Champions League: Difficult week in-store for City, Arsenal and Liverpool

James expects another tough night for Wenger at the Emirates
James expects another tough night for Wenger at the Emirates
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It's round five of the Champions League group stage so our man James Horncastle has selected five wagers from the midweek action - and he's not expecting much from the English sides...

"They outclassed the Gunners even without Reus at Signal Iduna Park in September and were victorious at the Emirates last year. And the school of thought claiming their style of play is better suited to the Champions League seems bang on the money."

Back Dortmund to win @ 3.185/40

Manchester City v Bayern Munich
Tuesday, 19:45
Live on ITV

"Leaving for Manchester with only one thought in mind," tweeted Bayern centre-back Mehdi Benatia on Monday afternoon. "Bringing the three points back to Munich." But the question is: what's motivating Bayern to win at the Etihad? They've already booked their place in the last 16. Why not chillax? The sense, however, is that Bayern wish to eliminate City from the competition altogether. Even though the English champions are going through a rough patch, Bayern recognise the talent in their ranks and would rather City were out of the competition and denied the time and opportunity to come together and pose a threat when the knock-out stages begin in the spring. Back the German champions to win, as they did last year at Eastlands.

Recommended Bet
Back Bayern to win @ 2.1411/10

CSKA Moscow v Roma
Tuesday, 17:00
Live on Sky Sports 5

To still be in the runner-up spot in their group after losing back-to-back games to Bayern by an aggregate score of 9-1 offered Roma some solace and a silver-lining to a chastening couple of match days in the Champions League. How City had quite contrived to mess up their home and away legs with a CSKA Moscow side the Italians had hammered 5-1 at the Olimpico caused some consternation and relief among players like Daniele De Rossi. Roma know that if they win at the Khimki Arena and City fail to inflict defeat on Bayern, a place in the knock-out stages of Europe's elite club competition is theirs for the first time in three years. Back Roma to brave the Moscow cold and fly back to the Eternal City with a win.  

Recommended Bet
Back Roma to win @ 2.568/5

Arsenal v Borussia Dortmund
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 1

Down in the relegation play-off place in the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund were 2-0 up against promoted Paderborn on Saturday, only to be pegged back to 2-2, lose Marco Reus to another ankle injury and see a winning goal disallowed. "It was a rubbish afternoon," said Michael Zorc, their director of sport. Normally, Arsenal would fancy their chances, but they suffered a damning setback of their own at the weekend, a 2-1 defeat to an injury-depleted Manchester United team that they had dominated in the first half. Perfect in the group stage and already through to the knock-outs, Dortmund will still want to win to boost morale. They outclassed the Gunners even without Reus at Signal Iduna Park in September and were victorious at the Emirates last year. And the school of thought claiming their style of play is better suited to the Champions League seems bang on the money. Back at Dortmund win in north London.

Recommended Bet
Back Dortmund to win @ 3.185/40

Ludogorets v Liverpool 
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 5

Ludogorets were a credit to themselves at Anfield back in September and deserved better than to lose in the 92nd minute to a Steven Gerrard penalty. Expect them to take confidence from that, not to mention Liverpool's rotten run of form. Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Palace was their fourth in a row. Brendan Rodgers' defence continues to make mistakes and the attack is desperately missing Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. You wouldn't put it past Ludogorets to get a result. After all, they made the holders, Real Madrid, work for a 2-1 win in Bulgaria earlier this season. Back Ludogorets to get a draw at a decent price. 

Recommended Bet
Back the draw @ 3.7511/4

Anderlecht v Galatasaray
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 1 

Spare a thought for fans of Galatasaray. Once an awkward, uncomfortable opponent in Europe, they have been humiliated on the continent this season. Beaten 4-1 by Arsenal at the Emirates, Dortmund then brought more pain, putting eight past this proud club over consecutive match days in Germany and Turkey. Roberto Mancini was onto something when he walked in the summer citing a change in Galatasaray's plans and scaling back of their ambition as his reasons. Things have only deteriorated further under his successor Cesare Prandelli. Anderlecht haven't won a game in the Champions League this season either but they did at least show character against Arsenal. Only beaten in the final minutes in Belgium, they then came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 in north London. Show that spirit again against Gala and they should win. 

Recommended Bet
Back Anderlecht to win @ 2.265/4

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