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Three Champions League picks for tonight...

Wednesday 21st October 2020

In Across the Leagues today:

  • Champions League…
  • Stats & analysis…
  • First kick-off 5.55pm…

Three Champions League picks for tonight…

We’re on European cup duty this week…

Over the last two days, we’ve got our first 2020/21 picks in the book for the Top Goalscorer and Outright Winner markets in the Champions League.

On that front, 14/1 picks Barcelona started with a good win yesterday, beating newcomers Ferencvaros, 5-1…

The Spanish side’s victory featured five different goal-scorers, including Lionel Messi opening the scoring from the penalty spot. And 17-year-old Ansu Fati also finding the net.

Messi set a new record there, becoming the first player to score in 16 consecutive Champions League seasons. He may be 33 years of age, but Leo is clearly not done yet.

  • The Europa League starts on Thursday evening. I’ll have an ante post preview and Outright Winner analysis for you in tomorrow’s email

From the notebook…

Other scorers mentioned in yesterday’s match-day notes included Ciro Immobile (Lazio) and 20-year-old Erling Braut Haaland (Dortmund), both getting on the scoresheet, with Immobile netting the first goal in a 3-1 win for the Italian side.

And with Cristiano Ronaldo missing for Juventus, new signing Alvaro Morata struck twice in a 2-0 away win at Dynamo Kiev.

Man Utd pulled off a 2-1 upset in Paris, beating PSG at match odds of 9/2 (5.5). That man Bruno Fernandes was on the spot once again, wearing the captain’s armband, and scoring a (retaken) penalty to open the scoring after 23 mins.

Fernandes was around 11/4 (3.75) to score yesterday. With 15 Anytime Scorer payouts landed in 28 appearances in all competitions since joining Man Utd in January, the midfield maestro is one to follow in the scorer markets, at bigger prices than United’s strikers. So far, he’s converted 11 out of 12 penalties for the Red Devils.

  • How’s your week week going? Any winners to report… particular players, teams or bets doing well for you? Keep me and your fellow Across the Leagues members posted! Let’s get the discussion going. You can email me via the members-only inbox at:

Match-day selections…

Our Each Way book in the 2020/21 Champions League includes 12/1 Real Madrid, who play their opening Group game at 5.55pm today (see below). And our two Top Goalscorer picks at attractive prices, 20/1 Raheem Sterling and 33/1 Romelu Lukaku

Sterling will be looking to open his account for Man City this evening, at home v Porto. And likewise, Lukaku for Inter Milan, at home v Borussia Monchengladbach (8pm).

With our initial ante post business taken care of, I’m focusing on the match-day markets today…

Three opportunities stand out for me:

Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk

We’re tracking two young guns in La Liga this season. Teenager Ansu Fati scored for Barcelona last night. For Madrid, 20-year-old Vinicius Junior is the youngster to follow in front of goal…

The Brazilian has become a regular in the team this season, starting three of Real’s five league games, and scoring twice.

The more experienced Karim Benzema is the odds-on favourite in the Anytime Scorer market for the early kick-off today, as short as 2/5 (1.4) and 1/2 (1.5) to score. The 32-year-old has landed that bet in one out of five appearances so far this season.

In comparison, Junior has a better strike-rate in 2020/21 to date, and is available at bigger odds – available at above Evens (2.0) to score this evening.

Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid

Reigning champions Bayern are 4/1 favourites to defend their Champions League crown this season, and 8/13 (1.62) favs to start with a home win tonight.

A standout stat from our new Champions League Historical Stats Report is Bayern’s 96% home record for Most Corners bets in the Champions League. That strike-rate makes very, very impressive reading: 44 Most Corners payouts from their last 46 home games in the competition:

Champions League - Corners Stats

Atletico are just 43% on the road when it comes to that category.

Bayern have started 2020/21 in just as dominant fashion as ever. Winning the Most Corners in four out of four Bundesliga matches, including tallies of 6-1 and 9-2 at home…

Those two corners scores were more than enough to land a -3 or -3.5 Corner Handicap (winning 4+ corners more than opponents). As were all three of Bayern’s home Group-game results in the Champions League last season. With the corner scores: 14-2 v Red Star Belgrade, 14-1 v Olympiakos, and 9-1 v Tottenham.

Going back to the last meetings against Atletico Madrid, in 2016, Bayern had two home games against the Spaniards, with corners tallies of 6-1 and 12-2 in favour of the Germans.

Bayern are 1/5 (1.2) to win the Most Corners tonight. The -3.5 or -3 Corner Handicap stands out for me, priced at a much more palatable Evens (2.0).

Midtjylland v Atalanta

Atalanta made the quarter finals this summer, and are odds-on at 4/6 (1.67) to start their 2020/21 campaign with an away win in Denmark this evening. The goals stats inform us here – and the numbers say to go ‘high’…

The Italians were frequent flyers for us last season, regularly featuring in our coverage due to their eye-catching, high-scoring results. The new term has been business as usual in that respect, with Atalanta’s Serie A scores reading: 2-4 (W), 1-4 (W), 5-2 (W), 4-1 (L).

Atalanta were the top-scoring team in the Italian top-flight in 2019/20. And their Champions League run included seven out of nine games going Over 2.5 Goals, with four of those also going Over 3.5. And some fancy score-lines, with 4-0 and 4-1 defeats, and 4-1 and 4-3 wins.

For their part, Midtjylland comes in to this match on the back of a 4-1 victory in the final round of Champions League Qualifying, and 2-2 and 3-2 results in the Danish league. In Europa League Qualifying last year, they were beaten home & away by Rangers, 2-4 and 3-1.

As for the markets here, take your pick…

Over 2.5 Goals is 4/9 (1.44) in general, and the Over 3.5 option is 11/10 (2.1). The away win is odds-on at 4/6 (1.67), as I mentioned.

With all of the above considered, the market and price that I like the look of is Atalanta to Win & Over 3.5 Goals, at 2/1+ (3.0+).

Today’s picks

Champions League – live on BT Sport

Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk

  • Anytime Scorer: Vinicius Junior @ 6/5 (2.2) with Bet365, 888 Sport, Unibet, 11/10 (2.1) Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 21/20 (2.05) Boylesports

Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid

  • Bayern -3.5 Asian Corner Handicap @ Evens (2.0) with Bet365, -3 Corner Handicap @ Evens (2.0) 888 Sport, Unibet, 99/100 (1.99) Pinnacle Sports (-3.5 Handicap), 19/20 (1.95) BetVictor, 93/100 (1.93) Marathonbet (-3.5 Handicap), 10/11 (1.91) Betway

Midtjylland v Atalanta

  • Atalanta to Win & Over 3.5 Goals @ 9/4 (3.25) with Bet365, 11/5 (3.2) Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Betway, Boylesports, 21/10 (3.1) Betfred, BetVictor, 2/1 (3.0) Skybet

I’ll be back tomorrow, when we’ll be looking at the Europa League.

Enjoy the football…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Oliver Upstone

Across the Leagues