CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TUESDAY: The Ultra previews Tuesday’s Group games between DINAMO ZAGREB v CHELSEA, CELTIC v REAL MADRID and SEVILLA v MANCHESTER CITY all with a recommended BETDAQ bet.


5.45pm The Champions League is back! We have a wonderful week ahead on BETDAQ Betting Exchange with some cracking fixtures around Europe. The Group stage has thrown up some wonderful ties and we should have plenty of drama in a couple of weeks as the Group stage comes to an end. It’s worth bearing in mind with the winter World Cup; we actually have a very hectic schedule from now until November for all of the top clubs. We kick off the Champions League action though with Chelsea away to Dinamo Zagreb. Chelsea got back to winning ways at the weekend by beating West Ham 2-1 after losing midweek to Southampton by the same score line. They were exceptionally lucky though with VAR ruling out a West Ham goal very late in the game. I have to say it was a shocking decision from VAR, and West Ham deserved a draw. It’s definitely been a disappointing start to the season for Chelsea – they were hammered 3-0 by Leeds before the loss to Southampton, and both those games came at away from home too. From that point of view, they will be a popular lay at around 1.5.

The big question here however is, can Dinamo Zagreb put enough pressure on Chelsea to cause problems? They had a decent record at home in the Europa League here last season. They only lost one of their four games, but that was against West Ham – that’s probably a good gauge to show that Dinamo Zagreb really aren’t at the same level as Chelsea. However, they did manage to get a win here against Sevilla in the Europa League last season too, and when I look at Chelsea this season it’s clear that they just aren’t firing. I’m happy to take a small position against Chelsea here at 1.5, but I’m keen to keep stakes small. There’s no getting away from the fact that there is an obvious gulf in class between the sides here; however Chelsea just aren’t at the best this season and I would expect them to make hard work of this fixture. I fully expect a closer game than odds of 1.5 suggest.

The Ultra Says:
One point lay (liability) Chelsea to beat Dinamo Zagreb at 1.5 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● This will be the first ever European meeting between Dinamo Zagreb and Chelsea. In fact, Zagreb will be Chelsea’s first ever Croatian opponent in a competitive match. The Blues last faced a side from a particular nation in European competition for the very first time in October 2018, beating Belarussian outfit BATE Borisov 3-1 in the UEFA Europa League.
● Chelsea will be the ninth English side to face Dinamo Zagreb in all European competitions; the Croatian club have won two of their last three meetings with English opponents (L1), as many as their first 16 such matches beforehand (W2 D3 L11).
● This will be Dinamo Zagreb’s eighth season in the UEFA Champions League, the only Croatian club to participate in the competition proper more than once. However, Zagreb have been eliminated from the opening group stage in all seven of their previous campaigns, with only Club Brugge (nine) featuring in more group stages in the competition without ever progressing.
● Chelsea are featuring in the UEFA Champions League for a 19th time, moving them level with Arsenal and behind only Manchester United (24) for most participations by English clubs in the competition proper. The Blues have progressed from 17 of their 18 previous opening group stages, failing only in 2012-13 as defending champions.
● Dinamo Zagreb have won just five of their 42 UEFA Champions League matches (D7 L30), including only two of their last 33 (D4 L27). Among clubs to play 30+ games in the competition, only AEK Athens (7%) and FCSB (10%) have a poorer win rate than Zagreb (12%).
● Chelsea have only lost one of their last 11 away games in the UEFA Champions League (W8 D2), a 0-1 defeat at Juventus in September 2021. Indeed, that defeat in Turin is their only loss in their last 17 group stage matches home and away in the competition (W11 D5).
● For the first time since 2010-11, Chelsea’s first UEFA Champions League group stage match of a campaign will be played away from home. The Blues have lost their first match of a season in the competition just twice in their 18 previous participations (W11 D5), defeats to Basel (2013-14) and Valencia (2019-20).
● This will be Ante Cacic’s second UEFA Champions League campaign as Dinamo Zagreb manager, also taking charge of them for five of their six group games in 2012-13, losing them all. Defeat to Chelsea in this game will mean that he moves joint-second for most Champions League matches by any manager without ever avoiding defeat, behind only Dorinel Munteanu (nine games).
● Mislav Orsic is Dinamo Zagreb’s all-time leading goalscorer in major European competitions with 17 goals (excl. qualifiers), while the Croatian is also the club’s top European Cup/Champions League scorer having scored four goals in his only previous season in the competition (2019-20).
● Having played for both Liverpool and Manchester City previously in the competition, Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling is set to become the fifth player to play in the UEFA Champions League for three different English clubs, after David Batty (Blackburn, Leeds, Newcastle), Kolo Touré (Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City), William Gallas (Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham) and Yossi Benayoun (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool).


