Champions League: Premier League prestige at stake

Arsenal will need Olivier Giroud to be on form with a good win needed in Greece
Arsenal will need Olivier Giroud to be on form with a good win needed in Greece
  • vs

James Horncastle believes the prestige of the Premier League is once again at stake with three of England's four teams at risk of elimination in Matchday 6. Here is the BT Sport pundit's verdict on that game and five other things to look out for this week...

"So impressive against Chelsea at the Dragão, their away form hasn't been too bad at this stage of the Champions League. Porto are unbeaten in their last five group games on the road and have scored at least two goals in each of them. They're worth a punt @ 1.9210/11 on Double Chance."

Jose Mourinho stands on the brink at Chelsea and just imagine if it were Porto, the club with whom he made his name, who pushed him over it. This group is so delicately poised. The visitors to Stamford Bridge have never won in England and need to do so in order, not only to be sure of finishing top but qualifying at all. So impressive against Chelsea at the Dragão, their away form hasn't been too bad at this stage of the Champions League. Porto are unbeaten in their last five group games on the road and have scored at least two goals in each of them. They're worth a punt @ 1.9210/11 on Double Chance.


Wolfsburg's fearsome home record makes the Bundesliga side a bet against United

Things won't be easy for Manchester United either. Like Porto in Group G, they too require a win to top the group and to be absolutely certain of qualifying. A draw might not be enough depending on what happens in Eindhoven between PSV and CSKA Moscow. The trouble is Louis van Gaal's team are going to Wolfsburg who, until Saturday's defeat to Borussia Dortmund, were unbeaten at the VW Arena all season. They've won each of their home games in the Champions League so far and have kept a clean sheet in both of them. That doesn't bode well when you consider United's problems in front of goal. Back a Wolfsburg clean sheet @ 3.02/1.


Bottom of Group D Seville will still present a test for Juve

Manchester City are the only English team sure of being in the knock-out stages. But their chances of finishing top of Group D and avoiding a Barcelona or a Bayern in the Round of 16 were dealt a blow in Turin a fortnight ago. All Juventus require is a draw to wrap up first place although that is easier said than done. Sevilla have beaten Real Madrid and Barça at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this season. The problem for City is, Capital One Cup excluded, they have won only one of their last five games between Premier League and Champions League.


City set to limp into last 16

Meanwhile Borussia Mönchengladbach travel to the Etihad on the back of inflicting the first defeat on Bayern in the Bundesliga this season. If the campaign had started when Andre Schubert was appointed they would be top. Unwilling to see their European tour end here, Gladbach will go for it in Manchester in order to get into the Europa League. Back them to get something on Double Chance @ 2.3611/8


Gunslinging shootout expected as Arsenal take the fight to Olympiakos

In Athens, Arsenal are up against it too. They have never won in the Champions League in Piraeus. One of the most hostile atmospheres on the continent, Olympiacos are currently unbeaten in six home ties against English opposition. It doesn't bode well for the Gunners, who need to win by two-clear goals or by the scoreline they were beaten by Olympiacos at the Emirates to go through. Arsene Wenger will throw the kitchen sink at his hosts. It promises to be a gunslinging shootout. We all know about Arsenal's firepower but Olympiacos have also scored 34 goals in 12 games in the Greek Super League, including four in each of their last two outings. It should be a thriller. Back a Straight Forecast of Bayern to top the group and Arsenal to finish runners' up at 3.3512/5.


Stunned Roma must snap out of stupor or Bate can inflict a home embarrassment

Elsewhere, all aboard the Romacoaster. Stunned after their 6-1 defeat to Barcelona a fortnight ago, Rudi Garcia's team have so far been unable to snap out of the stupor it induced. Potentially as psychologically traumatised as after the 7-1 to Bayern a year ago, they're without a win in four games and lost to BATE after inexplicably falling 3-0 behind after half an hour. Roma should win on paper and all they have to do is match what Leverkusen do against Barça in order to go through. But without Salah and Gervinho they're not the same team. You just never know what you're going to get with them and that makes BATE, who have been in Rome all weekend, a tempting bet again on Double Chance at 3.9


Griezmann gives Atleti the edge in top of the table battle

A final tip focuses on Atletico and their short trip to Lisbon to play Benfica. Their opponents have done better in the Champions League under Rui Vitoria than under Jorge Jesus, and surprised Atleti at the Calderon. But in truth they're a shadow of the team they were under their old coach. Just look at where they are in the Liga Sagres: third and eight points off the team Jesus defected to, rivals Sporting Lisbon. Antoine Griezmann has been one of the players of the Champions League group stages, scoring four goals in five appearances. More reason to believe Atleti will win the game and the group and Benfica will finish runners' up. Back that as a straight forecast @ 2.3811/8.


Recommended Bets
Porto on Double Chance @ 1.9210/11
Wolfsburg Clean Sheet @ 3.02/1
Borussia Mönchengladbach on Double Chance @ 2.3611/8
Straight Forecast 1st Bayern 2nd Arsenal @ 3.3512/5
BATE on Double Chance @ 3.9
Straight Forecast 1st Atletico 2nd Benfica @ 2.3811/8

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles