THE irrepressible Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB ) is on-hand to preview Wednesday nights’s MD5 matches from the Champions League action not involving English clubs.
Istanbul Basaksehir vs RB Leipzig | Wednesday 2nd December 2020, 17:55 | BT Sport
Group H is interestingly poised as a win for Istanbul Basaksehir here would move them level on points with their visitors, however a win for Leipzig will see them keep in touch with the other two group members, PSG and Manchester United – and by the end of the night there could conceivably be a three-way tie at the top.
In order to do that though, Julian Nagelsmann’s will have to record their first win in five on their travels and that is by no means a given against a side who have only lost twice in their own stadium in 2020 (W12, D4, L2).
This game should see goals – a draw suits neither side so both should be going all out for the win and that could well extend the home side’s current run to seven consecutive games where both teams have scored and there have been Over 2.5 Goals (1/1 with Bet 365).
Four of those six games also saw at least two goals scored in the first half and given it took only 20 minutes for that to happen in the reverse fixture I’m prepared to take it on again at odds of 13/10 with 10Bet.
Manchester City loanee Angelino was the man who scored both those goals and he also found the net at the weekend as he opened the scoring in the 2-1 home victory over Bielefeld.
The 23-year-old has been alternating between a standard left back position and a wing-back/left midfield role and has scoring stats many a striker would be proud of with four goals in nine Bundesliga appearances and two in four UCL games.
Odds of 5/1 for Angelino to score seem a little generous to me in a game where his side are likely at some stage or other be pushing strongly for a goal and he loves to be advanced high up the pitch with most of his attacking work being in the area rather than from range. Head over to Paddy Power and that price will be yours.
Krasnodar vs Rennes | Wednesday 2nd December 2020, 17:55 | BT Sport
Two very out of form sides collide as Krasnodar who have lost seven of their last eight competitive games welcome Rennes who have managed to avoid defeat in just two of their last eight fixtures, knowing one of these two will be Europa League bound once the curtain comes down on the group stages next week.
This was most definitely a game it was hard to know where to look for an angle and with both being so out of touch, I immediately thought Draw (49/20 with Unibet) and/or Under 2.5 Goals (10/11 with Betfred) as was the outcome in the reverse fixture in France and remains both sides only point of the campaign so far.
Searching for a matchwinner I have gone with the home side’s Remy Cabella who has been in good form this season so far five league goals from 12 appearances as well as two in three UCL games.
This obviously represents a fantastic opportunity for the Frenchman, who counts Montpellier, Marseille and St. Etienne as former clubs, to showcase his talents to his home nation – he also had a brief spell in England with Newcastle.
The 30-year-old suffered an injury in mid-October which kept him out for five games – but since coming back with a substitute appearance against Zenit last month he has already found the net in one of his four starts – so odds of 10/3 with Betfair for Cabella to find the net here are odds I’m willing to take a gamble on.
Scottish referee Willie Collum will be the man in charge and although he isn’t the most prolific cardsmith his averages do rise when officiating in the UCL from his domestically giving 3.43 cards per game to 4.17 in this competition.
Although this is his first UCL game of the season he has been in charge of two Europa League fixtures handing out nine yellow plus one red and with Krasnodar’s five previous European ties with French opposition producing an average of five yellow cards I found a player who could well find his way into Mr. Collum’s notebook.
Centre Back Kaio has been cautioned seven times and sent off once in just 14 league games this season, which is nicely in keeping with his performance last campaign when from 11 league appearances he saw five yellow cards and one red. The Brazilian has also been booked three times from his six UCL appearances this season as well as four times in his last five appearances.
With a consistent recent record of better than a card every other game the odds are in our favour via Unibet who offer us 11/4 – for those with a more ambitious nature the same firm offer 33/1 for him to see red.
Club Brugge vs Zenit | Wednesday 2nd December 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
This is a must win for Club Brugge who can still catch second placed Lazio as long as the Italian side don’t beat Dortmund in their tie – however as a consolation if that were to happen a victory would guarantee at least Europa League football in the New Year.
Philippe Clement possibly couldn’t have hand-picked better opposition than Zenit who have only won one of their last nice away games and have lost both in this group.
I’m keeping this one simple – the value seems to be in the home win here and at odds of 23/20 with Unibet it’s a bet I have to take.
Despite that I would expect Sergey Semak’s side to put up a fight – it took Dortmund until a Jadon Sancho 78th minute penalty to break the deadlock at their Signal Iduna Park and that was not a one off as the side from the Ukraine have kept their clean sheet intact going in at half time in three of the four group games.
Looking back further and Zenit have stopped their opponents scoring in the first half in 19 of their last 22 UCL games. Betway offer 10/11 for that run to continue.
Dortmund v Lazio | Wednesday 2nd December 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
Both sides come into this exciting looking clash off the back of very disappointing defeats – Lazio surrendered their eight-match unbeaten run with a heavy 3-1 loss to Udinese while Dortmund were shocked in their own back yard by Cologne.
Once falling behind Die Schwarzgelben probably expected not to grab an equaliser as they have now gone 36 competitive games without a draw – I won’t be putting up ‘Lay the Draw’ as my first selection though!
You have to go north of 3.0 on the Asian Goal Line to get even money in this one so we should expect goals as was the case in the reverse fixture where Lazio ran out 3-1 victors and with two of the most prolific marksmen in Europe in opposition why shouldn’t we!
Although the result wasn’t as we expected, it came as no surprise to see Ciro Immobile on the scoresheet at the weekend making it six successive appearances where he has found the net at least once. That’s five league goals in seven matches as he looks to go some way close to matching his record of 36 Serie A strikes last season.
