CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Our football tipster The Ultra previews Tuesday’s Group stage matches between YOUNG BOYS v MAN U, BARCELONA v BAYERN MUNICH and CHELSEA v ZENIT ST PETERSBURG all with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats.
YOUNG BOYS V MANCHESTER UNITED
5.45pm The Champions League is back and we have some incredible fixtures to look forward to in the Group stage. Correct me if I am wrong, but I can’t remember a better Group stage – we have European heavyweight clashes all over the place and we also have some fascinating markets to look forward to on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. We kick the evening off early with Young Boys hosting Manchester United. I have to say as a football fan I enjoyed watching Ronaldo return and score on Saturday – Old Trafford was rocking and it will be very interesting to see how competitive they are in the Premier League this season. In truth, there is a huge gulf in class between the sides here and they should get their Champions League campaign off to a winning start.
You have to go back to the 2016/17 season to find a different winner of the Swiss Super League to Young Boys. They have absolutely dominated the league since. For example, they won by 29 points last season! They have started this season slowly however – they only had eight points after five games and weren’t in the top three. Even if they won all their domestic games, you have to consider the gulf in class here which is massive. The main issue for United will likely be the pitch which is artificial grass. That’s the only issue I see for United here to be honest, and the 1.42 is very much worth backing. Young Boys generally like to play an open game and this should suit United on the counter – United should cover the handicap, but the 1.42 on the win looks great value.
The Ultra Says:
Three points win Manchester United to beat Young Boys at 1.42 with BETDAQ Exchange.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/BDQYunMun
● Young Boys have lost their previous two UEFA European matches against Manchester United, losing two group stage matches in the 2018-19 season.
● Manchester United have won 50% of their UEFA Champions League games against Swiss opponents (W4 D2 L2), with every game coming in the group stages against either Basel (W2 D2 L2) or Young Boys (W2).
● In all European competition, Young Boys have only won one of their eight matches against English opponents (D1 L6), winning 3-2 against Spurs in the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-offs in August 2010 under Vladimir Petković – they lost the second leg 4-0 and went out 6-3 on aggregate.
● Young Boys featured in the UEFA Champions League once previously, finishing bottom of the table in the group stage in 2018-19. Their first match in that campaign was at home to Manchester United, losing 3-0.
● Manchester United have lost their first match in just one of their last 21 UEFA Champions League campaigns (W13 D7), losing 2-1 to PSV in the 2015-16 season under Louis van Gaal.
● Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo could equal the all-time UEFA Champions League appearance record in this match, levelling with Iker Casillas on 177 matches. Ronaldo is already the leading scorer with 134 goals, 15 of which were scored during his first spell at Man Utd between 2003 and 2009.
● Young Boys boss David Wagner is set to take charge of his first ever UEFA Champions League match – he faced Manchester United four times in all competitions as Huddersfield Town manager, losing three of his four games (W1) – Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s second match in charge of Man Utd was a 3-1 win over Wagner’s Huddersfield in December 2018.
● Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t appeared for Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League since May 2009, on the day of this game a gap of 12 years, 110 days. That will be the fourth longest gap between appearances for the same club, behind Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Ajax, 2006-18, 12y 189d), Timmy Simons (Club Brugge, 2003-16, 12y 280d) and Steed Malbranque (Lyon, 2001-15, 14y 194d).
● Manchester United have lost six of their 10 UEFA Champions League matches under Ole Gunnar Solskjær (W4) – as many as they lost in 20 games in the competition under Louis van Gaal and José Mourinho combined (W10 D4 L6).
● Young Boys midfielder Miralem Sulejmani played in five of Young Boys’ six UEFA Champions League matches in 2018-19, including both games against Man Utd. He is the only member of their squad who has previously scored in the Champions League, finding the net for Ajax against Dinamo Zagreb in November 2011.
BARCELONA V BAYERN MUNICH
8pm What a fantastic fixture! This is what Champions League nights are all about. Barcelona will want to forget the last time they played Bayern however; they lost 8-2 in August 2020 when we just had one knockout game at a neutral venue instead of two legs. Bayern scored after four minutes and although Barcelona levelled after seven minutes, it was one way traffic from there! Bayern were a little unlucky to get knocked out of the Champions League last season and they will be hoping to right that wrong this season. They might have lost their chance however as so many top sides around Europe look like they have improved their squad this summer. Bayern have raided RB Leipzig too though! You can’t say the same about Barcelona however who have got much weaker. They’ve lost Messi and a few other players too – it is incredible how they got themselves in this position.
Barcelona didn’t play at the weekend as they had their game against Sevilla pushed back to next week, while Bayern Munich ran out easy 4-1 winners against RB Leipzig landing a very nice Max Bet for us. I have to say, it is tempting to have another Max Bet on Bayern here at 2.08 but I am going to resist and just lower stakes a little. Barcelona put in a great performance with a 4-1 win over Real Sociedad on their first game of the season but their last two performances haven’t been good. Bayern are in superb form too – they have created xG figures of 3.13, 2.5, 3.1 and 3.87 this season. They will create more chances than Barcelona here and that will win the game.
The Ultra Says:
Four points win Bayern Munich to beat Barcelona at 2.08 with BETDAQ Exchange.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/BDQBarByn
● This is the first meeting between Barcelona and Bayern Munich since the 2019-20 UEFA Champions quarter-final, an 8-2 win for Munich in what was Barca’s heaviest defeat since April 1951, a 6-0 reverse against Espanyol.
● In all major UEFA European competition, Barcelona have lost seven matches against Bayern Munich, three more than they have against any other side (P11 W2 D2 L7). Their two wins against Munich came in home first leg Champions League knockout ties, 4-0 in April 2009 and 3-0 in May 2015.
