Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM
CL Best Bets - Wednesday
UEFA Champions League - Matchday 3
The Banker: Paris Saint-Germain at 4/7
Wednesday’s Champions League card looks unusually competitive for the group stage with only three odds-on favourites in eight games.
One of those is Paris Saint-Germain, who play host to Napoli at the Parc des Princes, and they look the best value of the short priced favourites.
PSG were beaten deservedly by Liverpool before thrashing Red Star Belgrade, to whom Napoli drew before their late win against Liverpool on matchday two.
This means that PSG need to get the better of the Italians to be in poll position to qualify.
It was a hat-trick from Neymar that inspired PSG to their 6-1 thrashing of Red Star, and the Brazilian’s link-up play with Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani should strike fear into the heart of any opponent.
The French champions have won their last two league matches 5-0, against Lyon and Amiens, and appear to have shaken off that initial defeat at Anfield.
Napoli have been dodgy on their travels this year, already losing 3-0 at Sampdoria and 3-1 at Juventus. PSG look good value to claim a big win.
Prediction: PSG 3-1 Napoli
The Solid Bet: Galatasaray at 13/8
Group D is an outlier in this year’s Champions League. None of FC Porto, Galatasaray, Lokomotiv Moscow and Schalke 04 are fancied to win the competition, and all four sides would be outsiders to even qualify in most sections.
But in a way that makes this one of the most interesting sections, with no clear favourite or outsider. And Galatasarary can make a big statement by beating Schalke 04 on Wednesday night.
The Turkish champions were narrowly edged out by Porto in their first match 1-0 away from home before battering a dismal Lokomotiv 3-0 at the Türk Telekom Arena.
Turkish sides generally fare much better at home, and Schalke do not come into this game in great shape. They have scored just seven times from ten games this season and needed an 88th-minute winner from American youngster Weston McKennie to claim all three points at Lokomotiv Moscow.
Galatasaray are unbeaten in six home games and top the Turkish league, althoug they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bursaspor last time out. Nonetheless, they are a talented side and look good value at 13/8.
Prediction: Galatasaray 1-0 Schalke 04
The Outsider: Inter draw no bet at 10/3
Barcelona were devastating in their 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Matchday 2, but Inter Milan could prove a slightly harder test for Ernesto Valverde’s men.
Part of this is because of the absence of Lionel Messi, who was imperious in London. There are also doubts over the home side’s defence: Thomas Vermaelen is out and Samuel Umtiti is a doubt.
Barcelonah ave conceded in each of their last six games, shipping twice at home to Huesca, Girona and Sevilla. Though they now top La Liga, they have had an unconvincing start to the season and an improving Inter side can trouble them.
Inter are on maximum points having seen off Spurs at home and PSV away. On both occasions they came back from 1-0 down to win 2-1, and in both matches centre-forward Mauro Icardi was key to the victory. He scored a late winner in last weekend’s Milan derby, and is a key reason why I think Inter are overpriced here. They are 11/2 to win, but the draw no bet might be a safer way to go given Inter’s good start to the group.
Prediction: Barcelona 1-1 Inter Milan
The First Goalscorer: Paco Alcacer to score first at 6/1
Atletico Madrid have built up a fantastic European pedigree over the last seven or so years, but they have won just one of their last six Champions League away games, and that run could continue after a difficult trip to a flying Borussia Dortmund side.
Lucien Favre’s side have won all five of their home games this year, scoring a stunning 21 and conceding five. These have included emphatic wins over Bayer Leverkusen and Red Bull Leipzig in the league, while their last European outing was an impressive 3-0 demolition of Monaco.
A big reason for their success has been Spanish striker Paco Alcacer. He has scored an incredible 10 goals in his last six games for club and country. He scored a hat-trick in Dortmund’s 4-3 win over Augsburg and also netted against Monaco. At 6/1 he looks a good value selection to score the game’s first goal in a match where Dortmund could spring a minor shock.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Atletico Madrid