UEFA Champions League – Matchday 6 – Wednesday Fixtures – Preview and Betting Tips

This article is a follow-up to the Tuesday fixtures preview. The Wednesday night fixtures in the final round of the UEFA Champions League group stage are previewed and betting tips are provided. Note that these kickoffs correspond to Thursday morning, AEDT.


Below are selected William Hill odds (subject to change):

Group E

Rank Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Bayern Munich 5 4 0 1 13 6 7 12
2 Roma 5 3 0 2 9 10 -1 9
3 Basel 5 2 0 3 8 8 0 6
4 CFR 1907 Cluj-Napoca 5 1 0 4 5 11 -6 3


Remaining fixtures:
Bayern Munich v Basel
CFR Cluj v Roma

Bayern Munich have guaranteed top spot, due to their superior head-to-head goal difference with Roma. Bayern will be joined in the last 16 by either Roma or Basel. Roma will go through if they avoid defeat at Cluj or if Basel fail to beat Bayern. If Basel defeat Bayern Munich and Roma lose, then Basel qualify via superior head-to-head goal difference. Cluj cannot overtake Basel due to an inferior head-to-head goal difference, and are hence out of contention for a Europe League spot.

Tidbits, Tips and Betting Suggestions:

  • Bayern Munich v Basel
    • The corresponding Basel v Bayern Munich fixture on matchday 2 ended 1-2.
    • Bayern Munich have a perfect home record so far this campaign, so it will be a huge task for Basel to achieve victory here. In Basel’s favour, however, is the fact that Bayern have nothing to play for, and will likely field a weakened side. I would back a draw here.
  • CFR Cluj v Roma
    • The corresponding Roma v CFR Cluj fixture on matchday 2 ended 2-1.
    • Roma will be playing against a club with no head coach and plans to sell numerous players. Roma are the favourites to win here. Given that they have so much more to play for than CFR Cluj, I would back a Roma victory.
    • ROzsolt’s tip: back Roma to win

Group F

Rank Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 5 5 0 0 14 3 11 15
2 Marseille 5 3 0 2 11 3 8 9
3 Spartak Moscow 5 2 0 3 5 9 -4 6
4 MSK Zilina 5 0 0 5 2 17 -15 0


Remaining fixtures:
MSK Zilina v Spartak Moscow
Marseille v Chelsea

There is nothing to play for in either fixture for this group. Regardless of the results, Chelsea will top the group, and will be joined in the final 16 by Marseille. Spartak Moscow will head into the Europa League final 32, while MSK Zilina will simply hope to pick up their first points of the competition.

Tidbits, Tips and Betting Suggestions:

  • MSK Zilina v Spartak Moscow
    • The corresponding Spartak Moscow v MSK Zilina fixture on matchday 2 ended 3-0.
    • It’s harder to pick a winner when both teams have nothing to play for. The outcome will be in part a result of the strengths of the squads chosen by the respective managers. Zilina’s home fixtures to date have resulted 1-4 and 0-7, so I will back Spartak Moscow to make it a third straight home defeat for Zilina.
  • Marseille v Chelsea
    • The corresponding Chelsea v Marseille fixture on matchday 2 ended 2-0.
    • With nothing to play for, I anticipate that Chelsea will field a weakened side. Chelsea have been pretty flat of late, and most pundits anticipate a Marseille victory here. Personally, I think a draw is a fair value bet.

Group G

Rank Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Real Madrid 5 4 1 0 11 2 9 13
2 AC Milan 5 2 2 1 7 5 2 8
3 Ajax 5 1 1 3 4 10 -6 4
4 Auxerre 5 1 0 4 3 8 -5 3


Remaining fixtures:
AC Milan v Ajax
Real Madrid v Auxerre

Real Madrid and AC Milan will head to the knockout stages, having secured secured first and second place, respectively. Ajax and Auxerre will be fighting for Europa League entry. If Ajax and Auxerre end on level points, given their identical head-to-head record, Auxerre would advance on based on head-to-head goal difference in that scenario.

