Battle of the top two in Group A, as a depleted Bayern Munich travel to Bordeaux
Bayern Munich and Bordeaux are the early leaders in Group A, with four points apiece, and in a group that looks like it will be tight between the top three teams, a win for either side on Wednesday will put them in a commanding position for qualification for the knock-out stages.
Bordeaux last home game in the Champions League was a narrow one-nil win over Maccabi Haifi, of Israel, and it is because of their struggles in that match that the French champions are as big as 17/10 (Bet365) to beat Bayern Munich, who are struggling somewhat in the Bundesliga this season.
Bayern are 7/4 (Ladbrokes) which offers very little value to punters, especially considering that Bordeaux have won all five of their home matches this season. The draw can be backed at 23/10 (Bet365) and in a match where it is perhaps more important for either side not to lose, than it is to win, that could well be the end result.
The Germans will travel to France without striker Ivica Olic, or Dutchman Arjen Robben, who has once again vindicated his critics by proving incapable of playing over half a dozen games in a row without getting injured. With Franck Ribery also unlikely to be fit for a return to France, Bayern’s attacking options look seriously depleted.
Manager Louis Van Gaal will, therefore, be relying on German international Miroslav Klose (7/1, Coral) and youngster Thomas Muller (11/1, Coral) who scored twice in his side’s three-nil win over Maccabi Haifi in the opening round of Champions League fixtures, to make the break-through against Bordeaux. One of either Luca Toni (7/1, PaddyPower) or Mario Gomez (13/2, SkyBet) will partner Klose, but in truth neither striker is particularly impressive at the moment, and anyone who watched Gomez’s dismal attempt to lead the line for Germany against Finland, last week, will understand if he is not used.
Bayern general manager, Uli Hoeness, caused some controversy ahead of the game, when he claimed to be stunned that former Munich player Alou Diarra, has progressed as far as to be Bordeaux’s club captain and a France international midfielder. Diarra would no doubt like nothing better than to respond to Hoeness with a goal against his former club. The gangly Frenchman is 16/1 (StanJames) to score at any time on Wednesday night.
Bordeaux’s main goal threat is not Diarra, but his international team-mate Yoann Gourcuff. The supremely talented midfielder is the natural heir to Zinedine Zidane in the French national side, and it is surely only a matter of time before he makes a big-money move to one of Europe’s elite clubs. He is 8/1 (Bet365) to further enhance his reputation with the opener against Bayern, or a tempting 11/4 (PaddyPower) to find the net at any time during the match. In tight games such as these, Gourcuff’s ability from long-range is probably more likely to reward punters than the in-and-out Bordeaux strike-force of Fernando Cavenaghi (7/1, Coral) and Marouane Chamakh (8/1, Coral).
With both sides expected to be very cautious on Wednesday night, the game may well be a low scoring affair, and quotes of 8/11 (Bluesq) on two goals or less look about right. Punters who expect the game to be tied at the final whistle might, instead, prefer the correct score options of nil-nil (9/1, SportingBet) or one-one (6/1, Bluesq), results which neither manager, nor set of fans are likely to be too displeased with.
Win Market – Draw (23/10, Bet365)