It’s another big night of Champions League action – and we bring you previews on the Premier League sides in action, the best of the rest, how to watch the games – and crucially what you should be betting on!
Krasnodar vs Chelsea, BT Sport 3, 5.55pm
If history is anything to go by, Krasnodar will have their work cut out.
The Bulls are hosting their first ever Champions League group match – and not only have all six previous Russian sides to have played in the competition proper failed to win their first home match, but the previous eight teams from any nation to have faced English opposition in their first-ever Champions League home game have all lost.
As a result Chelsea are just 4/9 for the win, but they travel in indifferent form.
They bored a TV audience into submission on Saturday night with Saturday’s goalless draw at Old Trafford, and recorded just six shots against Sevilla in last week’s stalemate – the lowest shot tally they’ve registered in a Champions League game since February 2015.
So if they’re going to win the game – and we think they will – it’s not likely to be by a landslide.
Eight of Chelsea’s last ten Champions League away wins have come ‘to nil’ and they are 5/4 to make that nine from 11.
Giving Krasnodar confidence is the fact that Chelsea have conceded before half-time in four of their last five Champions League away games. Krasnodar to lead at half-time is 5/1 and the Russians to lead at half-time then lose is an enormous 18/1.
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All seven of Timo Werner’s Champions League goals have come away from home – and he is the tournament’s top scorer amongst players to have never scored at home. He is 16/5 to score first and Evens to extend that curious slice of Champions League history.
Man United v RB Leipzig, BT Sport 2, 8pm
If you’re looking for a red hot stat to fill you full of confidence for United’s hopes tonight, their group stage home record against teams drawn from Pot 3 or 4 in the Champions League since Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013 reads: Won seven, Drawn one, Lost none and five clean sheets.
But here’s the rub. RB Leipzig are not your average Pot 3 or 4 side.
This is the toughest group in this season’s tournament.
Last season’s semi-finalists have lost just one of their previous nine assignments in this competition (W6, D2, L1) and have won six out of seven matches this season, the only blot a 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen.
Maybe the bookies looked at a calendar.
United have lost just one of their last 11 Champions League home games played in the month of October! (W8, D2, L1 – GF 17, GA 3).
Juventus v Barcelona, BT Sport 3, 8pm
On paper this looks like a mouth-watering clash.
But football is played on grass – or a hybrid of grass and artificial synthetic fibres anyway.
And there are a number of factors which suggest this battle of the European heavyweights may be more attritional than open.
Juventus‘ opening group stage win at Dynamo Kiev was the fourth of their last five Champions League matches in which only one team scored.
That continued a long standing pattern involving the Bianconeri. In fact, since the beginning of 2014/15, just 32% of their group stage matches home or away have witnessed goals from both sides.
And while Barcelona’s last six continental games have provided an average of 4.83 goals per game, none of their four away matches in last season’s Champions League saw more than three goals recorded.
Across the last decade, Barcelona have made 11 trips to Italy, and have returned home triumphantly only twice, although they have drawn on six other occasions.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been quarantined after testing positive for covid-19 but is hoping to return to resume his great rivalry with Lionel Messi.
But the doubt over his inclusion means Alvaro Morata tops Juve’s first scorer betting at 11/2 – the forward has scored in four of his last eight UEFA matches, including the first team goal on three occasions.
Messi is 7/2 to score first, but teenage sensation Ansu Fati is 5/1, became the youngest El Clasico scorer this century on Saturday and is looking to score in three consecutive competitive appearances.