Tidbits, Tips and Betting Suggestions:

  • AC Milan v Ajax
    • The corresponding Ajax v AC Milan fixture on matchday 2 ended 1-1.
    • Ajax have more to play for in this fixture, but they have a dismal away record. If you can get odds of over 2.00, I would back an AC Milan victory.
  • Real Madrid v Auxerre
    • The corresponding Auxerre v Real Madrid fixture on matchday 2 ended 0-1.
    • Despite the fact that Real Madrid will likely field a weakened side, most pundits believe they will still be too strong for Auxerre here. Like Ajax, Auxerre have a dismal away record this campaign, and I can’t see it improving against the best team in this group. I think odds of 1.50 on Real Madrid to win is fair value.

Group H

Rank Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Shakhtar Donetsk 5 4 0 1 10 6 4 12
2 Arsenal 5 3 0 2 15 6 9 9
3 Braga 5 3 0 2 5 9 -4 9
4 Partizan Belgrade 5 0 0 5 1 10 -9 0


Remaining fixtures:
Arsenal v Partizan Belgrade
Shakhtar Donetsk v Braga

This is the only group where no team has yet qualified for the knockout stage. With a 3 point lead, Shakhtar Donetsk is in pole position, but a loss could see them bundled out of the Champions League and into the Europa League. Arsenal need to beat Partizan Belgrade to guarantee progression, but could still qualify if they draw or lose if the other fixture goes their way. Shakhtar Donetsk will top the group if they avoid defeat to Braga. Arsenal could top the group if they defeat Partizan Belgrade and Donetsk lose to Braga. If the three teams end on the same points, all three would hold equal points from the head-to-heads between themselves, so qualification would come down to goal difference in the matches between the three, followed by head-to-head away goals scored, if necessary. In this scenario Arsenal would likely come out on top and Braga would have to beat Shakhtar by four goals to come second. In two-way head-to-head, Arsenal have superior head-to-head results over both Shakhtar and Braga. For Braga to finish top, they would need to beat Shakhtar by more than 4 goals and hope Arsenal lose.

Tidbits, Tips and Betting Suggestions:

  • Arsenal v Partizan Belgrade
    • Arsenal won the corresponding away fixture 3-1 in a match that featured three penalties, only one of which was converted.
    • Arsenal fans will be frustrated that they have yet to qualify for the final 16. The side started their Champions League campaign in blistering form, scoring 14 goals and conceding only 1 in their first 3 fixtures. However Arsenal then went on to lose away to Shakhtar Donetsk and Sporting Braga in their following two games, which leaves their qualification still in the balance.
    • Vermaelen, Fabregas and Diaby will be missing for Arsenal
    • Partizan Belgrade will only be playing for pride, having lost every group stage fixture to date. Their solitary goal in the tournament was a penalty against Arsenal, so the side has yet to score in open play during this campaign. On the domestic front, the story is quite the opposite. Belgrade is dominating the Serbian SuperLiga, with 5-2, 5-1, 4-2 and 4-1 victories in their past four league games.
    • Bookmakers are anticipating a walkover here, with most bookies only offering odds of around 1.10 on Arsenal. Luxbet is only offering 11.00 odds on a 5-0 result! You can understand these odds, though, given Belgrade’s poor performances thus far. Also, Belgrade have only pride to play for, while Arsenal need a win to ensure progression to the final 16. If you’re really feeling optimistic about Arsenal’s chances, you could bundle a bet backing Arsenal as a multibet pair with other fixtures to provide an odds boost to your other wagers. However, if Arsenal fail to win then every bet you have paired with it will automatically lose!
    • Consider backing Nasri to score for Arsenal. I’m not sure if we’ll see a huge blowout result, because Arsenal will have one eye on this weekend’s fixture against Man Utd. This may lead to early substitutions should Arsenal jump out to a comfortable lead.
    • Addicted’s tips: back Arsenal, back over 3 goals
  • Shakhtar Donetsk v Braga
    • The corresponding Braga v Shakhtar Donetsk fixture on matchday 2 ended 0-3.
    • Shakhtar Donetsk only need a point here to top the table and guarantee progression, while Braga need a massive win. The fact that Braga need to score so many goals could play into the hands of Shakhtar Donetsk, and I anticipate they will pick up a victory at home.

Tie-Break Rules

  1. The results of games between the teams in the tie (if still tied, by goal difference and then by away goals counting double).
  2. Goal difference in all group games.
  3. Highest number of goals scored in all games.
  4. Highest UEFA ranking over the previous five seasons.
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