Soccer Gambling Articles

UEFA Champions League Group Stage: Part I

Some call it the hardest competition to win in soccer, more difficult than even the World Cup. Europe’s finest clubs, with the world’s best players, go head-to-head in the Champions League this week. In the group stage, 32 teams compete in groups of four. The top two teams advance to the first knockout round. The third-placed team moves to the UEFA Cup competition, and the fourth-placed team is eliminated. There’s plenty to
glean from this round from a handicapping perspective. This week we’ll look at groups A though D:

Group A (Monaco, Liverpool, Olympiacos, Deportivo):
Monaco (+140) lead the pack in this tight group, but they still have their work cut out to make the next round. They are a mere shadow of last year’s Champions League finalists, having waved goodbye to such figures as Fernando Morientes, Jerome Rothen and Ludovic Giuly. Monaco will struggle to progress much further against much stronger opposition, but they are well-placed for qualification. Liverpool (+225) have failed to impress so far, with an embarrassing loss to Olympiacos and a 0-0
draw at Anfield with Deportivo. Although they will likely take second place in this group, Liverpool would be better served competing for the UEFA Cup. Manager Rafael Benitez knows the European game and striker Djibril Cisse is knocking in the goals, but this team must improve if they are to have any hope in the knockout stages. Olympiacos (+330) is the surprise team, which is making this the most competitive group. If they can stay in form and frustrate the struggling Liverpool and Deportivo, this Greek side has a fantastic opportunity to qualify. Deportivo (+550) are largely unchanged from last year, but a slow start has cost them and the Spaniards have to make up for lost ground. Relegation to the UEFA Cup is the best they can hope for.

Group B (Real Madrid, Leverkusen, Dynamo Kiev, Roma):
In what has become a tight and dramatic group, three teams are sharing the points at Roma’s expense. Real Madrid (-125) would be devastated with anything short of winning this group, but they have yet to prove consistent enough to make that a foregone conclusion. Leverkusen (+225) have taken advantage of Real and Roma, and will be forced to improve their defending to keep pace near the top. A third-place finish is more likely for the Germans. Dynamo Kiev (+300) have impressed most in this group. They deserve a qualifying spot and could likely win the group outright. The Ukrainians have been outstanding defensively and are particularly dangerous at home, where they rarely lose. Roma (100:1) are disgraceful and their fans have only themselves to blame. Against Dynamo, a projectile thrown by a Roma ‘fan’ hit referee Anders Frisk in the head, sending him to hospital and forfeiting the match. As punishment, the Italians will face Leverkusen inside an empty Olympic Stadium. Their cup run is over.

Group C (Juventus, Bayern, Ajax, Maccabi Tel-Aviv):
Juventus (-250) are the class acts of both the Champions League and Serie A this season. New manager Fabio Capello has worked wonders at the Delle Alpi, and the Bianconeri now own a perfect record in this competition. Expect a cakewalk through this group and don’t be surprised if Juventus lifts the cup. Bayern (+190) are a much-improved side under Felix Magath this year and will doubtless finish second in this predictable group. Ajax (16:1) are a solid, but decidedly second-rate team that will end up chasing the UEFA Cup. The Israeli minnows Maccabi Tel-Aviv (500:1) will be content with scoring a goal in this round.

Group D (Manchester United, Lyon, Fenerbahce, Sparta):
A depleted and struggling Manchester United (-200) are fortunate to have a decent start to this round. Ordinarily, their group opponents would be in another class, but this year all three are capable of frustrating the Red Devils. This is anyone’s group, and Lyon (+150) look good with two home games left. Fenerbahce (22:1) are less threatening than usual, and are dreadful on defence. But the Turks remain deadly at home and have every chance of taking full points from Man United. Sparta (100:1) and
Fenerbahce will most likely contest third place. If they can score more goals, expect the Czechs to grab a spot in the UEFA Cup at the Istanbul club’s expense.

Other Articles About Soccer Betting:

» Soccer Wagering: Point Spread or Money Line?
» UEFA Champions League Prediction: Group Stage
» World Cup Qualifiers 2006: European Zone
» Carling Cup Prediction: Second Round Preview
» Italian Soccer Prediction: Serie A Preview 2004/2005
» French Soccer Prediction: Singing Les Bleus
» Spanish Soccer Prediction: Primera Liga Preview 2004
» German Soccer Prediction: Bundesliga Preview 2004
» English Premier League Prediction 2004/2005
» Olympics Soccer: Redemption Time
» Copa America Prediction: Samba or Last Tango in Peru?
» Asian Cup Prediction: Here We Go Again
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» Betting Euro 2004: The Final Four
» Euro 2004 Gambling: Propaholics and Rooney-Mania
» Euro 2004 Predictions: Handicapping Secrets Revealed
» Euro 2004 Tips: Props - Part 1
» Euro 2004 Bets: Props - Part 2
» International Friendlies: How to Cash In
» Road Dogs and Big Profits: How to Find Both
» Uefa Champions League Betting Tips: The Final Four
» Man Utd v Arsenal Prediction: Clash of the Titans
» Premiership Predictions: EPL Roundup
» UK Bookmakers: Where the Action Is
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» Cup Competitions: Where the Money is
» Profit from Home Field Advantage

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