Football / Preview / Champions League Gs2 Groups G Amp H

Champions League GS2: Groups G&H

Ajax take on AC Milan while Auxerre host Real Madrid in Group G as Braga face Shakhtar and Arsenal travel to Belgrade in Group H.

Arsenal's Andre Arshavin



Group G: Ajax (Bettorlogic Ranking 32) v AC Milan (14) (Tues, 19:45)

This game pits two former Champions League winners against each other. Ajax have won 3/5 home group stage matches against team ranked 11-20 since 1998/99 and all of the games have featured at least three goals. Strangely, the Dutch giants have been absent from this competition since 2005/06. Since that season, AC Milan have won 5/12 away group stage matches and they have gone W2-D1-L0 in their three trips to sides ranked 26-50. All three of the matches contained more than a brace of goals, however nine of the 12 group games in which a Dutch side has hosted an Italian side have settled the -2.5 goals market since 1992/93.

Recommendation: No bet


Group G: Auxerre (57) v Real Madrid (5) (Tues, 19:45)

Five of Auxerre’s six home group stage matches (from their two campaigns in 1996/97 and 2002/03) have seen no more than a single goal while all three in 2002/03 were goalless at the interval. Real Madrid have won just 6/15 away group matches since 2005/06, although six of the games have featured at least three goals. Within that sample, Madrid have recorded W/Ws in all of their four trips to teams ranked outside the top-50.

Recommendation: No bet


Group H: Braga (63) v Shakhtar Donetsk (21) (Tues, 19:45)

Braga began their first-ever Champions League campaign in the worst possible fashion; the newcomers were thrashed 6-0 at Arsenal. Portuguese sides have an impressive home-record in this competition. Since 2005/06, they have won 18/34 matches with 11 W/Ws and they have also been successful in 4/6 such games against teams ranked 11-25 with three W/Ws. Shakhtar Donetsk should have won much more convincingly than 1-0 in their home opener against Partizan, but they will be happy with three points all the same. The Ukrainian champions have lost 11/15 away group stage matches this century, however their first half record is much more impressive – W6-D5-L1. While the stats may suggest a Braga win is value here, they are an unknown quantity at this level and their opponents are much improved over the last few seasons.

Recommendation: No bet


Group H: Partizan Belgrade (100) v Arsenal (6) (Tues, 19:45)

Partizan have never won a Champions League match. The Serbians made their only previous appearance in this competition in 2003/04 when they drew all three home fixtures and lost all three away games. Strangely, Arsenal have quite a poor on the road in Europe. Since 2006/07, they have won just 4/12 away group stage matches while only four of the games have seen more than a brace of goals. The visitors are unbeaten in nine trips to teams ranked 51+, but they have tied five of the fixtures.

Recommendation: Drawn match 3.80, Stan James


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