Chelsea v Ajax
I’m not sure anyone expected just the one goal in this reverse leg a fortnight ago in Amsterdam, I know I certainly didn’t. Chelsea were deserving victors in that game and they limited an Ajax side who scored 3 in each of their opening two game to just 0.45 expected goals. Frank Lampard’s youthful side looked comfortable competing against a group of players at a similar age but ultimately both these sides’ strengths are in the attacking department.
It’s glaringly obvious where the weakness is for the Dutch side. They press with intensity but if you beat that press they can leave the opposition with plenty of space in the middle third of the pitch, if Chelsea’s decision making was better they could’ve had a hatful, even they looked surprised at the sheer volume of room available to them. Without midfield anchor Frenkie De Jong the Godenzonen have looked suspect in the middle in the park and the likes of Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic will be licking their lips.
It was the super sub duo of Pulisic and Michy Batshuayi that did the damage after a free flowing move in that reverse tie which shows the variety of forward threats Lampard has at his disposal. That win has put the Cobham crew at top of a well balanced group and they’ll be eager to make in a double over the Dutch capital club and they do appeal at 2.050.
However i’m more inclined to get with goals again here and the 1.775 on over 2.75 looks a worthy play. Ajax have been much more clinical away from and look like they revel with the pressure off. 8/11 of their league games have seen this bet return profit with an average of 4.2 goals per game, overs has also copped in both their away champions league games. 70% of Chelsea’s league games have seen this bet profit with their matches averaging a whopping 3.9 per game. Backing this selection would see us take a half profit should exactly 3 goals be scored and a full win if there’s any more.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.775
Napoli v Salzburg
What a breath of fresh air Salzburg have been to the continental scene in the last few years. Die Mozartstader have injected their fast-paced, pressing, attacking football into Europe and it’s made for some thrilling games. They crashed into the competition with a 6-2 demolition job on Genk, that made people stand up and take note. The Austrian outfit racked up an expected goals figure north of 4 in that opener, they then went to Anfield and gave the reigning champions an almighty scare scoring 3 times but still ultimately ended up on the losing side.
Jesse Marsch will have targeted the next game at home to Napoli as one they’d have to avoid defeat in at least if they want to progress to the knockout stages. They ended up on the wrong side of another humdinger, going down 3-2 to the Partenopei but they were exceptionally unlucky to get nothing from that clash. Salzburg won the expected goals battle 2.71-0.88, Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne showcased their superb finishing, both scoring from chances rated at 7% of going in. Only Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are attempting more shots than Die Roten Bullen and their brave approach is scaring teams.
I don’t think the visitors will come here and try change their gameplan. They’re naturally an attacking side and create so many good chances, I’ll be shocked if they don’t at least get on the scoresheet here. Striker Erling Braut-Haaland is a frighteningly impressive prospect, I say prospect, he’s doing it right now in the major competition. 19 years old and he’s built like someone a decade his senior, it makes him an almost complete striker. Haaland isn’t the only threat though. South Korean Hwang Hee-Chan has been exceptional in build up play as has Japanese attacker Takumi Minamino, the youthful trio have a synergy that many clubs will crave, their movement is too hot to handle for most.
For all their brilliance at the front end of the pitch they do leave themselves open at the other end and conceding 9 in their opening 3 games means they make hard work of trying to get the win. Annoying for them I guess but for neutrals it’s a joy and for punters the goal markets are a cash cow. Napoli’s dynamic front 4 will be buzzing for this too and can cut loose.
It’s no surprise therefore to the goal line set at a flat 3.5 but I still think there’s value in the 1.920 on over 3 goals being scored at the San Paolo on Tuesday evening.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.50 goals at 1.910
Zenit v RB Leipzig
I expected group G to be one of the most interesting and well-matched in this competition and so it’s proving to be the case. Leipzig currently lead on 6 points but each team has suffered at least one win and one defeat so far showing the even nature of the quartet. Zenit have done well to garner 4 points so far to say they’ve had two away games. A draw in France against Lyon kicked off proceedings and a home victory over Benfica followed. The Sky Blues went 1-0 up in East Germany against Leipzig but eventually were pegged back and lost 2-1, still there’s no great shame in that.
Sergei Semak’s side have an impeccable record at base though, they’ve won 20, drawn 4 and lost just 1 of their home games in the Russian premier league. Zenit have converted that home league form into Europe too, winning 5 of their last 6 champions league ties as well as 5 of their last 6 in the Europa league. What’s more you’d expect that they’ll be much more acclimatised to the predicted -3 degrees temperature in Northern Russia.
Both sides have played 3 games in a week coming into this game with respective domestic cups. Zenit strolled to a 4-0 win over Tom Tomsk and were able to rest and rotate leaving out big guns Serdar Azmoun, Wilmar Barrios, Artum Dzubya, Sebastien Druissi and Branislav Ivanovic were not in the starting line up. Leipzig battered Wolfsburg 6-1 in the DFB Pokal but did so with a full strength back four, Marcel Sabitzer, Emil Forsberg and striking duo Youssef Poulson and Timo Werner. They could be more drained than their counterparts, especially with the sizeable journey north.
Die Roten Bullen haven’t been in tremendous form too, the Germans have won just two of their last seven in all competitions and are going to a place where visitors rarely leave with 3 points. We can back the hosts off a scratch +0 asian handicap at 1.950 and that appeals. Backing this selection sees us take us a full profit should Zenit win but gives us some insurance with our stakes being returned should the game end all square.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Zenit +0.00 at 1.950
Preview by: tomlove_18