
A point should be enough for Chelsea though - Roma would need to score at least six goals to overtake the English champions in the group standings. In probably the most difficult match to pick on Tuesday night we are going to stick with a draw. Jump on +250.
Group C - Roma vs Qarabag
As optimistic as Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is about their chances of progression, he might as well prepare for Thursday night football - there is no chance that Roma is dropping points here. FK Qarabag have done well in their first appearance in Europe's elite club competition, and would love to finish on a high, but realistically they have no chance against a good Roma side looking to jump ahead of Chelsea in the standings.
At odds of -1000, there's not too much point betting on this one outright. Normally we would point to the goalscorer markets as a viable alternative, however you will only get -334 for Edin Dzeko to score at any time in the match, so even that seems to be too low to consider.
Group D - Barcelona vs Sporting Lisbon
Barcelona should still have the class to win this match at the Camp Nou, however, don't be too surprised to see some changes made to their lineup given that the Catalans side is three points (and six goals) clear at the top of Group D and unlikely to finish anywhere other than at the top. Sporting have also been impressive this season and will have everything to play for, which perhaps explains the good value odds available for the home side.
Lisbon's chances of qualification hinge almost entirely on Juventus' trip to Greece, so a Europa League berth for the Portuguese side is the most realistic outcome after Tuesday night. They have scored the most goals in the group to date, although will come up against a Barcelona side that have scored three in each of their home matches so far and will be looking to bounce back from a poor home match against Celta Vigo on the weekend.
We believe Barcelona will be too strong here.
Group D - Olympiacos vs Juventus
Olympiacos managed a 0-0 draw against Barcelona at Karaiskakis Stadium, and will certainly not roll out the red carpet for the Italian champions, who need a win to guarantee progression into the second round. A draw or loss may not be fatal for Juventus, however they will be keen to keep destiny in their own hands, and we think they will be professional enough to gain the points here.
The only concern is their goalscoring record in the competition - to date they have only scored five goals in their opening five matches. A low scoring match is a very likely result, and you can get -125 for less than 2.5 goals to be scored in the match if you feel as though the -350 on offer does not present enough value.
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