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Champions League football tips: Best bets for Wednesday

18 Sep | analysis | BY Simon Barlow | MIN READ TIME |
Champions League football tips: Best bets for Wednesday

Our best bets for Wednesday's eight Champions League group fixtures include Real Madrid, Man Utd, and Arsenal.

Real Madrid v Union Berlin (17:45)

Real Madrid, the most successful club in the history of the competition, take on first-time qualifiers Union Berlin in one of Wednesday’s two early evening kick-offs.

Carlo Ancelotti survived a season in which Real finished 10 points behind La Liga champions Barcelona and were well beaten by eventual Euro kings Manchester City.

The Italian will hope the summer addition of Jude Bellingham makes the difference in the big games later on with Real expected to cruise to victory in this opening clash.

No Bundesliga team has won at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu since Schalke in 2015 while Union also arrive in questionable form after back-to-back defeats.

Barring veteran ex-Juventus star Leonardo Bonucci, Urs Fischer’s squad will be largely unknown quantities to Ancelotti’s men and could spring a minor surprise by scoring a goal.

The Spanish giants have kept only eight clean sheets in their last 34 home contests in the competition and have shipped goals in each of their last two games, which were both 2-1 wins.

Braga v Napoli (20:00)

The goals should flow when Braga host Napoli in what will be te the Portuguese club’s first Champions League group game since 2012.

The Arsenalistas were terrific last season and crossed the first hurdle of the current campaign by maintaining a perfect record through four qualifying round matches for this competition.

Artur Jorge’s side looks full of goals, but will probably not keep enough clean sheets to progress too far this year.

A Napoli side with the likes of Victor Osimhen and Kvicha Kvaratskhelia in it could do some damage at Estadio Municipal de Braga with both defences in danger of being embarrassed.

Both of the Italian champions’ away Serie A games this season have seen four goals scored while Braga’s last two fixtures have also topped the 3.5-goal mark.

Arsenal v PSV (20:00)

Many of Arsenal’s players will not have previously heard the Champions League anthem playing before their games, but the excitement of a return to Europe’s top tier should ensure they are up to the task of beating PSV.

Mikel Arteta’s side lost 2-0 to the Dutch giants in last year’s Europa League group stage, although the Gunners were rotating heavily in the competition and were good enough to beat PSV at the Emirates Stadium.

Goals were at a premium in both games last season, but the form of both clubs this term points to this being a high-scoring contest.

Arsenal’s two home Premier League games have each seen four goals scored while PSV have rattled in 13 goals in their opening four Eredivisie matches.

The Gunners could even be forced to come from behind, as they did against Fulham to draw and Manchester United to win, to claim all three points in this intriguing Group B clash.

Bayern Munich v Manchester United (20:00)

Erik ten Hag refused to acknowledge Manchester United were in the midst of a crisis after Brighton inflicted their second straight defeat on them at the weekend.

But Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena is probably one of the last places he would want to take his team in search of an upturn in form.

The Bavarians have won 18 of their last 22 Champions League home games and have seen off the challenge of the Red Devils on their last two visits to Bavaria.

United’s players appear to lack faith in each other and are now probably doubting themselves in the wake of Saturday’s confidence-sapping 3-1 defeat to the Seagulls.

Bayern were not at their best in Friday’s 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen, but they usually raise their game for nights like these and can prevail with a bit to spare.

Each of United’s three defeats this season have been by more than one goal and there is no reason to suspect that trend will change on Wednesday.

Real Sociedad v Inter Milan (20:00)

Inter Milan demonstrated how good their defence was during last season’s epic run to the final when they kept eight clean sheets.

And the Nerazzurri have only conceded once in four Serie A games this term.

But Simone Inzaghi’s backline will face a major test at the Reale Arena on Wednesday when they come up against in-form Real Sociedad star Takefusa Kubo.

The Japan international is off to a flyer this season, having scored three goals and assisted another in the La Liga side’s opening five games.

He helped to set up Ander Barrenetxea’s early opener against Real Madrid on Sunday and briefly stunned the Santiago Bernabeu crowd when he cut inside and slammed a scorching strike into the far bottom corner from outside the box, only to see the effort ruled out for taking a slight deflection off teammate Mikel Oyarzabal’s back when he was in an offside position.

Best bets

Real Madrid to win & BTTS Yes @ 21/10
Over 3.5 goals in Braga v Napoli @ 17/10
Arsenal to win from behind @ 6/1
Bayern Munich -1 @ 6/5
Takefusa Kubo anytime @ 23/10