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Paper Talk: Wilfried wanted

The likes of PSG are interested in signing Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace this summer while Nabil Fekir's dream move to Liverpool could be back on.

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Reds to survive Cardiff test

Cardiff gave themselves hope of avoiding the drop during the week, but they won't get anything out of title-chasing Liverpool. Check out our best bets for the game.

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Toffees to hold up United

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Title rivals Liverpool and Man City dominate the shortlist for PFA Player of the Year, with Virgil Van Dijk and Raheem Sterling the front-runners.

Champions League betting tips: Tuesday preview, inc Chelsea v Atletico Madrid & Man Utd v CSKA

Stefan Savic
Stefan Savic

Our Andy Schooler has 14/5, 7/2 and 13/2 tips for Tuesday's Champions League action.

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid (1945 GMT, BT Sport 3)

When Chelsea won the reverse fixture in impressive fashion back in September, they looked ready to challenge on all fronts.

But things quickly went downhill for Antonio Conte’s men and two and a half months on they head into this game well off the pace in the Premier League having suffered a number of slip-ups. Perhaps more significantly in terms of this match, they really struggled against a quality Roma side, twice, in this competition.

The good news for the Blues is they are already through to the last 16. For them, this game will be about claiming top spot in the group, something they will achieve if they win.

Atletico also need victory for the perennial Champions League challengers have left themselves on the brink of a group-stage exit.

While the situation would have been very different had they not conceded to Michy Batshuayi with the last kick in the Metropolitano, the real reason they find themselves relying on other results is they drew twice with supposed whipping boys Qarabag.

Diego Simeone’s side need to win at Stamford Bridge and hope Qarabag can now do them a favour by holding Roma to a draw in the Italian capital.

The first part of the equation is far from impossible, particularly given the way Roma were able to cut through Chelsea both at the Bridge and in the Stadio Olimpico.

Their last-gasp defeat remains Atletico’s only loss in all competitions this season and can, in part, be put down to early teething trouble at their new home; it was their first big game at the venue.

In recent weeks they’ve looked more like the side that has become feared in the Champions League with five wins in their last six and just the one goal conceded. The draw came against Real Madrid.

At 29/10, I think they are worth backing here, especially given there must be a chance that Chelsea hold something back for Saturday’s clash with West Ham.

Sky Bet's Crowd Boosted offer: The more people back it, the bigger the price gets!
Sky Bet's Crowd Boosted offer: The more people back it, the bigger the price gets!

However, there’s another bet which I like even more and that’s Stefan Savic to be booked at any time at a tasty 7/2.

The Montenegrin defender was been a regular in the referee’s notebook over the past 18 months, receiving 12 yellows last season.

He’s currently on a run of four in his last seven for his club, one which becomes five in nine if you throw in international appearances.

With the likes of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata likely to be running at him throughout this one, there’s every chance he’s seen tugging someone down in trademark fashion at some point - or least a better chance than 7/2 suggests.

The only issue is he's not guaranteed to start. Savic has played in recent games but Simeone has had a tendency to rotate his defenders to suit the occasion this season.

Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Atletico

Manchester United v CSKA Moscow (1945 GMT, BT Sport 2)

Officially, United are yet to book their place in the last 16 but they will need to lose by seven goals here if they are to miss out.

That isn’t going to happen and instead they will be targeting top spot – a draw here will earn them that.

CSKA have certainly been competitive in this group and they are effectively battling it out with Basel to go through alongside United.

They are going to need to better Basel’s result away to Benfica though which means defeat here is no good to them.

Perhaps they will try to play out a goalless draw but the likelihood is United will score at some point and that will force CSKA out.

That conclusion is based on the reverse fixture, a game United utterly dominated, sweeping aside their opponents in ruthless fashion.

Romelu Lukaku ran the Russians’ backline all over the place that night, scoring twice, and this could well represent a good chance for him to restore some confidence ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby.

Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial celebrate United's third
Romelu Lukaku ran CSKA ragged in the reverse fixture

Having scored 16 times in his first 13 games for club and country this season, he’s managed just one in his last 12.

He’s a shade of odds-on to net in this game and that could be the bet – if he’s in the starting XI.

Jose Mourinho has promised to make "a few" changes but Paul Pogba, suspended domestically, will play and can be expected to run a midfield area where CSKA will be missing Bibras Natcho due to suspension. Pontus Wernbloom, who has played further forward in recent weeks, is also out for the same reason.

Pogba can help supply Lukaku, who looks a bet if he plays. My advice for now is to wait for the team news.

