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Champions League Best Bets: Atletico, Barcelona In Must-Wins

Atletico, Barcelona lead Champions League Best Bets

The final matchday of fixtures from the group stage of the Champions League is upon us. Several teams have everything to play for. How will that impact their styles and performances? Odds Shark breaks down the Champions League best bets.

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For more information on how to wager on soccer, check out our How to Bet on Soccer page. You can also take a look at our dedicated Champions League page for more updates.

Champions League Best Bets: Pick 1

Total Goals: OVER 3.5 (+100)

The Game: Bayern Munich vs Barcelona, December 8, 2021

Bayern Munich have scored 19 goals in five matches so far. The whole of Group G has combined to score 20 goals. That is how dominant this Bayern Munich team has been on the offensive end against some of the better teams, including Barcelona.

Barcelona have made a solid comeback to move to second in their group, and will seal qualification with a win against Bayern. However, if they fall behind, they will be desperate to ensure that they get back into the match because if Barcelona lose, there is a strong chance they don’t make the next stage.

Both teams have pushed the boundaries historically in terms of quality of goal-scoring chances created in the final third. Bayern have qualified to the next stage as the top team in the group with five wins in five. The stage is set for a high-scoring matchup between two of the best teams in the world.

What was said?

“I want pride and enjoyment around the squad and in training,” Barcelona coach Xavi said. “That’s how it was during my playing career: it’s better if players aren’t bored, if they are happy. I’m an upbeat guy. I like a joke but that good atmosphere helps us play better, to win.”

Champions League Best Bets: Pick 2

Manchester United -250

The Game: Manchester United vs Young Boys Bern, December 8, 2021

Manchester United are through to the next stage of the Champions League. However, their next opponents are the team that handed them their only loss of this group stage: Young Boys Bern. There will be a sense of avenging that defeat now that Manchester United are back home in the familiar territory of Old Trafford.

Manchester United are also now starting a new lease of life under new manager Ralf Rangnick, who began his managerial career with his new club with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Crystal Palace during the weekend. That will also inspire the team with some confidence as they stay home for a morale-boosting fixture.

From a skill standpoint, Young Boys are probably the worst team in this group, evident in their current position of fourth in the standings. So, even if Rangnick opts to rest and rotate, there will still be a mismatch in the skill matchup.

What was said?

“The last couple of months have been nowhere near good enough. It’s massive for our season,” Harry Maguire said of a 2-0 win against Villareal. “We needed the result for our season and for our fans – we know how tough it’s been for them in recent weeks. We have to make sure this is just the start.”

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Champions League Best Bets: Pick 3

Full Time Total Corners: OVER 8.5 (-143)

The Game: Real Madrid vs Inter Milan, December 7, 2021

There isn’t much empirical evidence of this but the handicap does seem a bit low for a Champions League contest. Nine corners for a match that includes two of the better offenses in Europe seems like a steal for bettors. So much so, in fact, that you could even consider going for 10 corners and increasing your risk position.

In their previous match, Inter had eight corners of their own in a 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk. Both Real Madrid’s previous match and Inter’s preceding game (before Shakhtar) had five corners apiece. That is a bit of statistical evidence to indicate that the OVER could be the most likely result in this corners market.

Apart from that, it is also important to consider the techniques of both teams. If teams drift wide of the flanks by deploying players with speed along the wings, crosses are usually blocked, which result in corners. That is also a likely outcome with the personnel among these two teams.

What was said?

“We continue along the right path. I like the way we’re playing,” Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “The squad is in good shape, everyone is strong physically. It’s important for us to finish top and we’ll be looking to end our group campaign the way we’ve begun it.”

Champions League Best Bets: Pick 4

UNDER 2.5 goals (-143)

The Game: Porto vs Atletico Madrid, December 7, 2021

Porto are currently second in the Group B table with five points, followed by Milan and Atletico Madrid, both on four points. This will be a game that Atletico Madrid have to win, while a draw may be enough for Porto.

Atletico’s preferred style of soccer is to score and defend a lead with a deeper defensive line. That is also how Diego Simeone will likely stack his team up for this must-win encounter.

Porto will not approach this match too dissimilarly. They have scored just three goals in five matches at this tournament while Atletico have scored four. These are two teams that just do not score many goals. As a result, UNDER 2.5 goals makes it to our Champions League best bets for the final matchday of group-stage fixtures.

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What was said?

“Football is about moments, and the Champions League is unforgiving,” Atletico manager Diego Simeone said. “It only allows you to qualify if you deserve it, and we are going to look to give our all and show we deserve to be in the next round. We will give our all in the final group game. Whoever deserves to go through will do. In the Champions League, all games are tough.”

Odds Shark will return in a fortnight, after the new set of fixtures have been announced, for an update to the Champions League best bets as the tournament moves on to the next stage.