Klopp undecided over Coutinho

Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho remains a major doubt for Liverpool's Champions League clash with Maribor at Anfield on Wednesday evening.

Coutinho sat out the 3-0 Premier League win over Huddersfield Town at the weekend due to a hip injury and seems unlikely to be ready for the midweek action at Anfield.

Reds head coach Jurgen Klopp is not expected to take any risks, especially with his side having routed Maribor 7-0 in Slovenia two weeks ago.

The German told reporters at his pre-match press conference: "To be honest, it doesn't look like (he will be ready), but yesterday he was on the pitch running. Everything looks good, but not sure, we'll see.

"We didn't speak about him so far. If he is ready, he is playing. If not, not."

Liverpool are 1/25 to defeat Maribor and are 11/2 to claim a 3-0 victory on Merseyside, with Daniel Sturridge priced at 3/1 to score the first goal of the game.

Meanwhile, Klopp also gave promising updates about Sadio Mane (hamstring) and Adam Lallana, with the latter having yet to feature this season because of a thigh injury.

He told the club's official website: "Both are looking good. Sadio had kind of a clearing session before he comes back to training. We have to see how he will react.

"Adam will be part of team training during the international break and then we need to see.

"That means both of them are obviously on a good way, but their way is not good enough to involve them tomorrow or at the weekend against West Ham."

View all Soccer betting

City hailed as ‘best team in Europe’

Napoli head coach Maurizio Sarri has described Manchester City as the 'best team in Europe' ahead of their Champions League meeting in the San Paolo.

The home side will be under pressure to try and gain a positive result in Naples, having lost two of their opening three games in Group F, with the Citizens sitting pretty at the top of the pool with nine points out of nine.

And Sarri, who saw his side beaten 2-1 by the citizens at the Etihad Stadium two weeks ago, is in doubt about the quality of the opposition come Wednesday evening.

He told the Italian media: "Are they unbeatable? No, because no-one is, but they are the best team in Europe, trained by the best coach in Europe."

"What I like about (Pep) Guardiola's game is the way they construct the play, coming out from the back with a unique speed and great movement, which they did against us too.

"We need to try to drag them into deep water, they are often 2-0 up after half an hour. We need to keep it in the balance, because they are not used to that.

"We have to get into the game right away, we can create chances but we'll need to play an extraordinary defensive match.

"The match will definitely be the same as the first in terms of approach, Guardiola's team won't play a different style and we can't."

Napoli, whose only two defeats this season have come in Europe, are 9/5 to secure victory on home turf on Wednesday, with the draw available at 14/5, while Dries Mertens is 8/11 to score at any time against City.

View all Soccer betting

Pochettino positive about Kane

Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful that Harry Kane will be passed fit to feature against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

The England striker was forced to sit out the 1-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester United at the weekend due to a hamstring strain, but Kane has returned to training ahead of the action at Wembley.

However, Pochettino has yet to make a final decision on his star frontman, who has already scored five times in the Champions League this season.

He told reporters: "We are really confident (he will play). Maybe it's possible, but I don't want to say 100 per cent as we have one more day. Yesterday and today was good though.

"We can definitely (beat Real), even if he's out. That's our intention with or without Harry Kane when we go out on to the pitch.

"For me Harry is one of the best No.9s in the world, if not the best, I wouldn't swap him for anybody."

Tottenham earned a 1-1 draw with the reigning European champions in the Bernabeu a fortnight ago, with both teams having claimed seven points from three games to put themselves well on course for the knockout stages of the competition.

And Pochettino is adamant that his side need to concentrate on what they do on Wednesday and not worry about their star-studded rivals, who will still be without former Spurs ace Gareth Bale.

He added: "We must play free and enjoy the game. If you show fear it is difficult to show your quality. We need to be focused on us not them."

Tottenham are 11/5 to claim victory at Wembley, with a 2-2 draw priced at 9/1, while Kane can be backed at 8/11 to score at any time.

View all Soccer betting

Home form concerns Jokanovic

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has called for his mid-table side to improve their home form ahead of an intriguing clash against Bristol City.

The Cottagers were held to a 1-1 draw by rock-bottom Bolton Wanderers at the weekend and are 13th in the Championship table.

Fulham were indebted to a last-gasp Tom Cairney goal to salvage a point from Saturday's match after Sammy Ameobi had fired the Trotters into the lead.

Jokanovic's side had been expected to challenge for promotion this season after ending last term superbly and reaching the play-offs.

However, it has been an under-whelming campaign so far for Jokanovic's team, who are 4/1 to be promoted this season and 21/20 to beat the Robins ion Tuesday.

Jokanovic said: "We must show a reaction to the Bolton game. We were not at a good enough level. After Bolton we have an obligation to raise our level to the best it can be.

"It is normal to be disappointed when you do not beat the bottom team in the division. You expect to win those types of games. We have not had good enough results at home, especially with what people have expected from us."

Rabiot pleased with Mbappe’s form

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot is pleased with the way Kylian Mbappe has settled into life with the Ligue 1 leaders.

The 18-year-old joined PSG from Monaco in August on an initial loan deal, which is set to be made permanent at the end of this season for a reported fee of €180million, and has helped Unai Emery's side win nine and draw two of their first 11 Ligue 1 games.

Mbappe has already scored four goals in all competitions for PSG this season and is 2/5 to net at any time on Tuesday when PSG take on Anderlecht in the Champions League.

"Kylian is doing just fine," said Rabiot. "During the training sessions he is good and fit, [but] I don't know what happens in his head.

"There have been a lot of changes since he arrived, both on the pitch and in the media, and he is so young. It could be difficult [for someone to cope with].