Prediction: Man Utd 2-0 CSKA Moscow

Celtic v Anderlecht (1945 GMT, BT Sport ESPN)

Neither side will be progressing into the knockout stage but this is a big game for Celtic in the sense that they need to book a Europa League spot by finishing third.

They should do so – a 3-0 win in Brussels in September means they can afford to lose this one by two and still secure European football in the New Year.

Celtic did face Anderlecht at a good time in the autumn – they had just sacked their manager and made a poor start to their title defence. They’ve picked up since but still are not the force they were last season.

Do they really head to Parkhead thinking a three-goal win is possible? Unlikely, and so boss Hein Vanhaezebrouck may well opt to keep one eye on Saturday’s key domestic game with Charleroi – Anderlecht will leapfrog them into second place in the Jupiler League if they win that one.

Celtic also have Moussa Dembele and Nir Bitton back and I can’t see them taking any risks with their selection given how important it is for them to have meaningful matches in the spring, by which time the Premiership title will be all but wrapped up.

Celtic are odds-on and while that’s not a price I’m enthused enough about to recommend as a single, they can probably be relied upon for your evening acca.

Prediction: Celtic 3-1 Anderlecht

Best of the rest

A tempting treble from the rest of the coupon is Roma, Basel and Juventus all to win.

The trio all know victories will take them into the last 16 and they face opponents who are already guaranteed to finish bottom of their group and thus have nothing to play for.

Those teams are, respectively, Qarabag, Benfica and Olympiakos.

It pays around 5/2. Throw in United and Celtic and you get close to 9/1.

The one I’d worry most about is Juve away to Olympiakos, a team who have a track record of claiming a decent home result in this competition.

While Juve know victory will guarantee their place in the next round, they will also be well aware they will probably go through whatever the result, as only a Sporting Lisbon win away to Barcelona will make their game relevant.

Michael Lang celebrates
Michael Lang: Has scored in each of his last five games; seven goals in total

Instead, I’m going to take a punt on big price in the anytime goalscorer market in the Benfica v Basel game.

Michael Lang announced his name to a wider audience by scoring the winner against Manchester United on matchday five and he’s very much used that as a springboard to further success in front of goal.

He’s now netted seven times in his last five games – a remarkable record for someone playing right wing-back.

Of course, such a purple patch won’t last forever but given he’s 13/2 to score again on Tuesday night it’s worth chancing that it does continue for one more game.

Lang has already scored against Benfica this season – the Swiss won the reverse fixture 5-0 – and in this game he’s playing for a team that needs to win against one with nothing at stake.

Benfica have been really poor in this group, losing all five games so far, conceding 12 goals in the process and scoring only one.

With Basel needing to match or better CSKA’s result at Old Trafford, Lang looks worth chancing.

Even if you consider his recent scoring streak a quirk, it’s worth bearing in mind he did score nine times last season and so 13/2 (Betfred) is a price worth taking.

Recommended bets

1pt Stefan Savic to be carded v Chelsea at 7/2

1pt Atletico Madrid to beat Chelsea at 14/5

1pt Michael Lang to score at anytime v Benfica at 13/2

Click here for our transparent tipping record.

Posted at 1720 GMT on 04/12/17.

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Most Read Football

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages1

Paper Talk: Wilfried wanted

The likes of PSG are interested in signing Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace this summer while Nabil Fekir's dream move to Liverpool could be back on.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview of Cardiff v Liverpool2

Reds to survive Cardiff test

Cardiff gave themselves hope of avoiding the drop during the week, but they won't get anything out of title-chasing Liverpool. Check out our best bets for the game.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview for Everton v Man Utd3

Toffees to hold up United

Manchester United's top four run could be held up by Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday. Paul Higham has the best bets for the big game.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview of Arsenal v Crystal Palace4

Home comforts for Gunners

Arsenal return to fortress Emirates with a favourable fixture to boost their top four hopes - and Paul Higham expects them to do just that.

Left to right: Raheem Sterling, Virgil van Dijk and Eden Hazard - stars of the 2018/19 Premier League5

PFA Player of the Year nominations

Title rivals Liverpool and Man City dominate the shortlist for PFA Player of the Year, with Virgil Van Dijk and Raheem Sterling the front-runners.

Football Tips

Sporting Life's Premier League preview for Everton v Man Utd

Toffees to hold up United

Manchester United's top four run could be held up by Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday. Paul Higham has the best bets for the big game.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview of Cardiff v Liverpool

Reds to survive Cardiff test

Cardiff gave themselves hope of avoiding the drop during the week, but they won't get anything out of title-chasing Liverpool. Check out our best bets for the game.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview of Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Home comforts for Gunners

Arsenal return to fortress Emirates with a favourable fixture to boost their top four hopes - and Paul Higham expects them to do just that.