Champions League betting preview: Best bets and stats for Wednesday's action, including Liverpool and Chelsea

Read our Champions League preview as Liverpool, Chelsea and Barcelona return to action
Read our Champions League preview as Liverpool, Chelsea and Barcelona return to action

The third matchday of the Champions League group stages takes place this week. George Pitts looks ahead to Wednesday's action.

Recommended bets

1pt Daley Blind to be shown a card in Ajax v Chelsea at 11/2

1pt Marcel Sabitzer to score anytime in RB Leipzig v Zenit at 21/10

0.5pts Dortmund to score 3+ goals v Inter at 11/2

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Ajax v Chelsea (1755 BST)

Daley Blind: The Dutchman speaks to the press ahead of Ajax's tie with Chelsea
Daley Blind: The Dutchman speaks to the press ahead of Ajax's tie with Chelsea

Chelsea get under way in the early kick-off in the Dutch capital, with Frank Lampard's side looking to build on their first win, against Lille, last time out.

They are on a roll having won six in a row in all competitions and the pace of their front three could prove menacing for Ajax's back line.

Do not discount last season's semi-finalists though, who are proving not to be one-season wonders despite selling Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs de Ligt.

Erik ten Hag's side have made a perfect start in this season's competition, winning two from two, scoring six and conceding none, but the Blues are a step up in quality compared to Lille and Valencia.

Lampard could stick with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Willian in his front three after their recent displays and, given their trickery and effectiveness, it's worth looking at the bookings markets.

Nicolas Tagliafico already has six bookings to his name this season - two in the Champions League - and he is a tempting 9/4, but the more appealing option is former Manchester United player Daley Blind at 11/2.

Those odds look a little large for a player in the centre of defence against a side with plenty of creative options and pace. He has been booked three times already this season and averages a foul per game in Europe's top competition.

Ajax continued to surprise us last season and have started well this time around while Chelsea are continuing to improve, so looking for value in bookings is a great option that does not rely on the final result.

Best bet: Daley Blind to be shown a card at 11/2

RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg (1755 BST)

Marcel Sabitzer: Austria playmaker celebrates his goal against Israel in Euro 2020 qualifying
Marcel Sabitzer: Austria playmaker celebrates his goal against Israel in Euro 2020 qualifying

Group G could be the toughest one to call with no European giant, but four closely-matched clubs in RB Leipzig, Zenit, Lyon and Benfica.

Leipzig are in their first season under Julian Nagelsmann's management and they have won one and lost one - the latter result coming at home against Lyon in matchday two.

They have a few injuries to contend with, but plenty of talent still available including Emile Forsberg and Marcel Sabitzer on the wings and Timo Werner up front, and they may well get back on track following a tricky spell.

It's wide man Sabitzer who is fancied to score in this one. The Austria playmaker has started the campaign well, with four goals and four assists in 11 appearances for Leipzig as well as two goals for his country.

The 25-year-old probably does so well because he tries his luck so often - he averages 2.5 shots per game in the Bundesliga and three per game in the Champions League. He had as many as five in his last European outing against Lyon and three in Leipzig's weekend draw with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.

He has not scored for his club since September 21 and he is actively trying to end that drought. At this price, it is well worth a look.

Best bet: Marcel Sabitzer to score anytime at 21/10


WATCH: Highlights from every game in second round of Champions League group stage games with Opta stats

Champions League highlights: Watch all the goals from the second round of group games
Champions League highlights: Watch all the goals from the second round of group games


Genk v Liverpool (2000 BST)

Liverpool celebrate Mo Salah's goal against RB Salzburg in the Champions League
Liverpool celebrate Mo Salah's goal against RB Salzburg in the Champions League

Liverpool have won only one of their last 10 away UEFA Champions League group stage matches (W1 D3 L6), losing each of the last four in a row, but Genk does not strike you as a fixture in which they could stumble.

Belgian clubs have poor records against English sides (see the key stat, below) and it is a good chance for the Reds to turn around their form on the road in Europe.

The holders can put any nerves to bed by seeing off the game early on. Thirteen of their 21 goals in the Premier League have come in the first half of games and fast starts were a feature of their Champions League games last season, too.

Jurgen Klopp's side are effective and can control this from the onset, therefore the odds-against price on two or more total goals to be scored in before the break holds particular appeal, especially with the expected return of Mo Salah.

Best bet: Over 1.5 total first-half goals at 5/4 (Coral)

Key stat:

  • English teams are unbeaten in their last 14 Champions League games against Belgian teams (W12 D2 L0) since Man Utd’s 2-1 defeat at Anderlecht in October 2000 – five English teams have faced Belgian teams since without losing (Leeds, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Leicester).

Inter Milan v Borussia Dortmund (2000 BST)

Romelu Lukaku: Belgian forward celebrates the first of two goals against Sassuolo
Romelu Lukaku: Belgian forward celebrates the first of two goals against Sassuolo

Antonio Conte has enjoyed a good domestic start as Inter boss, winning seven of eight Serie A games, but they are still awaiting their first win in Europe.

Granted, they lost in Barcelona despite playing well, but their last San Siro outing in the Champions League was a disappointing draw with Slavia Prague and they now face a quality Dortmund side on Wednesday.

You would expect a Conte outfit to be defensively sturdy, but they have not kept a clean sheet in their last four and have conceded seven goals in their last two games.

Dortmund have goals in them and their failure to find the back of the net at Barca last month goes down as rare. They have scored 24 goals in 11 games this season and at least two in four of their last five.

With this in mind, the 6/4 price on them to score at least two is interesting, but the 11/2 on them to score three is even more tempting for a small bet.

Inter conceded three against Sassuolo at the weekend and could not even keep a clean sheet at home to Slavia, so Dortmund's attack - even without Marco Reus - could enjoy their Milan outing.

Best bet: Dortmund to score 3+ goals at 11/2


Champions League: Five things from matchday two of Europe's elite competition

Champions League review: Five things from the second round of group games
Champions League review: Five things from the second round of group games

Odds correct as of 1600 BST on 22/10/19

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