Champions League 2018/19: Matchday Six Preview
At this stage of any Champions League season, we can usually expect to enjoy a host of games with plenty riding on them in terms of qualification and elimination. As we head into matchday six of the 2018/19 campaign however, much has already been decided but among all the ‘dead rubbers there are some vital ties.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty of potential for betting value this week so let’s crack on and consider the best picks from Tuesday and Wednesday.
Group B Battle
Spurs started their 2018/19 campaign poorly with two straight defeats but a recovery leaves them with a slim chance of making it through to the knockouts. Unfortunately for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, they are now up against the mighty Barcelona but there is support for Tottenham as they travel to the Nou Camp.
There is a feeling that Barca, who have already qualified, will rest some of their top players but even if that is the case, there is some excellent value in a home side who are odds against to win on the night. Barcelona are favourites at best odds of 19/17 with Unibet while victory for Tottenham is available at a top price of 23/10 on the Smarkets sportsbook.
The draw completes this one at 58/19 with 10Bet but the smart money should be on Barcelona in our opinion.
All to play for in Group C
This section was rightly labelled as the Group of Death with Napoli, Liverpool and PSG all drawn together. One of those illustrious teams was always going to miss out on the knockout rounds and as we head into matchday six, it’s Liverpool who currently sit in third place.
The Reds simply must beat Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday and while there is a tough night in store, the bookies are right behind Jurgen Klopp’s side. Liverpool are clear favourites at best odds of 11/17 with Unibet while the draw is at 7/2 with 188Bet. Betway is the place to be for a Napoli win at a price of 17/4 and this is another match where there could be some value in the outside options.
Leaders face off in Group E
Ajax were once one of the biggest forces in world football, winning the European Cup for three consecutive seasons in the 1970s but these days they don’t even dominate in their native Holland. It’s therefore been an impressive campaign for the Dutch side who are already through to the next round.
On Wednesday, Ajax host Bayern Munich for the right to win this section and this is another game where we think there is an odds against price that you should be on. Bayern are the favourites and while the Germans haven’t always been at their best this season, we’re backing them to deliver the points at reasonable best odds of 21/20 with SportingBet and SportPesa.
For reference, a win for Ajax is available in this game at a top price of 11/4 with Unibet while a draw completes matters at a best of 14/5 with 188Bet.
Vulnerable in Group H
While the qualifying positions in Group H may have already been decided, we think there is some potential for another nice profit in Spain as Valencia host Manchester United. The English club are through thanks to some remarkable performances against a strong Juventus team so it’s strange that they have struggled against the weaker clubs in the section – Valencia and Young Boys.
Your options in the result betting for this game are a win for Valencia at best odds of 8/5 while victory for Manchester United is available at 19/10 with Betway. Meanwhile, the draw could prove to be a shrewd punt at a top price of 27/11 with Unibet.
There is a full round of games available this week so, as an alternative to the matches we have mentioned in this preview, you could opt for ties that look much easier on paper. For example, Juventus travel to Young Boys on Wednesday where they can be claimed at best odds of just 1/2 with Betway for the win.
Elsewhere, defending champions Real Madrid host CSKA Moscow and you can back the Spanish unit at a top price of 2/9 with Ladbrokes. There are many similar matches available so feel free to look for smaller profits but we think there is some good potential in the following games.
Spurs have some momentum after a poor start to their group stage and fans are talking up a big night in Spain as they go looking for the win. It’s a rare sight for Barcelona to be odds against in any home game and no matter what side they put out, we think they’ll be too strong for Tottenham on Tuesday.
The second of our games takes place in the Netherlands where Ajax have been so impressive in a competitive group. The Dutch have home advantage at the Johan Cruyff ArenA but against the mighty Bayern Munich they will need to raise their game another notch. We’re backing the Germans here and once again there is the opportunity to back a world class team at an odds-against price.
Valencia haven’t exactly been world class this season and their 2018/19 Champions League journey ends on Wednesday night when they host Manchester United. Jose Mourinho’s men have made it through to the next round, largely due to brilliant performances against Juventus who top the group.
In contrast, United have been subdued against the weaker teams in their section and they look vulnerable away from home. It’s tempting to go for the Valencia win in this one at 8/5 but given that Manchester United have drawn three of their last five matches in the league, we’ll finish by opting for a share of the points over in Spain.
- Barcelona to beat Tottenham at 19/17 with Unibet
- Bayern Munich to beat Ajax at 21/20 with SportingBet
- Valencia vs Manchester United: The draw at 27/11 with Unibet