Dynamo Kiev v Juventus | Tuesday 20th October 2020, 17:55 | BT Sport
This looks like an interesting match up as the Old Lady make a tricky trip to the Ukraine shorn of the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo and summer signing Weston McKennie due to their positive COVID-19 tests.
We certainly can’t use recent head-to-heads to get an angle on this game with this being the first meeting between the two sides since 2002 so let’s take a look at their current form.
Mircea Lucescu’s men have had to battle through three qualifying games just to earn their place in the group stages but they did so in style – by scoring at least two goals in winning all three games and on the back of a six game unbeaten run at home in all competitions, should feel they can cause Juventus some problems in this one.
Andrea Pirlo will have to ensure his team are on it from the off here as their recent record as favourites is far from impressive winning just six of their last 17 such fixtures in all competitions – (W6,-D5-L6) including a 1-1 draw at newly promoted Crotone on Saturday. I expect goals at both ends so will take the 26/25 on offer with Unibet for Over 2.5 Goals.
I was tempted to play Kiev to score Over 1.5 Goals themselves and if they are to do that there is a very good chance their top scorer Viktor Tsygankov will be on the scoresheet as he has been on three occasions from his sides opening six league fixtures and in the final two Europa League group stage games of 2019/20.
You may recognise the name – the 22-year-old midfielder scored Ukraine’s winner with the only goal in their recent shock victory over Spain. Paddy Power have Tsygankov priced at 7/2 to score anytime which looks a good price to me for a player who is carrying on his scoring form from last season where he returned a very healthy 14 league goals from 27 appearances.
Zenit v Club Brugge | Tuesday 20th October 2020, 17:55 | BT Sport
Something will have to give in Saint Petersburg as a Zenit side who have won all six home games this season welcome Jupiler Pro League leaders Club Brugge who are undefeated in their four league road trips and have scored 13 goals in the process.
The Belgian side have a tough task, with their hosts having lost only two of their last 14 UCL group stage home matches (W7-D5-L2) winning six of the last seven. However, there is hope in Sergej Semak’s side struggles in keeping a clean sheet, with nine of their last 10 home games seeing both sides score – albeit with them claiming the win in all 10.
With the visitors poor away record in the UCL group stage of winning just once in their last 10 (W1-D3-L6) I have to side with the home team here but at odds on the sensible play appears to be a Zenit win with both teams scoring available at 5/2 with Betfair.
Barcelona v Ferencvaros | Tuesday 20th October 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
What’s that coming over the hill…Its El Clasico! Which means there is a chance Ronald Koeman will rest his key players for this opening clash in the Spaniards first outing in the competition since that humiliating 8-2 hammering at the hands of the eventual winners.
Even so. whatever side represents Barcelona in this one they should have too much for the Hungarian side who are in the group stages of the competition for the first time this century. This may be no more than a damage limitation, sightseeing and autograph hunting mission for the visitors.
Of course, Barcelona have a formidable UCL record at their Camp Nou stadium, winning 32 of their last 36 and drawing the other four.
With Saturday’s clash with Real Madrid so close I would imagine Koeman will want to put this one to bed pretty quickly and seeing as seven of their last eight UCL fixtures have had a goal before the half hour mark with the last two featuring four or more first half goals I feel he will get his wish.
We can play Over 2.5 First-Half Goals at 3/1 with Betfair and at that price I am going to take a chance on Barcelona’s supporting cast wanting to put on a show in the hope of getting in that starting XI for the weekend. That cast should include Philippe Coutinho, now returned from his loan spell at Bayern and already on the scoresheet for club and country this season. Sky Bet offer 7/5 he scores again here.
Lazio v Borussia Dortmund | Tuesday 20th October 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
The tie of the evening? Possibly. Although Parisians and Mancunians may disagree.
We certainly have the prospect of two of last season’s hot shots going toe-to toe in the shape of Lazio’s Ciro Immobile and Erling Haaland of Dortmund.
Immobile will come in to this one fresh having been suspended for his sides game at the weekend while the Norwegian will take to the field brimming with confidence having scored four in four league games, five in three appearances for his country as well as one in the German Super Cup Final.
Being in such hot form I can’t overlook the 17/4 on offer from Betway for him to score two or more in this group stage game, given he has already achieved that feat in four of his 10 games this season as well as in his sides last UCL win. He will be licking his lips at the thought of taking on a side that have already shipped four at home to Atalanta and three in the weekend defeat at Sampdoria.
Five of Dortmund’s last seven Bundesliga away games have seen five or more cards issued so French referee Clément Turpin may be in for a busy night and I’m taking him to improve on his Champions League average of 3.92 cards per-game.
RB Leipzig v Basaksehir | Tuesday 20th October 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
I wanted to back one game for a penalty as I’m sure there will be a few as is the current trend – so where better than with the game being officiated by Jesus Gil Manzano.
The Spanish referee has taken charge of seven UCL games and given three penalties and probably more memorably for us he was the man in the middle of England’s recent Nations League fixture with Denmark where he gave a spot kick against Kyle Walker – as well as flashing two red cards. On that showing I was waiting for his next appointment and here we are!
William Hill’s odds of only 7/4 are fairly skinny, but also pretty justified so I am willing to take them.
I also expect Leipzig to come out of the traps rapidly here, coming into the contest with three wins and a draw from their opening four Bundesliga games scoring ten goals in the process – seven of those have been in the opening 45 minutes. It’s 17/10 with Betway for Julian Nagelsmann’s side to score two or more first half goals here.
Rennes v Krasnodor | Tuesday 20th October 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
This will be the first ever game for Rennes in the competition and will fancy their chances of making it a winning start as they come in to the tie still undefeated after seven rounds of domestic action in Ligue 1 (W4-D3-L0), and will face a Krasnodar side who have had to travel without head coach Murad Musaev, as well as players Remy Cabella and Evgeni Markov.
Of those seven league games Julien Stephan’s side have scored at least twice on five occasions and in all three home games – I’m taking that run to continue here at odds of 5/6 with Bet 365.
For an outside chance to end my selections I have picked out Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd who has scored twice from seven league appearances this season for his new club.
The Moroccan has had attempts at goal in five of those matches with two shots in fixtures with Monaco and Saint Etienne so Bet 365’s odds of 10/1 for him to find the way to goal seem a little large especially as he is priced as low as 5/1 elsewhere.
Dynamo Kiev vs Juventus – Over 2.5 Goals (26/25 Unibet)
Dynamo Kiev vs Juventus – Viktor Tsygankov to score at anytime (7/2 Paddy Power)
Zenit vs Club Brugge – Zenit to win and Both Teams To Score (5/2 Betfair)
Zenit vs Club Brugge – Ruud Vormer to be shown a card (3/1 Betfair)
Barcelona vs Ferencvaros – Over 2.5 First-Half Goals (3/1 Betfair)
Barcelona vs Ferencvaros – Philippe Coutinho to score at anytime (7/5 Sky Bet)
Lazio vs Dortmund – Erling Haaland to score two or more goals (17/4 Betway)
Lazio vs Dortmund – Over 4.5 Cards (11/10 Bet 365)
RB Leipzig vs Basakeshir – A penalty to be awarded (7/4 William Hill)
RB Leipzig vs Basakeshir – Over 1.5 Firs-Half Goals for RB Leipzig (17/10 Betway)
Rennes vs Krasnador – Over 1.5 Rennes Goals (5/6 Bet 365)
Rennes vs Krasnador – Nayef Aguerd to score at anytime (10/1 Bet 365)