8pm A massive night for Celtic as they host the Champions Real Madrid! Apparently some tickets for this game have been changing hands for £10,000! Those figures are probably inflated to make a better story, however there’s no doubt this will be a huge night in Celtic Park. The stadium was rocking at the weekend for the Old Firm Derby too, and Celtic come into this game on a high after winning 4-0. Real Madrid have started the La Liga season perfectly with four wins from four games, and they have been playing some superb football too. They have created xG figures of 3.32, 3.39, 2.16 and 3.28. I know the opposition hasn’t been too high quality apart from Real Betis at the weekend, but you can’t knock how consistent they have been. With xG figures like that going forward they will be very tough to beat this season. There’s no getting away from the fact that there is a huge gulf in class between the sides here – however that being said we all know that the atmosphere is going to be intense at Celtic Park and it’s a tough place to come and win. That’s why we see Real Madrid trading as big as 1.63 here but from a value point of view I can’t see past the Real win here and the 1.63 is much too big for me to turn down.

I fully respect the fact that Celtic are playing good football this season – they come into this game full of confidence and home advantage is a big thing for them too, however given the obvious gulf in class between the sides here I just can’t have Real this big. For me they should be closer to 1.5 rather than 1.63. As I said above, they have started the La Liga season on fire creating chance after chance. We all know Celtic can perform on the big stage, but we can’t forget how poor the standard is in Scotland at the moment and it’s hard to fully judge the level Celtic have been performing at. For me Real look perfect at the moment – a minor worry is that they are playing an open game with a “we’ll score more than you” approach and that will give Celtic chances, but Real will create more here and that will win the game. Despite the worry of Real conceding in all their La Liga games this season, their xG figures have been so impressive going forward they are worth a Max Bet here at the odds.

The Ultra Says:
Five points win Real Madrid to beat Celtic at 1.63 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● Celtic and Real Madrid have only previously faced in the 1979-80 European Cup quarter-final. The Spanish side won 3-2 on aggregate after losing the first leg 2-0 but winning the second 3-0.
● Celtic have lost eight of their last 10 UEFA Champions League matches versus Spanish opposition (W2), including each of their last four in a row, all against Barcelona from 2013 to 2016.
● This will be Real Madrid’s first European meeting with a Scottish club since the 1983 Cup Winners’ Cup final, which they lost to Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen 2-1 after extra-time.
● The defending champions of the UEFA Champions League have only been eliminated from their first group stage in one of the last 28 seasons, with Chelsea bowing out in 2012-13. Only one of the last 27 title-holders have lost their first match of the following season’s competition after winning the Champions League (W16 D10), with Liverpool losing 2-0 at Napoli in 2019-20.
● Celtic have qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2017-18 under Brendan Rodgers. The Scottish side have been eliminated from the group stage in their last three participations at the tournament (2013-14, 2016-17, 2017-18), last progressing in 2012-13.
● Real Madrid are competing in their 27th UEFA Champions League edition, a joint-record along with Barcelona, including a 26th consecutive season, the longest ongoing run of any side. The Spanish side have progressed from all 30 of their group stages in the competition (including second group stages).
● Celtic have never won their first match of a season in the UEFA Champions League in 10 previous attempts (D2 L8); only RSC Anderlecht have played in more editions of the tournament without ever winning their opener (12).
● Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is set to become the first ever Australian to manage in the UEFA Champions League. Overall, he is the fifth manager to take charge of Celtic in the tournament, after Martin O’Neill, Gordon Strachan, Neil Lennon and Brendan Rodgers.
● This will be Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti’s 19th season as a UEFA Champions League manager; he has seen his sides progress from the opening group stage in 15 of his last 16 editions, failing only with Napoli in 2018-19 in this time. Ancelotti has faced Celtic six times previously in the competition, all as Milan manager from 2004 to 2007, losing just once (W3 D2).
● Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema scored 15 goals in last season’s UEFA Champions League; only Cristiano Ronaldo has ever scored more in a single edition of the tournament (17 in 2013-14, 16 in 2015-16). The Frenchman is tied with Robert Lewandowski on 86 goals overall in the competition, joint-third all-time behind Cristiano Ronaldo (140) and Lionel Messi (125).


