CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Our football tipster The Ultra previews Wednesday’s games between MANCHESTER UNITED v VILLARREAL and JUVENTUS v CHELSEA both with extended match stats and a recommended BETDAQ bet.


8pm We have another excellent night of Champions League football on Wednesday on BETDAQ Betting Exchange! We start with a repeat of the Europa League Final as Manchester United host Villarreal. I think we all know by now the Ronaldo hype has died down for Manchester United after they have come crashing back down to earth in recent weeks. First they lost to Young Boys and that has massively put them on the back foot in the Champions League and then they lost to Aston Villa here at the weekend. I don’t think anyone believed they would lift the title this season, but it been a big slap of reality. We had a pretty even Europa League Final between these two, we also had a remarkable penalty shootout which finished 11-10 to Villarreal, and we should have a reasonably close game here.

United come into this tie having lost three of their four games if you include the League Cup where they didn’t play their first XI. I feel the 1.52 is simply too short on them here, and I’m happy to lay them at the odds. I fully expect a closer game than the odds suggest, and while I take on board United have the better squad and should outclass this Villarreal side – Villarreal have been tough to beat this season. They grinded out a 0-0 draw away to Real Madrid at the weekend and they have started the season stronger than United. Villarreal have recorded a host of draws this season already and that has definitely put them on the backfoot in La Liga, but the 1.53 on United stands out as being too short here – this will be a tough test for United and they can easily come up short.

The Ultra Says:
Two points lay (liability) Manchester United to beat Villarreal at 1.53 with BETDAQ Exchange.

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● The five meetings in European competition between Manchester United and Villarreal have all ended in draws, with four of them goalless, except for last season’s UEFA Europa League final (1-1), which the Spaniards won 11-10 on penalties.
● The four UEFA Champions League clashes between Manchester United and Villarreal have all finished 0-0, making it the most played fixture in the history of the competition to see no goals scored.
● Manchester United are winless in their last seven games against Spanish teams in the UEFA Champions League (D3 L4), with their last such victory coming against Real Sociedad back in October 2013 (1-0).
● There have been 22 instances of a manager taking charge of 10+ games of a single English club in UEFA Champions League history – Ole Gunnar Solskjær at Manchester United is the only manager to lose more than 50% of his games in charge (64% – lost seven of 11 games).
● Villarreal are unbeaten in their last 16 major UEFA European games (W12 D4) across the Europa League and Champions League, the longest current run of any side. The only Spanish team to have a longer run of unbeaten games in UEFA European history is Espanyol between September 2006 and November 2019 (20 in a row).
● Manchester United lost on MD1 of this season’s UEFA Champions League against Young Boys – they have never lost their opening two matches of a major European campaign in their history.
● If he plays in this game, it will be Cristiano Ronaldo’s first UEFA Champions League game at Old Trafford for Manchester United since April 2009 (1-0 v Arsenal). The Portuguese was directly involved in 12 goals in his final 15 home games in his first spell for the Red Devils in the competition, netting seven goals and providing five assists.
● Villarreal’s Arnaut Danjuma came off the bench on MD1 against Atalanta to score his second UEFA Champions League goal in three appearances, netting previously in October 2018 for Club Brugge. He is the first Dutchman to score in two of his first three appearances since Theo Janssen in October 2010 – no Dutch player has ever scored in three of their first four appearances.
● Cristiano Ronaldo will break Iker Casillas’ record for UEFA Champions League appearances if he appears in this match, setting a new record of 178 games. However, Ronaldo has never scored against Villarreal in four previous appearances against them in the competition, only facing Lille and Benfica as often without finding the net (also four games against them).
● Villarreal’s Manu Trigueros scored in their 2-2 draw with Atalanta on MD1 on his UEFA Champions League debut – the only two Spaniards to score in their first two appearances in the competition are José Mari for AC Milan in October 2000 and Diego Costa for Atletico Madrid in November 2013.


