Home > Tips > Champions League Tips: 11th & 12th December 2018
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Champions League Tips: 11th & 12th December 2018
by the Cheeky Punter
This week is an intriguing week of Champions League games, for two of the British teams, it is a chance to rest players and give some of the fringe players a workout as both Manchester City and Manchester United have already confirmed their place in the Knockout phase, though both would ideally prefer to finish top of their groups.
For Liverpool and Tottenham though on Tuesday evening, it is a massive round. Liverpool face Napoli at Anfield knowing that they not only need to win, but do so by a two goal margin in order for them to progress into the knockout phase.
For Spurs, the task is even greater. They must achieve a better result than Inter Milan in this final set of group games. The only problem with that is that Inter have a home game with PSV Eindhoven to play, while Spurs have the task of going to the Nou Camp to take on Lionel Messi and Barcelona.
For Wednesday’s games, I may well look outside of the two English teams as if they play weakened teams, you can get some unusual results, so with that a real possibility, I will look at games with plenty on the line on Wednesday night to make up the rest of my tips for this week.
Football Betting Tips: Tuesday 27th November
December 11, 2018
December 11, 2018
Spurs are second in Group B six behind Barcelona on 7 points, and a -1 goal difference. They are ahead of Inter Milan by virtue of scoring more goals.
Spurs need to equal or better Inter on the night to go through. If both teams get the same result, Spurs will qualify by virtue of their goal in the San Siro.
Barcelona have already qualified for the later stages as group winners. As such, Luis Enrique may elect to rest some key players for this game.
The first fixture between the teams at Wembley saw Lionel Messi inspire Barcelona to a superb 4-2 victory over Tottenham.
Tottenham fans will have their smartphones tuned to the score of the Inter Milan v PSV game as much as they have their eyes on the action on the Nou Camp field of play this week as Spurs must equal or better Inter Milan’s result on the night in order to progress to the knockout phase.
Thanks to the fact Spurs scored in the San Siro when losing 2-1, while Inter failed to score in their 1-0 defeat at Wembley, that would mean that away goal would be the decisive factor if the teams finished level on points.
However, while Inter have home advantage and a match against the group’s bottom team PSV, Spurs must match their performance in the Nou Camp, against a Barcelona team who have not lost a Champions League game at home since 2013.
Spurs best chance may be if Barcelona fielded a much weakened side, but even so, Barcelona’s fringe players are good enough to walk into most teams and while I can see Spurs giving a good account of themselves, I am backing Barcelona to still take the win.
Liverpool must beat Napoli by two clear goals in order to progress, assuming that PSG do not lose away to Red Star.
If Pairs Saint Germain do lose to Red Star then any Liverpool victory would put them through in place of the French side.
Napoli will progress if they win, draw or lose the game by a one goal deficit.
Napoli defeated Liverpool on Matchday 2 with a 90th minute strike from Insigne. However in a pre-season friendly in Dublin in August, Liverpool beat the Neapolitans 5-0.
Tuesday night should be another dramatic night at Anfield as Liverpool know exactly what they need to do in order to secure a place in the knockout phase. Nothing short of a two-goal victory, 2-0, 3-1, 4-2 or better, will be enough for the Reds to make it through and avoid elimination from the tournament.
Napoli though will not be a pushover, the Neapolitans are unbeaten in the Champions League this season and beat Liverpool 1-0 in the reverse fixture. Two draws with PSG, home and away, proved how strong this Napoli side is and there is every reason to believe that their talented attacking players could find the net at Anfield.
If that is the case, as I think it will be, Liverpool are going to need another “Olympiakos” performance to go through. There’s no doubt the Reds can do it, especially with the attacking players they have, but it may well be the atmosphere that is their biggest asset on Tuesday night.
I think this game will see Napoli score and I think Liverpool will win the game, however whether that is 2-1 and heartache for the Reds, or 3-1 and utter joy, remains a mystery.
Liverpool to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £29.50
Ajax lie second in Group E, two points behind Bayern Munich, but knowing a win at home over the German side would see them top the group.
Both Bayern & Ajax have already qualified for the knockout stage but finishing top of the group could offer a potentially easier next round draw.
Both teams have conceded just two goals in the Champions League this season, the tied best record along with Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United.
The teams shared a 1-1 draw in Munich in October, Hummels scoring early for Bayern before Mazraoui grabbed a first half equaliser for Ajax.
I am assuming for this game that the lure of finishing top of the group, rather than simply having already qualified for the next phase, will be ensuring that Bayern and Ajax will be fielding strong teams for this game, I hope I am not wrong in that as if they don’t then this game could be any result.
In the game between the teams in October, Ajax I felt proved to be a real match for Bayern and the Germans I think, perhaps took this young Dutch team a little too lightly. There won’t be any danger of that in Amsterdam on Wednesday though.
A win for Ajax would be huge as it would be a rare win over a genuine super-power in the Champions League and it would also see them finish top of the group, offering them potentially an easier draw in the knockout stage of the tournament, although that of course is entirely relative.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I can see Ajax going for the win here, but I think Bayern’s experience and the fact that they are starting to find a little better form, will mean that the German side will snag the point they need to finish top of the group.
Shakhtar’s last gasp victory over Hoffenheim last time out means they can still qualify behind Manchester City with a win at home to Lyon.
Lyon, who have drawn four of their five Champions League Group Stage games, need only to draw or win to progress into the next phase.
Should Lyon win the game and Manchester City lose to Hoffenheim at home, then Lyon would top the group on head-to-head record over City.
The reverse fixture between the two teams finished in a 2-2 draw in Lyon, with Lyon coming from 2-0 down in the second half to claim a point.
The games in Group F have been amongst the most entertaining matches in any group in the tournament with games often seeing both sides score at least once, and late goals in a number of matches adding to the drama.
With Manchester City qualified and needing just a point at home to bottom club Hoffenheim to confirm their place at the top of the group, Lyon simply need to avoid defeat against Donetsk in the Ukraine in order to finish in that second qualification spot.
However, when the two teams met back in October, Shakhtar led 2-0 at half time, and it took a second half fightback from Lyon in order for them to claim a point. Donetsk do score plenty of goals, which will be a worry for Lyon, the positive thing for the French team is that Shakhtar also concede a fair few too. (15 in their 5 games so far).
Lyon for me are the better team and I think they’ll do enough to secure their passage into the next phase, but I can’t see them winning the game. Donetsk were thumped by City a few weeks back but that won’t happen here. I can see a plucky draw and goals for both sides on the night.
The Cheeky Punter is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.