WE gave Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) the task of finding the best value bets from Tuesday’s Champions League coupon in games not involving English sides.
BATE Borisov v Roma | Tuesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
BATE Borisov are the dominant club back in Belarus and should be heading comfortably towards a tenth successive domestic title. But the Yellow-Blues are nowhere near the level required to successfully compete on the continental stage.
Last season BATE finished bottom of their group and suffered pounding 6-0 and 3-0 losses to Porto and 7-0 and 5-0 smashings by Shakhtar. So it was no major surprise to see Leverkusen stroll to a 4-1 success over Alyaksandr Yermakovich’s men on matchday one. BATE may have scored against the Germans but they managed just two shots and three touches in the opposition box. Ouch.
Indeed, BATE have lost 10 of their last 11 group stage games in the Champions League with each defeat arriving by a margin of two goals or more – seven losses were by three goals or more. At home, they’ve W2-D1-L8 in Europe’s premier competition and failed to net in each reverse.
Roma arrive with a few injury concerns in attack – both Edin Dzeko and Francesco Totti are sidelined – but Rudi Garcia should still be able to field an XI featuring any three from Juan Iturbe, Mohamed Salah, Gervinho or Iago Falque in attack. The Wolves hammered Carpi 5-1 at the weekend and should have more than enough to get the job done at the Borisov-Arena.
The visitors opened their Champions League account with a well-earned draw against Barcelona in the Italian capital and although they’ve failed to record a clean sheet in 23 European outings, including 17 Champions League road trips, it’s difficult to oppose the Giallorossi on Tuesday night.
I watched BATE in both qualifying legs against Dundalk and caught glimpses of their fixtures with Videoton and the boys from Borisov just aren’t up to standard. I’ll back Roma to win this Group E clash but with a -1 start on the Asian Handicap line at a handsome 7/4 with 888. Should the Wolves win by one goal, we’ll get our cash. A victory by two or more goals results in a winning selection.
Bayern Munich v Dinamo Zagreb | Tuesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
In a night where favourites should prosper, it may pay to back Bayern Munich to give Dinamo Zagreb a bit of a kicking. The German champions have made their best ever start to a Bundesliga season and in all competitions they’ve recorded eight wins from eight, notching eight goals in their last two fixtures.
The hosts have reached the Champions League final in three of the last six campaigns and their continental record looks mighty strong. Bayern bagged victories in all six Allianz Arena dates during 2014/15, scoring 22 goals along the way. Their past 11 Champions League matches saw FC Hollywood rack up 34 goals and the Bavarian giants have also claimed top marks in 15 of their most recent 16 group stage games.
Dinamo did upset the odds to defeat Arsenal in Zagreb and head to Munich on the back of an incredible 45-fixture unbeaten run that dates back 10 months. Zoran Mamic’s men have scored in all bar five of those encounters and notched 24 goals in their last seven outings. But this is a much, much stiffer test of their credentials.
Take out qualifying matches and the Blues have lost their past 13 away contests in European competition – 10 of which were by more than a one goal margin. The Croatian champions have lost their last six Champions League road trips, conceding 21 goals in the process, and failed to net in nine of their last 12 on their travels in the same competition.
Bayern have won each of their last four matches by three or more goals and should justify their status as 1/10 favourites by beating the -2.5 Asian Handicap at 4/5 with BetVictor. We’re paid out should the hosts win by three goals or more.
Barcelona v Bayer Leverkusen | Tuesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
Barcelona’s record of W26-D6-L1 in their last 33 Champions League games at the Camp Nou suggests they should be too good for Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday night but the injury sustained to Lionel Messi at the weekend has certainly raised alarm bells. The Catalans already have a wafer-thin squad with numerous names already on the sidelines and Luis Enrique really is down to the bare bones.
The Bluagrana have won the Champions League in four of the last 10 seasons and their bid to become the first side to successfully defend Europe’s top title began with a 1-1 draw in Rome. Not bad, eh? But they’ve now played 10 competitive fixtures in 2015/16 and kept just two clean sheets – none in their last five.
What’s even more alarming for Luis Enrique is the ease at which opposition attacks are scoring. Newly-promoted Las Palmas netted in a 2-1 defeat at the Camp Nou last weekend and managed six shots-on-target in that loss whilst Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao and Celta Vigo all scored four goals past Barcelona.
Leverkusen may have lost all three Bundesliga battles against top-half clubs without scoring so far this season but Roger Schmidt’s charges are known for their all-out attack philosophy and should smell blood this midweek. Bayer may have only W2-D5-L13 in 20 away Champions League ties but they can contribute to a winning Both Teams To Score selection at 20/23 with Boylesports.
BATE Borisov v Roma – Roma -1 Asian Handicap (7/4 888)
Bayern Munich v Dinamo Zagreb – Bayern Munich -2.5 Asian Handicap (4/5 BetVictor)
Barcelona v Bayer Leverkusen – Both Teams To Score (20/23 Boylesports)