Chelsea and Schalke are back in the same Champions League group just like a season before.
Group G of this season’s Champions League may seem a bit straightforward at first glance with two clear favorites, but at closer look – it’s not so easy. Yes, there are Chelsea and Schalke, but Portuguese Sporting and Slovenian Maribor could very well go a long way to surprise experts and punters betting under British gambling laws.
Maribor have fought bravely in qualifying round and play-offs to get their well-deserved place in the group stage, while Sporting are renowned to bring down big teams and there’s no reason to believe they can’t do that again this time around, upsetting those who bet on sports in the UK choosing the favorites. Chelsea and Schalke have of course been playing in the same group last season as well, with the Blues taking the first spot two points ahead of the Germans.
Champions League Group G participants and betting
Champions League Group G trivia and betting odds
• Online sportsbooks in the UK are ready for Champions League betting
• Chelsea and Schalke meet again to decide who will win the group
• Sporting and Maribor have little chances of qualifying
Chelsea have won the Champions League for the first time three seasons ago, and then went on to win Europa League the season after, becoming the first ever team to do so. Last year the Blues went all the way until the semis, and this year will certainly be looking to do better, especially after mighty reinforcements during the summer, including the man who actually won them the Champions League trophy – Didier Drogba.
The Blues are the massive favorites to win Group G with 1.25 odds from Bet365. Not that Schalke will not be able to provide enough opposition to challenge the top spot, it’s just that Jose Mourinho squad seems too strong on paper at this point. Their line on qualifying is even smaller at 1.02 and is a sure bet for those cautious punters.
Online sportsbooks in the United Kingdom have little doubt Schalke will make it out of the group from either places. No surprises there, the Germans are pretty strong when it comes to Champions League performance and have already been in the semis back in 2010/2011 season, while their last two appearances saw them qualify for the knockouts on both occasions.
Thus the 1.44 line on Schalke qualifying can be considered a very smart bet for punters looking to make money. Moreover, Bet365’s 5.25 odds on them winning the group ahead of everyone else also looks like a pretty good investment, provided they can do a better job against Chelsea than last season.
Sporting Lisbon return to the Champions League after a 6-year absence, and it’s only natural to expect them to do as much as possible to progress out of the groups. Last time they were among top boys, in 2008/2009 season, they did manage to reach the Last 16, so there’s some chance they can repeat history.
And this chance is not as slim as one might’ve expected. According to Bet365 Sporting Lisbon get a line of 2.75 to qualify, but that will mean they need to steal points from the favorites and not give out any easily. But of course their odds of 10.00 on winning the group are too long to become a reality, but might provide a nice payday for the true believers.
This is the first time Maribor have reached Champions League group stage, previously failing to go higher than qualification rounds or play-offs. Naturally, debutants will try and show the world that the do deserve to play among the top teams. But considering Group G opposition, all they can hope for are some points here and there.
Bet365 are also having a hard time believing in Maribor prospects, with a very long line of 21.00 on them qualifying from any of the two available spots. The 67.00 odds on Maribor winning Group G speak for themselves, meaning there’s a tiny chance of this event happening.
Betting on the first matches in Group G
Chelsea and Schalke will go at each other throats in the very first game of Group G on Wednesday, September 17. This fixture will shed more light on what to expect in the group should any of the teams grab all three points right at the start. Bet365 believe that home turf advantage will be more than enough for the Blues to win it with 1.40 odds, while the visitors stand little chance with a huge line of 7.00, and the draw is also unlikely with 4.75 odds.
No surprise that the 1-0 and 2-0 wins for Chelsea are considered to be the most probable ones, each paying at 6.50. 3-0 success got the same odds as a 1-1 draw – 9.00, while even the 4-0 beating is also possible at 17.00. Should Schalke prove everyone wrong and win it with 1-0, their punters can collect winnings at 17.00, but 2-0 win for them is even less likely at 41.00 odds.
The other game in this group also bears lots of importance, Maribor is hosting Sporting and should they lose the game they will virtually have no chance of qualifying from then on. According to Bet365, the home crowd will not help Maribor as they get long odds of 4.75, and Sporting receive favorable odds of 1.83, while the draw stands at 3.25.
1-1 draw is, however, quite probable and will pay at 6.00, same line goes for Sporting’s 1-0 success. Their 2-0 win is also highly on the cards with 8.00 odds, while 3-0 win is less likely with 17.00 odds. The line of 10.00 for Maribor’s 1-0 success tells the story that such event is unlikely, but the huge 21.00 line for their 2-0 win means that the bookies are not even considering Maribor can make it.