The Champions League is arguably the greatest club competition in the world. There is no tournament on the planet which can produce the sort of football that leaves the world on the edge of their sofas, time and time again. Every true footballer with a passion for the sport dreams of playing in the Champions League at least once in their career, and every fan dreams of watching their club captain hold aloft the trophy. But with qualifying made even tougher only the very best actually get the opportunity to do so.
Champions League Betting Advice Although the football is often sublime to watch, it can be extremely hard to predict. When the great sides go head-to-head it really does become tough to call. However, we have a few pieces of advice which could enhance your chances of picking a winner. Once again it all comes down to observations and research.
Squads - Ensure you check the squads of the teams you're considering betting on. A team can register a maximum of 25 players but bear in mind that players who have already competed in the early qualifying rounds of the competition and then transfer to another club, will be ineligible to play for their new team.
Availability - Keep yourself updated with team news. Injuries are part of the game but ensure you stay one step ahead with the injury news before betting on any CL game. Also, suspensions. If a player receives two yellow cards in the group stages then he will miss the next game. If a player receives a red card then they will miss the following three matches. However, once the group stages are over. All yellow cards are wiped clear.
Situation - When betting on teams playing group matches, make sure you do your homework in regards to the team's group standing. This is extremely important when the groups are coming to a close, as some teams may need a specific result in order to guarantee themselves a place in the next round. This is when the probability of a draw is raised say if a team just needs a home draw to qualify.
Domestically preoccupied - To many clubs, the Champions League will be the main priority for the season. However, if life back in their domestic league isn't going too well then you may well see some sides reverting back to concentrating on league fixtures. Make sure you always keep one eye on the teams respective leagues. You should also take an interest in their recent fixtures. If they've played just a few days ago in the league then they may still be a bit tired.
Remember, every side has both league and cup competitions to contend with. The Champions League isn't the be-all-and-end-all for some sides so bare this in mind, especially at the latter end of the season where teams can be competing in several big games in a short period of time.
Venues - Home advantage is crucial in Europe. This is especially the case for some of the newer sides in the competition. The big names don't like travelling to unknown territory. Some crowds can be very hostile and this can intimidate some players. Countries like Turkey are well known for their hostile atmospheres so be careful when backing a side on their travels. Distance is a factor too, a team from England going out to Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan for example, are long, arduous, tiring treks.
It's also worth making a mental note of some of the most prestigious stadiums. For instance, Old Trafford, The Nou Camp, the Allianz Arena and the Bernabeu are just some of the stadiums that away teams down the years have found particularly hard to achieve decent results at.
For Group Stage betting, don't just limit yourself to the group winner market. That's often pretty predictable because of the seedlings. Look instead for situations where a slight underdog manages to muscle their way into second place in the group (especially at the point of say having avoided defeat on the road against the group favourite), which will return value from the To Qualify market.
Tactics - The knock-out stage is where managers earn their big bucks. The last 16 is where the coaches turn on their tactical thinking caps in a bid to overcome a side over two legs. This can often lead to one team defending in vast numbers for one of the games or both if the opposition is superior. Do your homework on the managers left in the competition. Rafael Benitez is known throughout Europe as a master tactician and he is one of many.
Record - Check up on the teams previous knock-out record. Teams tend to go through trends of at least reaching a certain point in a tournament.
Suspensions - Just two yellow cards is enough to miss the next game. Make sure you check each team for any suspensions or players currently on one yellow card.
Away Goals - Remember that if the match is level at the two legs have been played, it will go down to away goals. Away goals count for double once the last 16 commences so expect a lot of tactics involving goals scored away from home.
The most popular UEFA Champions League betting market is, of course, the Outright Winner, where every punter wants to earn bragging rights for having picked the winner pre-tournament. But try to break down the tournament into smaller betting chunks. Look for teams who could potentially hit the last eight and back them in the To Reach Quarter-Finals market. There's value there without the need to back a team to lift the trophy.
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