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Ibet: Lewandowski To Notch Against Zenit; Second Half To Open Up At Old Trafford

Gareth Purnell

edwin11 Ibet: Lewandowski To Notch Against Zenit; Second Half To Open Up At Old Trafford

Champions League

Dortmund V Zenit, kick off 7.45pm (Sky Sports 4): Back Robert Lewandowski to score at any time at 5/6 with Bet365

Manchester United V Olympiakos, kick off 7.45pm (Sky Sports 1): Back the second half to be the highest scoring at 23/20 with BetVictor

Of the two Champions League ties on Wednesday night I would be happier taking a position about the Dortmund game than the fixture at Old Trafford. Dortmund are as short as 1/3 to win in 90 minutes but it’s very easy to see why. For a start the Germans have won eight of their last nine Champions League home games, a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal in this season’s group stage being the only blip. They carry a 4-2 lead into this tie and in truth it could have been worse for Zenit, who were two down inside six minutes of the first leg. And the Russians are in a bit of a mess.

They sacked their coach last week following a poor run which has seen them win only one of their last seven domestic league games. Sergei Semak took over from the departed Luciano Spalletti as acting head coach. But he was replaced by Andres Villas-Boas yesterday. Villas-Boas has little option but to attack, and that will surely play into Dortmund’s hands – and they are deadly on the break. It is true that Dortmund seem to be a little bit off the pace they set last season, when they reached the Champions League final. They sit a massive 24 points off Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich; yet they are still in second place and are still the second highest scorers in the division with 56 goals in 25 domestic league games. It seems very likely that Zenit are going to be picked off as they press to get back into the tie, but if 1/3 is too short for you we must look for value elsewhere.

I’m reluctant to advise over 2.5 goals at long odds-on because if the Germans score the first two goals, the tie could peter out. Instead, take a chance on striker Lewandowski scoring at any time at a standout 5/6 with Bet365 – he’s not been on fire lately (three in his last seven league games) but you have to think he will get chances in this game as Zenit open up looking for goals.

The game at Old Trafford looks harder to call. There was a time when you could have placed your mortgage on Manchester United to see to a side like Olympiakos at home, but that time has long gone. They were pretty terrible in losing the first leg 2-0 in Greece – managing only one shot on target. And a quite alarming stat is that of 20 matches played at Old Trafford this season, only four of their results would have been enough to keep them in this tie and only one, a 4-0 victory over Norwich in the Capital One Cup, would have seen them qualify without the need for extra time. Indeed in the Premier League they have picked up just five points from the seven matches they have played at home to top ten teams this season. And that includes four defeats. The major problem for Moyes is that he can’t afford to let the Greeks score, and so he can’t be too gung-ho early on. It could be tight before opening up in the second half. It’s 23/20 with BetVictor that the second half will be the highest scoring, and that could be value.

Advices

The pressure is increasing on Manchester United manager David Moyes and Paddy Power now have him third favourite in the Premier League Sack Race market at 7/2. Betting comparison platform Bet2Go.com has West Brom manager Pepe Mel as the favourite in this market at 5/2, with Norwich manager Chris Houghton 3/1, the same price as ‘no manager to leave’.

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