Manchester United haven’t fully convinced in their two Group H assignments against CFR Cluj and Galatasaray but have still come away with maximum points and another narrow victory is on the cards as they entertain Braga.
Hillls make Sir Alex Ferguson’s troops 4/11 to overcome the Portuguese outfit but the visitors are capable of keeping things tight and a case can be made for BetVictor’s 14/5, marked against a United triumph by a one-goal margin. Alternatively, Ladbrokes price a 1-0 home victory at 7/1.
Premier League leaders Chelsea face a tricky trip to Ukraine, the Blues taking on a Shakhtar Donetsk team unbeaten in 28 outings. Obviously much of that run has come domestically, where the opposition isn’t of the quality of the defending European champions but the hosts’ form certainly means that Roberto Di Matteo’s men are far from a banker at 19/10 via Ladbrokes.
Nevertheless, they have the attacking quality in midfield, where the likes of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard pull the strings, to trouble the hosts while at the other end Shakhtar have danger men of their own so the best bet is arguably bet365’s even money for the contest to produce three or more goals.
At 5/2 with Skybet, the draw isn’t without appeal in the Donbass Arena, where Stan James offer 4/5 for both teams to score but the match is too tough to call and shrewd punters will be siding with goal-related wagers, including Sportingbet’s 5/2 for Fernando Torres to score at any time.
Both Celtic and Barcelona warmed up for their Champions League showdown by smashing in five goals on the road at the weekend but while the Hoops backed that up with a clean sheet, the Catalans giants shipped four goals at Deportivo La Coruna. However, it’s the La Liga leaders that are overwhelming favourites for the three Group G points, Stan James rating Tito Vilanova’s men at just 1/12 to send Neil Lennon’s boys home empty-handed.
Incredibly, the Hoops are as high as 40/1 at BetVictor to stun the four-time European champions while Ladbrokes post 10/1 against them grabbing a share of the spoils and although Celtic are in great shape at the minute, especially after they edged out Spartak Moscow in their last Champions League encounter, it nevertheless looks set to be a case of damage limitation for the Hoops against a Barca team capable of passing opponents off the park.
It’s telling that a 3-0 Barca triumph, at 6/1 with Paddy Power is considered the most likely result, although it might be worth going a little further and backing a 4-0 success at 7/1 (BetVictor). Alternatively, Lionel Messi, fresh from bagging his 21st hat trick for Barca, is 2/1 with William Hill to break the deadlock.
Elsewhere, Betfred’s 8/15 favourites Bayern Munich can secure a maximum haul in Lille, William Hill rate Juventus at 4/11 to overcome FC Nordsjaelland but BATE Borisov look overpriced at 5/2 courtesy of bet365 as they entertain Valencia.
Over 2.5 goals in Shakhtar Donetsk v Chelsea game – evens (bet365)
Fernando Torres to score at any time – 5/2 (Sportingbet)
Barcelona to beat Celtic 4-0 – 7/1 (BetVictor)
Man Utd to beat Braga 1-0 – 7/1 (Ladbrokes)