Alex Lee dares you to take some long shots before the big kick-off of the Champions League on September 18.
Difficult to favour draw specialists
Statistically, the most commonly occurring result in football is the home win. Dynamo Kiev, however, qualified for the group stage of the Champions League on the back of an impressive away win at Borussia Monchengladbach. Their Group A opponents, PSG, on 18 September, however, are currently draw specialists and don't have the kind of home form that will instil any fear in Ukrainian circles.
A lay of PSG @ Betfair odds of (1.7) or under is therefore one way of covering both the draw and the away win.
Schalke can shade it
Sometimes, when assessing a team's UEFA Champions League chances, a good way is to compare the relative merits of its domestic league against that of its opponents. While Olympiacos have home advantage in their first Group B match against Schalke, the Greek league pales into insignificance against an ultra-competitive Bundesliga and this is why Schalke are a great shout for an away win at a price of around the (2.9) mark.
Malaga to get case of home jitters
In Group C, Malaga face Zenit St Petersburg, who are unbeaten in their travels this season. While the home side has gotten off to a good start domestically, a fixture in the Champions League group stage is completely unknown territory for them. Zenit, on the other hand, are hardened competitors at this level and qualified for the knock-out phase last season. For the above reasons, it might be wise to lay a blinking-into-the-UEFA Champions League-headlamps Malaga @(2.3).
City are the Real deal
A pre-Abu Dhabi-cash-injection Man City would have been no match for Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in Group D. A lot has changed in the last four years, however, and the blue side of Manchester can now compete with some of the world's most illustrious clubs. The proud owners of one of Europe's most parsimonious back lines, Manchester City are more than capable of forcing a draw or sneaking a win in Madrid when they lock horns later this month. A lay of Real Madrid, therefore @(1.67) is a potential steal.
Benfica to provide tough test
While Celtic are the undisputed kings of Scotland at present, the lack of any real competition due to the Rangers' fall from grace means that Benfica will be of a much higher calibre than the Hoops are used to welcoming to Celtic Park in Group G. Furthermore, the away team's odds of around (2.1) are just too good to turn down when you consider they brushed aside Spanish aristocrats Real Madrid, albeit in a friendly, 5-2 during pre-season.