Dec. 8, 2021
UEFA Champions League Free Picks
The UEFA Champions League returns to the pitch on Tuesday, Dec. 7th through Wednesday, Dec. 8th scheduled for Matchday 15.
As always, VegasInsider expert Toby Maxtone-Smith provides his Score Predictions, Tips and Betting Analysis for four matches on both Saturday and Sunday.
UEFA Champions League Matchday 6 Best Bets
Popular Free Picks
UEFA Champions League Betting Analysis
Zenit vs Chelsea
Score Prediction: Zenit 1, Chelsea 1
Tip: Zenit +0.5 (6/4)
Chelsea put themselves in poll position to win Group H after a 4-0 win over Juventus but they could come up short away at Zenit. This match will be played in St Petersburg’s coldest snap since 1893: the temperature will reach -20C during the game, and that is not what Chelsea’s players are used to.
Furthermore, their midfield is decimated with Jorginho, N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovacic all out, meaning that a duo of Saul Niguez and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are likely to start. That pair struggled badly away to Watford a week ago, and even though Zenit have nothing to play for they look overpriced to get a result, especially given the good showing they gave at Stamford Bridge in a 1-0 loss. Chelsea cannot be backed at 11/20.
Chelsea has won seven of its last eight UCL games when playing on a Wednesday. (AP)
Bayern Munich vs Barcelona
Score Prediction: Bayern 2, Barcelona 0
Tip: Bayern ML (8/13)
Barcelona sit two points above Benfica with a game to go in Group E, but given their inferior head-to-head against the Portuguese side they probably need a win in Bavaria to qualify, and Xavi’s side look incapable of getting such a result. They were beaten 1-0 by Real Betis in La Liga last time out, and Bayern have been their nightmare opponent in Europe of late: they have lost five of their last six against them. The 3-0 win in the reverse fixture was as convincing a win as you will witness. Bayern may rotate, but any team they put out will be strong and at 8/13 they look worth backing.
Benfica vs. Dynamo Kiev
Score Prediction: Benfica 2, Dynamo Kiev 0
Tip: Benfica Wins to Nil (1/1)
Benfica need to beat Dynamo Kiev and hope that Barcelona do not win in Munich. It is as simple as that for the Portuguese giants and they can keep their side of the bargain against the group’s bottom side Dynamo Kiev. Dynamo have scored just once in five matches in the group - a consolation goal against Bayern last time out. The reverse fixture in Kiev ended 0-0 but Benfica dominated that game and were not massively troubled in defence. Benfica’s defensive record domestically has been solid enough and they can do the job without conceding.
Atalanta vs Villarreal
Score Prediction: Atalanta 3, Villarreal 1
Tip: Atalanta ML (4/5)
Atalanta v Villarreal is effectively a play-off for qualification for the last 16. A draw for Villarreal would do; Atalanta need a win. The home team have been excellent in Europe for three or four years by now and look value to get the result they need. Villarreal are a well-drilled European outfit but their domestic form cannot be ignored. They have slipped into the bottom half of La Liga after only one win in their last eight league games.
Atalanta, meanwhile, beat title-chasing Napoli in Serie A last time out. They were unfortunate only to draw 2-2 with Manchester United on matchday four. Even though they have a knack of not quite getting the results they deserve they are a supeiror team to Villarreal and look worth backing at a shade of odds-on.