Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen Betting Tips: Latest odds, team news, preview and predictions

Real Madrid will look to end their worst win-less run since 2009 when they welcome Czech side Viktoria Plzen to the Bernabeu.

Los Blancos have gone five matches without a victlory in all competitions and Saturday saw them beaten at home in La Liga by Levante.

They also lost out in Russia on matchday two of the Champions League by CSKA Moscow and anything but a win against Plzen could seriously complicate their qualification to the knockout stages.

Latest odds

Madrid have not lost a home match in the group stages for nine years and 888Sport price them at 1/12 (1.08) to record a win. The visitors meanwhile are offered at 29/1 (30.00) with the draw available at 12/1 (13.00).

Karim Benzema Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2018

Team news

Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale both started Saturday’s game on the bench, but are likely to come back into the starting line-up on Tuesday.

Keylor Navas looks set to continue in goal in the Champions League ahead of Thibaut Courtois while Dani Carvajal remains unavailable at right-back. For the visitors, midfielder Jan Kopic is still out with a knee problem.

Preview

Real Madrid’s problems have stemmed from a surprising inability to score, but surely they will end their barren run against Plzen.

The Czech champions were beaten 5-0 by Roma on matchday two, and their total of seven goals conceded in two matches gives them currently the worst defence in the competition.

With Madrid in need of a big performance on Tuesday, the Czech outfit might just be the perfect opponents for them to record the high-scoring win their fans have been waiting for.

Julen Lopetegui Real Madrid

Not only would such a result be a timely boost in this competition, but it would also be the ideal build up to the weekend Clasico meeting with Barcelona who will be without Lionel Messi.

Tips and predictions

The hosts are offered at 20/15 (2.33) to win with a -3 handicap and if Madrid rediscover their goalscoring touch they should be able to overcome Plzen with few problems. This bet requires Los Blancos to triumph by at least four goals.

Over the last four seasons Real Madrid have played 12 home games in the Champions League group stages and won five of those by a four goal margin.

Viktoria Plzen could well join the likes of Ludogorets, Malmo, Basel, Shakhtar Donetsk and Legia Warsaw who have been on the end of heavy group stage defeats at the Bernabeu. 

Betting Banner - Best BetReal Madrid to win with a -3 handicap at 20/15 (2.33) for a 1pt stake with 888Sport

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‘I’m going to fight!’ – Lopetegui vows to battle on at Real Madrid despite sack reports

Embattled Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has vowed to “fight” on at the club despite reports that he may be sacked before El Clasico.

Real have endured their worst start in La Liga since the 2001-02 season, and they face Viktoria Plzen and Barcelona in a pivotal week.

A winless run of five games has seen the club slip to seventh in La Liga, and they have already tasted defeat in Europe, losing 1-0 to CSKA Moscow.

Reports from various outlets, including Sky Sports, have claimed that Lopetegui could be sacked in the coming days, before they face Barca in the first Clasico of the season.

He is undeterred, however, and plans to keep plugging away in the dugout.

“What I’ve learned about this club is to fight,” said Lopetegui.

“That is the DNA of this club, that’s what we’re going to do, fight. Both the players and the coaches. We know results haven’t been great but we are going to turn this around.”

Goal understands that Lopetegui is likely to be in charge against Barcelona, though an adverse result against Plzen could see plans in the Bernabeu boardroom change.

The former Spain manager was also asked if he would be in charge against Barca: “I’m here now, that’s all I can say. I am the coach at this moment.

“If you ask me what is going to happen in a month or a year I can’t tell you. We’re focused on the present.”

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Lopetegui remains full of trust for his squad, too, and maintains that they will not be affected by speculation.

“They are strong, they are champions,” he said.

“They have had bad times but they are strong. They haven’t been champions by believing everything they hear.”

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Manchester United v Juventus Betting: Latest odds, team news, preview and predictions

After an encouraging performance against Chelsea, Manchester United will need to be on top form when Juventus visit Old Trafford in Tuesday’s Champions League clash.

Jose Mourinho’s team showed great character to come back from 1-0 down to lead against his former club, only to be denied an impressive victory by Ross Barkley’s 97th-minute equaliser.

Latest Odds

With just one victory to their name in six fixtures though, United are 21/10 (3.10) underdogs with to build on the Stamford Bridge display with a big win against high class opposition.

Juventus celeb Genoa

The Bianconeri failed to win for the first time in 11 fixtures this season when they were held to a 1-1 draw against Genoa on Saturday, but are 13/10 (2.30) favourites to return to winning ways in this one.

Three of the last four matches at this ground have resulted in draws, and there are odds of 23/10 (3.30) available on the sides cancelling each other out once again here.

Team News

Jesse Lingard, Marouane Fellaini and Marcos Rojo could all be in contention after returning to training following injury.

Emre Can will miss out after being diagnosed with a thyroid nodule that may require surgery, with Rodrigo Bentacur set to take his place in midfield.

Manchester United v Juventus Betting Preview

High-scoring clash

After hardly looking like scoring in a dire 0-0 draw at home to Valencia in their previous Champions League game, the Red Devils have racked up five goals in the two subsequent matches.

Although this renewed attacking threat is certainly timely for such a crucial European game, the fact they have also conceded twice in each of those two matches does not bode particularly well against a team that has struck twice or more in six of the last seven Champions League fixtures.

