Sporting Index Champions League Preview

We’re down to the last eight in the Champions League, and with both English teams playing their first legs at home, it’s important they don’t concede goals ahead of next week’s reverse fixtures. Spread betting bookies Sporting Index are offering a generous £200 per goal bet to all new clients (details below**) – and we’ve got the lowdown from their Senior European Football Trader.

Home advantage

Tuesday’s meeting between Liverpool and Juventus is a difficult one to assess. Although Juve are doing well in Serie A, they’ve been underperforming without Nedved and have found it hard to score. He really is the key player in their team. I’m hugely impressed with Ibrahimovic, but old Del Piero has had a terrible season and his slower pace has seen him move to the back of the striker’s queue. Liverpool are hard to judge at the moment – they’ll be pleased to have avoided Chelsea and AC Milan, and Juve are beatable on current form. If Liverpool can steer clear of one of their more erratic performances, and prevent Juve from slowing the pace of the game, they may have a chance of causing an upset.

The big match of the week is on Wednesday, when Bayern Munich visit Stamford Bridge. It’s a match-up between a very arrogant coach versus a very arrogant team; Bayern have an indestructible belief they can beat any team in the world, and take the Champions League very very seriously. Chelsea are favourites because of their superior squad and better recent form, but Jose must wish he had the superlative Robben available. Bayern have been playing better football over the past couple of months, but they’re not the all-conquering team of years gone by. Saying that, Ballack and Makaay are as good as anyone in Europe and I expect to see plenty of punters backing them to score. The confidence and experience in the Bayern camp means anything could happen: with one eye on a possible semi-final against Liverpool, the Blues must be careful not to slip-up against hungry and dangerous opponents.

Wednesday’s other big match is the Milan derby. They’ve played twice already this season, the first ended 0-0 and AC Milan ended Inter’s run with a 1-0 win in the second. Milan are clearly the best team, but heated derbies like this make it a lot more open. Inter are without the influential Adriano, which could let Vieri back in to the team despite the fact he hasn’t featured much recently. You can expect a few cards to be shown in both legs, and although I’ll be backing Milan it’s a potential banana skin. Finally, Lyon v PSV – I like the look of the French dark horse, they are strong in defence and attack (particularly on the counter) and technically good all round. Both are strong teams, comfortably topping their national tables, and although PSV are particularly strong at set plays, Lyon have some real class players such as Juninho and Essien and will be too strong for the Dutch.

Free £200 Football Bet**
Open a Sporting Index account* and place ten bets (risking £20 per bet) to claim a free £200 per goal football bet.
**If that doesn’t grab you, then you can always claim £100 cash (after 10 bets as above).
*Credit and suitability checks, terms and conditions apply. See site for full details about an account with Sporting Index. Sports spread betting is high risk and is not suitable for everyone. You can lose more than your original stake so make sure you understand the risks involved. Sporting Index is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.