Boom! After last night’s winning accumulator at 5/1, I’m going for another tonight but this time I’m fully focusing on the Champions League matches where there’s plenty to play for this time around.
I’ll attach my research below for tonight’s 8/1 acca, please have a quick read through before backing it.
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Zenit v Chelsea
Solid acca winner last night and with plenty of tasty fixtures on in the Champions League to choose from I have come up with a beauty of a four-fold. All four games still have plenty riding on them despite it being the final group game which should make them exciting to follow.
We begin in Russia where my beloved blues travel to Russia looking to seal top spot in Group H. They are level with Juventus on 12 points but a win tonight would do the trick due to their superior goal difference and superior H2H record over the Italian giants.
Despite their surprise defeat at West Ham at the weekend, the Blues are enjoying a brilliant campaign. Within 2 points of league leaders Man City in the Premier League and top of the group in the Champions League and already sealed qualification to the next round.
Tuchel has admitted there may be some rotation due to their heavy schedule and with Leeds coming up on Saturday but will still field a strong side. Sources suggest the extremely talented Saul Niguez could be handed a rare start and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see big Rom lead the line.
Granted, Chelsea have some injury issues but they have an insanely deep squad with so much quality, and I still strongly fancy them to do the job against the Russian outfit. Top spot is valuable and should offer a favourable draw come the knockout stages.
We finish with just a single card for the home side and fair to say they are very consistent at getting into the referee’s notebook. They have received at least 1 card in 4 of their 5 Champions League matches this season including the reverse game at the Bridge and I fancy them to pick up at least a card again tonight.
Juventus v Malmo
We stay in Group H where Juventus will want to ensure that should Chelsea slip up against Zenit then they are ready to swoop in to steal top spot. They face a relatively straightforward tie against newly-crowned Swedish champions Malmo who are already eliminated from the competition.
Malmo despite their dominance in Sweden simply can’t compete at this level and have taken some heavy beatings in this season’s competition including a 3-0 defeat against Juventus in the reverse fixture back in September.
Now, I don’t want to make assumptions but Malmo won the league on Saturday, and based on the scenes at the full-time whistle I would not be remotely surprised if a massive party was had over the weekend in Sweden! I would suggest they wouldn’t have paid too much attention to this game given they are already eliminated and preparation was probably far from ideal.
With top spot still a possibility, Juve are expected to name a strong side and ensure they do their job first and foremost and then hope that Chelsea drop points in Russia. Federico Chiesa and Danilo are still both long-term absences and Aaron Ramsey is also out but otherwise, Juve should be at more or less full strength.
Expect Juve to seal a very straightforward win against a Malmo side who are without doubt one of the weakest teams in this season’s competition and are probably still hanging from the weekend’s celebrations.
Similar to the first selection we require just a single card from the Swedes and with Juventus likely to completely dominate the game I can’t see the visitors not picking up a yellow. They have averaged 2.38 cards per game in the UCL this season and we require just the one here to see us through to the later kick-offs.
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv
Onto the later kick-offs then and we start in Portugal where Benfica still have a very decent chance of qualification to the knockout stages. In order to do so, they must win tonight and hope that Barca don’t as they face a very tough game away at group winners Bayern Munich.
They couldn’t have asked for an easier tie to get that much-needed win in all honesty as they host the worst team in the group in the shape of Ukrainian outfit Dynamo Kyiv. The visitors are already guaranteed to finish bottom having picked up just one point so fat throughout the UCL campaign.
They are playing for little more than pride here and there are plenty of suggestions that they may well rotate significantly here with the domestic league now of far superior importance the Champions League. Kyiv are neck and neck with Shakhtar Donetsk in the race for the title and no doubt they will have one eye on the weekend’s game against Zorya.
Benfica have a quality squad with the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi, Grimaldo, and Rafa Silva. They showed that quality when they shocked much of Europe with a 3-0 drubbing of Barcelona back in September and I fancy them to have far too much for an uninterested Kyiv tonight.
The Portuguese side should really dominate the game as they did in the reverse fixture finishing as a 0-0 draw. On the night in Ukraine Benfica had 68% possession, an xG of just under 2 goals and were the far better side. Playing back at home in Lisbon I would suspect even more dominance.
Benfica are extremely consistent in the corner market both domestically and in Europe. They average 6.54 corners per game in Liga NOS and 4 when playing at home in the UCL. We require just 4 tonight against an inferior Dynamo Kyiv outfit who have next to nothing to play for.
We finish with cards and given what is at stake for Benfica I wouldn’t be surprised to see it being a feisty affair. The reverse fixture saw 6 yellows (3 for each side) and we require just one for each side this evening!
Salzburg v Sevilla
We round the Champions League acca off in Austria for another vital game in an incredibly interesting group G where just 3 points separate top & bottom. Salzburg currently sit 2nd on 7 points, one place, and one point ahead of tonight’s opponents Sevilla meaning this game is pretty much a straight shootout for qualification.
The hosts have the fate in their own hands with a victory guaranteeing them a place in the last-16 – and a draw would also see off the threat of Wolfsburg due to their greater head-to-head goal difference. Sevilla meanwhile must win to ensure their route to the knockout stages.
Should be a quality watch full of drama, goals and tension with so much on the line. The fact that Sevilla must chase the game should make it an open and interesting affair and as we know from down the years, Salzburg simply don’t do boring games.
With that in mind, a couple of goals should cause us very few issues. Salzburg have seen over 1.5 goals feature in 70%+ of their league fixtures this season as well as 80% of their UCL fixtures. Sevilla have an almost identical record and given the context of the game, I strongly fancy this to follow suit.
Next up corners. Suspect this to be an evenly-matched affair as was the case in the reverse fixture in Seville which ended as a 1-1 draw. Both sides are more than capable of troubling the other side and creating chances and hopefully racking up the corners!
3+ required from each side. Salzburg average a huge 8.29 per game in the Bundesliga which goes up to 9.50 when playing at home. They are very consistent in the UCL too where they have averaged 6 which goes up to 8 when playing at home.
Sevilla aren’t quite so prolific but it has to be noted they play in a far superior domestic league and therefore are going to find it tougher. They still average 4.20 per game in La Liga and 6.4 in the Champions League, both well above the threshold of 3 we require tonight.
We finish on cards which should be a certainty given what is at stake for both sides. Their Champions League futures are on the line so expect time-wasting, professional fouls and gamesmanship galore- a card apiece will cause us no issues!
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