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King of Stats: Big numbers on a crucial Champions League week

| 21.11.2012

Game week five of the Champions League is upon us and, for many teams, it’s do or die in the race to get out of the group-stage.

As ever, the King of Stats has dug up some dirt to help punters try and rake in some coin while the big-hitters sweat over their place at Europe’s top table.

0 – Arsenal have got to beat Montpellier lest their qualification hopes will run into some serious jeopardy, with Olympiakos away their final fixture. The fact that they’ve never won a home match against French opposition in this competition does not bode well for them, despite their price of 1/3 to win suggesting it’ll be a walk in the park.

5 – This is the number of away victories produced in Group H; it’s a higher amount than in any other group and Man United have contributed two themselves. Back their second-string to topple Galatasary in the Turk Telecom Arena at 13/5.

10 – Malaga have been one of the surprise packages of the tournament to date and they have gone undefeated in 10 of their last 11 European fixtures. Zenit, on the other hand, haven’t done as well as anticipated in the Champions League, but only one Spanish side has bettered them at home in six attempts – the mighty Real Madrid. This clash has a draw written all over it at 5/2.

7 – Of the 10 games Celtic have played against Portuguese opposition, they’ve lost 7 times and their win over Spartak Moscow in game week two represents their only away triumph in 22 attempts. They’ll be glad to have been drawn alongside Benfica though – their past two successful progressions from the group-stage seen them pooled with the Portuguese giants. They’re a huge 5/1 to get the win in Lisbon.

2 – This feeble digit represents the amount of home matches Spartak Moscow have won in the Champions League group-stage in 16 attempts. Their next adversaries, in contrast, have lost just once in their last 19 – back Barcelona to win with a one-goal handicap here at 8/11.

5 – Chelsea are expected by many to lose their crunch game in Turin given their poor form of late, but they will be buoyed by the fact that Juventus have drawn in five of their last six home games with English opposition. Roberto Di Matteo will be thrilled with this outcome and so will anyone who backs it to come in at 12/5.

6 – This is the number of games Dortmund have gone without an away win in the competition, dating back to a victory in the San Siro at Milan’s expense back in 2003. This gives Man City hope that Ajax will get maximum points against the Germans when the sides meet in the Amsterdam Arena and can be backed at 11/4.

19 – City’s Champions League hopes can be likened to two floating nostrils just above a rising water line. No defeat in 19 European home games, however, should be a firm confidence booster ahead of Real’s visit to the Etihad; it’s also encouraging for those willing the City dream on by having a flutter on the Premier League champs to topple their Spanish equivalents at 2/1.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton