With successive weeks of Champions League action on tap, this season’s campaign feels like a vintage edition, albeit now tinged with poignancy with the passing of Queen Elizabeth on Friday.
Despite a weekend of postponements in the Premier League, all four English top-flight sides will be in action and only Rangers’ tie with Napoli on Tuesday has been moved back 24 hours. So what is on the midweek menu for Matchday 2 and where should your money be?
Tottenham Hotspur kick off the action in Lisbon away to Sporting Clube to Portugal, looking to pick up back-to-back wins after victory at home to Marseille last week. The hosts themselves though, are in good shape and have won their last three games by an aggregate of 9-0, impressively beating Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany last time out. The Lilywhites struggled to break down their French opposition in north London and this, coupled with a trip to the south of France later on looks to be their toughest group-game assignment.
For Marcus Edwards, Tuesday evening will be a special night. A Spurs youth player for nine years, the Englishman faces his former side having blossomed in Portugal with SC Vitoria and now with Sporting after a summer move. Netting in two of his last three games, Edwards to score is 7/2 with BetUK.com.
At Anfield, Liverpool face Ajax in what looks to be a tricky tie to bounce back from defeat in. Having been thumped in Naples during GW1, the Reds face the reigning Dutch champions who themselves put four past Rangers in Amsterdam last week. Despite having won just two games this season in all comps, the misfiring hosts are still assumed the strong favourites here, but Ajax look good value to get a result. Indeed, the draw at 4/1 with Unibetcould be a smart play, or even a 9/2 away win with Betfred. The bookies may have got this one wrong.
Bayern Munich’s clash with Barcelona is unquestionably the heavyweight tie of MD2, and Robert Lewandowski will be front and centre. Set for a rapid reunion with his former side in Bavaria, the Pole smashed almost every goalscoring record there was in the Bundesliga and now, in his short time in Catalonia, Lewandowski has been typically prolific. Scoring in the last four games – with a tally of seven in that time – in MD1’s opener against Viktoria Plzen he scored a hat-trick. With Bayern having been held 2-2 by Stuttgart on Saturday, an out-of-form Die Roten will have to watch their former man like a hawk here. For Lewandowski to score anytime is best priced at 5/4 with SpreadEx, or, to score another brace, is a 7/1 shot with SkyBet.
Like Lewandowski, another of the Bundesliga’s former prolific hitmen in Erling Haaland also faces his former employers, as Manchester City welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad on Wednesday. The Norwegian hitman has, if anything, exceeded early expectations in English football and scoring in six of nine this term, has found the net in his last four games. In three of those outings, the striker has notched first, and for Haaland to score first again against BVB can be grabbed at very decent 5/2 price with William Hill.
Finally at Stamford Bridge, Graham Potter takes charge of his first game as Chelsea boss, as the Blues welcome RB Salzburg to the capital. On paper this looks like a good introductory game in the dugout but we anticipate an awkward game against the dangerous Austrian champions. Winning every league game this term, Benjamin Sesko and Noah Okafor will be a threat and could get in. In those terms, for BTTS and Chelsea to win, 7/4 with Bet365 might be a fairly safe bet.