Avoid Man City and Arsenal for better Champions League bets

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The home straight is now in sight in the Champions League group stages, with some teams already on the brink of reaching the knockout rounds with two games to spare.

Others now need points desperately to still have a chance of qualifying and we have picked our best three bets below for the first night of fixtures from gameweek four of the competition.

Olympiacos to beat Anderlecht @ 10/11

Olympiacos have looked more than solid at home this season in all competitions, conceding just three times in six games, two of which came in the Champions League against Schalke where they dominated possession for the most part.

They are certainly more of a force on their own patch than when playing away, but this did not prevent them securing maximum points in Montpellier.

Montpellier are without a win in three on their travels.

AC Milan to beat Malaga @ 23/20

Malaga have already done the hard work in Group C in securing three straight wins and now have a foot and four toes in the knockout stages.

With a fairly small squad, this may be the game to pick a slightly weaker side, with the home fixture with Anderlecht looking the logical game to chase the result needed to confirm their progression.

This is clearly the worst Milan team for some time, but they did win 5-1 against Chievo in their last Serie A game, which hints that they have may have turned a slight corner.

Malaga will set up differently to the Chievo team who simply sat back, but odds-against looks fine value for Milan at the San Siro.

Anderlecht v Zenit: Over 2.5 goals @ 11/10

Much will hinge on how Zenit perform without record signing Hulk, who will miss the next two weeks.

Hulk’s arrival seems to have done more harm than good, especially in terms of team harmony and this presents the perfect opportunity for the other squad members to show that they are more together without him.

Anderlecht are still waiting for their first goal in this season’s competition, but have been better than this lack of goals show.

Furthermore, when Russian clubs visit Anderlecht, it normally rains goals, with 28 scored in total in the last five circumstances.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.