The Champions League group-stage draws to a close this week and there is a lot still hanging in the balance.
Will Chelsea go out? Will Celtic go through? Can Arsenal still win? This King of Stats package has the answers.
8 – Arsene Wenger is enduring the most taxing period of his Arsenal tenure and is in desperate need of wins. However, eight defeats in Arsenal’s last 14 European away days doesn’t bode well and with several first team regulars rested for their trip to Athens, they’re set for misery. Back Olympiakos to repeat their game week six feat of 12 months ago and beat the Gunners at 23/20.
5 – With Real Madrid’s qualification ensured, Jose Mourinho is set to shuffle his pack, yet they’re still expected to beat Ajax who have failed to win on any their last five trips to Spain, losing four. The Amsterdam club’s coach is Barcelona centre half Frank de Boer and his record against Real suggests they might get a point out of this one, however. Five of the nine Clasicos he played in ended level and the draw is available here at a massive 4/1.
6 – This is the number of games Dortmund have played at home against English opposition and are yet to sample defeat. City, on the other hand, have lost on four of their last five visits to Germany and with the Europa League booby-prize their only incentive to end that run on this venture, a home win makes perfect sense at 21/20.
20 – For a side of Celtic’s ability, progression from Group G would be a sizeable achievement and having avoided defeat in 20 of their last 22 home games in the Champions League group-stage, they are well within a shout against a Spartak Moscow team who have shipped 12 goals in their last four games. The 2/1 that says the Bhoys will bag over 2.5 goals is well worth a bet.
30 – Another cause for optimism for Celtic fans is that Benfica have gone 30 years since they last beat Spanish opposition. Condemning the Lisbon club’s chances furthermore is the fact that Barca have won 10 on the spin with sides from Portugal and 15 of their last 18 Champions League home games. The Catalan giants are 1/1 to come out on top with a one-goal handicap applied.
15 –Juventus, who must lose against Shakhtar for Chelsea to have any chance of progression, have not suffered defeat in 15 European games since coming unstuck against Fulham in the 2009/10 Europa League quarter-final. In addition to this, the Old Lady have kept three clean sheets in their last four outings. The draw they require in Donetsk is an incredibly rare odds-on 10/11.
0 – No team in the history of the competition has relinquished their crown in the group-stage and Chelsea need a miracle if they are not to become the first. They’re 1/10 to beat Nordsjaelland, but the 11/2 on offer for fewer than 1.5 goals scored in the game has strong appeal with just one goal scored in three outings under Rafa Benitez’s guidance.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date