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It’s fair to say that Week 1 in the Champions League group stages didn’t quite go according to plan for the English teams involved. One win and three defeats, and for some of those involved, much bigger tests to come, has done nothing for English confidence in a competition in which its teams have struggled in for a while now, leading to genuine concerns that the UEFA coefficient which is used to calculate how many of a country’s teams should be represented in the competition (be it directly or through the qualifying rounds) may be affected sufficiently to see a reduction in the number of teams from 4 to 3. So much for the self-proclaimed ‘Best League in the World.’ The rot must stop here, so a big week is in-store for the nation’s representatives – as always, let the best football tipsters in the world guide you in your betting selections by visiting Betadvisor.com.
Arsenal V Olympiakos, Tuesday 29/09/15 at 19.45 GMT
Their Premier League form may have taken a turn for the better, but Arsene Wenger’s side really need to get their Champions League campaign up and running on Tuesday night with nothing short of a win satisfactory against Olympiakos in light of their shock opening round 2-1 defeat against Dinamo Zagreb. Arsenal really have flattered to deceive in recent seasons under the Frenchman in Europe’s premier club competition, despite qualifying for the group stages for the 18th consecutive year. However, with big guns such as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil on board, visits to the latter stages of the knock-out rounds should be seen as nothing short of expected. Olympiakos themselves were beaten in their opening fixture, 3-0 by Bayern Munch, so a victory for both sides is a must. Arsenal have Francis Coquelin back in contention after a knee injury, while Olivier Giroud is suspended after his sending off in Zagreb. Head to head, it’s three wins apiece for these teams in the Champions League in six previous meetings – the home side triumphing on each occasion. Arsenal will hope that trend continues, and will desperately want to avoid a Greek Tragedy. See what the top football tipsters are saying at Betadvisor.com – with Olympiakos having conceded 37 goals in their 12 previous visits to England, an over/under could be a likely candidate.
Arsenal 1.40, Draw 5.00, Olympiakos 9.00
FC Porto V Chelsea, Tuesday 29/09/15 at 19.45 GMT
With pressure piling through disappointing league form, Blues’ boss Jose Mourinho will welcome a return home to Porto, whom he famously helped to an unlikely Champions League victory in 2004. Chelsea were the only English team to claim victory on matchday 1, so avoiding defeat would constitute a positive result on Tuesday night. Diego Costa is free to play despite his domestic ban, although will be keen to avoid any further controversy following recent weeks. In 6 previous meetings, Chelsea have only lost once, but that was back in 2004/05, on Mourinho’s first visit back to the Estadio de Dragao. Porto drew their opening game 2-2 with Dynamo Kiev, so will be pushing all out for a win here. Will familiarity help the Chelsea boss mastermind another big European win? Check out what the best football tipsters think at Betadvisor.com
FC Porto 2.30, Draw 3.30, Chelsea 3.50
Borussia Monchengladbach V Man City, Wednesday 30/09/15 at 19.45 GMT
It would be no exaggeration to say that Wednesday night is a big night for Manchester City and their coach Manuel Pellegrini. Three defeats in their last four games, including a home defeat to Juventus in the opening round of Champions League fixtures means that this is a ‘must not lose’ game, if not quite a ‘must win.’ The blue half of Manchester seems to have an inferiority complex when it comes to Europe – something that must be shaken off quickly if they are to avoid another early exit – they have never progressed past the Round of 16, and have twice failed to make it out of the group. With Sevilla the fourth team in the group, City need some points, and quickly. So, it might not be a time for an injury crises to be growing – Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and David Silva all missed Saturday’s 4-1 reverse at Tottenham, with Yaya Toure limping off soon after half time with an apparent hamstring injury. Will City’s travails continue in Germany on Wednesday night? Borussia themselves have been in the midst of a crisis, sitting 14th in the 18-team Bundesliga table and having recently sacked head coach Lucian Favre after losing their first five league fixtures, as well as their opening group game (a 3-0 defeat in Seville in). However, new interim coach Andre Schubert has masterminded a recovery, with the Germans having won their last two league games – it could be a bad time for City to come to town. As usual, let the expert football tipsters guide your strategy at Betadvisor.com
Borussia Monchengladbach 4.33, Draw 3.75, Man City 1.90
Man Utd V Woflsburg, Wednesday 30/09/15 at 19.45 GMT
City’s nearest and dearest themselves had a night to forget on matchday 1 – a2-1 defeat at the hands of PSV Eindhoven compounded by a horror injury to Luke Shaw. Louis Van Gaal’s troops will be buoyed by their ascent to the summit of the Premier League after their comfortable 3-0 home win over Sunderland on Saturday, but Wolfsburg should provide a far sterner test at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. These two teams previously met in the group stages in 2009/10 with United victorious on both occasions. The Germans currently sit fourth in the Bundesliga, and won 1-0 at home to CSKA in their opening fixture in this year’s group stage, and will bring many familiar faces with them to Manchester on Saturday night, not least ex-Chelsea player Andre Schurrle, and ‘Lord’ NicklasBendter, previously seen at Arsenal. Can Wayne Rooney continue his resurrection is front of goal, will Anthony Martial continue to justify his mighty price-tag? Will United win? If you are looking for financially astute picks, take a visit to the top football tipsters at Betadvisor.com.
Man Utd 1.80, Draw 3.70, Wolfsburg 5.00
All odds courtesy of Bet365 and correct as of 14.00 GMT on Tuesday 28th September.
By: Steven Paget