By Josh Powell | Sports writer
Why it might be more profitable backing against the English sides in the Champions League
Manchester United face Galatasaray tonight in matchday five of the Champions League. After four wins from their opening four games, United lead the group and are guaranteed to qualify in top spot. Tonight’s game means very little to the Red Devils and is probably going to be treated about competitively as a game of Snakes and Ladders with your baby cousin.
For Arsenal and Chelsea, wins this week would practically give them one foot in the knock-out stages making the final game nothing more than a formality with the groups almost decided. The situations the English teams find themselves in is not uncommon for this stage of the Champions League.
Due to pretty weak teams such as CFR Cluj and FC Nordsjaelland, the English clubs over the last 10 years tend to have put themselves in a pretty sweet position going in to the last couple of group games. All credit to them for getting the points on the board early doors but it really does take away any excitement the final few games could hold. Instead it becomes a run out for the fringe players and is somewhat disregarded by managers and fans.
Therefore with a couple of dead rubbers knocking about, there is plenty of value siding AGAINST the English sides.
- In the last 10 years Manchester United have won just 39 per cent of their final two group games, losing five and drawing six.
Galatasaray have a formidable record at home and have held United to two goal-less draws in their two meetings in Turkey. The draw tonight is an appealing 13/5 and 0-0 a potentially very profitable 11/1 shout.
- Of their final two group games Chelsea have only won eight games out of 18. They have drawn 33 per cent and lost almost a quarter.
Chelsea travel to Turin to face Juventus with the Champions knowing a draw will do as long as they beat FC Nordsjaelland at Stamford Bridge in their last game. The Blues don’t win many of their final couple of group games and the draw at 5/2 looks another tasty price.
- Arsenal have the best record of the English clubs, winning 56 per cent of their final two group games. They very rarely draw and have only had three stalemates in the 18 matches.
Arsenal’s good form in the later stages of the group may be down to the fact that they are more often in need of the points than Chelsea or United. Either way their good record speaks for itself and they should pick up another three points against Montpellier at the Emirates. The Gunners are the well-backed 4/11 favourites and a win would almost secure them a place in the next round.