Champions League – Benelux battle to produce goals galore


FOOTBALL JOURNALIST Adam Goodwin (@agjournalism) scans the Champions League qualifying coupon to pick out his favourite fancies from Tuesday night's card.

Dinamo Zagreb v Astana | Tuesday 14th August 2018, 19:00

Both of these sides have reasonable Champions League pedigree, having featured in the group stages in recent years.

Dinamo Zagreb have a decent domestic record at home and, despite a small blip before the break for the World Cup, they went 14 games unbeaten. The also recorded an impressive 5-0 victory over Hapoel Be'er Sheva.

The first leg finished 2-0 to the Croats and they’ll be looking to stay defensively in order to hold onto that lead.

At home, Astana have held the likes of Atletico Madrid, Benfica and Galatasaray in this competition. But they’ve been less successful on the round, winning just three of their last 14 games away from Kazakhstan. They’ve drawn a blank in eight of those games and they’ll find a tough to break down a resilient Zagreb defence.

Back the Croatians to win to nil at 27/11 with 188BET.

Fenerbahce v Benfica | Tuesday 14th August 2018, 19:00

These are two of the biggest teams in their respective countries and it should be a fierce showdown between the two.

Fenerbahce have scored two or more in 17/18 (94%) of their home games in the league, including in games against Besiktas and Istanbul Basaksehir.

With the likes of Roberto Soldado and new signings Andre Ayew and Islam Slimani potentially featuring, you’d imagine they’d grab a few here too. They need to make up a one-goal deficit after the first leg and will need to push forward to do so.

Despite prominently featuring in the Champions League group stages over the last decade, Benfica haven’t been too successful.

Away from home they’ve been defensively shambolic and have conceded two against CSKA Moscow, three against Besiktas and five against Basel within the last few years. They’ve lost centre-back Lisandro Lopez to Genoa and still have 37-year-old captain Luisao at the back.

The Yellow-Navy Blues are 7/4 to score two or more with BetStars and I think that’s a nice price.

Ajax v Standard Liege | Tuesday 14th August 2018, 19:00

Ajax tend to be very good at home and are unbeaten in their last 14 games. They’ve scored an average of 2.5 goals per-game in that time and they’ve only failed to score once in their last 14 home games in the Champions League.

The Dutch outfit definitely fancy their chances to bag another few against Standard Liege on Tuesday night.

Standard Liege haven’t featured in the Champions League since 2014 but managed to secure a respectable 2-2 draw with Ajax in the first leg. Before two 0-0’s in their last two league away games, they previously scored 10 goals in three league games last season.

The Belgians have more than enough attacking quality to get at least one goal against Ajax and I wouldn’t rule out another 2-2. I like the look of Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score at 23/20 with Coral.

Best Bets

Dinamo Zagreb v Astana – Dinamo Zagreb to win to nil (27/11 188BET)

Fenerbahce v Benfica – Fenerbahce to score Over 1.5 Goals (7/4 BetStars)

Ajax v Standard Liege – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (23/20 Coral)

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