Liverpool break new ground in the Champions League this week – facing Danish club Midtjylland for the first time – while Manchester City are also facing a team for the first time, but a more familiar name in French giants Marseille.
We preview both group games, with odds, tips and predictions.
Liverpool vs FC Midtjylland, BT Sport 3, 8pm
The next goal Liverpool score will be their 10,000th, historically, in all competitions.
And with Jurgen Klopp’s side massively odds on in pretty much all markets for Tuesday’s first visit of FC Midtjylland to Anfield, a prohibitive 1/8 to win on the night , the best bets may be in trying to identify who is going to claim that landmark slice of history.
Mo Salah is the obvious choice, 11/5 to score the first goal against the Danes with thepools.com.
But will he play? With a testing trio of fixtures looming against West Ham, Atalanta and Manchester City Jurgen Klopp may shuffle his pack.
And that means Diogo Jota, who scored the winner on Saturday, is worth looking at for first goal at 7/2 or anytime scorer at 4/5. Divock Origi may also be considered and he is an even better price at 17/4 first goal and Evens any time.
Liverpool are deservedly hot favourites to beat Champions League newcomers who learned very quickly how daunting dining at Europe’s top table can be when they were beaten 4-0, at home, by Atalanta in their introductory match last week.
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The Reds did not keep a clean sheet at home in the Champions League last season but have kept nine in the last 15 at Anfield in Europe – and that will surely continue against Champions League newcomers. After all, they kept a clean sheet last week against an Ajax side who scored 13 at the weekend!
The Danes don’t travel well. They have conceded an average of two goals per match across their last five competitive matches, and 2+ goals in three of their four away matches so far.
Liverpool to win to nil is 4/5 with thepools.com
Marsille v Manchester City, BT Sport 2, 8pm
Manchester City are nailed on favourites to extend their lead at the top of Champions League Group C by winning at Marseille tonight.
thepools.com make City just 4/11 to win a second successive group match. That’s reassuring, but hardly bank balance enhancing – but there are cleverer bets to be had from the French connection.
Just consider these solid trends.
- City have kept just two clean sheets in eight matches in all competitions this season.
- Both teams have scored in 100% of Man City’s last eight Champions League fixtures.
- Man City won three of their last four Champions League away assignments.
- And Marseille scored at least once in 16 of their last 18 competitive home matches.
That makes Manchester City to win and BTTS at 17/10 an infinitely more appealing punting prospect than an out and out City victory.
After losing their opening clash at Olympiakos 1-0 Andre Villas-Boas’ side need a positive reaction.
Marseille had 10 attempts at goal in Greece, but only two on target. Surely they won’t be as profligate again at the Stade Velodrome where they have scored in 16 of their last 18 clashes.
Kevin De Bruyne should be back for City but scoring goals isn’t the problem – although one more from the host of chances created at West Ham at the weekend would have been welcomed. De Bruyne is 9/2 to score the first goal in France and 11/8 any time .
City have conceded in each of their last eight Champions League fixtures and have kept a clean sheet just three times in their last 16 games in the competition.
Both teams have score in City’s last eight Champions League matches – and they have only failed to score themselves on only two occasions in the tournament since 2016.
With an average of 2.3 goals scored per 90 minutes across their last eight Champions League fixtures, the 2-1 correct score at 15/2 is worth a small wager.