Aug 23: Champions League Preview


THE big draw’s on Thursday and five sides are aiming to make the group stage of the Champions League tonight.

None of the ties look in the balance although you can’t discount big guns Villarreal and Porto who face tough away tasks.

Villarreal go to Monaco 2-1 down and Porto head to Roma after being held 1-1 at home. Celtic are almost there after a 5-2 home win against Hapoel Beer Sheva as are Legia Warsaw who won 2-0 away to Dundalk. Plzen start at home to Ludogerets 2-0 down and I don’t fancy their chances.

So let’s start with Celtic. Bookies have already placed them in the group stage – and it’s impossible to argue about it.

It would take a massive collapse to be knocked out in Israel and Celtic are no bigger than 1-20 with McBookie to qualify while Hapoel are 19-2 at Paddy Power.

A 3-0 victory that pays 33-1 at McBookie is the home side’s best chance but I expect Celtic to score so they’ll need to look at 4-1 (45-1, McBookie) or 5-2 (200-1, William Hill).

Those prices show why Celtic are just about there and to score they are no bigger than 2-7 with William Hill.

Brendan Rodgers seems to have adopted the “if you score two we’ll score three policy” after realising his side are allergic to clean sheets.

They’ve conceded four in their last two but netted nine so goals look a formality tonight. Over 2.5 match goals pays 7-9 at Marathonbet and both teams to score is 4-6 at bet365.

Leigh Griffiths hit a double in the first leg and bagged the opener against St Johnstone. He is 4-1 at William Hill to break the deadlock again and 23-20 at William Hill to score. Scott Sinclair is worth a look in this market at 21-10.

To win on the night Celtic are 2-1 at Betfred but don’t need to so I’ll leave this alone. Hapoel are 29-20 with McBookie and the draw 27-10 at Marathonbet.

Last week Legia Warsaw were my Super Single to beat Dundalk although their 2-0 win in Dublin wasn’t straightforward. Stephen Kenny must know his side are out but will be consoled by a fat cheque and a place in the Europa League group stages.

The Poles should at least match that 2-0 scoreline and are big enough at 4-11 with Ladbrokes to go on accumulators. Their dangerman is Nemanja Nikolic and I tipped him to score first at the Aviva. He is 15-4 at bet365 to repeat the feat.

Monaco looked better and better prepared than Villarreal and are 5-4 with William Hill and McBookie to notch another win and I fancy both to score at 15-16 with 888sport.

Roma notched four in their Serie A opener at the weekend and should edge out Porto to squeeze through with the Italians 4-5 at the likes of Ladbrokes, William Hill and bet365.

Bulgarian champions Ludogerets can hit an away goal at Plzen to kill that tie. If they score – and they are 1-2 at Coral and Ladbrokes to do so – the Czechs would need four and that looks beyond them.

Bets to Consider

Hapoel v Celtic over 2.5 goals

Griffiths to score

Legia Warsaw -1

Nikolic to score first

Ludogerets to score

Monaco not to lose

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  1. Profile photo of chris guy
    chris guy 9 months ago


    Mikael Lustig First Goalscorer @ 45/1

    Mikael Lustig Anytime Goalscorer @ 19/1

    Good luck everyone

    • Profile photo of mar
      mar 9 months ago

      Curious, isnt he a defender? What were your thoughts for picking him. Just curious, as trying to learn as much as possible.

      • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
        Mr Fixit 9 months ago

        Chris always goes with long shots. Over time he only needs 1 or 2 right out of say 20 or 30 bets to break even and he does that easily.
        Lustig netted first against Red Imps and does pose a threat but it’s still a long shot.

        • Profile photo of mar
          mar 9 months ago

          Ah cool, makes sense. Thanks for explaining. Will make a note….Chris Guy…..Longshots.

        • Profile photo of chris guy
          chris guy 9 months ago

          Mr Fixit. Lustig now 50/1 for first Goalscorer. Def worth a few quid.

          • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
            Mr Fixit 9 months ago

            As you know I tend not to do the long shots but I can see why you do them.
            With Celtic leading by three he might go forward less than usual but not sure if Rodgers is going to be that defensively minded.
            Griffiths is the obvious one tonight but Sinclair and Forrest are threats too and Roberts will be back.

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