By Antony Jordan
The penultimate round of the Champions League group stage kicks off around Europe this Tuesday evening and there are some massive matches for some big sides to be played. The biggest is clearly for North London EPL side Tottenham Hotspur who travel to France to face Group E leaders Monaco knowing that failure to win could see them slip out of the competition and into the Europa League. We’re also taking a look at the battle for top spot in Group H between Sevilla and Juventus plus seeing if Leicester City can get over the line and top Group G with a win at home to Belgian side Club Brugge.
We preview this trio of matches with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our top Tuesday night Champions League picks.
This Group E battle sees the sides sitting second in France’s Ligue 1 and fifth in the EPL, although they are only three and four points off the top of these divisions respectively, do battle at the Stade Louis II in a vital match for both teams. Monaco are top of this Champions League group having won two and drawn two of their four matches so far – including beating their guests this week at Wembley – while Tottenham have lost half of their games so far and are four points off the top and two points behind Bayer Leverkusen in the final qualification place for the knockout stages. With just one more match to play in the group after this game both will feel that they must win, but whose most likely to take the points?
It is the home side that come into this match in the better form as they are unbeaten in six matches and have won four of their last five, scoring 19 goals, and their last three games have all been won to nil with 12 goals netted. They are full of confidence, have goals flowing and, recently, have prevented others from finding the net against them. At home this season they have won eight and drawn two of ten games and while they are only the slight favourites to win this match they certainly deserve to be in the lead on this market.
Tottenham are happy to see Harry Kane return to the side as two late goals from the England striker at the weekend saw them end a seven match winless run and Kane has now scored three of the last four goals scored by the North Londoners. He will need to continue this form as his team have netted just three goals in five away matches and are without a win in any of these games. Their last away win came in Moscow against CSKA in September and the win over West Ham on Saturday will have them believing in themselves again, but their visit to this ground last season ended as a 1-1 draw and they know that they cannot afford not to win this match if they’re to move into the last 16 of the Champions League.
With Monaco in such good form, however, we cannot see Tottenham taking all three points in this match, but with all of the four meetings between the teams since 2013 have seen goals – with both teams finding the net on each occasion – we are backing this pattern to continue as both sides push for all three points in the principality.
The top two sides in Group H come into this penultimate match of the group unbeaten as Tuesday night’s hosts have won three and drawn one to sit two points ahead of the side currently top of Italy’s Serie A. This week’s battle at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán will be more vitally important for Juventus as they sit just four points ahead of Lyon (who face bottom of the group Dinamo Zagreb who are yet to secure a point) and defeat in Spain this week could see them with just a single point margin going into the final group game.
Despite the fact that they are now seven points clear at top of the Italian league, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri made very few changes to his side at the weekend but four wins and a draw in five games coming into this clash will see them fancying their chances. Sevilla made few changes at the weekend also as a late, late comeback at Deportivo La Coruna saw them stay ‘best of the rest’ in Spain behind Real Madrid and Barcelona and with seven wins in eight matches on home soil this season, losing only to Barcelona in a closely fought game, they too will believe that they can win this one.
With the first meeting of these two teams in Turin seeing a 0-0 draw and the other six matches played in Group H seeing just one goal conceded in total by both teams, plus there being a total of three goals in the three meetings between Sevilla and Juventus since the start of last season, we do not see goals in this match. If either of these two sides is to win this game, we believe that it’ll be the home side but this game could just as easily end as a draw. There is no value on the Double Chance market, so we are backing a pattern to continue in this match too and we’re not backing goals in Seville.
The two sides who will meet at The King Power Stadium in this Leicester City v Club Brugge match on Tuesday night are having very opposite seasons so far. The Foxes are struggling to defend their Premier League title as they sit 14th in the EPL but are looking fantastically impressive in the Champions League, while the Belgian side are yet to take a point in Europe and are just a single point off second place in their domestic league. Bet365 see both sides carrying on as they have done so far this season as they see a comfortable victory for Claudio Ranieri’s men, but can The Foxes hunt down all three points?
Leicester’s most resounding win in the Champions League so far came in Belgium as Marc Albrighton scored an early opener before Riyad Mahrez bagged two more goals to secure a 3-0 win over Brugge and since then they have beaten Porto and FC Copenhagen 1-0 at The King Power Stadium as well as drawing 0-0 in Denmark to be on the verge of reaching the last 16 stage of this competition on their first appearance. With Brugge having failed to score away in both Group G matches so far as they lost 4-0 at Copenhagen and 1-0 in Porto we cannot see the Belgians getting anything from this match and we like Leicester to make the knockout phase at the first attempt this week!