AJAX vs AEK ATHENS - CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 21:00
We have no problem with Ajax being favourite for this match. Afterall, they are the home team, and they have a good record in Europe. However, should the hosts really be average odds of 1.38?, the answer is of course not.
Ajax enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win over Groningen at the weekend, but we shouldn’t get carried away by that. Afterall, that opponent is a particularly poor traveller, and they wouldn’t be good enough in any case. To be fair, Ajax won their last four league matches, and they also scored four past Utrecht and five against FC Emmen. Nevertheless, the Eredivisie is an high scoring league with a big bias, and those 14 goals compare to 21 for champions PSV.
Erik Ten Hag’s side had to qualify for the group stage, and they did that with wins over Standard Luttich and Dynamo Kiev. Todays first round opponent is another qualifier in the shape of AEK Athens.
The visitors landed last seasons Greek Super league by a comfortable six points, it was their first championship in 24 years. So far this season the Enosis are the perfect 3/3 in the league, and they enjoyed an easy 4-0 win over Panionios at the weekend.
Marinos Ouzounidis’s team knocked out Celtic and Mol Vidi to make the group stage. The game which stands out for us was the 1-1 in Glasgow, because AEK held out for 33 minutes with ten players.
The visitors have players returning suspension, since only Anastasios Bakasetas is now sidelined with a ban. From our understanding, the AEK should be near to complete, and with 1.5 goals start they are the clear bet!
BET: AEK ATHENS +1.5
Odds: 1.80 5dimes
SHAKHTAR DONETSK vs HOFFENHEIM - CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 18:55
Shakthar Donetsk haven’t been able to return to their own stadium since the scuffle broke out. Nevertheless, they will still be playing this match in the Ukraine (Kharkiv), and they have being doing really well at this stadium.
Shakhtar start their champions league campaign on the back of five straight league wins. They are the Ukrainian champions for the last two years, and they won the same trophy for seven of the past ten seasons.
Coach Paulo Foncesa’s side made it through the group stage of the champions league last season, and they did that by winning all three home games. Considering they beat manchester City (2-1), Feyenoord (3-1) and Napoli (2-1), they clearly set a very high standard. PS - All of this wins occurred in this stadium!
German club Hoffenhein finished last seasons Bundesliga in third place. However, they shared the same amount of points has the three teams below them. Furthermore, Achtzehn99 ended that campaign a whopping 29 points be hid Bayern, and 8 behind second place Schalke.
Like we have witnessed over the past five seasons, Germany have just one top team. Fair play to a small club like Hoffenheim for making the cut, but a reality check suggests they are just average. In fact, two Bundesliga defeats and just one win support that theory!
BET: SHAKHTAR DONETSK -0.5 (win)
Odds: 1.96 Asianodds - 5dimes