Champions League Tips: Veterans To The Fore
The Champions League is back and we have a 56/1 treble in the Shots on Target market
The Champions League is back and that can only mean one thing – a shots on target treble. The European football landscape is looking very different than it did the last time we heard the rousing Champions League anthem. Ole is gone, Xavi is back and Conte has broken his own rules. On the other hand, things feel like business as usual. Juventus look like their miserly old selves again, Messi is scoring wonderful solo goals and Chelsea are keeping clean sheets to beat the band. Let’s dive in.
Villarreal vs Man United – Tue 23rd Nov 17:45 GMT
United won the reverse fixture 2-1 but even their most dedicated fans will admit they were quite lucky that night. The Spaniards spurned a number of gilt-edged chances before United finally equalised, and then fell victim to some late Ronaldo magic. I tipped Arnaut Danjuma (Groeneveld) to have two or more shots on target that night at 3/1 and he duly obliged. The Dutchman has had four shots in each of his last three UCL outings and I see no reason to desert him now. He is averaging 3.9 shots per game (when he starts) this season and looks a great price at 11/5 for 2+ SOT. Villarreal will be out for revenge after that sucker punch at Old Trafford, and with only one defeat at home this season, will be full of confidence.
Chelsea vs Juventus – Tue 23rd Nov 20:00 GMT
Most pundits were surprised when the Blues lost in Turin earlier in the campaign and based on the odds another Juventus win would be a shock too. The Old Lady are priced at 5/1 here which seems high considering their form (W11 D2 L2) and that recent win over Chelsea. However, with Chelsea’s strong defensive record (one goal conceded in the last 7 Premier League and Champions League games) I’m inclined to stick with shots.
I am always tempted to pick Bonucci for a shot on target and at 3/1 he looks a great price. He scored twice at the weekend, both from the spot, and will be a threat from any set pieces. When Chiellini plays I am often torn between which of the veteran defenders to pick, so his continued absence makes this an easy one to call. Bonucci has 7 shots in his last four away games, which is way above average for a centre back.
Barcelona vs Benfica – Tue 23rd Nov 20:00 GMT
Anyone who knows me personally will find this a strange bet. I’m not a fan of tipping shots from the favoured team. Nor am I a fan of Sergio Busquets – not by a long shot. But the 33 year old midfielder is having something of a purple patch lately. As one of the few senior players to survive Xavi’s rejuvenation plans at Barcelona, and as a former teammate of the new manager, Busquets looks set to enjoy a prominent role this season. He has hit the target in both games since the departure of Koeman and looks grossly overpriced for a single SOT at 7/2 against a faltering Benfica.
Arnaut Danjuma (Groeneveld) 2+ SOT @ 11/5
Leonardo Bonucci 1+ SOT @ 3/1
Sergio Busquets 1+ SOT @ 7/2
The above in a treble at 56/1