http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=2511865.html for tonight's permutations. It is another tough set of fixtures, and again we have 1.12 favourites in Dortmund who are not backable at those odds at all. I was right to say the same about Atl Madrid last night. I am leaving the English Championship alone. If you look at the betting markets (in one of the most competitive leagues in Europe), the favourites are priced at 2.5 and 2.58. Roughly translated as the bookies shrugging their shoulders and scratching their heads! No thanks. I will try to stay up for the Champions League (7 hour time difference - ouch!) because I think there is money to be made. If I am up for the matches, rest assured I will tweet.
17:00 - Besiktas v Monaco - 2.38 Besiktas
- Besiktas are through with a win, or with a draw if Leipzig win.
- All competitions: Both teams have scored in 6 of Besiktas' last 7 matches.
- All competitions Home: only 2 defeats this season.
- Champions League: 3 consecutive wins scoring 2 goals at least.1-2 win v Monaco last match.
- All competitions: only 2 wins in 6 matches but 2 consecutive wins now.
- All competitions away: 4-2-2 goals scored last 3 away.
- Champions League: scored and conceded in 3 matches. 2-3 win v Dortmund, 2-1 loss v Juventus, 1-1 v Leipzig away.
- No win in 5 Champions League matches.
- I think both teams can score today. Besiktas have really dominated this group.On form, lay Monaco if Monaco scores first. It is a surprise to see Monaco struggle so much but I suppose the sale of their marquee players is showing itself now.
19:45 - Dortmund v APOEL - 1.12 Dortmund
- Don't assume an automatic win. Both Atl Madrid under 19's (1.06) and Atl Madrid (1.12) struggled last night. So it is worth doing a quick form check on Dortmund in particular to see if there is any vulnerability.
- Dortmund will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose and the other match is drawn.
- APOEL will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose and the other match is drawn.
- Real Madrid and Tottenham are bankers really to go through in this group.
- All competitions: only 1 win in 5 matches Dortmund scored 2 goals at least in 3 of 5 matches without winning.
- All competitions Home: 2 consecutive home losses.
- Champions League: both teams have scored in the last 5 matches without a win for Dortmund 1-1 v APOEL last match.
- 2 consecutive home defeats in the Champions League.
- All competitions: not sure if looking at Cypriot league matches is helpful.
All competitions away: 0-0-1-1-1 scored away recently.
Champions League: 0-0-0-1 scored in their last 4 matches. Only 2 away wins since August 2011.
- Dortmund are layable for me. I could not back this lot at 1.12. Best case it seems for APOEL though is 1-1 (as Qarabag managed it).
19:45 - Liverpool v NK Maribor - 1.06 Liverpool
- Maribor will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose and Spartak win.
- Liverpool will not let up. Remember this is group stage football, not 2 legged football.
- Spartak Moscow and Sevilla play each other. They are Liverpool's rivals for a top 2 spot. This is perfect for Liverpool to go top of Group E.
- A 3-0 win v Huddersfield for Liverpool is a perfect pipe opener to another big win this evening. Unlike Dortmund and Atl Madrid, Liverpool have the form in the bag with that 0-7 away win.
- This was the first win for Liverpool in the Champions League (recently) where they did not concede.
- 3-0 loss to Sevilla for Maribor suggests no surprises tonight.
- Liverpool should score 3 goals at least today. With a potential win to nil, try a correct score? 3-0, 5-0, 7-0?
19:45 - Napoli v Man City - 2.54 Man City
- Man. City will qualify if they avoid defeat.
- This is a must win really for Napoli who are 3 points shy of Shakhtar in Group F.
- All competitions: only 3 defeats since August 2017 were all in the Champions League.
- All competitions Home: all wins bar 3 draws at home since 12th March 2017.
- Champions League: scored and conceded in their 3 matches. 2-1 loss to Shakhtar and Man City have left Napoli. floundering. This is a surprise for me as Napoli are knocking it out of the park domestically.
- 2 consecutive home wins in the Champions League.
- All competitions: 12 wins in 13 matches.
- All competitions away: 6 consecutive wins.
- Champions League: 3 wins scoring 2 goals at least.Only conceded v Napoli and that was a penalty.
- prior to the Feyenoord win away, City had tended to struggle in the Champions League.
- We are entering the realms of must win territory for Napoli now and this may change the complexion of the match. They are superb at home. Will that continue? Man City, prior to Feyenoord, were poor away in the Champions League and may actually be more vulnerable today with that added 'must win' incentive for Napoli.
- Napoli are scoring and conceding so there is a feeling that they will need 2 goals to secure the win.
- As ever, it is tough to get solid angles into matches where the favourite is 2.54 odds. I would take a chance and lay City should City score first.
19:45 - Porto v RB Leipzig - 2.26 Porto
- Besiktas are simply bossing Group G. Leipzig and Porto are realistically in with a shout for 2nd although Monaco, albeit on one point only, are not out of it as far as 2nd spot is concerned.
