Football | Champions League Matchday Three Tuesday | Preview and Odds

All eyes will be on Manchester on Tuesday for the start of matchday three of the Champions League – and one man in particular at Old Trafford.

Tuesday sees the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United, where his Juventus side can put one foot in the knockout stages with a win over the Red Devils.

With Manchester City also in action, here’s our Champions League betting expert’s preview of Tuesday’s games.

Manchester United v Juventus

When Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off against Valencia in Juventus’ group opener, his tears weren’t because he was worried about missing their second match against Young Boys.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner knew he’d put his return to Man United, at the club where he spent six successful years, in serious doubt – and he will have been mightily relieved that Uefa only banned him for the one match.

All of that means he’ll be centre stage on Tuesday as he makes his second Old Trafford appearance since leaving for Real Madrid in 2009, and his first as a Juve player.

Unsurprisingly, he scored with Real on his previous visit in 2013, so don’t discount the 6/4 with for him to score anytime.

Juventus can take control of this group with a win, which would make it three from three.

Max Allegri’s side have made no secret of their desire to win in Europe this year after a decade of dominance at home – and the addition of Ronaldo means the 6/1 for them to win the trophy might look a great price as the season goes on.

Juventus are a well-priced 7/5 for this one.

United were seconds away from a morale-boosting win against Chelsea on Saturday, before Ross Barkley netted a 96th minute equaliser.

Having made a stuttering start in the league, and being held 0-0 by Valencia last time out in the Champions League, a win here would provide a shot in the arm for Jose Mourinho’s tenure, as well as elevating them back into contention in Group H.

Defeat, and the pressure really would increase on the Portuguese boss.

United are 2/1 to win here.

Things have certainly changed since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson when a United home win in the Champions League would be counted as a surprise – but getting the three points here would certainly be an upset.

I can’t see that happening, but I think United showed enough against Chelsea to prove they can mix it against Juventus.

Make no mistake, Juve are well ahead of where United are at the moment, but I think they’d be reasonably pleased with a point, and may settle for one.

I’m backing a draw at 11/5.


Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City

Until David Silva’s late winner against Hoffenheim, City were staring down the barrel of no wins in their last five Champions League games.

But for that piece of inspiration from their Spanish magician, City would also have been up against it in Group F after opening-day defeat to Lyon, though that goal now pushes them up into second place.

City now face a tricky away trip to Shakhtar Donetsk, where they were turned over 2-0 in last year’s group stage.

The cold air and fiery atmosphere of Ukraine has accounted for plenty of Champions League shocks in recent years, with City, Chelsea, Roma, Arsenal and Barcelona all falling to Shakhtar in the past decade.

After two draws from two, Shakhtar are 13/2 to pull off another upset on Tuesday.

City warmed up for this Champions League outing with a convincing 5-0 win over Burnley on Saturday – and that defeat to Lyon in the opening match of the group appears to have jolted them into life.

They have won five of their six games since, to an aggregate of 17-1. And they’ve done all of that without Kevin De Bruyne, who could be fit for his first start of the season here.

After that Lyon blip, City have gone from strength to strength, and I don’t see them letting up here.

The 4/11 for City to win might be too short – but the 10/11 for City to win to nil could provide good value.




Leave a Reply