Football / Preview / Champions League Gs1 Groups F Amp G

Champions League GS1: Groups E&F

Last year's finalists Bayern begin their campaign with a tricky home match against Roma in Group E while Chelsea travel to Zilina in Group F.

Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger



Group E: Bayern Munich (Bettorlogic Rank 7) v Roma (12) (Weds, 19:45)

This game is probably the highlight of the first-round of Champions League matches. Last year’s finalists Bayern have a long and successful history in this competition. Since 2004/05, they have won 9/15 home groups stage matches keeping nine clean sheets in the process. They have also won-to-nil in 7/10 home fixtures against teams ranked 6-16. Roma have failed to qualify for the last two editions of this tournament and, since 2004/05 they have lost all of their six away group stage matches against higher-ranked opposition with three defeats to nil.

Recommendation: Bayern Win to nil 3.50, Blue Square


Group E: CFR Cluj (164) v Basel (81) (Weds, 19:45)

If Bayern v Roma is the highlight of the opening matches this may be the lowlight. This is the only game in which two sides ranked outside the top-50 face each other and in previous such matches the contests have been very even. Since 2002/03, 11 of the 28 (39%) fixtures have been tied and 16 have been level at the break. Further, 19 (68%) have settled the -2.5 goals market. With just 15 seeing a goal before half-time. CFR Cluj picked up just one point from their three home group matches in 2008/09, but they were faced with tough opponents in Roma, Bordeaux and Chelsea – whom they held to a 0-0 draw. Basel also played that season and managed just one point on the road – a 1-1 tie at the Nou Camp.

Recommendation: No bet


Group F: Zilina (258) v Chelsea (3) (Weds, 19:45)

Zilina are the lowest-ranked side in the competition this season. The hosts are the first, and just third ever, Slovakian team since Artmedia in 2005/06 to qualify for the Champions League. First-time qualifiers have lost 17/24 home matches against top-five ranked sides and they have failed to score in six of their last seven such games. Chelsea’s away group stage record is not as strong as one might expect with the Blues winning just 6/15 such games since 2005/06, although they have lost on just three occasions. A more recent common trend is for them to keep things tight before the break. Just one of their last eight away group stage matches have seen more than a single goal before half-time.

Recommendation: No bet


Group F: Marseille (17) v Spartak Moscow (87) (Weds, 19:45)

Marseille have quite a poor record in the Champions League. Despite qualifying in four of the last seven seasons, they have never reached the knockout stage. The French side have won just 4/12 home group stage matches, but eight of the games have settled the +2.5 goals market. Spartak Moscow have a dreadful record on the road in this competition. The visitors have lost 13/15 away groups stage matches this century, but six of the games have seen more than a brace of scores. Russian teams have travelled to French opposition just twice previously in group stage games and both matches saw at least three goals.

Recommendation: +2.5 goals 2.10, Stan James

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