10:00 AM GMT
Derek BiltonESPN.co.uk betting writer
A winning weekend for the column as Leicester City and Lazio both did the business for us at odds against. It’s all about the Champions League again this week with Chelsea’s Group H clash against Ajax among the highlights.
Running total: £15.90
Ajax travel to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday seeking revenge, but we fancy Frank Lampard’s men at 10/11 to do a quick fire double over the Dutch champions and take control of Group H.
Chelsea were impressive when winning just two weeks ago at the Johan Cruyff Arena, inflicting a first defeat since May on the Amsterdam giants. The Blues claimed a seventh straight away win (a new club record) in beating Watford at the weekend, and on recent form Christian Pulisic simply has to start on Tuesday. The U.S. international scored his fourth goal in two Premier League games at Vicarage Road and has looked red hot in recent weeks along with top scorer Tammy Abraham.
After back-to-back setbacks against Valencia and Liverpool in September, it looked like it was going to be a long, hard winter for Chelsea. But they have evidenced some real spirit and togetherness in recent weeks and can make home advantage count against this useful Ajax side.
Selection: £5.50 in Chelsea to win at 10/11 with bet365.
The Tasty Treble
Barcelona have been quite erratic in terms of their form in La Liga but are still going nicely in the Champions League and look a solid shout at 4/7 to cover a one goal handicap against Slavia Prague this week. Lionel Messi was on target as the Blaugrana won 2-0 in Prague a few weeks back and the Argentine genius can help them to another convincing with at the Camp Nou.
Elsewhere we like Napoli at 17/20 to see off FC Salzburg. The Partonepei won an absorbing contest against Salzburg 3-2 in Austria recently, and have a fine record in European competition at the San Paolo Stadium. Finally add in Tottenham at 4/6 to beat Red Star Belgrade. Spurs hammered Red Star 5-0 a couple of weeks ago and should be full strength again for this as they try to keep pace with Bayern Munich at the top of Group B.
Selection: £3 on the treble at 3.84/1 with bet365.
The First Goal Flutter
West Bromwich Albion start as big favourites to beat struggling Stoke in the Championship on Monday night and we reckon Kenneth Zohore could be worth a flutter at 13/2 to notch first. The Danish striker has had an issue with his calf since the Baggies played Derby several weeks ago, but he’s scored a couple of goals for the under-23s recently and looks a big price if he gets the nod to start at the bet365 Stadium.
Selection: £2 on Zohore to score first at 13/2 with bet365.
The Wildcard Tip
Manchester City are well clear at the top of Group C so Pep Guardiola could choose to rotate his squad against Atalanta. The Citizens were easy 5-1 winners against the Italians last time out but with a crunch Premier League clash with Liverpool looming this weekend we would be very surprised to see the likes of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero starting on Wednesday. Indeed under the circumstances a cheeky punt on the Italians at almost 5/1 with bet365 could be the bet.
Selection: £2 on Atalanta to win at 19/4 with bet365.
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