Wolfsburg v Salzburg | Tuesday 2nd November 2021, 17:45 | BT Sport
Since these two met in Austria on MD3, Wolfsburg have dispensed with the services of Mark van Bommel as their manager, a decision no doubt hastened by the comprehensive 3-1 defeat at the Red Bull Arena which left the German outfit rooted to the bottom of Group G at the halfway stage.
Florian Kohfeldt is the new man in the Volkswagen Arena hot-seat, just four months since being relieved of his duties by Werder Breman after leading them to top-flight relegation, having not won any of his last 10 fixtures in charge – including a club record seven successive defeats.
The 39-year-old got off to a winning start at the weekend with a 2-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen, Wolves first win in eight games – a run which included five defeats, and all of their last four competitive fixtures before the trip to BayArena.
Kohfeldt, who was named Germany’s Coach of the Year for 2018 by the German Football Association, has a passionate style, preferring to play a possession-based but attacking system in-fact he was accused of being “over-offensive” by Bremen chairman Klaus Filbry.
Only Koen Casteels saving a late penalty prevented Leverkusen making it a 2-1 scoreline at the weekend and with 11 of Salzburg's last 13 games in the UCL seeing over 2.5 goals, coupled with the fact they are yet to lose a competitive game this season, we should see an entertaining clash here.
A win here for Jesse Marsch’s men could seal progression into the UCL knockouts for the first time in their history which means we should see them have a real go, but for a side with just one clean sheet in their previous seven competitive games, and none in their previous 20 UCL matches I am keen to play over 2.5 goals and both teams scoring at odds of 20/21 with Bet 365.
In what could become a shoot-out I am also going to get a player onside who is attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Karim Adeyemi opened the scoring after just three minutes in the reverse fixture, following on from his brace against Lille on MD2, where he was also the first player to get his name on the score-sheet, with the 19-year-old also on penalties (both goals against the French champions came from the spot) I think Bet365’s odds of 11/2 are nice enough to play each way.
Bayern Munich v Benfica | Tuesday 2nd November 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
Having done these previews for the last two campaigns, I am running out of superlatives to throw at the machine that is Bayern Munich.
Three games in to their latest UCL campaign, it’s three wins, scoring 12 goals in the process and yet to concede with the 4-0 victory in Lisbon their most recent drubbing of a European opponent, a win which also saw two goals either side of half time ruled out by VAR.
Julian Nagelsmann’s men have won 22 of their last 24 UCL matches and a 23rd in 25 here would book their progress through to the next phase, at odds as short as 1/7 the bookies make this a forgonesh conclusion.
The Bavarians are even more formidable at their Allianz Arena, winning 21 of their last 22 UCL group stage home matches, drawing the other against Ajax some three years ago, scoring an incredible 69 goals during that run.
From six home games in all competitions this season Bayern have won five averaging a mind boggling 4.17 goals per game, hitting four, five twice, including once in this competition and a seven – given Jorge Jesus could also be without five key players for this clash I just can’t see past a convincing home win.
The German champions are not a side to let an opponent off easily and so I am happy to take an odds against quote of 51/50 on the -2.25 Asian handicap with Bet 365 – meaning we get half our stake back should the home side only win by two goals – three or more nets the full win.
For my second bet in this tie, I’m am once again heading to the player market and to someone who I feel is getting back to their form of a couple of seasons ago, when in full flight they were pretty much unplayable – Leroy Sane.
The former Manchester City flyer has fired in 27 shots in his last five starts in all competitions, including six attempts when scoring twice in Portugal, with those aforementioned games reading 4, 4, 8, 6, 5 and although I was tempted with better odds of 21/10 for an assist, of which he also provided one in the away fixture, I am putting forward a minimum of another four shots here at odds of 4/5 with Betfair – those more ambitious amongst you will be interested to see the company quote up to six or more shots at odds of 4/1.
Dynamo Kiev v Barcelona | Tuesday 2nd November 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
Another club with a managerial casualty since the last round of UCL games is of course Barcelona who finally lost patience with Ronald Koeman after back-to-back La Liga defeats including against arch rivals Real Madrid at the Nou Camp – however there was certainly no “new manager bounce” in evidence as Sergi Barjuan oversaw an uninspiring 1-1 draw with relegation strugglers Alaves.
