MATCHDAY 4 gets underway on Tuesday night. Who is Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) backing?
Basel v Ludogorets Razgrad | Tuesday 19:45 | Sky Sports Interactive
This is a vital match with both sides lying on three points. With Liverpool also on that mark, this game should go a long way in deciding who joins Real Madrid in the knockout stages.
I’m siding with Basel at Bet365‘s odds of 5/6. The Swiss side are unbeaten on home turf since August and have already beaten Liverpool here in an earlier matchday. They have a lot more experience in Europe than their Bulgarian opponents and I think that could be crucial. Failure to win here could spell the end for Paulo Sousa’s side so you would imagine they’ll be at the top of their game on Tuesday night.
Ludogorets have failed to win any of their four away fixtures so far in the Champions League. Defeats to Liverpool and Steaua Bucharest were preceded by draws at Partizan Belgrade and Luxembourg’s F91 Dudelange. That record hardly inspires and I just think Basel will be too savvy for them.
Remember this Basel side beat Chelsea at home in the Champions League last season, and beat their Tuesday opponents home and away in an earlier qualifying round.
Juventus v Olympiakos | Tuesday 19:45 | Sky Sports Interactive
Olympiakos caused a big shock in Matchday 3 when beating Juventus in Greece at odds of 7/2. But should we have been surprised? The Greeks have been superb at home in recent years and have taken out a clutch of sides in the same league as Juve. It’s when they play away from home that their form dips. This was evinced back in September when they lost 2-0 to Malmo.
But can they score on Tuesday against Juventus in Turin? I’m willing to say yes when Coral offer 5/4 on that eventuality. Olympiakos sit top of Group A and will be aware that the stakes are high for this game. Yes, their not as prolific when on their travels, but they did score in every away game last season in their Champions League group.
And then there’s Juventus. One of Europe’s biggest clubs? Yeah for sure. Rock-solid in the Champions League? Not a bit of it. It’s hard to forget that Juventus failed to get out the group stage last season. Just one win out of six was gained in a pool featuring Real Madrid, Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen. Horrid stuff. They leaked in every one of their games as well to compound the misery.
So while Olympiakos are definitely weaker away from home, I think they’re capable of scoring against Juventus on Tuesday night. The Italians have shown they are vulnerable in these big European nights and I always like backing under-rated sides like the Greeks.
Basel v Ludogorets Razgrad – Basel to win (5/6 Bet365)
Juventus v Olympiakos – Olympiakos to score Over 0.5 Goals (5/4 Coral)