Going into the third Champions League group stage matches in 2013/14 there are some nicely priced-up contenders to emerge from their mini-leagues victorious.
With double-headers coming up in the next two rounds a few current outsiders will fancy their chances of boosting their points tallies significantly in straightforward fixtures against some of the competition’s weaker sides.
Basel could go into their final two games top of Group E if they win home and away against Steaua Bucharest.
The Swiss Super League champions followed up their shock 2-1 away win at Chelsea with a home loss against Schalke, but the group’s top two teams now face each other in consecutive Champions League matches and Murat Yakin’s men still have a live chance of making a mockery of the 11/4 odds about them qualifying for the last 16.
Basel are 7/5 favourites to win in Romania and will be much shorter when they host a Steaua side who have lost their last six Champions League group stage games.
Six points for Napoli against struggling Marseille would give the Azzurri a great chance of getting out of Group F.
Arsenal are the only side other than Roma to have beaten Napoli since early March and considering Serie A’s second-placed side have won 15 times in their last 20 games their position as 4/5 outsiders for qualification is somewhat baffling.
The north Londoners duke it out with Borussia Dortmund – who Napoli have already seen off once during this campaign – in the next two rounds while Rafa Benitez’ team travel to France as 29/20 favourites to turn over a side that have no Champions League points this term and have lost their last three matches in all competitions
Galatasaray head into their double-header with Copenhagen just one point behind second-placed Juventus in Group B.
After being thumped 6-1 at home by Real Madrid in their first group stage game of 2013/14 Gala’s chances of emulating last season’s run to the quarter-finals looked bleak, but Juventus’ stuttering start to their Champions League campaign has seen them draw with the Turkish side and Copenhagen.
The Old Lady are a fanciful 9/2 to win at the Bernabeu, but Bianconeri boss Antonio Conte needs his side to gain at least three points from their home and away matches against Los Blancos as Galatasary stars Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba have enough quality to blow Danish champions Copenhagen away.