Champions League previews: Bayern v Roma, Ajax v Barca
Bayern Munich v Roma
German giants Bayern go into this battle on the back of battering Roma 7-1 last time out in the Champions League in the Italian capital. Now, as the home team, they are heavily odds-on to win again at 1/4.
The duo occupy the top two positions in Group E, with Munich (1/20 to top the pool) on maximum points after three games, ahead of Roma (8/1), who have a win and draw to their name.
Both teams come into this game following big domestic clashes, but with differing results. Five-time European Cup winners Bayern came back to beat Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena, while 1984 runners-up Roma lost out away to Napoli.
Rudi Garcia’s men are expected to keep the scoreline down a bit more here, though, so back a 2-0 result in favour of the Germans, as was the outcome between the two sides in their last fixture here in 2010, at 11/2.
For goals, go for Arjen Robben who bagged a brace last time out. He is 6/5 to net anytime and 4/1 to get two or more again.
Long-serving Roma skipper Francesco Totti and former Arsenal forward Gervinho have both been on target for the Serie A side against the Bundesliga champions, so are 5/1 and 10/3 respectively in the anytime market.
Ajax v Barcelona
These two clubs have lifted four European Cups apiece, but it is the away side Barca who go into this game as heavy 1/3 favourites. A draw is 4/1.
The last time the Catalan club travelled to Ajax, though, they lost 2-1 last season, also in the group stages, and you can take odds of 8/1 for the Dutch champions to win and 28/1 by that scoreline again. La Liga titans Barcelona are in poor form of late, having suffered consecutive league losses to Real Madrid and the Celta Vigo at home, so don’t discount the hosts.
Ajax manager Frank de Boer and Barca boss Luis Enrique are former Nou Camp teammates, but it seems likely that one of the duo will exit at this first stage, with PSG topping Group F so far. The former’s side are still yet to taste victory this campaign in the competition, while the latter’s team are four points ahead in second.
Barca did win the reverse fixture this term 3-1, and that same scoreline can be backed with odds of 10/1 in their favour once more. Neymar and Lionel Messi were among the scorers that day, and are both odds-on at 8/13 and 8/11 respectively to net anytime again. Luis Suarez will be hoping to get his first goal for the club, and is 7/2 to strike last.