The half-way point of the Champions League group stages is the perfect point to assess the mechanics of the groups, and look for some potential value on those teams who could be destined for the knock-out stages.
It’s already been alluded to on this site that Arsenal’s midweek conquerors Borussia Dortmund now represent a great bet at 3/4 – the industry-high price – to top Group F after a sluggish start at Napoli.
And as the dust settles after the second round of matchday three fixtures, there are a few teams left with enticing prices to emerge from the rubble and make it to the knock-out stages.
In Manchester United’s group, Sami Hyypia’s Bayer Leverkusen side did their chances of qualification no harm whatsoever by thrashing Shakhtar 4-0, who represent the biggest threat to their safe passage.
It’s 1/2 with Ladbrokes that the Bundesliga club qualify and assuming United go on to top Group A, this appeals massively.
Meanwhile, when the Olympiacos players finally dry-off after a farcically sodden night in Lisbon, their point in the Portuguese capital, in what can only be described as a swimming pool, can be viewed as a very important one indeed.
The 1/1 that they now join out-of-sight Group C leaders PSG in the last 16, is lent far more credence by the fact a win at home to Benfica in their next game would represent a giant leap towards qualification for the Greeks.
Finally, one of the most intriguing groups in the competition, containing three of last season’s quarter-finalists, could be set to dump out one of the biggest casualties of the group stages.
A loss to Group B’s dominant force Real Madrid has left Juventus somewhat marooned on two points, while Galatasaray – who have already nicked a point in Turin – have chalked up four from their three fixtures.
The 11/8 on the Turkish champions now squeezing through alongside Madrid and ousting the Italian champions, is a particularly intriguing prospect.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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