Leipzig v Celtic
It’s been a hit and miss season for Leipzig so far as while they’ve had some triumphs, namely a 3-0 home win over Borussia Dortmund, they currently sit 11th in the league despite a thumping 4-0 win over Bochum at the weekend. They’re yet to pick up a point in this group after defeats to Shakhtar Donetsk (4-1) and Real Madrid (2-0), and anything other than a win here would leave them a massive uphill battle to qualify for the round of 16.
Having convincingly won their opening seven matches of the season across all competitions, Celtic have looks somewhat shaky since. A 3-0 defeat to Real Madrid isn’t exactly embarrassing, though they’d have hoped to have got more than a point at home to Shakhtar, while a 2-0 defeat at St Mirren was certainly a shock, so confidence isn’t at an all-time high.
Celtic have a poor record in this competition for all their domestic dominance, winning just two of their last 17 outings, and collecting just one point from their last 18 available. Those two wins came against Anderlecht and Fc Astana, while they’re winless against German sides this century, so we can’t get behind them to get a result here despite their opponent’s struggles.
Over 1.5 goals has landed in all 12 of Leipzig’s games this season, with nine of those seeing at least three strikes. The Scots have also seen over 1.5 goals land in every game, with over 2.5 landing too in 64% of those, and Leipzig’s necessity for maximum points here should lead to a more open game.
OVER 2.5 GOALS
Chelsea v AC Milan
Only a Conor Gallagher screamer prevented Graham Potter from starting his Chelsea career with successive 1-1 draws, and things will need to improve quickly if they want to qualify. They’ve been fortunate that no side has taken this group by the scruff of the neck so far, and a victory on home soil here could see them jump from last to first.
That’s easier said than done against this AC Milan side though who have lost just once this season across all competitions, with that defeat coming against league leaders Napoli. The Serie A champions also survived a scare at the weekend as Empoli looked to have stolen a point in stoppage time before a quick-fire brace gave Milan all three points.
While Chelsea look the stronger side in terms of personnel, their form leaves the result very much up in the air here. The Blues haven’t won by more than a single strike all season and are yet to win back-to-back matches, so to have them as odds-on favourites here seems very short. While Milan can be hit-and-miss, they also haven’t lost by more than a strike so far this campaign, and the handicap looks worth getting behind.
MILAN +1 HANDICAP
Man City v Copenhagen
It’s hard to see how anyone is going to halt Man City and Erling Haaland this season, with Copenhagen the latest to try their luck. The English Champions are coming off the back of a thumping 6-3 victory over City rivals Man United, and it’s a scoreline that actually flatters the Red Devils.
Copenhagen will need a miracle to get something here, wit their form this season very much below par, even for their standards. They currently sit eighth in the Danish Ligaen and while they did manage a result against Sevilla last time out, this is a bigger step up in class.
While Pep Guardiola may choose to rotate his side, their depth in class means that shouldn’t have too much of an impact, while it also gives some fringe players the impetus to shine here. Guardiola rotates regularly, especially against ‘weaker’ sides in this competition, with either little effect, or even positive. Indeed, against the weaker sides they’ve faced in this competition over the last six seasons (Club Brugge, Feyenoord, Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb), The Citizens have a perfect W8-D0-L0 record, conceding just three times across that run, with five of the eight victories coming by at least three clear goals, and we’re inclined to get behind the handicap line on the hosts for this one considering they already have 22 goals in five home matches this season.
MAN CITY –2 HANDICAP
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