In the yellow corner we have Erling Haaland looking to score in this one to continue his run of finding the net in every group game so far – he’s even bagged a brace in the last two. Having drawn a rare blank at the weekend – he already has 10 league goals to his name from 8 appearance – he will be determined to get back on the scoresheet again.
I’ve regularly put up both these strikers in my past previews so who am I going to side with here? Well, how can I choose so yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m backing both.
Betfair – and the price is better than with Paddy Power on this multi – give odds of 7/2 that both men replicate what they did at Stadio Olimpico in Rome and score.
Something else that isn’t a surprise is that Immobile has scored from the penalty spot in both his last two games and with our good friend Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz in charge of this one there is a strong possibility he will get another chance to extend his very impressive record from 12 yards.
Lazio have seen five penalties in their last seven games and won an incredible 18 in the league alone last season – Lahoz has a record of giving a spot kick every three games however in his two UCL appointments in this campaign he has already awarded three, so I am siding with another penalty being awarded here at odds of 13/8 with Bet365.
Ferencevaros vs Barcelona | Wednesday 2nd December 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
Barcelona have booked their place in the next round of the competition and after what must have been a massively emotional week after the death of Diego Maradona, we shouldn’t expect to see Lionel Messi feature here.
The Argentinians absence could open the door for Martin Braithwaite to continue his good form and add to his three goals and one assist from his last two appearances for the Catalan club.
Barcelona will want to top the group and with Juventus still within striking distance three points back they can’t afford any slip ups here against a side that despite having only one point to show for their efforts, scored in both games against the Old Lady as well as in the reverse fixture at Camp Nou.
The Hungarians have their own battle and will want to claim the consolation prize of a place in the Europa League by finishing third ahead of the remaining team in the group Dynamo Kiev.
Ronald Koeman’s men should get their chances as the home side have conceded 3.25 goals per game in Group G and so I think I have found a nice angle in to keep the visitors onside without playing a line at odds on.
Barcelona won the home tie 5-1 and rained in 22 shots of which exactly half were on target and in Juventus’s visit to this stadium at the beginning of last month they had 17 shots with eight testing the keeper, in last week’s battle at the Allianz Stadium Turin they had a further 18 shots with seven on goal.
Unibet have set a very attractive line for Barcelona to have over 6.5 shots on target at odds of 6/5 – given that line has been hit as outlined above I would expect it to be odds on, so for me it’s a must play.
I mentioned him previously, so I am going to end this match preview with a selection based on Martin Braithwaite and taking a chance on him starting and then finding the net. Best odds with SBK and are 35/19.
Juventus vs Dynamo Kiev–| Wednesday 2nd December 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
As previously mentioned, Juventus have already qualified for the next round but also hold a slim chance of finishing top of the group and it would appear Andrea Pirlo is giving that his best shot after resting Cristiano Ronaldo for the weekend game with newly promoted Benevento.
This is effectively a mirror image of the game I discussed above with opponents Kiev left to battle for third with Ferencvaros while the two group giants jostle for final order on the podium.
The Old Lady have not made the best start to their Serie A season drawing five of their opening nine fixtures including last weekend’s game where they were Ronaldo-less.
But they should be helped here by not only Dynamo’s poor run in the competition, winless this campaign with just a draw and three defeats to show for their efforts so far but also still a fairly lengthy absentee list despite being over the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak in their squad.
Mircea Lucescu’s side have also lost their last four UCL games as underdog, as of course they are in this one, and with three defeats to nil in that run, two of which in this year’s competition.
I feel this may be a “grind it out” kind of victory so with the win to nil stats looking strong I will add that to my selections this week at odds of 21/20 with Bet Victor.
This may be my first preview of a Juventus game where I don’t end up with CR7 forming at least one of my selections – but in his absences this season it seems to have made Alvaro Morata take a bit more responsibility on and I have been impressed with his output so far.
Eight goals and three assists from his 11 appearances in all competitions for Juve as well as a goal for his country against Germany in the recent UNL campaign is an excellent return for a striker seemingly searching for the right home since his departure from Real Madrid. He may have found that home in Turin based on this season’s performances.
As tempted as I was to go gung-ho and put forward a goal and assist double at 16/1 with Unibet, Morata has only achieved that once this term, so instead I will simply select him to score at odds of 5/4 with SkyBet.
Istanbul Basaksehir vs RB Leipzig – Over 1.5 First-Half Goals (13/10 10Bet)
Istanbul Basaksehir vs RB Leipzig – Angelino to score (5/1 Paddy Power)
Krasnodar vs Rennes – Remy Cabella to score (10/3 Betfair)
Krasnodar vs Rennes – Kaio to be carded (11/4 Unibet)
Club Brugge vs Zenit – Club Brugge to win (23/20 Unibet)
Club Brugge vs Zenit – Club Brugge Under 0.5 First-Half Goals (10/11 Betway)
Dortmund vs Lazio – Erling Haaland and Ciro Immobile both to score (7/2 Betfair)
Dortmund vs Lazio – Penalty awarded (13/8 Bet365)
Ferencevaros vs Barcelona – Barcelona Over 6.5 Shots-on-Target (6/5 Unibet)
Ferencevaros vs Barcelona – Martin Braithwaite to score (35/19 SBK)
Juventus vs Dynamo Kiev – Juventus to win to nil (21/20 Bet Victor)
Juventus vs Dynamo Kiev – Alvaro Morata to score (5/4 SkyBet)