Football | Champions League Preview | Tuesday's Hotpicks

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Football | Champions League Preview | Tuesday's Hotpicks

The International break's been and gone. We've had a cracking weekend of Premier League action, and now we go again. One of the most iconic, spine-tingling footballing anthems will be rolled out aross the continent as Europe's finest lock horns once again in the Champions League. Manchester City host Turkish giants Feyenoord, Tottenham head to Germany to face the mighty Dortmund, whilst Liverpool, castanets and all, head to sunny Spain to take on Sevilla. We're also TOP PRICE GUARANTEED on all three British clubs playing tonight!

Join us, then, as we run the rule over our choice of games in our Champions League - Tuesday's Hotpicks, below:      

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MANCHESTER CITY v FEYENOORD

CITY  1/9  |  DRAW  9/1  |  FEYENOORD  18/1

Manchester City head into this game with all the swag of a wannabe rapper yet to taste the bitterness of disappointment. In a year that was widely predicted to be the closest in Premier League history, the Citizens are waltzing to the title, unbeaten and seemingly unbeatable by anything the domestic league can throw at them, with sixteen straight wins on the bounce in all comps. Contrast this with Feyenoord, who have just one win in their last eight games and a solitary point in the Champions League.    

City, who have already qualified for the knockout stages may decide to field a weaker team then might be expected, especially given the fact their progress is assured, whilst Feyenoord could still qualify for the Europa League. John Stones, who scored in the reverse fixture (a 0-4 City win) is out with a hamstring injury, whilst Aguero spent the weekend watching City's latest win from the bench. Ilkay Gundogan, back from a long-term injury could feature, whilst captain Vincent Kompany is another who might realistically expect some game time here. Feyenoord have regular centre-back pairing Jan-Arie van der Heijden and Eric Botteghin both injured, along with Ken Vermeer, their regular number one. Ex-Liverpool veteren Brad Jones will go between the sticks for the Cockroaches, as feyenoord are wnt to be known!     

Possible Starting XIs:

Manchester City (4-1-4-1): Bravo; Danilo, Kompany, Mangala, Delph; Yaya Toure; Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Sane; Aguero

Feyenoord (4-3-3): Jones; Nieuwkoop, Tapia, Juste, Haps; Amrabat, Toornstra, Vilhena; Berghuis, Jorgensen, Boetius   

What We Sayin’?

The Battle of Little Bighorn, St. Valentine's Day, Sugar Ray Robinson's battering of Jake LaMotta take your pick. We can't see anything but a massacre of similarly epic proportions. Feyenoord's defensive spine is missing, and their replacements will need to nullify quite simply the hottest attack in European football right now - not.going.to.happen!

De Bruyne is quite possibly Europe's finest midfielder at the moment, scoring worldies with either foot and the brilliant Belgian is 19/4 to open the scoring. City to win both halves is 9/10. Last time out, City won 4-0. A repeat? 15/2.*   


BORRUSSIA DORTMUND V TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

DORTMUND  6/5  |  DRAW  13/5  |  SPURS  11/5

Okay, before we start: we have a deadline to meet! The teams shall be known as Dortmund and Spurs, ain't no-one got time to be typing things out in full! 

Dortmund are wobbling, that's for sure! The Yellow-Blacks have a who's who of stars out injured and the strain on the squad is showing as they suffered a third defeat in four matches at Stuttgart on Friday. However, Dortmund boss Peter Bosz welcomes back both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and boy wonder Christian Pulisic, who'll add some spice and creativity to the home side. Aubameyang, serving an in-house ban, will surely be recalled for what could be a crucial tie. The Gabon International has 15 goals in all competitions for Dortmund this season, including one in the Champions League.

Spurs arrive in Germany smarting from their 2-0 defeat to arch-rivals Arsenal in the North London derby. The Londoners have failed to really set the world alight domestically, despite being in and around the top four all season. A creeping doubt seems to be stifling the Londoners, who have instead played with a resolve and abandonment in the Champions League many thought beyond them when the group was announced. They sit top of the pile after taking four points from the reigning European champions Real Madrid, the display at Wembley being one of their finest in recent memory. That win was perhaps fueled by the 3-1 defeat of Dortmund earlier in the group and it seems Pochettino's troops have learnt from previous European encounters. Spurs have also been decent on the road this term, only losing two of their eight competitive games thus far (against Man United and Arsenal).

As we mentioned, Dortmund's injury list continues to heap misery on coach Peter Bosz, who has to do without goalkeeper Dominik Reimann, defender Lukasz Pisczek, midfielder Sebastian Rode, and strikers Jacob Brunn Larsen and Marco Reus injured. Teenage sensation, Londoner Jadon Sancho is ineligible for the Champions League. As for Spurs, key defender Toby Alderweireld remains sidelined, whilst it's thought this game may come too early for both Victor Wanyama and Eric Lamela. Harry Kane, substituted against Arsenal is a doubt as well. The England hitman's absence, with 17 goals in his last 14 appearances for club and country, would be a major blow for the London side.       

