Champions League Betting: Group G Tips



Celtic 10.00, the draw 5.30, Barcelona 1.30 (19:45 kick-off)

After coming so close to upsetting the apple cart at the Camp Nou, Neil Lennon's side will be desperate to go one better on home soil. Celtic's form since that 2-1 loss hasn't been great, however: they've dropped points against Kilmarnock and Dundee United in the league. Barcelona have been in far better nick; the draw with Real Madrid a month ago remains their only wobble of the campaign.

While Celtic were content to stifle the Catalans away from home, the will certainly be expected to attack in front of their home fans. This is likely to lead to a more open game, which will play into the visitors' hands. Barcelona/Barcelona HT/FT at 1.86 looks good value, as does the 2.15 available on over 1.5 first half goals. Perhaps best of all, though, is Barca on the -1 handicap at 1.86.

Cesc Fabregas has been among the goals of late, and looks a good pick at 2.70 to score anytime. Lionel Messi drew a blank against Celta Vigo on Saturday, but can be backed at 7.00 to score three or more. For the Scottish champions, Giorgos Samaras is at 7.75 to score a second in as many games against the Blaugrana.

Score prediction: Celtic 1-3 Barcelona (11.50)

Benfica 1.55, the draw 3.90, Spartak Moscow 6.50 (19:45 kick-off)

Spartak battled to a 2-1 win over the Portuguese side in one of the most exciting matches of gameweek three, but will be hard-pressed to follow that up in Lisbon. The Eagles have been in fine form domestically - winning their last four without conceding a single goal - and appear to be regaining their feet after the sales of midfielders Axel Witsel and Javi Garcia. 

Both teams to score is usually a solid bet with Spartak, and would have come in on all of their last six Champions League games. Benfica have tightened up of late, but odds of 1.78 still represent good value. This match also offers some good options on the disciplinary side. Maxi Pereira will likely come up against the tricky Aiden McGeady, and is a generous 2.75 to get a card, while the hot-headed Bruno Cesar is at 4.50.

In the goalscorer markets, much will depend on who starts. For the hosts, both Lima (2.30 anytime) and Oscar Cardozo (2.35) would be good bets, but only one is likely to begin the game. For the visitors, the 18.00 available on Dmitri Kombarov to find the net looks way too big; although originally a left-back, he often operates in midfield, and has a dynamite shot from distance.

Score prediction: Benfica 2-1 Spartak (8.50)