Atalanta vs Shakhtar Donetsk
It was a shock opening gameweek for Champions League new boys Atalanta a fortnight ago. A crushing 4-0 defeat against a perceived weaker side in Dinamo Zagreb should’ve give them a real kick up the backside ahead of what is now a crunch home tie against Ukranian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.
It’s commendable the way La Dea bounced back from that harrowing loss. Gian Piero Gasperini’s attractive and unique style of play saw them get a point against Fiorentina then go to the Stadio Olimpico and beat Roma 2-0 to then follow that up with a 4-1 demolition of Sassuolo. They’re clearly a side that believe in themselves and they should come into the clash with confidence.
Shakhtar were expected to lose on matchday 1 and they lost comfortably against Man City. They lost impressive manager Paulo Fonseca to Roma in the summer but most of their key players remain, they’ve even added Yehven Konoplyanka to provide added attacking threat along with Taison, Marlos and Moraes. There’s certainly attacking potency in this roster and given Zagreb managed to score four against this Atalanta outfit then Shakhtar have a good shout of getting on the scoresheet.
Last season in this competition they scored three at Hoffenheim and two at Lyon, what’s more five of their six group stage games saw three or more goals. Six of seven Atalanta games have seen at least three goals too, therefore I’m more than happy to take the 1.750 on the over 2.5 goal line. You won’t go far wrong backing overs in Atalanta games this season.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.750
Juventus vs Bayer Leverkusen
I’m happy to back goals once more as Italian champions Juventus welcome an attack minded Bayer Leverkusen side to Turin. The Old Lady were in an entertaining game on matchday 1 at the Wanda Metropolitano against Atletico Madrid where they were pegged back to 2-2. A point is far from a bad result there though and they should see off a Bayer Leverkusen side that surprisingly lost their most ‘winnable’ game of the group stage a fortnight ago at home to Lokomotiv Moscow.
Despite monopolising possession and outshooting the Russians 18-8, defensive lapses cost Die Werkself dear and it gives them a major uphill struggle to make it out of the group stages. This side do create chances though and their adoption of a forward thinking ethos usually makes for entertainment. It’s not their style to it back and defend under Peter Bosz and with the startling array of attacking options available it’s probably an understandable philosophy. Kai Havertz is the real gem, with 94 appearances already locked down at just 20 years old his development has been accelerated. He is supported by the likes of Leon Bailey, Kevin Volland and Lucas Alario therefore its not a surprise to see Leverkusen score two or more in all but one of their Bundesliga fixtures.
Maurizio Sarri is aiming for back-to-back European successes and he’s certainly got a squad capable of going deep into the tournament. A key reason the Agnelli family splashed out on Cristiano Ronaldo was the potential of the all time champions league top scorer leading the Bianconeri to continental glory. They’ve appeared in five finals and ended on the losing side on all five since their last win in 1995 and they’ll be eager to go that extra step this season.
Juve have scored two or more in five of their last six and over 2.5 goals has landed in four of those. They’ve also not looked as solid at the back as we’ve come to expect, conceding in four of their last six. Mattias De Ligt hasn’t quite adapted yet and their opposition should fancy their chances of grabbing a goal. Over 2.5 goals has copped in five of their seven games this season and they’ll come here with a more attacking mindset than most and that could leave gaps for Juventus to exploit. The hosts look a fair bet at 1.90 off a -1 asian handicap but I’d rather opt for the 1.765 available on over 2.5 goals as I wouldn’t be surprised if the away side notched on Tuesday night.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.765
Galatasary vs PSG
This game sees one of the highest goal lines in the champions league this midweek and I’m happy to take that on and back under 3.25 goals at a reasonable 1.850.
PSG are usually associated with glamour and goals however this season it’s not really been the case. Defensively they’ve looked so much stronger with gaffer Thomas Tuchel sensibly investing in defensive minded players Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gueye who can provide a solid base for their vibrant attackers to do what they do best. They have been without Neymar, Kylian M’Bappe and Edison Cavani for the majority of the season but the former duo are now back fit which will give the Parisians a boost ahead of their trip to Turkey.
Galatasaray we’re solid enough in their opener with Club Brugge two weeks ago coming back with a point after a 0-0 draw. They’ve been pretty watertight under the extremely experienced Fatih Terim with the Istanbul based club conceding just four goals in their last six games. Former Blackburn and Sevilla defensive midfield Steven N’Zonzi has slotted in superbly to give protection to the back four and he could be key at thwarting PSG from getting into dangerous areas.
Backing under 3.25 goals would see us profit should fewer than four goals be scored with a full payout should 0, 1 or 2 goals be scored and a half win should exactly 3 be scored. 6/7 Gala games have seen this selection return a full profit this season and it would’ve been profitable backing the unders on this line in 8/9 PSG games this season. Given those stats I would have to say this is the strongest selection of the night.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 3.25 goals at 1.850
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