Possible Starting XIs:

Dortmund: Bürki - Toljan, Zagadou, Bartra, Schmelzer (c) - Götze, Weigl, Kagawa - Yarmolenko, Aubameyang, Philipp

Spurs: Lloris (c) - Sanchez, Dier, Vertonghen - Trippier, Dembele, Winks, Davies - Alli, Eriksen - Kane   

What We Sayin’?

Dortmund are there for the taking, and Pochettino will expect a response from the side comprehensively outplayed by Arsenal at the weekend. The fact that Dortmund's defence is heavily depleted - they have conceded 10 goals in their last four home games - gives hope that Spurs can wrap up first position in the group in Germany. However, as fragile at the back Dortmund are, they can be lethal up front, and Alderweireld's absence is a huge loss for Spurs. This one smacks of goals!

We'll take BTTS and over 2.5 goals at 4/5. BTTS and Spurs win is 17/4, whilst Aubameyang (12/5) and Kane (3/1) both appeal as first goalscorers. Finally, we'll take Spurs to win 1-3 and 1-2 at 22/1 and 10/1 respectively.*   


SEVILLA V LIVERPOOL

SEVILLA  9/5  |  DRAW  13/5  |  LIVERPOOL  6/4

The top two go head-to-head in a repeat of the 2016 Europa League final, which saw the Spanish side emerge victorious, their 3-1 victory making them the first team to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League three times in a row. The Reds, however, have been on fire this season and hey can clinch qualification with a win at Sevilla. However, that's easier said than done! Sevilla is known as the 'frying pan' of Europe and their fans usually have a hot reception awaiting anyone who turns up to the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium. True, it may not have the romance and history of Anfield but the Andalusian stronghold is not a place for the faint-hearted. Sevilla come into the game on the back of some form of their own, with four wins in five in all competitions, the blemish on that record a tight 2-1 loss to Barcelona away at the Camp Nou. They are unbeaten at home this season. In fact, their last defeat was against last year's Champions League beaten finalists, Juventus, since when they have won 18 of 25 games at home, including their last seven on the bounce.

So, a formidable task awaits Klopp's Redmen, that's without question. However, Liverpool have climbed to fifth in the Premier League and, whisper it quietly, Klopp seems to be on the right track defensively, the Reds conceding far less than in times gone by. That is a huge plus point: we all know how exhilarating they are when on the front foot, it's their openness at the back that's been their downfall in the past. They cruised past Southampton a the weekend, scoring three without reply to make it four wins out of four. Their last two Champions League games saw them score ten without reply, 7-0 and 3-0 against whipping boys Maribor. However, they have struggled a little on the road, with just four wins from ten in all competitions. They went down 5-0 to Man City and 4-1 to Spurs. There could be goals galore in this one!

Liverpool will be heartened by the news that Sevilla will be without defensive trio Daniel Carrico, Nicolas Pareja, and Gabriel Mercado. Their free-scoring winger, Salah, will also know his defensive duties have been cut with the news that wingers Joaquin Correa and Walter Motoya are also missing for Sevilla.  Joel Matip and Adam Lallana are both doubtful for this clash, though late reports suggest Klopp may risk the latter, England International Lallana with a place on the bench, though Danny Ward, Nathaniel Clyne, and Adam Bogdan all remain long-term absentees for the Reds.         

Possible Starting XIs:

Sevilla: Sergio Rico; Gabriel Mercado, Daniel Carrico, Clement Lenglet, Sergio Escudero; Steven N'Zonzi, Ever Banega, Pablo Sarabia; Ganso, Jesus Navas, Wissam Ben Yedder

Liverpool: Simon Mignolet; Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane

What We Sayin’?

Wowsers - a really tough one to call this! Sevilla are so had to beat at home, whilst Liverpool have been up and down like a kid on a rollercoaster away from home. Interestingly, Sevilla have seen three or more goals in 67% of their home games this term, whilst Liverpool have seen 3 or more goals in 70% of their away games...

So: BTTS (1/2) has definite appeal. BTTS and over 2.5 goals seems a shoo-in (8/11). Salah is on fire, and the Egyptian International is 5/1 to score first (13/10 to net at anytime). StanJames are TOP PRICE GUARANTEED Liverpool. but we have a sneaky feeling this could end up the same score as when the teams met at Anfield: 2-2 pays 9/1... do you agree?*        

 


StanJames' Knee-Trembling Treble!

If you fancy it, £10 on three of our correct score predictions, Sevilla v Liverpool 2-2, Spurs to win 1-3, and City to win 4-0 currently returns a staggering £23,400! Stranger things have happened...!  


 

*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.

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