MARK O’HAIRE (@MarkOHaire) has taken a look at the Champions League games that don’t involve British teams and shares his betting verdict.
Bayer Leverkusen v CSKA Moscow | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
- Bayer Leverkusen haven’t lost a home European fixture since November 2014 with the Germans enjoying a W6-D2-L1 return from home Champions League games across the past two seasons.
- Bayer Leverkusen were 1-0 down at Hamburg on Saturday after 78 minutes and level after 91 minutes but won 3-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Finnish supersub Joel Pohjanpalo.
- Bayer Leverkusen’s weekend win means the Germans have W2-D0-L1 across all competitions this seasons, yet to keep a clean sheet with all three games featuring Over 2.5 Goals.
- Bayer Leverkusen should have both Javier Hernandez and Kevin Volland fit.
- Bayer Leverkusen saw 4/6 group-stage games last season produce three or more goals with 6/6 all seeing at least two goals.
- CSKA Moscow have W1-D0-L8 in their last nine away Champions League group games with 7/9 featuring Over 2.5 Goals.
- CSKA Moscow have scored in each of their last five league games and seen 11/14 away Champions League matches produce Over 2.5 Goals.
- CSKA Moscow have lost all five of their previous trips to Germany in the Champions League.
- CSKA Moscow will feature 34-year-old Vasili Berezutski and 37-year-old Sergei Ignashevich in defence so although their seven games in 2016/17 have produced a total of just nine goals – 5/7 featured Under 1.5 Goals, the home side shouldn’t have a problem grabbing a goal or two.
I’ll be backing Bayer Leverkusen to win and Over 1.5 Goals at 11/10 (BetStars).
Real Madrid v Sporting Lisbon | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
- Real Madrid are unbeaten in the group-stage of the Champions League since 2009 and have won 16 of their last 18 home games in this competition since 2013/14, including all nine group-games.
- Real Madrid won six of those most recent nine home group matches by two or more goals and kept six clean sheets in the process.
- Real Madrid won all six of their Champions League home games last season without conceding a goal and have now shutout nine of their last 11 visitors in European competition
- Real Madrid kept clean sheets in five of their seven Champions League games under Zinedine Zidane – all in the knockout stages.
- Cristiano Ronaldo set a new record for group-stage goals in the Champions League last season and opened the scoring on five occasions.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 11 goals in his last six home Champions League games and scored after six minutes of his return at the weekend.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 65 Champions League goals across the past five seasons.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has already played and scored against Sporting for Manchester United and will be hugely motivated to repeat the feat here.
- Sporting have started their domestic season with a 100% record from four games, beating Porto 2-1 in the process.
- Sporting kept clean sheets in three of their other four league fixtures and last season they boasted the league’s best defensive record.
- Sporting haven’t won an away Champions League game since 2008 (W0-D3-L4).
- Sporting picked up W0-D1-L2 on their Champions League travels in their last group-stage campaign in 2014/15 – Chelsea and Schalke both beat the Portuguese side, scoring seven goals between them.
- Sporting have failed to get out of their Champions League group in six of their seven previous attempts.
- Sporting lost Joao Mario and Islam Slimani this summer but have replaced the pair with Bas Dost and Joel Campbell – both scored in their 3-0 weekend win over Moreirense.
- There is a general feeling that Sporting head coach Jorge Jesus prefers to focus on domestic matters.
I’ll be backing Cristiano Ronaldo to score and Real Madrid to win (4/5 SkyBet).
Juventus v Sevilla | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
- Juventus have never lost their opening Champions League group-game in 16 attempts and the Old Lady are unbeaten at home in over a year (W22-D4-L0).
- Juventus have W34-D5-L1 at home under Max Allegri in Serie A and have W7-D3-L0 at home in the Champions League, keeping six clean sheets.
- Juventus beat Sevilla 2-0 when they met at the same stage of last year’s Champions League.
- Juventus have started their season with wins against Fiorentina, Lazio and Sassuolo, scoring six goals but leaking in both home games this term.
- Sevilla haven’t won an away La Liga game since the end of 2014/15.
