Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.
In The Mixer is FST’s weekly column where we catch up with our team of football betting experts and get their opinion on the hot topic of the week.
There are two rounds of fixtures left in the Champions League group stages and we asked our team of experts for their best group winner or qualifier bets ahead of the next batch of games at the end of the month.
I’ve used their tips to form a 14/1 fourfold, which can be backed below. All prices quoted are from bet365 and new customers can take advantage of their sign-up offer using the button below.
14/1 In The Mixer UCL acca
Tip 1: Manchester United not to qualify
Two of our experts have different ideas of how Group A will play out – but neither is expecting Manchester United to claim second spot behind Bayern Munich, so backing the Old Trafford side to miss out on a top two spot is the first leg of this bet.
The second qualification spot in Group A is a fascinating battle and I think Galatasaray look good value to join Bayern Munich in the knockout stage. Gala have already got their two games against the Germans out of the way, while section rivals Man Utd and Copenhagen still have to face the Bavarians.
I think Galatasaray will beat United in Istanbul on matchday five and that will put Okan Buruk’s men in a good position for their final group-stage contest against Copenhagen.
FC Copenhagen are the outsiders of three in the Group A qualification market but the Danes deserve more respect and look decent value to follow Bayern Munich out of the section.
With the German giants through in first place, the advantage appears to be with Galatasaray, who have played both of their games against Bayern.
However, if Gala avoid defeat against Manchester United in their next outing, Copenhagen will only need to win their matchday six home tie against the Turkish club to advance with a superior head-to-head record.
The Danes were 2-0 up in the reverse fixture in Istanbul when Elias Jelert was sent off in the 73rd minute before a late surge from the hosts saw the match finish 2-2 and they should be full of confidence after last week’s remarkable turnaround against United.
Tip 2: Real Sociedad can win Group D
Real Sociedad are worth backing at odds-against quotes to top Group D ahead of Inter.
The Basque outfit sit top of their section, level on points with Inter but ahead on goal difference, and they can pull away in the remaining two matchdays.
Real Sociedad head into the international break on a run of five wins in their last seven assignments and they showed plenty of promise in their meeting with Inter in September.
The La Liga outfit came minutes away from maximum points only for Lautaro Martinez to score an equaliser for the Italians with their only shot on target at the Anoeta.
Real Sociedad have already booked their place in the last-16 and they can win their duel with Inter to come out on top of Group D.
The Boys from San Sebastian cruised past Benfica 3-1 last week for their third win in the group stage and it could have been even more comprehensive had they not missed a penalty or had an effort disallowed.
Imanol Alguacil’s young team are making waves – Barcelona needed an injury-time goal to beat them recently – and while they still have to go to the San Siro, they should not be daunted.
The Serie A outfit have been riding their luck in the tournament, needing a penalty to win each of their games against Salzburg and they secured only a 1-0 home victory over winless Benfica, so the Spaniards should definitely not be dismissed.
Tip 3: PSG can emerge as group of death winners
Borussia Dortmund’s double over Newcastle has propelled them to the top of Group F but Paris St-Germain are worth backing at odds-against to overhaul BVB.
PSG should pick up three points at home to the injury-hit Magpies on matchday five, when Dortmund travel to Milan, and the French champions would then fancy their chances of sealing top spot with a victory in Germany on matchday six.
Since their 4-1 loss at Newcastle, PSG have won six of their seven games, scoring 19 goals, while Dortmund were beaten 2-0 in Paris on matchday one and have picked up just one point from their last three Bundesliga matches.
PSG are odds-against to win Group F and they can overturn the one-point gap between them and Dortmund.
The Parisians face an injury-hit Newcastle side next and should win before visiting BVB in what may be a decider for who tops the section.
Kylian Mbappe and co look likely to have too much quality for their opponents in that matchup and are fancied to win the group.
Tip 4: PSV can secure knockout spot
Arsenal should win Group B as the Gunners are four points clear at the top but the battle for second place in the section is tight between PSV Eindhoven and Lens, who both have five points on the board from their first four games.
The two sides drew 1-1 in France before PSV edged out Lens 1-0 last week at home to boost their chances. The Dutch side look the better bet to qualify as they go to bottom-placed Sevilla next before facing Arsenal at home on the final matchday.
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