Champions League Betting Preview: Will Liverpool & Real Madrid get crucial wins?
Latest odds ahead of the penultimate group-stage ties
We’re coming to the business end of the Champions League group stage now, with only two rounds of games left to play.
There’s little room for error at this stage of the competition as the knockout stages loom large – the likes of Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid could all still fail to qualify. Will they deliver tonight?
We’ve previewed all of the trio’s matches, as well as Manchester City’s clash with Porto.
Real Madrid know that a win here will be enough to seal their place in the last-16 for a record 24th consecutive season. They’re 1/3 to do just that, though their recent form isn’t so convincing.
Zinedine Zidane’s side only picked up one point from their three league matches in November, while they lost the reverse fixture 3-2 to a makeshift Shakhtar team.
The Ukrainian club had to make do without 13 first-team players due to positive Covid-19 tests, but they went 3-0 up before the interval and held on for a famous win.
Madrid have injury concerns of their own ahead of this one, with Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal all out. Karim Benzema should return though and he’s 3/1 to open the scoring.
The Spanish giants have tended to step up when it counts in Europe under Zidane, but having only kept one clean sheet in their last 10 outings, they may need to strike more than once. Real Madrid and Both Teams to Score is 27/20.
Atletico Madrid look like they could mount a real challenge for the La Liga title this term, but a defeat here could seriously damage their Champions League prospects.
Bayern are top of Group A and already into the last 16 with four wins from four. Atletico are second on five points, with Lokomotiv Moscow lurking just behind on three points.
The visitors may well rest some of their key players, with a big game against RB Leipzig this weekend. With that in mind, Atletico are 19/20 favourites, with Bayern at 27/10 to make it five wins from five.
Recent history also favours Atletico – they’ve won 1-0 in both of their previous two home games against Bayern in the Champions League. It’s 8/1 for a threepeat of a 1-0 Atletico win.
With Luis Suarez a doubt, Joao Felix could be the main man for the Diego Simeone’s side. He’s 6/4 to net.
Bayern marksman Robert Lewandowski has been rested for this one, opening the door for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to make his first Champions League start for the holders. The former Stoke City man is 9/4 to net anytime.
Liverpool’s defeat to Atalanta last time out leaves them with little room for error. They’re still top of Group D, but should they lose here and Atalanta beat Midtjylland, they’d be sitting third going into the final game.
Our traders think Jurgen Klopp’s depleted squad should still have enough to get the win at 3/4. Ajax are 13/4 to return home with three crucial points, with the draw at 16/5.
James Milner’s injury means Neco Williams should come in at right-back for the Reds. Rhys Williams is also in line to replace the ineligible Nate Phillips alongside Joel Matip. Can Ajax expose an unfamiliar backline? We go Evens for Over 3.5 Goals at Anfield.
Klopp will be relieved that he can still call upon his star attackers. And given the defensive absences, the hosts may need plenty of firepower.
Mohamed Salah is 7/2 to open the scoring or 21/20 anytime. Sadio Mane is 5/4 to net, while Diogo Jota is 13/10 to get on the scoresheet. Dusan Tadic is Ajax’s likeliest goalscorer at 9/4.
Man City also have a 100% record in this year’s group stages so far, while Porto’s only defeat came to Pep Guardiola’s side in their opening game.
City are 4/7 to get another three points, Porto are out at 5/1, though they’ve won six of their seven home games so far this term. There’s 16/5 about the draw.
City have won the three previous games between these sides by an aggregate scoreline of 9-2. A repeat of their 3-1 win from the reverse fixture is 11/1.
With Sergio Aguero a doubt, Gabriel Jesus is 7/2 to score first for City or 13/10 anytime. Riyad Mahrez is 21/10 to follow up his hat-trick from the weekend with another strike. Porto will look to Moussa Marega to lead the line – he’s 23/10 to get a goal.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.