All and sundry love Champions League football, and this week we have the third set of games in the group stages.
A three points gained or dropped now can be significant as the groups are taking shape, teams will become more expansive in their play and hopefully the floodgates will open here at Goals Galore. Check out our treble…
Schalke v Chelsea – 7.45pm Tuesday
Both teams to score odds – 4/6
Group E is setting up to be quite the mini league. The outstanding favourites Chelsea, cannot drop a point after their shock home defeat to Basel in the opening week. The Blues lie in third behind Basel and their opponents here Schalke lead the pack. The German side will be very pleased with their start, picking up maximum points including an important away victory against Chelsea conquerors Basel, away from home in the previous game week.
Schalke have already lost three games in the Bundesliga including a defeat and a draw at home. They’re certainly vulnerable and I fancy Chelsea to win on Tuesday evening, however I am confident Schalke will find the back of the net at least once. On Saturday they were involved in a 3-2 win over Braunschweig and previous to that they won 4-1 at home to Augsburg. It is clear that they’re finding the net with ease but are also conceding. Great news for us.
Chelsea as already mentioned need a win to get that first place seeding in the group and losing here will almost rule them out of top spot and leave them struggling for second. Chelsea have seen both teams score in they’re past three league games against opposition you would expect them to shut out including Norwich City and Cardiff City- If these two can breach their defence, I can see Schalke doing so. Goals won’t be an issue, and with a midfield of Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard they should come in their plenty.
Arsenal v Dortmund – 7.45pm Tuesday
Both teams to score odds – 8/15
A cracking match awaits us in Group F- along with AC Milan verses Barcelona, this is tie of the round. Arsenal are one of the most in form sides in Europe and you just wouldn’t bet against them at present. The Gunners are up against last years finalists Borussia Dortmund, who have already picked up a loss away to Napoli but will know a win at the Emirates will put them back in contention.
Arsenal are unbeaten since mid August and are on a run of form which has seen them score 16 goals in just six games. We all know they will find the net once more on Tuesday but will they concede? Well in those previous six fixtures they have conceded in five of those and I can desperate Dortmund doing the same against this shaky Arsenal defence.
Dortmund as aforementioned need at least a point here or face an almighty up hill task as second placed Napoli are expected to defeat Marseille, leaving the Germans adrift of the Italians. Lewandowski, Reus, Blaszczykowski will need to be on top form on Tuesday nightand even though a win may be one step too far, I cannot see them leaving London without a goal.
Leverkusen v Shakhtar Donetsk – 7.45pm Wednesday
Both teams to score odds – 8/13
Champions League Group A looks set up for Manchester United and Shakhtar to proceed, both owning 4 points, however Leverkusen can overtake Shakhtar with a win on Wednesday. Leverkusen will know this is their best chance to keep them in the hunt for 2nd spot in the group behind the Red Devils.
The German side have started the season brilliantly in the Bundesliga, sitting in third spot and just a point behind leaders Bayern. In Europe they registered a 2-1 victory in game week two over Real Sociedad and will be confident of a victory here. Leverkusen are unbeaten in all competitions since their loss to United on the opening Champions League night and will certainly be confident of a victory here.
Shakhtar are now a recognisable force each year in Europe as they continue to showcase their credentials. They beat Sociedad in Spain 2-0 and held Man United to a 1-1 draw in Ukraine so won’t be looking to shut up shop here in Germany. Fantastically for us Shakhtar have scored a tremendous 17 goals in just five games and four of these involved both teams scoring. I cannot see this fixture going any of the way.