It's been a tough start to the week for Kev, but he thinks he's found a Champions League winner tonight.
"Villarreal have lost an excellent coach and a clutch of key players, while Monaco did an impressive job against Fenerbahce in the previous round."
Villarreal v Monaco
Wednesday August 17, 19:45
Live on BT Sport
Our Swiss boys were rolled over last night, as Young Boys went down 3-1 at home to Borussia Monchengladbach. Undeterred, we're sticking with the Champions League qualifiers tonight, as Villarreal take on Monaco.
Villarreal caught the eye last season, as they finished fourth in La Liga, and got all the way to the semi-finals of the Europa League. A solid defence, marshalled by new Manchester United recruit Eric Bailly, kept a series of clean sheets. Denis Suarez provided trickery and an eye for goal in midfield, and French striker Cedric Bakambu scored regularly throughout the campaign. All the while, excellent coach Marcelino maintained the progress the club had made since winning promotion back to the top flight.
After a disastrous summer, the team looks ill-prepared for the forthcoming campaign. Bailly went to Old Trafford, Suarez was bought by his previous employers Barcelona, Bakambu is injured, as is his strike partner Roberto Soldado. Denis Cheryshev is also on the sidelines, while new recruit Nicola Sansone isn't eligible for the playoffs.
To make matters worse, Marcelino has left after a serious bust-up with the squad, and has been replaced by Fran Escriba. Having effectively taken Getafe down in his previous assignment, even Escriba admits he was surprised to get the job.
So Villarreal are in turmoil, and Monaco will see an opportunity to take advantage, although they have one or two issues of their own. Star striker Falcao is injured, and Leonardo Jardim's side had to come back from 2-0 down to draw their Ligue 1 opener 2-2 against Guingamp.
Monaco still have some outstanding players like Joao Moutinho and Bernardo Silva, and their win over Fenerbahce in the previous round was pretty impressive. Former Nice forward Valere Germain scored twice in the second leg, and he's expected to shake off an injury and play tonight.
Given their problems, Villarreal look too short for the win at 2.1211/10, so I'm happy to back Draw and Away in the Double Chance market at 1.8810/11.
Back Draw and Away in the Double Chance market at 1.8810/11
2016 P/L (1 pt per bet)
Points Staked: 122
Points Returned: 124.93
P/L: +2.93 points