Tuesday Football Cheat Sheet: All the best bets for a big night of Champions League

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Real Madrid 2.546/4 v Chelsea 3.02/1, the Draw 3.65
20:00
Live on BT Sport 2

Chelsea lost the first leg 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, and are 8.27/1 to qualify, but Mark O’Haire thinks they have a chance in the Spanish capital.

Mark says: “Real Madrid hold a 12-point advantage at the top of the La Liga table yet Los Blancos haven’t often appeared as dominant as the standings suggest. Carlo Ancelotti’s charges were second-best for large swathes of their tie with PSG but were inspired by a Karim Benzema masterclass in the first leg. The Spaniards are now hot favourites to progress.

“Chelsea had suffered a solitary 90-minute loss in 26 (W16-D9-L1) outings across all competitions before the international break so the successive Blues defeats that followed against Brentford and Real Madrid were a major shock the system.

“The goal expectancy was low going into last week’s first leg meeting. However, considering the circumstances, the goal expectancy has understandably been raised to 2.75 goals with Over 2.5 Goals trading at 1.875/6. A more appealing play might be to support Chelsea Double Chance and Both Teams To Score at 2.3211/8 on the Bet Builder.”

Mark’s bet: Back Chelsea Double Chance and Both Teams To Score @ 2.3211/8

Andy Brassell also gives the Blues a fighting chance of pulling off a stunning result in Spain as he considers how both teams will approach the second leg…

Andy says: “Carlo Ancelotti had his thinking cap on before the first leg, as evidenced by his use of Federico Valverde as a defensive wide forward, which worked a treat. The wily coach will do so again, and it was interesting to see him flank Casemiro with Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga in midfield in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Getafe, which was a masterclass in control. It would not be a shock to see Ancelotti add a bit of physicality to his team.

“For that is how Chelsea will counter-attack in the Bernabéu. The holders will not go down without a fight and after that Southampton game – the Blues’ best performance in weeks – it feels as if they’re getting themselves back. Whether it can be quite enough to reach the last four, we’ll have to wait and see.”

Andy’s bet: Back Chelsea @ 3.02/1

Dan Fitch thinks the second leg could pan out like the first as he selects a Bet Builder wager for the Bernabeu…

Dan Fitch says: “In the first-leg our Bet Builder was successful, with picks of both teams to score, over 2.5 goals and Benzema to score, creating a treble at odds of 4.84/1. Everything seems to point to a similar game. Chelsea have to go for it at some stage, which is going to result in opportunities for Real to break.

“Both teams to score is 4/6 on the Sportsbook, while over 2.5 goals is 5/6. They are reasonably priced considering that these bets came in during the first-half of the first-leg.

“Benzema scored twice in that first-half. He didn’t find the net in the 2-0 win against Getafe at the weekend, which leaves him with a tally of 37 goals from as many games. Considering that record, the odds of 13/10 for Benzema to score are extremely generous. He remains constantly underrated in the markets, but that’s helpful for us, as a repeat of last week’s treble adds up to a 3.48 rated Bet Builder for this second-leg.”

Dan’s bet: Back both teams to score, over 2.5 goals and Benzema to score @ around 3.55/2

Bayern Munich 1.282/7 v Villarreal 12.5, the Draw 7.06/1
20:00
Live on BT Sport 3

Villarreal caused an upset by winning the first leg 1-0 in Spain, but they are still 3.65 to qualify with Bayern a mere 1.364/11, before the second leg in Bavaria.

Kevin Hatchard says: “As impressive and memorable as Villarreal’s first-leg display was last week, there was an unmistakeable feeling that an opportunity had slipped through the grasp of Unai Emery’s side. Gerard Moreno struck a post, and later failed to take advantage of a terrible clearance by Manuel Neuer. Instead of playing in the completely free Arnaut Danjuma, the Spain striker went for a lofted long-range effort which missed the target. In the end, Danjuma’s close-range goal in the first half was all Villarreal had to show for a stellar night’s work.

Unai Emery, Villarreal.jpg

“The temptation is to look at Villarreal’s away record in La Liga and recoil in horror (they have lost their last three away games without scoring, and have lost seven of the last 11) but anyone who knows how Emery works in Europe is aware that domestic form and continental performances often don’t tally.

“In the last 16, Villarreal executed their gameplan perfectly in Turin, coming away with a 3-0 win over Juventus. They kept possession in the Juve half and waited for errors, and those mistakes finally arrived in the second half.”

Kevin’s bet: Back Villarreal +2.0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.768/11

Our tactics specialist discusses the key battles in all four of this week’s match and explains why he thinks Emery’s men can eliminate Nagelsmann’s…

Alex Keble says: “Villarreal got their tactical plan exactly right in the first leg, Unai Emery – as usual – focusing on quick transitions with four players bursting through the lines whenever the chance came, mainly doing so down the flanks and after first drawing Bayern onto them. Villarreal will suck you into a press before suddenly changing gear and galloping into the spaces behind.

“The only regret from the first leg is that Villarreal are not further ahead. Daniel Parejo and Giovani Lo Celso were superb weaving behind an old-looking Bayern midfield that can play too slowly under Julien Nagelsmann, especially when up against such well-drilled defence that only looks vulnerable when shaken into a decompressed game. That won’t happen in the second leg, but on home soil Bayern’s forwards could still turn the tie around.

“Then again, it took a penalty to beat Augsburg 1-0 at the weekend. Bayern are going through a sticky spell at just the wrong moment, and should Villarreal ride out the first 20 minutes they have the platform and the focused tactical strategy to cause a major upset.”

Alex’s bet: Back Villarreal to qualify @ 3.211/5

For his second Bet Builder of the night Dan anticipates an entertaining game in Germany and explains who you can profit…

Dan says: “The Spanish club pulled off a shock in the first-leg, winning 1-0 at home. Arnaut Groeneveld opened the scoring after just eight minutes and though Bayern had 22 shots at goal, they couldn’t find an equaliser.

“Villarreal were no slouches themselves in the shot department, with twelve attempts at goal. They could have easily won by a bigger margin and therefore Bayern can count themselves lucky that they don’t have a bigger task ahead of them.

“Bayern won 1-0 at home to Augsburg at the weekend, which was only their third clean sheet from the last 13 games. Both teams to score therefore seems a good place to start with this Bet Builder at 4/5.”

Dan’s bet: Back both Bayern Munich and Villarreal to score, over 3.5 goals, Bayern to win and Lewandowski to score at just over 3.55/2

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