It’s BACCKK! The greatest club competition in the world -the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE– is back with the GROUP Stage of the competition kicking off on Tuesday/Wednesday night to get us all back hooked on to mid-week football.
UEFA Champions League
Chelsea -1 to beat Schalke @ 1.91 (Betfair) – 4 points
Chelsea come into the encounter with Schalke on the back of some impressive performances in the league so far. Mourinho has clearly got all his men extremely motivated to challenge for the title on all fronts, and will be aiming to start of this campaign in style. Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Thibo Courtois have all fitted in perfectly within the team and have contribute in a big way to their success so far. Costa has scored 7 goals and Fabregas provided 6 assists all in just 4 games. Mourinho’s side were quite close to pushing towards the final last year; but fell at the semi-finals. He has since strengthened the squad ably to look to win. Aside from the new team, he still has the likes of proven performers like Hazard, Oscar, Terry, Schurrle, Ivanovic, Azpi etc to turn to in the difficult times.
Schalke have looked a shadow of themselves not winning a single game at all this campaign; with just 1 solitary draw against a struggling Bayern side. Leading striker Huntelaar who has only scored 1 goal this campaign; and without enough support from players around them, it has been a really difficult time. History also shows that the last 2 encounters with Chelsea resulted in 3-0 losses for the German outfit.
Chelsea’s side has been strong, performing well and looking to score at every opportunity, and you expect them to take a very comfortable win tonight.
Bayern Munich v Man City – Over 2.5 goals @ 1.70 (Betfair) – 3 points
Tonight’s game between Domestic Champions of 2 of the top leagues in Europe square off with each other in what should be a super entertaining encounter. In the past 3 encounters between the 2 sides you have seen both sides scoring and keep the match extremely entertaining for all those who are participating in this game with over 2.5 goals in all of them. Both teams have had a share of the spoils 2 wins each in the 4 times they have played each other and this will be the third Champions League season in the past 4 years that they get to play each other.
Manchester City have started out the season well, but some defensive lapses have seen them get only 1 point out of a possible 6 in their last 2 games. Lots of injuries around the injury break are the prime reason for this. Man City will be expecting to start with 2 strikers Dzeko and Aguero up front tonight as they aim to take the attack to Bayern who have not set the Bundesliga on fire yet. A lot will be riding on Aguero tonight to try and score early to pile some pressure on Bayern, much like they did when they won 3-2 last season in the last group game.Yaya Toure will be expected to put in an outstanding effort coming into this game as they aim to push forward towards trying to win this group. Tonight we also might see Mangala make his debut from Man City as Dimechelis could be given a night off. Man City’s defense has been extremely leaky conceding goals in 4 out of the 5 games that they have played so far.
Bayern Munich have a lot of injuries to contend with coming into this encounter with Badstuber, Schweinsteiger, Rafinha and Thiago all out. That is a big bunch of significant players missing with Robben & Ribbery also a major doubt; facing a late fitness test to see if they will play. Bayern will be happy that Lewandowski and Muller have hit some early season form, and now need some of their other World Cup winning stars including Gotze, Lahm, Boateng among others who need turn up their game heading in this fixture. Xabi Alonso has been a breath of fresh air for the Bundesliga outfit; having been named man of the Match in both of his games played since he moved. Bayern have generally been strong at home, and you can definitely see them score, but whether they will be able to hold out for a win will be something difficult to predict.
Goals are clearly the way to go for this game.
Ajax v PSG – Zlatan Anytime Scorer @ 2.10 (BetBright) – 2 points
Zlatan will be looking to captain his side tonight and lead by inspiring the team to an away victory by finding the back of the net. There is no doubting that he is one of the most talented strikers in Europe scoring almost an average of a goal every game for his last 4 league seasons playing for his clubs.
He has started out this season in fine fashion as well; to think he has played 6 competitive club games this season and has already netted 9 goals, is a true testament to his form off late and you cannot expect anything less than 100% from him in any game that he plays. Zlatan looked like almost scoring through quite a lot of opportunities on the weekend against Rennes but was denied a few times.
Zlatan is truly one of the greatest strikers in Europe, and will want to start of this Champions League campaign with a goal and a win against one of his former sides. Zlatan takes a lot of free kicks and penalties, which puts him in pole position for scoring opportunities.