MATCHDAY 2 of the Champions League takes place over the next two nights and Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) has picked out two outside bets to keep him dreaming.
APOEL Nicosia v Ajax |Tuesday 19:45 | Sky Sports Red Button
It’s all about outsiders tonight guys. Stakes will be small and fun will hopefully be had. I thought it worth highlighting a couple of big priced picks. Let’s start with APOEL Nicosia who host Ajax. Cypriot football is on the rise at the moment after their superb win in Bosnia in the Euro 2016 qualifiers and that rise began in 2012 when APOEL incredibly reached the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League.
Tonight they host Ajax, fresh from a resilient display in the Nou Camp where they only lost 1-0 to Barcelona. APOEL will fancy their chances as Ajax have been poor away in recent European competition. The Dutch side took just 1 point from 9 in their road matches in last season’s Champions League, with the nadir a 2-1 defeat to Celtic at Parkhead. They were then humbled home and away by Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League.
With Bet365 offering 21/10 on a home win for APOEL, it’s just something I have to get involved with.
BATE Borisov v Athletic Bilbao | Tuesday 19:45 | Sky Sports Red Button
Another home side who look too big tonight are BATE Borisov. The Belarusian side have performed admirably in recent years in this competition with a win over Bayern Munich (no, honestly) and draws against AC Milan and PSG. They kicked off this year’s campaign with a humbling 6-0 loss to Porto but I think they’re worth a chance here.
The reason for my interest is the poor record away from home of Athletic Bilbao. The Spanish side are generally recognised to be a much stronger side at home and that’s been backed up in their La Liga results so far this season. Bilbao, down in 16th in the league, have lost all three of their away games and scored just one goal. It may be that the balancing act of domestic action with Champions League games proves too much this year for the club.
BATE Borisov are 4/1 with Coral tonight. For me, that’s worth a small stake interest.