Dynamo Kyiv may be at the bottom of Group E having picked up just one point from their opening three group games, but they know a win will see them leapfrog their visitors and with Benfica massive underdogs to pick up anything in Munich, could see them move to within a point of second place.
Mircea Lucescu’s side are unbeaten at home in all competitions so far this season, which has extended their sequence since last tasting defeat at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium to 13 of which they have incredibly kept a clean sheet in all of them!
Barce on the other hand are yet to record a win on the road, losing their last three, if that becomes four here in Ukraine then the Blaugrana would be in severe danger of failing to qualify for the knockout stages of this competition for the first time in 17 years.
With all that taken into account, I can’t resist the even money on offer with Bet 365 to get Dynamo Kiev onside with a +0.5, +1.0 Asian handicap.
I played the following selection in the reverse fixture which saw Barcelona come out on top by a 1-0 scoreline and I have to take it on again.
Gavi has picked up four yellow cards in 675 minutes of action so far in his breakthrough season, averaging a caution every 168 minutes – but he is also a fairly prolific committer of fouls, totalling 21 so far at one every 32 minutes.
If the 17-year-old lives up to those averages again here, he gave away three fouls in the reverse fixture, I’m happy to take the 4/1 on offer from Sky Bet he finds his way in to referee Ovidiu Hațegan’s notebook, a referee who has shown 13 yellow and 1 red card in his TWO UCL appointments so far.
Juventus v Zenit | Tuesday 2nd November 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
Since defeating Zenit with the only goal of the game in Russia, Juventus have failed to win any of their three games and lost 2-1 to both Sassuolo and Verona in their last two whilst their opponents have scored 11 goals in crushing Spartak and Dynamo Moscow.
I feel the Old Lady will be a different proposition however, having won all three of their UCL matches this campaign as well as also winning eight of their last nine in the competition overall and eight of their last nine home ties.
The infamous miserly Juve defence has been seen in full force when in UCL action having not yet conceded a goal at the halfway point of the group stage, making it five clean sheets in the last seven in this tournament.
As a result, I find it hard to build a case for a Zenit side who have lost all of their last six UCL road trips, scoring twice and conceding 14.
We can get Juventus to win with a -1 Asian handicap at 97/100 with Bet 365 which would have copped in four of those six defeats with the other two of course losing nothing and returning the stake – it looks a solid play again here.
With the referee so good they named him twice in charge of this one, Alejandro José Hernández Hernández, I can’t pass up the opportunity to play cards.
The Spanish official has taken charge of five La Liga fixtures so far this season and shown 36 yellow cards and one red, issuing at least two cards to each team in every appointment and although this is his first UCL group stage game of the season he was the man in the middle for the UEL clash between Fenerbahce and Olympiakos in September.
The 38-year-old handed out five cautions, once again with at least two for each side and with both Zenit and Juventus picking up two cards each in Russia the 6/5 available with Bet 365 looks a worthy play, especially when you look at the Turin sides recent form where four of the last five competitive games have seen both teams pick up a minimum of two cards.
Sevilla v Lille | Tuesday 2nd November 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
Salzburg have stolen a march at the top of Group G, sitting four points clear, however Sevilla can take control of second place here with a win over an out of sorts Lille side – especially if the Austrians can do the business in Germany.
Although Los Nervionenses have drawn their last four UCL games they have only lost once this season, winning each of their last four at Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, building strong foundations on a solid defence – conceding just once at home other than in a crazy 5-3 victory of Levante and in allowing only seven goals from 11 league games no side has conceded fewer in La Liga.
The current French champions on the other hand have only won one of their last six games in all competitions, being defeated in five of their last six road trips including each of the last three, also winless in their last 12 games in this competition.
Torn between two options I am going to go with the better odds – having initially looked at a Sevilla win and under 4.5 goals at odds of 4/5 – an outcome that would have paid in all bar one of Sevilla’s six home games this season and in five of Lille’s eight road trips.
