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Champions League Tips: 23rd & 24th October
by the Cheeky Punter
Last time out in the Champions League we posted a small profit across Tuesday’s games… a slightly larger one on Wednesday… and then in the Europa League on Thursday, we smashed it for a massive profit, giving the bookies a but of a caning.
I’m keeping my main focus on the English sides in the competition.
Manchester City are heading east to take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine, while their local rivals Manchester United welcome Cristiano Ronaldo back to his former stamping ground as they take on the unbeaten Juventus at Old Trafford.
On Wednesday, it is Spurs and Liverpool in action with the former badly needing a positive result against PSV Eindhoven in Holland after both sides lost their opening two games in the group. Liverpool face Red Star Belgrade at Anfield but there’s no value so I’ve included Inter v Barca instead.
Here are my tips and predictions.
Football Betting Tips: Tuesday 23rd October
October 23, 2018
October 23, 2018
Manchester United began their campaign with a 3-0 win away to Young Boys but last time out they were held 0-0 at home by Valencia.
Juventus have won both their games, earning a 2-0 win in Valencia over the Spanish team and then beating Young Boys 3-0 at home.
Cristiano Ronaldo is available for the game after his ban for being sent off against Valencia confirmed he would miss just one game, which he did against Young Boys.
United have won all of the last three against Juventus in the Champions League. Overall the teams have met 12 times, with 2 draws and five wins apiece.
After their draw with Valencia, this becomes a crucial game for United. Defeat here could well put Valencia in with a real chance of knocking United out of the tournament, if the Spanish side can match United’s results against Young Boys in Switzerland on the same night.
For Juventus, if United were to win this game, that would still leave them in a healthy position, especially with home games against Valencia and United to come, so the pressure for the more positive result is definitely on the home team here, rather than the visitors.
However, Juventus have been in superb form this season and with Cristiano Ronaldo making a return to Old Trafford with his new club, this is going to be a real test for Jose Mourinho’s side, who have been somewhat ill at ease this season, with tensions clearly evident between the manager and a number of his squad.
That said, Old Trafford is always going to be buzzing for a night like this, but even so, I think Juventus have so much quality that they are going to be a very tough task for United here. So much so that I think the Italians may well do enough to grab the three points here.
Manchester City are second in Group F a point behind Lyon and one ahead of Shakhtar, with Hoffenheim a point behind at the foot of the table.
The teams met in the Champions League last season, Shakhtar losing in Manchester 2-0 before winning the return leg in December 2-1.
Kevin de Bruyne could be in line for his first Champions League appearance of the season following injury. Ilkay Gundogan should also be fit for the game.
The matches last season are the only two occasions that the teams have met previously. It should be noted City played a weakened team for the second game in the Ukraine.
Last season, Donetsk defeated a second-string Manchester City team in the final Group game to inflict City’s first defeat of the season on Pep Guardiola’s team. This time around they face a much more difficult task against a City team that may well be back to full-strength if Kevin de Bruyne is fully match fit following his injury.
That is a very different prospect for the Ukrainian team and while Shakhtar have been scoring goals in this competition, they have also been shipping them too and that latter fact is something that will be music to the ears of City, who have been in fine goalscoring form of late.
As such, I don’t think this is a game that is going to be dominated by defensive players. I fully expect Shakhtar to try and get at City and I am confident the home side will score a goal. I just feel that City will likely get at least two, and more likely three or four, going the other way.
With that in mind, I am predicting a solid win for Manchester City to get their Champions League campaign well and truly back on track after a somewhat sluggish start against Lyon on Matchday One.
Man City to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £25.00
PSV have lost both their opening games in the competition, losing 4-0 in Barcelona and then being defeated 2-1 at home by Inter Milan in their last game. They are bottom of the group.
Spurs have also lost both matches so far, losing two late goals to lose 2-1 against Inter in Milan and then they were beaten 4-2 by a Messi-inspired Barcelona last time out.
The teams have met just twice previously in the 2008 UEFA Cup, with both sides enjoying 1-0 away wins in the fixture. PSV won the tie 6-5 on penalties.
PSV have made an electric start in the Eredivisie, winning all of their opening eight games and conceding just three goals in those matches, scoring 30.
This is a game that neither PSV or Tottenham can afford to lose and in truth, the draw won’t be much use to them either, given the fact that both these teams are pointless after their opening two Champions League games.
With Barcelona facing Inter, both PSV and Spurs will be hoping that one team, Barcelona most likely, will win both those games and if they can, then this may open up hope that Inter can be caught over the remaining four games, but to do so one of these teams will need to collect four points from the double-header between them over the next few weeks.
As such, I think while winning will be the ultimate aim, I think if the game is a draw, Spurs will be the happier of the two, knowing PSV have to come to Wembley. Not that I expect Spurs to play for a draw, I just feel that without Erikssen and Alli not yet fully fit, their main midfield attacking impetus is sorely lacking.
It is also worth noting that PSV are excellent at home and have been very strong in the Dutch League this season, so they won’t be any pushovers. I can see both teams finding the net here and while I think both will desperately want a win, I think after 90 minutes in Eindhoven, this one will be all-square.
Barca top Group B with two wins from their opening two games. Lionel Messi has been inspirational in both victories, 4-0 against PSV and 4-2 away to Spurs.
Inter have also won both their games by the same 2-1 scoreline. First defeating Spurs at home and then coming back from a goal down to beat PSV in Holland.
The teams last met in this competition back in 2010 when Jose Mourinho’s Inter defeated Barcelona in the semifinals 3-2 on aggregate to reach the final.
Overall the teams have met in European competition ten times. Barcelona have amassed five wins to Inter’s two with three matches being draws, two of those by a 0-0 scoreline.
The most famous clash between these teams was when Inter knocked Barcelona out of the 2009-2010 Champions league at the Semifinal stage, when Jose Mourinho ran onto the pitch to celebrate with the fans after a 1-0 defeat, following a 3-1 win for Inter in the home leg, put the Italian team into the final.
However, both teams have changed a huge amount since then and at the moment, it is Barcelona that look the better side, especially with Lionel Messi hitting his very best form in the Champions League so far this season, as both PSV (against whom he scored a hat-trick) and Spurs (where he scored one, set up two and also hit the woodwork twice) can attest to.
Inter’s improvement from last season has been impressive and they sit in the top four of Serie A although they are some way off the pace being set by Juventus at the top of the table. They are well organised, but I feel are still some way off being able to match Barcelona’s qualities.
In Italy, I’d have given Inter more of a chance, but at the Nou Camp the Italians have a poor record and I don’t think it will improve any here as I am backing Barcelona to win and win well.
Barcelona to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £24.50
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.