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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Bayern Munich want revenge for Paris thrashing

Tuesday's Matchday Six previews

Thiago Alcantara helped Bayern Munich to a 3-0 home win over Celtic
1 of 1

BT Sport Extra, 7.45pm Tuesday

Bayern Munich v Paris St-Germain
Revenge is in the air for Bayern Munich as they look to land a payback punch on Paris St-Germain for their 3-0 hiding back in September.

That game proved to be the end for sacked Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti, who paid the price for falling out with star players and dropping the likes of Mats Hummels, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

Pulling back the head-to-head looks too tough a task but restoring pride with a positive performance is achievable for a Bayern side who are so strong at the Allianz Arena.

PSG, who are looking to become only the seventh team to go through in perfect fashion, have set a new Champions League goals record with 24 scored in the group stage with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani all performing well.

However, PSG’S defence will be tested much more than usual and the hosts look value.

Recommendation
Bayern Munich draw no bet
1pt 5-6 Betfair

Team news
Bayern Munich

Franck Ribery and Kingsley Coman doubtful. Juan Bernat, Manuel Neuer, Thiago Alcantara and Arjen Robben are out. James Rodriguez is expected to start.

PSG
Thiago Motta is out.

Key stat
Bayern have won their last 11 home group-stage matches.

Bet on these games at Soccerbase.com

Roma v Qarabag
Roma will qualify for the knockout stage with a win over Qarabag and it should be as simple as the odds suggest.

The Wolves have historically struggled in the Champions League, winning only three of their last 20 matches in the competition, but Qarabag are not up to the usual standard of opposition in this competition.

Eusebio Di Francesco’s men are also in excellent nick with 12 victories in their last 16 outings and that includes a fine 3-0 success over Chelsea on matchday four.

Fast starts have been a feature of Roma’s play at the Stadio Olimpico under Di Francesco and it may be worth backing another one here with Edin Dzeko getting excellent supply from a talented midfield.

Roma have won seven home matches this term and in five of those they were ahead before the half-hour mark so Qarabag could also be blown away.

Recommendation
Roma to lead after 30 mins
1pt 20-23 Coral, Ladbrokes

Team news
Roma
Rick Karsdorp is injured and Bruno Peres is banned. Aleks Kolarov is expected to be fit.

Qarabag
Rashad Sadygov and Pedro Henrique are banned. Badavi Huseynov is injured.

Bet on these games at Soccerbase.com


More Champions League previews

Chelsea v Atletico

Man Utd v CSKA Moscow

Celtic v Anderlecht


Barcelona v Sporting
Sporting have never won on 11 previous visits to Spanish soil and that does not bode well for this trip to Barcelona with the Lisbon side needing maximum points to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout phase.

Not even a victory will be enough should Juventus win at Olympiakos but with a Europa League spot in the bag Sporting can at least attack without too much pressure.

Sporting have scored in 19 consecutive away games in all competitions so they will fancy their chances of testing a makeshift Barcelona outfit missing key men and potentially resting others with top spot already assured.

However, Barca are still to be respected and if they do make changes it could offer Paco Alcacer the opportunity to add to his four goals in his last five appearances. Alcacer has opened the scoring in three of his last four Barca starts.

Recommendation
P Alcacer first goalscorer
1pt 5-1 bet365

Team news
Barcelona
Barca are missing injured quintet Rafinha, Andres Iniesta, Javier Mascherano, Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele.

Sporting
Seydou Doumbia returns but Jonathan Silva remains sidelined.

Key stat
Barcelona have won 21 and drawn two of their last 23 home European matches.

Bet on these games at Soccerbase.com

Benfica v Basel
This is probably the hardest match of the night to call and punters desperate for a punt are pointed towards the draw.

Basel need to match CSKA Moscow’s result at Manchester United to secure a spot in the knockout phase and playing for a point could be beneficial as it would leave the Russians obliged to win at Old Trafford.

Things may change over the course of 90 minutes but Basel’s potential urgency for points is factored into the prices.

Benfica, who have won only one of their last nine European games and lost each of the last six, have had a shocking Champions League campaign with the 5-0 loss in Switzerland a truly woeful effort.

Rui Vitoria is pondering changes with Benfica already eliminated and bigger domestic games ahead but they will want to save face and avoid becoming the first Portuguese side to go pointless in a Champions League group stage.

Recommendation
Draw
1pt 13-5 bet365, Betfred

Team news
Benfica
Filipe Augusto returns but Ruben Dias remains sidelined. Changes are expected.

Basel
Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Germano Vailati are out. Kevin Bua and Serey Die are doubts.

Key stat
Basel wing-back Michael Lang has scored in each of his last five games.

Bet on these games at Soccerbase.com


Olympiakos v Juventus
Matchday six of the Champions League can throw up some belting clashes but on a low-key night it is difficult to get overly excited about Juventus’s trip to Greece.

The Old Lady will go through regardless of their result away to Olympiakos should Sporting not win at Barcelona, but bookmakers are still taking few chances with last season’s finalists short for a victory.

Given Juve will be the more motivated against opponents guaranteed to finish bottom there is no great desire to oppose Max Allegri’s men, although it may be in a low-scoring contest with the visitors possibly saving energy for Saturday’s humdinger with Inter in Turin.

Olympiakos have won only three of their last 13 European home matches and kept just two clean sheets in 13 Super League outings this season in a poor campaign which sees them only second in the table.

Recommendation
Juventus to win & under 3.5 goals
1pt 10-11 Coral, Ladbrokes

Team news
Olympiakos
Diogo Figueiras is suspended. Emmanuel Emenike is out and Alberto Botia is doubtful.

Juventus
Giorgio Chiellini and Benedikt Howedes are out but Mario Mandzukic returns.

Key stat
Juventus have scored in a record 44 straight Serie A matches.

Bet on these games at Soccerbase.com


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PSG’S defence will be tested much more than usual and the hosts look value
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