If you’re a lifelong football fan or even a newcomer, the chances are that the Champions League always gets you on the edge of your seat, it’s just so exciting. It’s the biggest club football competition in the whole of the world. I’ve just got to mention the two words on my social media posts and everyone is interested in what I’ve got planned.
With the world-class talent on show and the bookmakers going that extra mile with markets, offers and odds. it really does make for a punters dream. Whenever the Champions League comes around I tend to post a mixture of big odds and shorter odds specials on my page. The markets that have really taken my fancy at the minute are goalscorer, shots on target, corners and player cards. All of which can be extremely lucrative when priced up by a bookie. As you might’ve seen on my social media pages, I use these types of bets to great effect in my specials, combining a few players for some big odds.
How to back up your bets
One thing that I find crucial when picking my bets is the research that sits behind each selection and obviously, in such a highlighted competition the stats and research behind the Champions League is important. This is anything from goals per game percentages to player shots on target/player cards and team/injury news. I frequently spend a lot of time researching such statistics and reading news articles so that I’m best prepared when finalising a bet. Some of my favourite places to research these statistics are:
- Champions League website
All of the above websites are great for plenty of stats, especially for a deeper breakdown on a few of the more obscure markets like Shots on Target. It’s best to use a wide range of sources so that you’re making a reliable and well-informed decision about a bet.
As I said previously, there’s plenty of markets that are offered especially on the big clashes and it’s important to take advantage of these if you’ve found success there. Some of the more common markets can also pay a dividend when it comes to the Champions League and I’ll go into a few different markets in detail below.
The Champions League is a platform for the biggest names in Europe to showcase their talent. The likes of Ronaldo, Messi and Lewandowski have consistency showed their scoring power in the competition for many years now and whilst you’re probably not going to get great odds on the likes of them to score anytime in the group stage, you’ll probably find higher odds in the knockouts when the games are meant to become tighter and more competitive.
If you’re looking to find a goalscorer with higher odds then I recommend you look at players who aren’t amongst the big names but who are domestically in-form and are facing an opposition who tend to leak goals or have injury/suspensions at the back. Erling Braut Håland in the early parts of this season playing for RB Salzburg would be the perfect player who fits that description. I always suggest you check the team and injury news before committing to a bet.
Shots on target
The most obvious pick when you’re looking at an individual player to take x amount of shots at goal is the natural goalscorer. Just like when picking a goalscorer you’re going to be drawn towards a teams striker or main goal threat. You’ll think of perhaps Ronaldo and Messi in the Champions League. These two would likely be the shortest odds of any player in their team to have a shot on target, you’d be lucky to get odds of around 1.33/1.4 for Messi to have 2+ on target in a Barcelona home Champions League game. A selection like that may bolster a same game multi/bet builder style bet but I think the best way to go is hunt slightly outside the obvious and find where the value lies.
If you’re looking for value then you’ll probably have to look at maybe the 3rd or 4th in a teams list of goal threats. One player who I’ve found to be a great value this season is Chelsea’s left wing-back Alonso. In his 5 Champions League appearances this season he’s averaged an impressive 2.4 shots per game which is higher than players such as Sancho and Mane. You’ll get much better odds for someone like Alonso than you would for a main attacking goal threat.
The Champions League can be full of emotion and is one of the top competitions for card betting as games can often lead to a host of booking points accumulating across 90 minutes as players and even coaches get into heated battles, desperate to get their hands on the trophy at the end of the road.
As with every bet, research is key if you’re wanting to pick out a card bet pre-match. I suggest you firstly look at players/teams disciplinary record in both the Champions League and domestically before picking any bets. Club Brugge, Galatasaray and Ajax are the three top teams when it comes to fouls per game in the Champions League this season so if they’re playing then I would likely be interested in a card bet as long as my other research stacked up.
Steven Nzonzi has picked up 4 yellow cards in 5 appearances in the competition this season, he’s always been known to commit a foul and would be the kind of player who’s perfect for a card bet. I always suggest you check team news and also compare who players like Nzonzi will come up against; if he’s going to come up against a tough opponent like Kevin De Bruyne in midfield then he’s going to face a tough test.
It’s also worthwhile looking at the referee’s record as it’s factually known that different referees are more card happy than others in the Champions League. Szymon Marciniak at current averages exactly 5 yellow cards per game in the competition this season so he is certainly someone I would be looking at to referee a game where I’m backing cards.