Champions League Betting: Group D Tips


Borussia Dortmund 3.25  The Draw 3.35  Real Madrid 2.20

This is the tie of the night in the Champions League, as the respective champions of Germany and Spain meet in Westphalia.

Hosts Dortmund have been devastating and dour in equal measures so far this season. They are off the pace set by Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga due to a couple of sloppy draws and a defeat to Schalke at the weekend, but they've also thumped three sides along the way.

In Europe, they've looked confident and assured, beating Ajax at home in game week one and then schooling Manchester City in the art of keep ball on a night when they certainly deserved more than a point from their trip to England's north-west.   

Real Madrid began La Liga sloppily but are starting to find form, spurred by their European escapades that have seen two wins from two; each great for different reasons. At home to Man City in game week one, Madrid came through a gauntlet and won 3-2 in the knick of time. Then, away at Ajax earlier this month, they were dominant and entertaining in a supreme 4-1 win.

With the likes of Lewandowski (3.10 to score at any time), Reus (3.50) and Gotze (4.90) at the hosts' disposal and Ronaldo (1.92), Higuain (2.80) and Ozil (6.50) leading Madrid's attack, you're tempted to expect goals aplenty. But these two sides are disciplined and organised adeptly, so while this top of the table clash will be a fascinating and competitive one, a low-scoring affair - under 2.5 goals at 2.25 - is a good shout.

Score prediction: Dortmund 1-1 Real Madrid.

 

Ajax 4.75  The Draw 3.85 Manchester City 1.70

In spite of their rapid rise to the top of domestic football in England, Premier League champions Manchester City are still finding their feet in Europe.

They have the quality in their ranks to go all the way in this competition, sure. But adaptable strategy and big game temperament were missing as they bombed out of the group stages last season, and they've started inauspiciously this time around as well.

Manager Roberto Mancini has a chequered record in the Champions League and that was hardly improved by a last gasp defeat in Madrid in game week one. That disappointment was followed by an unconvincing 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Dortmund - a late and dubious penalty rescuing a point against a German side that had dominated throughout.

Most concerning for the Citizens is their defensive form. They might boast one of the world's best up and coming goalkeepers in the shape of Joe Hart, but City have kept just one clean sheet in all competitions this term. 

Ajax, meanwhile, are struggling with a crisis of form on all fronts. The Amsterdam side are bottom of Group A after losing narrowly away at Dortmund and then getting thrashed 1-4 at home to Real Madrid last time out.

Their Eredivisie record is average of late as well - they've drawn five of their last eight league games, many against relative minnows.

Taking all of that into consideration, I can see a cagey opening exchange, with City growing into the game in the second half and taking it by the odd the goal. Back h/t draw f/t City at 5.25.

In the scorers markets, Sergio Aguero looks sure to score at any time at 2.00, while good value can be had on Ajax's dangerous Dane Cristian Eriksen to open the scoring at 12.00.    

Score prediction: Ajax 1-2 Man City at 8.50.

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