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Champions League Tips: 22nd & 23rd October
by David Lenton
We managed a small profit at the weekend, +£4.00 from £10.00 stakes on all bets, and I’d like to build on that with my Champions League tips and predictions this week.
After this week’s selection of Champions League games, we will be mid-way through the Group Stages and by then, the groups should be taking on a more familiar shape, probably with the big name teams making a strong case to reach the knockout phase early next year.
For some though, this week is crucial with the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham all desperate for a win to keep their hopes of qualifying in their own hands, although with just one point, Spurs are already somewhat up against it in their group.
Here are my tips for this week’s Champions League action and remember to check back later in the week for my Europa League tips for Thursday’s games.
Champions League Tips: Tuesday 22nd October
October 22, 2019
October 22, 2019
City top Group C with maximum points and having scored five goals without conceding.
Atalanta are bottom with a -5 goal difference having lost both games.
City have won all of their last five UEFA Champions League home games.
Atalanta’s last visit to England in UEFA competition saw them beat Everton 5-1 in 2017.
While their Premier League form may have stuttered over the opening weeks of the season, Manchester City have been ruthlessly efficient in the Champions League, beating both Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb without conceding a goal to sit comfortably top of Group C.
In contrast, Atalanta have found life tough in the biggest club competition in the world, losing both games and at times looking a little naïve and star-struck, even against the relatively lesser lights of Donetsk and Zagreb.
City will be a completely different ball game for Atalanta but it is a game that they come into with no expectations of success and with that removal of pressure, they may well thrive a little more. However, that said, I can’t see them beating City, though I do think they could cause City a few problems defensively.
I can see Atalanta scoring once, maybe even twice, but I can also see City filling their boots against this Atalanta back line and as such, I think the Over 4.5 goals market is the bet to back in this game.
Spurs are 3rd in G roup B with just one point from their two games so far.
Red Star Belgrade lie 2nd in the group with three points.
The teams met in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup, Spurs winning 2-1 on aggregate.
Spurs 9 goals conceded is the most of any team in this year’s Group Stages of the CL.
The 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich last time out was the worst ever result for an English team in UEFA Competition, and Spurs followed that up with a 3-0 defeat at Brighton in what must be two of their worst results in many a year. The international break could not have come soon enough for Mauricio Pochettino.
They now face a must-win game against a Red Star Belgrade side that gave Liverpool problems in this competition last year, albeit on their home ground. Belgrade don’t travel well away from home and that will be of some comfort to Spurs fans still shell-shocked after that Bayern debacle.
With Bayern likely to now win this group comfortably, the three other teams know that it is essentially a race for second spot and this game is crucial to that. Spurs have disappointed so far in this tournament but I feel tonight is the night when they will finally start to get things right in Europe this season, though I am backing Red Star to make it a nervy evening for the home fans.
Tottenham to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £28.50
Ajax are top of Group H with maximum points after two 3-0 victories.
Chelsea lie third behind Valencia, with three points but a worse head to head record.
Ajax are one of four teams, Man City, PSG and Bayern Munich with a 100% record.
Chelsea have not lost any of their last nine away European games, winning six of those.
After losing at home to Valencia, Chelsea earned a good away win in Lille last time out, making it nine games now since they lost in the road in European competition. It will be difficult to make it ten in a row against an Ajax side who have won both their games so far, home and away, by a confident 3-0 scoreline.
The Dutch side may have lost a couple of players from the team that reached the semifinal last season, knocking out Juventus and Real Madrid on the way, but they are still a very dangerous outfit, especially coming forward where their swift counter attacks have hurt many teams.
However, I also feel Chelsea can pose the Dutch a real threat on the counter, so much so that I do feel Frank Lampard’s side will grab a goal in this game and will be in it right until the final whistle. I almost backed Chelsea to snatch a point here, but I just have a sneaky feeling Ajax will be able to take advantage of that shaky Chelsea defence to claim the points.
Ajax to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £38.00
Lille are bottom of Group H having not picked up a point in two games.
Valencia are second on head to head record over Chelsea, both with 3 points.
The teams have met four times previously, Valencia winning three with one draw.
Lille have not won a UEFA competition game in 13 games, losing seven, drawing six.
Two defeats for Lille mean that they prop up Group H and in truth, this is a must-win game for them if they are to have any chance of coming out of the group. The problem is that they face a Valencia side whose performances on the road in Europe have tended to be better than those at the Mestalla.
Having beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Valencia then collapsed at home to Ajax, losing 3-0 and in doing so, handing the initiative in the group to the Dutch side. However, a win in France would ramp up the pressure on Chelsea for one of the two qualifying spots in the group.
Lille pushed Chelsea hard in their last game and I think they are a better side than their two defeats suggest and similarly, I feel Valencia were a little fortunate to earn that win against Chelsea in the opening game in this group. As such, I am backing the French side to earn a surprise draw here.
David 'the Cheeky Punter' Lenton is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has also worked for a number of top bookmakers including Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. With such a long time spent dedicated to the gambling industry no one is better placed when it comes to advising punters. Follow on Twitter @thecheekypunter