Champions League holders Barcelona are obviously the odds-on favourites to top Group E, but with Roma and Bayer Leverkusen also in the mix, chances are the Catalans will have to work hard in order to secure the top spot. And while BATE Borisov are unlikely to cause too many problems to any of the other three sides, the likes of Giallorossi and die Werkself are widely expected to be involved in a highly entertaining battle for the second place and opportunity to continue the campaign in the knockout stages.
Market: Group Betting
Tip: Barcelona to Win Group E
Odds: 2/9 @ bet365
The reigning Champions League winners were always going to be tipped as the most likely team to go through from this group and we have no doubts whatsoever that Barcelona will deliver. The Catalans have revamped the squad from last season, but they are by no means weaker, with the sheer quality of their players as well as the wealth of experience likely to deny both AS Roma and Bayer Leverkusen an opportunity to mount a serious challenge for the first place in Group E. Even when things are not going according to plan, the Spanish giants can always look to the likes of Messi, Suarez, Neymar and Iniesta for some additional inspiration.
Market: Group Qualification
Tip: Roma to Qualify from Group E
Odds: 8/11 @ bet365
This is probably the most difficult market to predict given that the German and Italian representatives are similar in terms of quality, but we are, nonetheless, backing AS Roma to finally prove their worth on European stage. The Giallorossi managed to seriously reinforce the squad over the summer and it looks as though Edin Dzeko, Mohamed Salah, Iago Falque and Lucas Digne have fitted right in. While Roma were able to hit the ground running early on, Bayer Leverkusen have largely struggled in the opening exchanges and they don’t look capable of keeping up with Rudi Garcia’s side.
Bayer Leverkusen v BATE Borisov
Market: Total Goals
Tip: Under 2.5
Odds: 23/20 @ bet365
Bayer Leverkusen may have enjoyed a strong start to the season, winning first two Bundesliga fixtures and recording a 3-1 aggregate win over Lazio to reach the Champions League group stages, but they have since failed to score in three successive fixtures, if we also count the friendly loss to Paderborn. The lack of confidence created by said results is bound to prevent die Werkself from giving their best in the opening fixture against defence-minded BATE Borisov and while we seriously doubt the Belarus side can score at Bay Arena, chances are they will stop the hosts from scoring more than one or two goals.
Roma v Barcelona
Market: Both teams to score
Odds: 5/6 @ bet365
AS Roma squad has once again undergone major changes in the summer, but the good news is that the front line is already looking good, with the Giallorossi scoring five goals in three matches and recording an important win over Serie A champions Juventus. The new-look back line has done fairly well so far, but it cannot be expected to keep a clean sheet in the match with mighty Barcelona, who have some defensive problems themselves, which is why we are quite convinced that we will see both teams register at least one goal each at Stadio Olimpico.
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