● Barcelona and Bayern Munich haven’t met in the UEFA Champions League group stages since 1998-99, with Barca losing both matches and going out after finishing third in the group that year, one of only three instances of the Catalonian side going out in the group stages, along with 1997-98 and 2000-01.
● Bayern Munich are unbeaten in their last 18 away UEFA Champions League matches (W14 D4), the longest undefeated away run in the history of the European Cup/Champions League.
● Barcelona haven’t lost their opening match in a UEFA Champions League campaign since going down 3-2 at St James’ Park against Newcastle United in 1997-98 under Louis van Gaal – they are unbeaten in their opening match in 22 campaigns since (W17 D5).
● Bayern Munich have won their opening match in each of their last 17 UEFA Champions League seasons, stretching back to 2003-04 – they have won these games by an aggregate score of 42-2.
● This will be the first season since 2003-04 that won’t feature Lionel Messi playing for Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League – Barca have won nine of their last 10 games to not feature Messi in the competition (D1). They’ve only failed to score in one of their last 23 Champions League games without Messi, a 3-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich in May 2013.
● Bayern’s Thomas Müller has scored six goals in five UEFA Champions League appearances against Barcelona, the most he’s netted against an opponent in the competition, and more than any other player has scored against Barca in European Cup/Champions League history. Müller is also just two goals shy of becoming the eighth player to score 50 Champions League goals.
● Memphis Depay could make his UEFA Champions League debut for Barcelona in this match – the Dutchman has been directly involved in 11 goals in 14 starts in the competition in the group stages (7 goals, 4 assists) and has found the net in each of his last five group matches, all with Lyon in 2019-20.
● Since the start of the 2018-19 season, Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski has scored 28 UEFA Champions League goals – eight more than any other player. The Pole has only failed to find the net in three of his last 17 appearances in the group stages, netting 23 goals across those 17 matches.
CHELSEA V ZENIT ST PETERSBURG
8pm Last but not least we finish the evening with Chelsea hosting Zenit St Petersburg. This is a very similar situation to Young Boys v Manchester United above in terms of gulf in class, and this should be a one way traffic win for Chelsea. United are playing away from home on a tricky pitch, but Chelsea have home advantage and this should be a case of how many goals rather than will they win. Zenit have won for the last three seasons in Russia, and they should win this season too, but Chelsea are playing at a very high level at the moment and the best Zenit can hope for here is a draw. It’s hard to see how them sitting back and giving Chelsea a lot of the ball is going to get them a result however, and you imagine with an early goal the floodgates will open.
Zenit got a reasonably easy Champions League Group in 2019/20 but still finished bottom with RB Leipzig, Lyon and Benfica in their Group. Last season they also finished bottom but had a harder Group with Dortmund and Lazio qualifying. Zenit only managed one point, and it’s fair to say Chelsea are better than Dortmund and Lazio. I feel Chelsea will win easily here and cover the handicap in doing so. They are trading as short as 1.2 in the match odds market, but the 1.64 -1.5 goals looks cracking value. I know Zenit will start defensive but Chelsea have been scoring a lot at the start of the season and they should cover the handicap here.
The Ultra Says:
Three points win Chelsea -1.5 goals to beat Zenit St Petersburg at 1.64 with BETDAQ Exchange.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/BDQCheZen
● This will be the first meeting between Chelsea and Zenit Saint Petersburg in European competition, while the Blues are unbeaten in six previous games against Russian sides in the UEFA Champions League (W5 D1).
● Zenit Saint Petersburg won their first ever away game against an English opponent in European competition (3-0 v Bradford City in the UEFA Intertoto Cup), however they’ve lost each of their last three trips to England – most recently against Liverpool in February 2013 in the UEFA Europa League.
● Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 11 group stage games in the UEFA Champions League (W7 D4), with their last such defeat coming against Valencia in September 2019. Since the current group stage format was established from 2003-04, only once have Chelsea had a longer such unbeaten run in the competition (13 games between 2008 and 2010).
● Zenit Saint Petersburg are winless in their last seven UEFA Champions League games (D1 L6) – their longest run without a victory in their history in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. Indeed, they failed to win all six of their group stage games in the competition last season (D1 L5).
● In UEFA Champions League history, the reigning champions have only lost their first game of the following campaign on two of 27 occasions (AC Milan in 1994-95 and Liverpool in 2019-20). Of the 18 occasions when the reigning champions have begun the following campaign with a home game, however, no side has ever been beaten (W12 D6).
● Since the start of the 2020-21 season, no team have lost fewer games (1) or kept more clean sheets (9) than Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League, with the Blues winning nine of their 13 games in this period overall (D3 L1).
● Since making his first UEFA Champions League appearance for Chelsea in October 2020, no player has been directly involved in more goals for the club than Timo Werner (6 – four goals, two assists). Three of Werner’s four goals for Chelsea in the competition have been scored at Stamford Bridge.
● In just 18 UEFA Champions League starts for Zenit, Artem Dzyuba has been directly involved in 13 goals (9 goals, 4 assists). Zenit haven’t won a Champions League match without Dzyuba finding the net since September 2015, a 3-2 win over Valencia in which Dzyuba registered an assist without scoring.
● Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has scored 13 goals in 27 previous UEFA Champions League appearances with Man Utd and Inter Milan and has found the net in each of his previous two appearances against Russian opponents, netting three times in two games against CSKA Moscow in 2017-18.
● Artem Dzyuba has scored nine goals for Zenit Saint Petersburg in the UEFA Champions League, just one fewer than the club’s top-scoring player in the competition (Hulk, 10).