By Antony Jordan
The Champions League group stage concludes this Wednesday night with plenty still to play for in Europe’s top club football competition. We’re taking a look at three of the biggest matches as Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund do battle for top spot in Group F, Lyon and Sevilla clash for a place in the knockout stage of the Champions League in Group H and we see if Tottenham can win their first match at Wembley to avoid having their European adventure ended before Christmas by CSKA Moscow.
We preview this trio of games from round six of the Champions League group stages with online sportsbook Bet365.com and provide our best Champions League picks.
Group F sees Dortmund arrive at the Bernabeu to face Real Madrid leading their hosts by two points and knowing that victory or a share of the spoils in the Spanish capital will see them into the last 16 stage of the Champions League with the best seeding for the knockout stages. However, winning at the home of Real Madrid is easier said than done and the German’s last two visits to this ground have seen them concede five and score none. The first meeting between these two sides this season in Germany saw the sides share the spoils and the away side would be happy with successive draws, but can they get something on this ground to claim top spot?
Despite sitting second in Group F it is not a surprise to see Real come into this match as the odds-on favourites to win this match as they have not lost any of their 20 games this season. They have won five and drawn one of their last six, with the draw coming against Barcelona, and their last five home matches have seen five wins with 18 goals scored.
Dortmund have scored 11 goals in their last five away games but, unlike Real, have won just two of these five matches. However, the patterns in all of these matches for both sides is goals and with 23 goals in the last six meetings of these two teams we can see goals at the Bernabeu this Wednesday evening too.
Our best Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund bet is back Both Teams to Score – Yes AND Over 2.5 goals to be scored @ 1.72
The Parc Olympique Lyonnais sees an intriguing match from Group H of the Champions League as the hosts come into the game third in the group, three points behind their guests. As the first match in Seville ended 1-0 to the Spaniards the only way for the French home side to progress to second in the group and the knockout stages of this competition is to win this match by at least two goals but with their only home clash with Sevilla ending 0-0 in a 2014 friendly match, will they be able to upset the odds to progress to the Champions League knockout stages instead of the Europa League?
Lyon’s home form in this competition has been up and down this season with a 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb followed by a 1-0 loss to Juventus despite playing for 35 minutes with an extra man. They come into this match sitting sixth in France’s Ligue 1 and have lost three of their last four home games, conceding seven in this two month span.
Sevilla are yet to concede a goal on the road in this competition and have conceded just three goals in their five matches – and all of these came in their last match against Juventus when they played 55 minutes with ten men. Their away form in all competitions is strong too with just one defeat in six and they have netted 14 goals in these clashes, and despite them having to be the more defensive side in this match we feel that they’ll just edge this game to progress.
Group E comes to a close for these English and Russian Premier League sides at Wembley Stadium in the heart of London with both sides knowing that victory will see the other team have their European campaign ended as early as possible. The teams are third and fourth in the group with four and three points respectively, having won just a single match between them – and that came as Tottenham triumphed 1-0 in Moscow at the end of September!
Due to the building works being carried out on White Hart Lane for the demolition of the ground and the building of their new stadium, Tottenham are playing at the home of English football for this campaign and it has not gone well for them so far as Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen have both claimed one goal wins. You can be sure that with elimination on the horizon and the despair that failure to win on this ground will bring, Tottenham will be properly motivated to win this match. Can they live up to their odds-on favourite billing to win?
CSKA will be out for revenge after defeat to Tottenham on home soil more than two months ago, but they know that if they are to avoid missing out on action in Europe at the start of 2017 they will need to record their first win in the group stages. They have lost fewer games than their hosts, but three draws from five games still leaves them bottom. With them drawing 2-2 in Germany with Leverkusen and losing 3-0 in France by Monaco coupled with the fact that they have lost five of their last six away matches we feel that Tottenham should claim their second win this Wednesday night to secure passage to the Europa League knockout stages. However, they offer little value to win this match, but to win they will need goals and with Harry Kane bagging six in his last five we fancy the England striker to find the net at Wembley.