THERE are some top guns battling for a Champions League place tonight – and after Spurs' scare yesterday you can bet they'll be given it their full focus.

The likes of Sevilla, Werder Bremen, Sampdoria and Anderlecht are in action and all face tricky play-off clashes.

Let's start with Spanish cracks Sevilla who travel to Braga, impressive conquerors of Celtic in the last round. Sevilla have been Euro masters over the past few seasons and although the regular Spanish season hasn't started they showed enough in the Super Cup last week to suggest they're ready to roar.

Barcelona were swatted aside 3-1 with star strikers Luis Fabiano and Freddie Kanoute both on target. Braga beat Celtic 3-0 at home so can't be totally discounted but I like the 7-5 on Sevilla with William Hill and Bet365. The Portuguese are a best 21-10 with Ladbrokes.

Kanoute is 6-1 with Skybet to score first and I'll be on the former West Ham star while Brazilian Fabiano is slightly shorter at 11-2.

There is a clash of giants in Germany where Werder Bremen entertain Sampdoria. I was siding with the home men until they flogged star turn Mezut Ozil to Real Madrid for £15million yesterday. That's a sign of a lack of ambition and they could pay against a Samp side who have held on to top strikers Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini.

Samp look overpriced at 14-5 with William Hill against 4-5 Werder with Ladbrokes but one cautionary note is no Italian outfit has won at the Weserstadion in 13 attempts. A draw might be the safer bet at 13-5 with boylesports with Samp qualifying by winning at home. Cassano and Pazzini are both 9-1 with Paddy Power to score first.

Moldovans Sheriff surprised Dinamo Zagreb in the last round and won't be cannon fodder for Basel. The Swiss are 2-5 with Bet365 and Ladbrokes but it looks too short against a side trying to qualify for the group stages for the first time in 11 attempts.

Sheriff are tough opponents and while 9-1 with totesport to win is tempting I'll be on Sheriff draw no bet at 11-2 with Bet365.

Red Bull Salzburg should also be friendless at 4-5 with bodog to take care of Hapoel Tel-Aviv. The big-spending Austrians are under huge pressure to qualify after successive flops but the Israelis, 7-2 at Ladbrokes and totesport, are no one's mugs and will scrap all the way. Red Bull may have wings tonight but I think it's too close to call.

Another match which could either way is Partizan Belgrade at home to Anderlecht. The sides look evenly matched and a score draw is a possibility. The stalemate pays 23-10 with Skybet and Ladbrokes.


  • Sevilla (7-5, William Hill, Bet365)

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