However, a simple bet looks solid in the -1 Asian handicap again with Bet 365 at 11/10 – a bet that has landed in all five of Sevilla’s home wins this term and we have the safety net of a refund if this ends with a victory for the Spanish side by one goal.
This is also another game I like for cards with referee István Kovács having shown 89 yellow and two red cards in his last 16 appointments.
Lille have collected 25 cautions in their eight away games this season in all competitions at an average of 3.13 per game – seeing at least two in all of them, it’s 17 yellow cards and two reds for Sevilla in six at home picking five twice including in their only previous UCL home game this term – where they also saw red.
Using #YourOdds with William Hill I have put a bet together of over 0.5 cards in the first half, and over 1.5 cards for each team in the 90 minutes, which gives a price of 19/20.
Villarreal v Young Boys | Tuesday 2nd November 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
While rumours circulate that Newcastle are willing to pay a “hefty transfer fee” to bring Unai Emery back to the EPL – possibly even ahead of the international break – Villarreal's manager will be giving his full focus on making sure his current employers remain in a strong position in wide open Group F.
Just three points separate top from bottom with all four sides having both won and lost at least once and that kind of erratic form is replicated by these two sides who come in to this crunch clash with, excluding the recent reverse fixture, a combined two wins in 12 games.
The home side could have some key absentees with the prolific Gerard Moreno the biggest miss, although having Paco Alcacer and Boulaye Dia fighting it out to fill the void is not a bad situation.
Calling a winner is tough, despite the Yellow Submarine comfortably sinking their rivals 4-1 last month, but I do expect them to win on home soil, however the best price of 53/100 is untouchable.
The UEL Champions have conceded in each of their last five fixtures and in each of their three ties in this group – so a win is likely to come with a concession of at least one goal which of course means they will have to score at least twice (best priced 4/9) which led me to “over 2.5 goals and both teams scoring”.
A price of 10/11 is very appealing as it takes the risk out of needing an out of sorts Villarreal to actually win and if this game is in keeping with both these sides recent form it looks to have an excellent chance, Young Boys have seen the bet land in each of their last four and in eight of their last 11, and neither team has kept a clean sheet in any of their last five UEFA fixtures.
Arnaut Danjuma was plying his trade in the Championship last season, putting in a series of eye-catching displays on his way to firing 17 goals as well as eight assists in 37 appearances for the Cherries, enough to secure a reported £21m move to Spain.
After a finding the net against Atalanta on MD1 and providing an assist on MD2, the Netherlands international failed to register a direct goal involvement in Switzerland but I feel he will make up for that back at the Estadio de la Ceramica where he is especially coming to life in the second half of games.
My temptation was to put Danjuma forward to score the last goal as he has done in three of the five games he has scored for his club this season, but I’m instead going to keep it nice and simple with odds of 20/13 available via SBK
Wolfsburg v Salzburg: Over 2.5 goals and Both Teams To Score (20/21 Bet365)
Wolfsburg v Salzburg: Karim Adeyemi First Goalscorer e/w (11/2 Bet365)
Bayern v Benfica: Bayern -2.25 Asian Handicap (51/50 Bet365)
Bayern v Benfica: Leroy Sane To Have 4 Or More Shots (4/5 Betfair)
Dynamo Kiev v Barcelona: Dynamo Kiev +0.5, +1.0 Asian handicap (1/1 Bet365)
Dynamo Kiev v Barcelona: Gavi To Be Carded (4/1 SkyBet)
Juventus v Zenit: Juventus -1 Asian Handicap (97/100 Bet365)
Juventus v Zenit: Both Teams To Receive 2+ Cards Each (6/5 Bet365)
Sevilla v Lille: Sevilla -1 Asian Handicap (11/10 Bet365)
Sevilla v Lille: Over 0.5 cards in the first half, and Over 1.5 cards for each team in the 90 minutes (19/20 #Your Odds William Hill)
Villarreal v Young Boys: Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (10/11 Bet365)
Villarreal v Young Boys: Arnaut Danjuma to score (20/13 SBK)