Champions League Matchday Three Preview and Tips

We’ve now reached the mid-point stage of the Champions League Group Stage this week, with all the teams competing set to play their third game of the current phase. This is the first part of what is effectively a double-header of games, where teams will play each other home and away over the next two Matchdays. As such, a positive result here can have a significant impact on a teams likelihood of success in the return fixture in a couple of weeks time.

Our tips have gone pretty well so far, though some unusual results have meant that I have not landed as many as I would have liked to over the opening two weeks. I am hoping we can put that right on week three with a solid display here. Remember, if you want to place a bet then bet365 Sport is the best place. You can sign up right now using the bet365 New Player Bonus if you are not already a member.

Outlined below are the current tables for each of the eight groups, together with the games taking place this coming week, and our tips for the match result on each. Odds provided courtesy of bet365 Sport and they were correct as of Thursday 11th October 2018 at 1.20pm GMT.

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Champions League Group Stage 2018-19

Group A Table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Borussia Dortmund 2 2 0 0 4 0 4 6
2 Atletico Madrid 2 2 0 0 5 2 3 6
3 Club Brugge 2 0 0 2 1 4 -3 0
4 AS Monaco 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4 0

Wed 24th October

5.55pm – Club Bruges v AS Monaco

I’ve not really been convinced by either of these teams in the competition so far and Monaco’s woeful start to the season in Ligue One doesn’t make me think they can get a result here. Brugge are, at best, an average to lower level Champions League side, but with home advantage, I’d back them to get a draw here which is a 12/5 shot.

8pm – Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid

For me, these are the two quality teams in Group A and I have full confidence both will be progressing into the latter stages of the tournament in the new year. I can see both teams winning at least four games in this group, but I think their real test comes against each other and for me, I think Atletico’s staunch defence will do enough to earn them a point here against a strong Dortmund side. (12/5 the draw)

Group B Table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Barcelona 2 2 0 0 8 2 +6 6
2 Inter Milan 2 2 0 0 4 2 +2 6
3 Tottenham 2 0 0 2 3 6 -3 0
4 PSV Eindhoven 2 0 0 2 1 6 -5 0

Wed 24th October

5.55pm – PSV Eindhoven v Tottenham

Neither of these teams can afford to lose this game and a draw doesn’t help them much either. As such, I am expecting them both to go for it here and if that happens, I think the advantage is with the visiting team as they have a strong defence and a much better attack. As such, I am backing Spurs to win this one narrowly. (Spurs win – 10/11)

8pm – Barcelona v Inter Milan

Both Barcelona and Inter Milan have maximum points so far from their games, but I can’t see that continuing for the Italians here. Lionel Messi is in incredible form at the moment, particularly in Europe and I am backing him to be the catalyst for the home team to put Inter to the sword. (Barca win – 2/7)

Group C Table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Napoli 2 1 1 0 1 0 +1 4
2 Liverpool 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 3
3 Paris St Germain 2 1 0 1 8 4 +5 3
4 Red Star Belgrade 2 0 1 1 1 6 -5 0

Wed 24th October

8pm – Liverpool v Red Star Belgrade

Red Star Belgrade were thumped 6-1 at PSG last time out so I am expecting an even more defensive outlook at Anfield. The Reds front men are not firing this season like they did last year, but even so they should have more than enough to secure the win here. (Liverpool win – 1/25)

8pm – Paris St Germain v Napoli

A very tough game for Napoli here against a Paris St Germain side that cannot stop scoring goals, especially at home. The Neapolitans deserved their win over Liverpool last time out, but I cannot see their good fortune continuing here. Back PSG to win at 9/20.

Group D Table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 FC Porto 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 4
2 Schalke 04 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 4
3 Galatasaray 2 0 1 1 3 1 +2 3
4 Lokomotiv Moscow 2 0 0 2 0 4 -4 0

Wed 24th October

8pm – Galatasaray v Schalke 04

Schalke got a shock win in Moscow last time out, but for me this is a much tougher task against a much stronger Galatasaray team. So much so that I fancy the home side to win this one relatively comfortably. (Galatasaray to win – 8/5)

8pm – Lokomotiv Moscow v FC Porto

FC Porto are not the best travellers in Europe and Lokomotiv are not the best team in this tournament. In truth, I think this has a low-scoring game written all over it and I think 0-0 or 1-1 is the most likely outcome, hence I’d take the 23/10 available on the draw.

Group E Table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Ajax 2 1 1 0 4 1 +3 4
2 Bayern Munich 2 1 1 0 3 1 +2 4
3 Benfica 2 1 0 1 3 4 -1 3
4 AEK Athens 2 0 0 2 2 6 -4 0

Tue 23rd October

5.55pm – AEK Athens v Bayern Munich

Bayern have had a poor start domestically and the pressure is on new manager Nico Kovac, though I do feel they will have more than enough quality to get the win here against an AEK Athens side that is struggling a little at this level. (Bayern to win – 2/9)

8pm – Ajax v Benfica

Ajax earned a fine draw in Germany last time out and I think they’ll fancy their chances against a Benfica side that are well organised but perhaps lacking quality in key areas. This will be close and a good game but I’d take the 19/20 on an Ajax win here.

Group F Table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Lyon 2 1 1 0 4 3 +1 4
2 Manchester City 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 3
3 Shakhtar Donetsk 2 0 2 0 4 4 0 2
4 Hoffenheim 2 0 1 1 3 4 -1 1

Tue 23rd October

8pm – Hoffenheim v Lyon

Two sides that score, and concede, goals, which means I can see a fair few goals in this game. Hoffenheim at home is an advantage for the Germans but Lyon play well on the counter and as such, I think a draw, possibly sharing four or even six goals (12/5 with bet365) is a possibility here.

8pm – Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City

Man City have a score to settle after losing against these opponents last season in the Group Stage. However, I think Donetsk’s weaknesses in defence, allied to City’s attacking firepower means that this should be a good win for the visitors (Man City to win 2/5)

Group G Table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 CSKA Moscow 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 4
2 Real Madrid 2 1 0 1 3 1 +2 3
3 AS Roma 2 1 0 1 5 3 +2 3
4 Viktoria Plzen 2 0 1 1 2 7 -5 0

Tue 23rd October

8pm – Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen

Real were humbled last time out in Russia when CSKA Moscow beat them 1-0. I can’t see a repeat of that here as Plzen are a weaker side and Madrid are now at home. Even not being in the best of form shouldn’t matter as the 1/12 on Real to win indicates here.

8pm – AS Roma v CSKA Moscow

AS Roma were rampant against Plzen last time out and I think they’ll produce a similar display against CSKA Mosocw. The Russians did beat Real last time out, but were somewhat fortunate in doing so. I don’t think their luck will hold in Rome. (Roma to win 1/3)

Group H Table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Juventus 2 2 0 0 5 0 +5 6
2 Manchester United 2 1 1 0 3 0 +3 4
3 Valencia 2 0 1 1 0 2 -2 1
4 Young Boys 2 0 0 2 0 6 -6 0

Tue 23rd October

5.55pm – Young Boys v Valencia

Young Boys have found it really hard adjusting to life at this level and while Valencia are yet to find the net in the competition this season, I think their improved form of late means that even one goal may be enough to secure them the win. I think they’ll get it. (Valencia to win – evens)

8pm – Manchester United v Juventus

Probably the biggest game of the Champions League this week comes at Old Trafford as Cristiano Ronaldo returns to his former club having served his suspension. United’s woes are well documented and lesser sides than Juventus have beaten them this season. I think Juventus win this relatively easily (Juventus to win 5/4).