Tuesday's Champions League cheat sheet

Sep 16, 2013 |
The Champions League group stage begins Tuesday and all eyes of Manchester United fans will be on David Moyes as the new Red Devils boss makes his CL group stage debut against some stiff competition. United face a tricky group that features Leverkusen, Real Sociedad and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Manchester United v Bayer Leverkusen (-138, +275, +450)

Why bet United: The Red Devils are coming off a Premier League victory over Crystal Palace, but a draw and a loss preceded the win. The early start to the season may not be up to snuff for some United supporters, but the club is still finding its feet under Moyes. Wayne Rooney should be good to go against the German side as he put in a full 90 minutes versus Palace. United has performed well against Leverkusen in CL, winning two and drawing two in the last four meetings.

Key players out/doubtful: Darren Fletcher, Rafael, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones

Why bet Leverkusen: Manager Sami Hyypia knows the English game well having plied his trade at Liverpool for many years. He has his Leverkusen side in sparkling form as they sit third in a very tough Bundesliga having won four of the opening five matches. The club may have lost Andre Schürrle to Chelsea in the transfer window but still feature goalscoring threats Stefan Kießling and Sidney Sam. Also in the side is the newly acquired Son Heung-Min (formerly of Hamburg) who is a very talented and tricky player on the ball.

Key players out/doubtful: Lars Bender, Niklas Lomb, Dominik Kohr

Key betting note: There have been over 2.5 goals in five of Leverkusen's previous six matches in Champions League.

Galatasaray v Real Madrid (+550, +320, -175)

Why bet Galatasaray: The Turkish side could very well be hosting Real at just the right time. Madrid are a banged-up side with defensive woes and is coming off a draw against Villareal in La Liga. It is tough for any club, large or small, to come out of Istanbul with a positive result of any kind. Madrid can attest to that having lost there 3-2 in last season's Champions League.

Key players out/doubtful: Hamit Altintop

Why bet Madrid:
With all of the above said, these are Los Merengues after all. Any side that boasts an attack featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco, Karim Benzema and fancy new-signing Gareth Bale (who scored on his debut) is going to cause havoc for any back four. They have three wins and the one draw in their first four matches in La Liga but there could be some concern over the fitness of Bale. Fear not if the Welsh star does not start, however. They have Argentine dynamo Angel Di Maria just in case.

Key players out/doubtful: Xabi Alonso, Raphael Varane, Álvaro Arbeloa, Marcelo, Fábio Coentrão

Key betting note:
Madrid and Galatasaray have scored over the 2.5 goal total in their last five meetings in all competitions.

Tuesday's other matches with odds:

Real Sociedad v Shakhtar Donetsk (+138, +230, +230)
FC Copenhagen v Juventus (+900, +375, -250)
Bayern Munich v CSKA Moscow (-550, +700, +1800)
Viktoria Plzen v Manchester City (+475, +280, -143)
Olympiakos v PSG (+300, +240, +110)
Benfica v Anderlecht (-200, +350, +650)

**Odds courtesy of Bet365.

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