- Sevilla have W2-D1-L0 in three La Liga games under Jorge Sampaoli, scoring 10 goals and conceding 13.
- Sevilla lost all three of last season’s away Champions League games, conceding eight goals – Over 2.5 Goals won in 4/6 group-games last term.
- Sevilla have kept just one clean sheet in six matches across all competitions this season with Over 2.5 Goals winning on four occasions.
I’ll be backing Juventus to win and Over 1.5 Goals (68/67 188BET).
Legia Warsaw v Borussia Dortmund | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
- Legia Warsaw haven’t played in the Champions League group-stages for 21 years.
- Legia Warsaw have picked up just nine points from a possible 24 in recent league action and have won just once in seven home games.
- Legia Warsaw have lost just once in nine home European games since the start of last season (W3-D5-L1).
- Legia Warsaw saw 5/6 Europa League group-games last term and all six of their Champions League qualifiers feature Under 2.5 Goals.
- Borussia Dortmund were beaten 1-0 at RB Leipzig on Saturday as they failed to create enough opportunities without Marco Reus.
- Borussia Dortmund failed to win at PAOK Salonika, Krasnodar and Liverpool in the Europa League last season but Thomas Tuchel often fielded weakened teams.
- Borussia Dortmund have W5-D0-L3 in their last eight away Champions League games, only losing to Juventus, Real Madrid and Arsenal.
- Borussia Dortmund have won by two or more goals in seven of their last eight away Champions League victories.
- Borussia Dortmund have seen 5/8 Champions League games feature Under 2.5 Goals with their first two Bundesliga games producing just four goals.
I’ll be backing Borussia Dortmund to win 1-0 or 2-0 (13/5 BetVictor)
Lyon v Dinamo Zagreb | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
- Lyon kept just one clean sheet in six Champions League group-stage ties last season and have looked porous at the back this term.
- Lyon have conceded five goals across their last two Ligue 1 matches at newly-promoted Dijon and at home to Bordeaux last weekend.
- Lyon lost 3-1 at home to Bordeaux with Alexandre Lacazette going off injured – he’ll be absent here along with Nabil Fekir.
- Lyon head coach Bruno Genesio is rumoured to be switching to a 3-5-1-1 formation with Maxwel Cornet up front on his own.
- Dinamo Zagreb were beaten 1-0 when welcoming Osijek in their most recent domestic outing.
- Dinamo Zagreb have lost their last nine away Champions League group-games, firing blanks on seven occasions.
- Dinamo Zagreb will be without defensive pair Domogoj Antonic and Alexandru Matel with Antonic the club captain.
I’ll be having a small interest in Lyon to win and Both Teams To Score at 28/11 (888).
Porto v FC Copenhagen | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
- Porto overcame Roma 4-1 on aggregate during a feisty Champions League play-off tie and have W3-D0-L1 in the league, losing 2-1 at Sporting Lisbon.
- Porto haven’t conceded at home in the league yet and shipped just 13 goals as hosts in last season’s league campaign.
- Porto have eight of their last 10 home Champions League matches, including beating Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid. Porto have kept seven clean sheets in their last 16 Champions League matches, excluding qualifiers.
- FC Copenhagen are unbeaten in eight Danish league games and came through three phases of Champions League qualifying.
- FC Copenhagen have only drawn 1-1 in each of their last four away matches and have failed to score in four of their last six away Champions League ties, excluding qualifiers.
I’ll be backing Porto to win ‘to nil’ at 13/8 (BetVictor)
Bayer Leverkusen v CSKA Moscow – Bayer Leverkusen to win and Over 1.5 Goals (11/10 BetStars)
Real Madrid v Sporting Lisbon – Cristiano Ronaldo to score and Real Madrid to win (4/5 SkyBet)
Juventus v Sevilla – Juventus to win and Over 1.5 Goals (68/67 188BET)
Legia Warsaw v Borussia Dortmund – Borussia Dortmund to win 1-0 or 2-0 (13/5 BetVictor)
Lyon v Dinamo Zagreb – Lyon to win and Both Teams To Score (28/11 888)
Porto v FC Copenhagen – Porto to win ‘to nil’ (13/8 BetVictor)