Where’s the vodka? I’m coming!
By Antony Jordan
The second round of the Champions League group stage begins this Tuesday evening with eight games being played around the continent. We’re taking a look at three of the biggest matches taking place as Tottenham look to bounce back from a home loss to Monaco in Moscow, while Leicester look double their points tally with victory in the first Champions League game at The King Power Stadium. The final game of the trio we’re reviewing with online sportsbook Bet365.com sees two European giants clash in the Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid game at Signal-Iduna-Park.
The visitors to the Stadion PFK CSKA this Tuesday evening have bounced back well from their 2-1 defeat to Monaco at Wembley two weeks ago as they have moved to second in the EPL and into the last 16 stage of the EFL Cup in England with three successive wins where they have scored eight goals and conceded just one. These results will give them plenty of confidence for their first ever meeting with the side sitting second in the Russian Premier League, but with Harry Kane, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele and Moussa Sissoko all out injured how will a weakened team manage in Russia?
CSKA did not start their Group E campaign well as they were 2-0 down in Germany to Bayer Leverkusen after just 18 minutes, but a stunning comeback saw them level 20 minutes later and the match saw no further goals as the teams shared the spoils. They have been going so well domestically – winning five, drawing three and conceding just three goals (including just one at home) – that they rested players at the weekend for this clash. With Tottenham lacking some of their biggest names for this match we feel that they could very well be on the end of a second successive defeat, but they’ll play very defensively and have enough quality to win this match themselves too. As a result of this, we’re backing the home side but covering ourselves too.
The Champions League comes to the Midlands this Tuesday evening as The King Power Stadium hosts its first ever match from Europe’s premier football competition as last season’s EPL champions take on the 2003 Champions League winners. Jose Mourinho was the manager of Porto when they lifted the crown and it was the Portuguese manager who continued The Foxes’ poor domestic form at the weekend as his Manchester United side thumped Leicester 4-1, but can they bounce back from that to win this first home match in Europe?
Leicester are top of Group G coming into this game following a comfortable 3-0 win in Belgium and the memory of this win will give them a massive boost as they triumphed against Club Brugge having suffered a 4-1 loss to Liverpool in the EPL. Porto drew their match at home to Copenhagen in the first stage of the Champions League and are without a win in two games on the road since seeing off Roma in the Play Off stage of the Champions League. The sides have never met previously so this will be a new experience for both teams and with both side’s inconsistent form we feel that this match could go either way. However, both sides are capable of scoring – and conceding – goals so we feel that the value in this game, especially as both sides are at almost full strength.
Both of these sides triumphed in their opening Group F matches and it is the home side who top the group going into this key clash as they claimed all three points in far greater style than Cristiano Ronaldo and co. Dortmund raced out of the blocks in Poland as Mario Götze opened the scoring against Legia Warsaw after six minutes before they added five more goals in a 6-0 thumping, while Real did not open the scoring at home to Sporting Lisbon until the 89th minute as they came from a goal down to win 2-1.
Since these matches things have gone very differently for the sides too was the Germans have added another 14 goals to their tally as they have won all three of their Bundesliga clashes, while Real have beaten Espanyol 2-0 before dropping points to Villarreal and Las Palmas to see their advantage at the top of the Spanish league down to just a single point. The last three meetings on this ground in this competition have seen the Germans win each game with a total aggregate scoreline of 8-2, while the last six clashes in Dortmund and the Spanish capital have produced 19 goals so we feel that we are in for an exciting game in the biggest match of the night.
With this record of goals and both sides boosting some of the best attackers in Europe, we can’t see anything but goals in this match as we are sure that both teams are capable of victory at Signal-Iduna-Park.