MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has scanned the Wednesday night Champions League card looking for the best bets on the coupon outside of the matches involving English sides.
Wolfsburg v PSV Eindhoven | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
I’m in Wolfsburg on Wednesday night to see the Bundesliga boys at first hand when Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven arrive for a crucial Champions League tie and I reckon goals could be on the agenda once more.
The Wolves moved back into the top-four in their domestic table thanks to a ding-dong 4-2 success over Hoffenheim at the weekend and are well aware three points here will do their qualification chances the world of good with Group B evenly poised after two matchdays.
Dieter Hecking’s troops are unbeaten in Bundesliga football in 27 outings at their Volkswagen Arena home (W20-D7-L0) and with midfield enforcer Luis Gustavo back from suspension, they stand an excellent chance of collecting another three points on Wednesday night.
PSV have W5-D3-L1 in their Eredivisie defence thus far and trail league leaders Ajax by four points. But Philip Cocu should be boosted by the return of both Luuk de Jong and Andres Guardado, two of his most prized attacking assets, both of whom missed the 3-2 defeat at CSKA Moscow.
Eindhoven have a solitary victory away to German teams in 17 visits and that came back in 1977/78 – throw in their record of eight defeats in their previous 10 Champions League matches that aren’t qualifiers and you’d rightly assume Wolfsburg should justify their 4/6 favouritism.
But we can bolster those odds to 9/4 by adding in the Both Teams To Score element with Bwin. The Wolves still have the cumbersome Brazilian duo of Naldo and Dante at the heart of their defence with Hecking opting for a top-heavy and attacking approach.
Bas Dost, Max Kruse, Daniel Caligiuri and Julian Draxler make-up an excellent front four for the hosts and their return of scoring in all bar three of their last 29 matches should stand them in good stead. Add to that, the Wolves have recorded 14/22 of winning Both Teams To Score bets plus 15/22 (67%) of successful Over 2.5 Goals selections in the Bundesliga since the start of last season and we should be onto a good thing.
PSV have followed suit with BTTS winners in 10/12 of their fixtures this term with nine also featuring three goals or more. So backing a home win with Both Teams To Score makes plenty of sense at a hunky price.
PSG v Real Madrid | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
PSG meet Real Madrid in the glamour tie of matchday three in the Champions League but it might pay to go against the grain and oppose goals in the Parc des Princes.
The two clubs have never met in this competition before and come into this clash defending 100% records in Group A. Wednesday night’s result, as well as the return in Madrid, will go along way to deciding who tops the pool and whilst Real have managed eight wins in their last 11 continental away days, Los Blancos arrive in the French capital without key elements of their attack.
James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric are all out for Rafa Benitez’s boys and with Real scoring just nine goals in their last six games, it’s perhaps a little too expectant to rely on Cristiano Ronaldo producing the goods on his lonesome.
Los Blancos have been stingy defensively this term, though. Since Benitez joined the club, Real have conceded just two goals in 10 competitive fixtures and it’s also worth pointing out that four of their most recent six matches featured fewer than three goals. That’s also been the case in six of their past 13 Champions League group-stage games on the road.
PSG have suffered just one loss in 35 home European outings and the Ligue 1 champions are unbeaten this term and five points clear at the top of their domestic table. Laurent Blanc's men will be confident given their home record – Barcelona, Chelsea, Porto and Leverkusen have all been downed at their Parc des Princes home in recent seasons but I prefer to go against the goals.
Marathon have made Under 2.5 Goals a 15/14 play and that has to hold plenty of appeal considering the names missing in the Madrid team as well as their excellent backline performances since Benitez took charge.
Wolfsburg v PSV Eindhoven – Wolfsburg to win and Both Teams To Score (9/4 Bwin)
PSG v Real Madrid – Under 2.5 Goals (15/14 Marathon)