- All competitions: only losses since July 2017 have come in the Champions League. That may be telling.
- All competitions Home: only 2 losses at home in 2017 again......came in the Champions League.
- Champions League: 4 losses in 5 matches. Beat Monaco. 3-2 loss to Leipzig so should be in with a shout today.
- 2 consecutive home losses in the Champions League.
- All competitions: no win in 2, a draw and a loss v Bayern.
- All competitions away: 4 losses in 7 matches were to nil. 2-3-0 scored last 3 aways.
- Champions League: first season - 1-1 draw with Monaco,2-0 loss Besiktas and 3-2 win v Porto.
- Tough to get a handle on this match as Leipzig are new to the Champions League. They are conceding readily though. Will they concede again today?
- Porto's losses at home in all competitions have tended to come in the Champions League. This is key! They are vulnerable outside of domestic competition.
- This is a must win so I would lay any late draw.
19:45 - Sevilla v Spartak Moscow - 1.51 Sevilla
- 5-5-4 points the top 3 in this Group E. Liverpool have a banker home match v Maribor so this match here is a must-win for both sides.
- The market has gone with Sevilla. Let's see how they look form wise.
- All competitions overall: a run of 3 consecutive losses ended with 2 consecutive wins now.
- All competitions Home: unbeaten since November 2016.
- Champions League overall: had a run of scoring 2 goals at least in 4 consecutive matches but scored only 1 in defeat to Spartak Moscow.
- 2-2-0-5 goals conceded in 4 matches. They only kept a clean sheet v Maribor. A defence that makes Liverpool's look water tight.
- Champions League Home: since 2015 only Juventus and Man City have beaten them at home.
- All competitions overall: unbeaten in 13 matches with 7 draws.
- All competitions away: 1-2-2-2-2 scored last 5 aways but 2 of those were 2-2 draws.
- Champions League overall: scored and conceded last 4. the 5-1 win v Sevilla looks hugely anomolous.
- Champions League away: only 3 away wins since 2000.
- Sevilla are certainly weak-looking favourites at 1.51 but the market I think has seen these 2 elements and decided a) Sevilla at home are unbeaten since November 2016 b) Spartak have only 3 Champions League away wins since 2000 and only drew 1-1 with Maribor.
- They have glossed over the fact Sevilla have conceded 2-2-0-5 goals and that Spartak have scored 1-2-2-2-2 in an unbeaten away run.
- Are you with the long-haul home form of Sevilla (rock solid) and away form of Spartak (dire in the Champions League)? We can make a cogent argument for opposing Sevilla can't we based on conceding 9 goals in 4 matches ? Faith in the market?
- This is another must win so I would lay any late draw.
19:45 - Shakhtar v Feyenoord - 1.42 Shakhtar
- With Man City having a tough old fixture v Napoli this evening, this provides an incentive for Shakhtar to get the 3 points they need to help cement 2nd place and to rival City if City lose this evening.
- Feyenoord are yet to win.
- All competitions overall: only 1 loss since July 2017 has been v Man City.
- All competitions Home: only 2 losses since April 2017 were v Dynamo Kiev.
- Champions League overall: 2-1 wins v Napoli and Feyenoord and a 2-0 loss v Man City. The fact City scored their 2nd in the 90th minute suggests Shakhtar are tough to beat.
- Champions League Home: 4-3-2-2 scored recently. Beat Napoli 2-1 and that on paper is a massive scalp.
- All competitions overall: both teams scored in the last 4 matches with only 1 win.
- All competitions away: only 1 win in 4.
- Champions League overall: 10 consecutive defeats over the years. Losses to Man City, Napoli and Shakhtar score Feyenoord score v Napoli and Shakhtar.
- Champions League away: 5 consecutive away defeats over the years.
- Shakhtar's smash and grab win over Napoli has this group all shook up. Punters were expecting Man City and Napoli to dominate.
- Shakhtar can consolidate this bit of fortune tonight at home against a Feyenoord side who simply look out of their depth. Be ware though, Feyenoord have scored in their last 2 Champions League matches so may chip in with a goal today.
- I do not expect Shakhtar to lose today if they continue to show their 2+ average goal scoring at home in recent matches in this competition.
19:45 - Tottenham v Real Madrid - 2.26 Real Madrid
- The winners will qualify.
- Both sides remain top 2 regardless of the result tonight.
- Real Madrid's loss to Girona was a Homer Simpson-like 'D'oh' for them at the weekend.
- Own goal and penalty produced a 1-1 the last time these 2 met. 0-0 looks like it might have legs here in a clash where there is attacking talent but the teams may cancel each other out.
- Ignoring West Ham in the league cup, only Chelsea and Roma have beaten Spurs at home since November 2016.
- It is identical Champions League form for these 2. 2 3 goal wins and a 1-1 draw.
- Enjoy the spectacle. I cannot pick a favoured team. I would be keen, as I say, on backing 0-0 pre match and hoping it lasts to halftime at least.