Champions League Preview October 23

Both Manchester clubs are in action in the Champions League on Tuesday and United face a real test as they come up against former star Cristiano Ronaldo and his Juventus side.

Ronaldo can raid Old Trafford

There were fears Ronaldo would miss the double header when he picked up a red card in Juve’s win over Valencia but fortunately for everyone bar United he is available for both games.

The Portugal international will face United for just the fourth time since his exit in 2009 when the Bianconeri head to Old Trafford.  The last time the five-time Ballon d’Or winner came up against his old club he drew a blank in the UEFA Super Cup but Ronaldo has two goals in two Champions League appearances against the Manchester outfit and he can make it three in three on Tuesday.

Ronaldo is 4.35 to score first or 2.05 to score at anytime.

Hoffenheim to shake up Group F

Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim have picked up just one point from two games so far but they can blow Group F wide open by beating visitors Lyon.

The German club managed a point at Shakthar Donetsk – which is never an easy place to get a result in Europe – and slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester City in their last European outing.

Hoffenheim have lost their last three home games in all competitions but should be up for this test after a 3-1 win at Nurnberg over the weekend. 

The German club are 2.35 to secure the win, while the 3.20 for a home victory with both teams to score also appeals at 3.20.

No Dutch courage for Benfica

Ajax currently lead the way in Group E with goal difference keeping them above Bayern Munich.  It seems unthinkable the German giants will exit at the first hurdle however, despite their sluggish start to life under Niko Kovac, leaving Ajax and Benfica to battle for the other knockout phase spot.

On paper there isn’t a lot to separate the sides but going on previous performances Ajax look good value at 2.00 to come out on top. The Amsterdam side picked up an unlikely point at Bayern in their last European game and comfortably despatched of AEK Athens in their opener.

In contrast, Benfica never looked like getting any kind of result at home to Bayern as they went down 2-0 and then struggled to a 3-2 win in Athens.  The Dutch outfit have won their last six matches at home, scoring 22 goals in the process, and can make it seven in a row when Benfica visit.

Ajax’s games tend to produce a lot of goals and two of their last nine games in all competitions have seen under 2.5 goals, so the 3.05 on a home win and over 2.5 goals also stands out in this key Champions League battle.