Predictions

All in all, odds of 11/10 (2.10) look extremely generous on over 2.5 goals being scored for United’s 10th game in 13 this campaign, as well as Juventus’ sixth in seven in this competition.

Betting Banner - Best Bet Over 2.5 goals for a 2pt stake at 11/10 (2.10) with

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Primeiro de Agosto on the brink of CAF history


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Primeiro de Agosto are 90 minutes away from becoming the first Angolan side to reach the Caf Champions League final, and will be quietly confident they have the character to get past Esperance de Tunis.

The Angolan heavyweights have ridden their luck at times during this year’s campaign, and finally appear set to make up for the oil-rich southern African nation’s lack of success in continental competition.

Angola’s teams have been to this stage before, of course, with Petro Atletico being defeated by Mamelodi Sundowns on penalties in the 2001 semi-final, but Agosto have a 1-0 advantage after the first leg.

Bua scored the only goal of the game in the 82nd minute at the Estadio de Novembro on October 2 to give Zoran Manojlovic’s side the advantage, although they must be wary of the prospect of an away trip to Tunisian giants Esperance—two-time African champions.

However, they aren’t the first heavyweights Agosto have met so far this competition, and they’ll be tipping themselves to pull off another giant-killing.

They’ve already been to Tunisia this year, and were unfortunate not to have defeated Etoile du Sahel away, with the hosts’ Amine Chermiti salvaging a 1-1 draw.

They also defeated fancied FC Platinum away from home, and eliminated Bidvest Wits away after holding their nerve in a penalty shootout.

Granwald Scott of Bidvest Wits challenges Akinfenwa Ibukun of Club Desportivo de Agosto

In the quarter-finals, they ousted Tout Puissant Mazembe on away goals, even if they did fly close to the wind in Lubumbashi as goalkeeper Toni saved two penalties.

However, this double-header showcased both the Angolans’ ability to endure and withstand pressure, to capitalise on their chances, to build on their momentum and to frustrate a more talented team with their organisation and doggeness.

It wasn’t pretty, but against an Esperance side who struggled to find their own rhythm in their quarter-final against domestic rivals Etoile du Sahel, may well be enough to get over the line.

Certainly, unless Agosto settle quickly in Rades and can begin to frustrate their hosts from the off, Esperance have the quality to take the tie beyond them.

However, they’re a club battling their own internal issues, having parted ways with Khalid Ben Yahia soon after their first-leg defeat.

Ben Yahia’s former assistant—Moin Chabani—has taken the reins, and is at least familiar with the club’s squad, but it remains to be seen whether he can overturn the North African giants’ fortunes.

The mood in the camp may also need to improve, with Ben Yahia reportedly at odds with some of the squad’s key men before his exit.

Francis Kahata of Gor Mahia v Esperance.

He’ll hope that Toni is again primed to bail out the travellers if—and likely when—their backline is breached, although Agosto can trouble their opponents on the counter.

“I do not fear Esperance in Tunisia, only other factors such as the match officiating,” Agosto coach Manojlovic told AFP.

“We beat one of the strongest clubs in Africa in Luanda, and continue to dream of creating history by becoming the first Angolan side to reach the Champions League final.”

Esperance can take some encouragement from their track record against Angolan sides in the business end of continental competitions, having eliminated Petro and Primeiro in the 1997 Caf Cup final and 1998 Africa Cup Winners Cup final respectively.

In that second double-header, Esperance dispatched Tuesday’s opponents 4-2 on aggregate, but they’ve found it much trickier to pierce the Angolans’ backline on this occasion.

While they can call on home advantage, they face an Agosto side who are battling through the competition spurred on by a sense of destiny.

“It was more than a war in Lubumbashi because we knew we were up against formidable opponents who are a household name in Africa,” said Agosto defender Yisa Anifowoshe.

“We wanted to change our own story too and I am delighted we succeeded.”

A spot in the final would already represent a magnificent achievement for Agosto, although their reward would likely be a showdown with African giants and eight-time champions Al-Ahly.

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The Egyptian heavyweights are currently on a seven-match unbeaten run in Africa’s top club competition, and after defeating ES Setif 2-0 in the first leg of the semi-final, they’re overwhelming favourites to advance.

Agosto are an ambitious club both on and off the pitch, and while they still have an awful lot to do to reach a final showdown with Ahly—where they’ll be rank outsiders—they’ve won many admirers during this continental run, and now have the foundation to build on this year’s success.

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Alexis Sanchez absent from Man Utd training amid reports he wants out

Alexis Sanchez was absent from Manchester United training on Monday amid reports that he wants to leave the club.

The Times claimed over the weekend that Alexis is unhappy with Jose Mourinho and that his agent is on standby to talk to interested clubs should they come calling in January or next summer.

Alexis was absent from the session ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Juventus, throwing his participation in the game into doubt.

The Chile international has struggled for form thus far this season, scoring just once in seven Premier League appearances.

He has played 90 minutes just once this season, in the 2-1 win over Leicester City, while he featured for just five minutes in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea.

After being signed from Arsenal in January 2018 in a swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan join the Gunners, Alexis has made 26 appearances for the Red Devils.

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He has scored just four goals and provided six assists in that time, with Mourinho using him sparingly.

Alexis was left out of the squad to face West Ham earlier this season, and has been substituted numerous times.

More to follow…

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