8pm We finish the evening with Sevilla hosting Manchester City. This is probably the highlight fixture of the night, and while Manchester City are the shortest price of any away side, they aren’t the shortest side as they are trading 1.43 while we have some home sides trading in the 1.2’s. I have to say Manchester City have had a slightly odd start to the season – they look like they will be world beaters and hammer everyone, but they have dropped points twice already. Given Liverpool’s poor start to the season, the two draws from City against Newcastle and Aston Villa have left the Premier League door open when it should be closed – even this early in the season. A worry for anyone thinking about backing City here would be that those two fixtures came away from home, but they really should be winning this game with Sevilla starting the La Liga season so slowly. Despite the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa the weekend, City bossed the game and were unlucky not to win. They still created a lot, and Sevilla seem there for the taking at the moment.

We landed a nice bet against Sevilla at the weekend with Barcelona running out easy 3-0 winners. It was yet another disappointing performance from Sevilla and they are under immense pressure at the start of the season. They have now lost three of their four opening games and only managed a draw in the other fixture. They have been shocking at the back, very unlike Sevilla. They conceded xG figures of 1.43 v Osasuna, 2.44 v Almeria and then 4.97 against Barcelona with home advantage at the weekend. I know the Barcelona figure stands out because we usually don’t see xG figures that high, but the 2.44 against Almeria is probably more worrying. Being so open at the back is clearly going to give City a lot of chances here, and I believe they can cover the handicap. They are trading 2.19 -1.5 goals which looks superb value. This Sevilla side are really there for the taking at the moment, and I’m really surprised to see the handicap bet trading odds against – I know City have been a bit loose at the back, but Sevilla aren’t playing well enough to take advantage.

The Ultra Says:
Four points win Manchester City -1.5 goals to beat Sevilla at 2.19 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● This will be the second season in which Sevilla and Manchester City meet in major European competition; the only previous instance saw the Citizens win home and away in the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League group stage.
● Sevilla have won just one of eight group stage games against English Premier League sides in the UEFA Champions League (D3 L4), beating Arsenal 3-1 in November 2007.
● Manchester City have won just three of their 13 away games at Spanish opponents in major European competitions (D2 L8), although one of those was at Sevilla in November 2015 (3-1).
● Sevilla have qualified for the UEFA Champions League for a third successive campaign; they are unbeaten on MD1 in each of their last six appearances in the competition (W2 D4), although each of their last four openers have been drawn, including twice against English sides (2-2 v Liverpool in 2017-18, 0-0 v Chelsea in 2020-21).
● Manchester City are competing in the Champions League for a 12th season – all coming in a row since 2011-12. Only Real Madrid (26), Barcelona (19) and Bayern Munich (15) are on longer ongoing runs of consecutive appearances in the competition (including 2022-23). The Citizens have progressed from their group in each of their last nine seasons in the tournament.
● Manchester City lost two of their three away games in last season’s UEFA Champions League group stage (W1); they had only lost one of their previous 13 away group games in the competition before this (W8 D4).
● Sevilla have won just one of their last eight UEFA Champions League matches (D4 L3), and could suffer back-to-back defeats in the competition for the first time since November 2015, a run of four losses that included two against Man City.
● This will be Man City manager Pep Guardiola’s first meeting with Sevilla since March 2012 in LaLiga as Barcelona boss, goals from Xavi and Lionel Messi securing him a 2-0 win. Guardiola has won just one of his last seven UEFA Champions League away games against Spanish sides (D1 L5), a 2-1 win at Real Madrid with Man City in February 2020.
● Ivan Rakitic has been directly involved in four of Sevilla’s last six UEFA Champions League goals (two goals, two assists). The Croatian last season became the club’s oldest ever scorer in the competition, at the age of 33 years and 203 days when he netted against Wolfsburg.
● Manchester City striker Erling Haaland has scored 23 goals in 19 UEFA Champions League appearances, the best goals/game ratio of any player in the competition’s history (1.2 – min. 10 apps). The Norwegian scored eight goals in six appearances for Salzburg and 15 in 13 for Borussia Dortmund, with four of his goals coming in two matches against Sevilla in 2020-21.