The Champions League group stages return this week with some interesting match-ups ahead.
Liverpool will be hoping a trip to a Genk on Wednesday can put a stop to their struggles away from home in Europe, whilst Chelsea’s young guns are put to test once more – they’ll be visiting last season’s Champions League semi-finalists Ajax.
Our football betting expert previews three games, including a nod to Inter Milan vs Borussia Dortmund, whilst picking out the best Champions League odds.
Genk v Liverpool
Reigning European Champions Liverpool will be looking to put an end to a dismal display of away form in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. They’ve already endured a loss at Napoli so a visit to a poor-performing Genk is surely the perfect chance to turn things around on the road. Liverpool need to get their road form going. I don’t foresee a goal-fest here though, so my money is on under 2.5 goals at 2/1.
The Belgian hosts need something from this game to keep any spark of European hope ignited, having only taken one point from their first two matches. It was a notable point though, coming against a Napoli side who overcame Liverpool in their first game.
The Reds have lost their last four in the group stage of the tournament, but they have won six of their last nine European games and are on a five-match unbeaten streak against Belgian opposition. Back Jurgen Klopp’s side for a 2-0 victory at 7/1 with Grosvenor Sport.
Ajax v Chelsea
Ajax lead the way in Group H after taking all six points from their opening two games, establishing a three-point lead over Chelsea. The Dutch outfit netted six times and conceded zero in those fixtures too, placing them in a good position to qualify, but now they must face the Blues home and away.
Chelsea opened their group effort badly, losing at Stamford Bridge to Valencia 1-0. They have gained some much-needed form and momentum since then and will surely pose a considerable problem to Ajax, but it’s still the home side who go into the game as 13/10 favourites.
Chelsea are also on good goalscoring form, scoring 16 times in their last five games in all competitions. However, there isn’t an awful lot of value in backing both teams to score here so I’m going for a 2-1 Champions League victory for Ajax which is available at 15/2.
Inter Milan v Borussia Dortmund
Group F is arguably the toughest group of all this year, but it’s still no surprise that Barcelona are most-fancied to finish on top. However, it’s Borussia Dortmund who currently occupy top spot on account of their goal difference, after holding the Catalans to a 0-0 scoreline before recording a 2-0 victory away at Slavia Prague.
Inter Milan chucked away a Champions League lead at the Nou Camp but are probably still in the running along with Dortmund to take second spot, meaning this fixture carries significant weight in the quest for qualification. The Italian side are 5/4 favourites to take the game, which is probably only on account of the home advantage. Dortmund are no strangers to a fierce stadium atmosphere though so I can’t imagine that it will faze them too much.
It’s going to be a delicate balance for both sides here between defence and attack and the quality throughout both outfits and experience on the big stage means I think a draw could be on the cards. Back a 1-1 outcome at 11/2.