8pm Next we have an absolute cracker as Juventus host Chelsea. This is what the Champions League is all about! Juventus have been under a lot of pressure at home and they will only sit in mid-table in Serie A when this fixture is being played. They barely managed to get into the Champions League last season as they got into the top four on the final day, but now they have lost the services of Ronaldo. It’s likely Ronaldo wanted to leave, but it seems letting him go has been a very poor decision. They are already ten points away from Napoli at the top of Serie A and with Jose Mourinho now at Roma etc, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Juventus in the Champions League next season. This is an excellent chance for Chelsea; the question is can they take it?

Chelsea have been spoken about as title contenders in the Premier League but they have come up short when playing Liverpool and Man City. I can understand the confidence behind them as they won the Champions League last season, but they conceded an xG of 3.35 against Liverpool and were very lucky to get a draw while they were simply outplayed by Man City at the weekend. xG finished 1.73 to 0.32 to City. You have to say however that Liverpool and Man City would also hammer this Juventus side and it’s clear they have a lot of issues. Looking at their xG figures Juventus have been giving away a host of chances this season, and Chelsea at 2.02 is too tempting to turn down. They should be odds on in my opinion.

The Ultra Says:
Two points win Chelsea to beat Juventus at 2.02 with BETDAQ Exchange.

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● This will be the fifth meeting between Juventus and Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League, with both teams recording one win each in the previous four (D2). Juventus won their most recent meeting in the competition, recording a 3-0 home victory in the group stage in 2012-13.
● Juventus have won 11 of their last 12 UEFA Champions League group stage matches, losing the other 0-2 against Barcelona in October 2020. They’ve kept seven clean sheets and their last three have all ended 3-0, against Dynamo Kyiv, Barcelona and Malmö FF.
● Since the start of last season, Chelsea have only conceded four goals in 14 UEFA Champions League matches (W10 D3 L1), keeping 10 clean sheets and never conceding more than once in a game. All 10 clean sheets have been kept by goalkeeper Édouard Mendy in 13 appearances, the second quickest a goalkeeper has ever reached 10 clean sheets, behind only Keylor Navas (11 games).
● Juventus have won seven European Cup/Champions League matches against the reigning champions, with only Real Madrid ever winning more in history (11). They have won four of their five home games against the holders, though lost most recently in April 2018 against Real Madrid, a 3-0 defeat.
● Chelsea have only lost three of their last 32 UEFA Champions League group stage matches (W20 D9), losing none of their last 12 at the group stage (W8 D4). Manager Thomas Tuchel has a 68% win ratio in the group stage (P25 W17 D5 L3), the third-highest of managers to manage 20+ games in the group stage behind Josef Heynckes (73%) and Pep Guardiola (71%).
● Juventus lost their last UEFA Champions League match against an English team, beaten at home by José Mourinho’s Manchester United during Massimiliano Allegri’s previous spell. Juventus haven’t lost consecutive matches against English opponents in this competition since a run of four games between October 2002 and April 2005, while they have never lost consecutive home matches against English sides.
● Chelsea have lost each of their last four away games against Italian opposition in the UEFA Champions League, with each defeat coming against a different side – Inter in 2009-10, Napoli in 2011-12, Juventus in 2012-13 and Roma in 2017-18.
● Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has kept a clean sheet in both of his home matches against Chelsea in all competitions, both with Arsenal in 2012 and 2013; though, in his other four games against the Blues he conceded 13 goals.
● Álvaro Morata – who scored 24 goals in 72 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions – has scored three goals in four UEFA Champions League appearances against the reigning champions, netting twice against Real Madrid in 2014-15 and once against Liverpool in 2019-20. Only one player has scored against the holders in three different seasons: Didier Drogba in 2004-05 (vs FC Porto) and 2006-07 & 2011-12 (vs Barcelona).
● Romelu Lukaku scored on his UEFA Champions League debut for Chelsea, having also done so for Manchester United, becoming only the second player to score in his first appearance in the competition for two English clubs, after Mario Balotelli for Man City and Liverpool. The only two players to score in their first two Champions League games for Chelsea are Didier Drogba and Michy Batshuayi.