Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Benfica v Manchester United

Benfica have lost their last 3 games in the Champions League (CL) whilst Manchester United have won their last 2, scoring 7 goals in the process.

Benfica come into this game in a poor run of form in European competition. They have conceded 2+ goals in 5 of their last 6 and each of these games finished with over 2.5 goals.

United have lost to Benfica only once in the 9 meetings to date - a 2-1 defeat at Benfica in the CL group stage of ‘05/’06. United won their 1st ever European Cup by beating Eus├ębio’s Benfica in 1968.

United have averaged 6.6 corners per game this season and 10.75 including the opponent. The Red Devils average 1.3 cards, 16 shots, and 6 shots on target per game this season.

CSKA Moscow v Basel

CSKA Moscow have won 5 of their last 6 Champions League matches, but only 1 of their last 12 group games, which came in a 2-1 victory away at Benfica last month.

CSKA Moscow have scored at least 1 goal in 15 of their last 18 home games in the Champions League, while Basel have failed to score in 7 of their last 11 away games in the competition.

Basel ended their 9-game winless run in the Champions League with a stunning 5-0 victory at home to Benfica in their last outing, largely thanks to an inspired performance from on-loan forward Dimitri Oberlin, who scored a goal in each half on his 20th birthday.

Chelsea v Roma

Chelsea play Roma at home in this Champions League group match between last season’s Premier League winners and last season’s Serie A runners up.

Chelsea have made a steady start to the season in the PL, but have uncharacteristically lost 2 games at home already, against Burnley and Manchester City. Roma have 3 consecutive league wins away from home, with a goal difference of +7.

Chelsea have started well in the CL, leading the group after an impressive away win against Atletico Madrid and a 6-0 thrashing at home against Qarabag.

Edin Dzeko of Roma is in fine form, and has scored 7 times in the last 6 matches in SA. With 1 goal in 2 matches in the CL as well, Dzeko has had a great start to the season. He has, however, played Chelsea 9 times before, and has yet to find the net against the blues.

Barcelona v Olympiakos

Current group D leaders Barcelona will look to maintain their 100% record when they host bottom side Olympiakos, who suffered defeats to Sporting CP and Juventus.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde comes up against his old club in a game that will mark the first-ever meeting between the 2 sides.

Barcelona have gone 10 games undefeated in all competitions since losing 2-0 to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup and show no signs of slowing down. The Catalan giants are unbeaten in 22 successive home games in the Champions League (W20, D2).

King Leo (Lionel Messi) has scored 14 goals in 12 games so far this season, having also hit the woodwork a stunning 8 times.

Juventus v Sporting

Juventus suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Lazio in Serie A at the weekend and their manager Max Allegri will be demanding an immediate response from his players as a win in this match would give them an edge in the race for 2nd place.

Juventus have won 5 of their last 6 home games in the Champions League, including a 3-0 victory against Barcelona in April, with Argentina forward Paulo Dybala scoring twice in the opening 22 minutes.

Sporting Lisbon have won only 1 of their last 5 fixtures in all competitions, but they have been outstanding on the road this season, winning 6 of their 7 away matches and scoring an average of more than 3 goals per game.

Sporting Lisbon have lost 6 of their last 8 away games in the Champions League, but they did win their last 2, a 5-1 win against FCSB followed by a 3-2 win against Olympiakos.

FK Qarabag v Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid make their 1st-ever trip to Azerbaijan to take on Qarabag, who currently sit rock bottom of Group C with 0 points.

Last season’s semi-finalists Atletico remain winless (D1, L1), trailing Roma and pace-setters Chelsea by 3 and 5 points, respectively. Atletico simply can’t afford any more slip-ups.

Qarabag’s home record in European competitions stands at W2, D2, L4. The Azerbaijani club have never made the knockout stages.

Atletico have won only 3 of their last 10 games away from home in the CL (W3, D3, L4).