Another Champions League evening where business has been concluded in a number of the groups. These dead rubbers are to be avoided, or if you insist upon trading, please use the in-play stats. I am in London now as I write this so I hope I can do some evening live chat webinars / Twitter sessions for you. The Europa League did interest but there again there are a huge number of dead rubber matches.
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow - 1.23 Real Madrid
- Top spot is not confirmed in Group G. 12 points Real, 9 points AS Roma. The goal difference is such that if Real lose and Roma win, Real still maintain top spot. That makes this a dead rubber. CSKA are going nowhere.
17:55 - Plzen v Roma - 2.7 Plzen
- The market has both Plzen and Roma as 2.7 favourites. That tells us that this is likely a match to avoid for trading purposes. We saw Roma's generosity at the weekend, cocking it up from 0-2 up domestically, to make it 2 losses and a draw in their 3 pre-Champions League matches.
- As above, if Roma win and score a shed load, and Real lose, Roma will go top. Highly unlikely. They are happy with 2nd and qualification.This is another dead rubber.
17:55 - Man City v Hoffenheim - 1.21 Man City
- The mighty Hoff are not progressing alas, but thankfully we have their Keystone Cops antics to look forward to in the German Bundesliga.
- Man City are qualified on 10 points. +9 goal difference. Lyon are 2nd on 7 points with +1 goal difference. This Group F is still alive, from Lyon and Shakhtar's perspective, but this is yet another dead rubber.
Young Boys v Juventus - 1.47 Juventus
- All Hail the Young Boys.....at least domestically. They are the best trading side this season but in the Champions League are out with just a single point. Group H sees Juventus on 12 points, Man Utd on 10 points so if Juventus are adequately motivated, then they will eye the win for a guarantee of top spot and whatever perceived benefit that accrues.
- 4 defeats for Young Boys, 0-3 and 1-1 at home.
- 4 clean sheets for Juve this campaign. All wins bar that defeat to Man Utd.
- Team news vital for Juventus in what is effectively a dead rubber.
Benfica v AEK Athens - 1.41 Benfica
- These 2 aren't going anywhere in a Group E utterly dominated by Bayern Munich and Ajax. Nothing to play for. There will be no place changes with a win or a draw. AEK Athens have no points.
Shakhtar v Lyon - 2.32 Shakhtar
- With so many dead rubbers this evening, it is best to focus on matches where there is actual meaning. In Group F, Man City are on 10 points, Lyon on 7 points, and Shakhtar on 5 points.
- This match is a must win for Shakhtar and a 'must-not-lose' for Lyon.
- A 2-2 last time these 2 met, saw Shakhtar lead 0-2.
- Shakhtar have conceded 2-2-3-6-2 goals. 2 2-2 draws and a 2-3 win surprisingly result!
- 2-2 v the Hoff and 0-3 v Man City at home for Shakhtar.
- Lyon are unbeaten but have scored and conceded in all matches. Sir Desmond of Tutu has been much pleased by Lyon. 1-2, 2-2, 3-3, 2-2, 2-2.
- Remember that a draw does for Lyon today. It is a must win for Shakhtar. Surely it's not as simple as a 2-2, 3-2, 2-3 correct score angle is it?
Valencia v Man Utd - 2.6 Valencia
- This is effectively a dead rubber, unless Man Utd have ambitions for top spot in Group H. They are 2 points shy of Juventus.
- With odds of 2.6, I will leave this alone.
Ajax v Bayern Munich - 2 Bayern
- These 2 have qualified from Group E, Bayern on 13 points and Ajax on 11. Unless top spot is an incentive for both sides, then this is another dead rubber in a Champions League which offers very little.