5 Tips for Wednesday's Champions League Games - 29/09/21

Juventus vs Chelsea: Chelsea to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1

Early season strugglers Juventus host Champions League holders Chelsea in the standout fixture on Wednesday in Turin, with both sides coming into the game following a win on matchday one.

Juventus were occupying the relegation zone in Serie A just last week, but consecutive 3-2 victories over Spezia and Sampdoria have finally stabilised their season after a horrendous start. An unsettled defence that has flipped between Italy’s Euro 2020 heroes, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, and Matthijs de Ligt has failed to keep a clean sheet domestically this season, not helped by regular blunders by goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

In comparison, Chelsea have conceded just twice in their six league games, against Liverpool and Manchester City, but their defeat at the weekend to Pep Guardiola’s side should not affect them too much given the strong start they have made despite having so many difficult fixtures to begin with.

Juve will be without their key man so far this season, Paulo Dybala, so Chelsea who were already favourites, now have even more of the edge, and we tip them to win in a close match here.

Champions League Predictions

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CHELSEA TO WIN 1-0, 2-0 OR 2-1 @ 7/4

Benfica vs Barcelona: Benfica to win

Benfica put their unbeaten start to the season on the line with their most difficult tie of the campaign so far, albeit, against a Barcelona side currently in turmoil.

Jorge Jesus’ side have a 100% winning record so far in Portugal this season, and two 0-0 draws away from home in Europe are the only two games they have failed to win. Back-to-back 3-1 wins since their last venture in Europe has seen them extend their early lead to four points from Porto and Sporting Lisbon after just seven games.

Meanwhile, Barcelona’s win over Levante on Sunday was their first in four games, after a humbling defeat at home to Bayern Munich which saw them fail to register a single shot on target, and two draws with Granada and Cadiz. The draw with Granada summed up the current state they are in, a centre-back playing as a striker, saving them with a 90th-minute equaliser after being assisted by a 17-year-old.

Benfica will probably not have a better chance to record a first win over Barcelona in over 60 years, and the form suggests they are favourites here, even if the bookmakers disagree.

Champions League Predictions

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BENFICA TO BEAT BARCELONA @ 15/8

Atalanta vs Young Boys: BTTS + over 3.5 goals

The first-ever meeting between Atalanta and Young Boys takes place on Wednesday evening, as the Swiss champions look to build on their incredible success over Manchester United in their opening match.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s men are starting to live up to their ‘entertainers’ tag once again after a very sluggish start to the season. A thrilling 2-2 draw at San Siro against champions Inter Milan at the weekend was what we have come to expect from La Dea, in a game they could have easily won or lost. Another 2-2 draw with Villarreal on matchday one seems to have revitalised them and saw them record two victories following that result, before the draw with Inter.

Atalanta enjoy bagging goals in Serie A, as they have been the top scorers in each of the last three seasons, but Young Boys’ record in Switzerland is as equally absurd. They have averaged well over two goals per game in the Super League for six seasons in a row, and that goalscoring form has continued recently, with 21 goals in their last five, including two against United, as they were relentless in attack once their visitors went down to ten men.

If any game on Wednesday should provide goals, it is surely this one in Bergamo.

Champions League Tips

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BTTS AND OVER 3.5 GOALS IN ATALANTA V YOUNG BOYS @ 13/8

Wolfsburg vs Sevilla: Under 2.5 goals

There is nothing to separate the four sides in Group G after two draws last time out, and Wolfsburg now host Sevilla in Germany in a game that may well be close-fought again.

The fact both sides have drawn three of their last five games suggests where this game may be heading, but both were fortunate not to lose on matchday one. Wolfsburg saw their opponents Lille have a goal chalked off very unfortunately for the ball going out of play over 70 yards away from goal, before a late penalty was overturned by VAR. However, holding on to a point despite having ten men for over half an hour shows Wolfsburg continue to be a tough nut to crack, as only Freiburg and Mainz have conceded fewer goals in Bundesliga than the Wolves.

Sevilla’s opening encounter was nothing short of extraordinary, as four first-half penalties were awarded, and the first three all going to the Austrian side. They missed two of them before Ivan Rakitic was awarded one for himself and dispatched it for the Andalusians. Like Wolfsburg, they also played most of the second half with ten men and survived a late barrage from Salzburg to hold on to their point.

Sevilla have continued to show good defensive form, conceding just once in the three games that have followed their last European tie, picking up seven points too while maintaining their record as the best defence so far in La Liga.

Champions League Tips

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SEVILLA TO WIN AND UNDER 3.5 GOALS @ 9/4

Zenit vs Malmo: Zenit to win + BTTS

The two sides who suffered defeats two weeks ago in Group H go head-to-head in St. Petersburg, when Russian league leaders Zenit host Swedish champions Malmo in one of the early kick-offs on Wednesday.

Zenit may be cruising in the Russian Premier League, four points clear already with nine games played, but remarkably, no team in the top half has conceded as many goals as they have. In the ten games they have played this season, their only clean sheet came against their usual title rivals, CSKA Moscow. This, of course, means though that they are the top scorers too to outweigh the goals they have let in at the other end. The only game they have failed to score in was at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago, and if Artem Dzyuba’s six-foot-six frame was just an inch taller, they would have found the net in that game too.

Malmo had been going through a bit of a rough patch recently, failing to win in five matches, picking up just two points domestically which has derailed their title challenge, but two victories in three days last week may give them some confidence travelling to Russia. Despite results not going their way, the goals did not dry up in that run. They have scored in all but one of their last eleven matches, with the only exception being against Juventus on matchday one.

Home advantage and form on their side should be a decisive factor for Zenit here, and we tip them to win, but with their defensive frailties and Malmo’s attacking threat, both teams to score looks likely too.

Champions League Predictions

skybet

ZENIT TO BEAT MALMO AND BTTS @ 5/2


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