"But I think he is fine. He looks happy and if he is less good, it's only physically."

PSG, 4/1 to win the Champions League outright, can be backed at 12/1 to beat Anderlecht 3-1.

Could Euro Football Games Cause More Misery for Toffees?

Manager-less Everton take a trip to France on Thursday, and I doubt many Toffees fans are relishing the prospect despite Lyon being a lovely place.

Since dumping Coach Ronald Koeman, Everton have lost two more matches. Sports betting fans are beginning to look a little more closely at the odds of relegation, recently unthinkable on Merseyside. So a win in the Europa Cup would be a huge tonic for Everton and caretaker manager David Unsworth, who has designs on the job.

Things don’t look good with betting odds of 4.80 to win or even 3.95 to get a draw. Lyon sit third in Ligue 1 and have four consecutive wins to (almost) match Everton’s four consecutive defeats!

In the other Group E match, leaders Atalanta visit Apollon Limassol.

There’s a cracking game in Group D where leaders Milan head to Athens to face second-placed AEK. Vincenzo Montella’s men have stuttered a little in the league, but Andre Silva, with four Europa goals, has been a constant threat. At 2.15 to win, Milan are favourites, with the hosts at 2.95 and 3.15 the draw.

Lazio can take a stranglehold on Group K with a win, at odds of 1.56, over second-placed Nice. The draw is at 3.80, and an away win at 4.60 would draw Nice level with Lazio on nine points. But Lazio won seven on the bounce while Nice lost five!

Elsewhere, Arsenal can make it four wins from four at home to Crvena Zvezda in Group H; there’s a top-two clash in Group A where Slavia Prague hosts Villarreal, both on five points.

Click for more football betting options.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

Bet NOW!

Vitoria: Svilar has a rosy future

Benfica boss Rui Vitoria believes teenage goalkeeper Mile Svilar has learned from the mistake he made a fortnight ago in the Champions League defeat to Manchester United.

The 18-year-old carried Marcus Rashford's free-kick over the line as Jose Mourinho's side edged to an unconvincing 1-0 win in Lisbon.

The two teams meet again at Old Trafford on Tuesday with Benfica available at 11/2 keep a clean sheet in the match and 10/1 to draw the encounter 0-0.

Vitoria said: "Svilar had a trial by fire – it was his first game in the Champions League. He's only 18, a very young age.

"But we only talk about him being 18 because his identification card says that. He shows maturity above his actual age.

"We are calm. Mistakes can happen to any player, whether young or older, but when we have maturity and quality we can face any situation and go into games with great conviction.

"He knows that to have a rosy future he will have to pass through these kinds of doors. He will play his part and he will be ready."

Benfica are third in the Primeira Liga after ten rounds of games, five points behind leaders Porto, but have endured a wretched start to their Champions League campaign and have lost all three of their group games to date. They are available at 4/1 to win the Primeira Liga title this term.

Champions League: Manchester United Top 12/1 Accumulator

Who is ready for match day four of the 2017/18 Champions League campaign? Manchester United, fresh from their 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday afternoon, lead my accumulator this time around.

Jose Mourinho’s men have won three out of three so far in Europe’s elite club competition and another win looks likely here. Check out my views on the action below…

 

Celtic vs BAYERN MUNICH

Celtic remain the dominant force in Scottish football but they aren’t as solid as they were in the previous campaign.

Brendan Rodgers’ men are still unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership but the Champions League is much tougher and home advantage isn’t what it used to be. A difficult fixture awaits for Celtic here and a positive result looks unlikely.

Bayern are a class above and a comfortable evening could be on the cards if Bayern take the lead. In years gone by, Celtic Park has been somewhat of a fortress on European nights but neutrals will recall their 5-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this season.

The Bavarians should have a fairly straightforward night if they play at their brilliant best.

TIP: Bayern Munich to win @ 1/3

 

MANCHESTER UNITED vs Benfica

The Red Devils were lucky to come away with a win in the away leg earlier this month as the young Benfica goalkeeper made a crucial mistake to gift the English giants victory.

This time around, United should have no trouble dispatching the Portuguese outfit. I’m expecting the hosts to come out firing and an early goal could settle a few nerves in the crowd.

via GIPHY

Benfica were THE force in Portuguese football last term but they have tended to struggle on the big stage this season. Trailing FC Porto by five points in the race for the domestic title, it may be wise for Benfica to harness their attention on Primeira Liga.

Reaching the next round of the Champions League is almost out of reach and this will be their toughest test yet.

TIP: Manchester United to win the first half @ 4/5

 

BORUSSIA DORTMUND vs APOEL Nicosia

The German giants have struggled to inspire confidence in their group stage fixtures so far but victory over APOEL Nicosia here will boost their stock to qualify ahead of Tottenham or Real Madrid.

Peter Bosz’s men are building momentum at Signal Iduna Park and this one could get ugly for the European minnows if Dortmund go for the jugular.

As expected, APOEL have been the whipping boys in Group H so far this season. The Cyprus-based outfit have scored just one goal in three Champions League fixtures and it would take a brave man to back against another thrashing here.

888Sport are currently priced at 11/25 for Dortmund to score three or more goals and that looks like the best bet.

TIP: Borussia Dortmund to score over 2.5 goals @ 11/25

 

Napoli vs MANCHESTER CITY

Napoli will be quietly confident of finishing above Juventus in Serie A this season and plenty of punters will fancy the Italian giants to prevail on home soil.

The English outfit edged the first contest 2-1 and Napoli may be about to get their own back. It is a difficult contest to call and an opening goal for the hosts could set the tone for the evening.

The Manchester City juggernaut continues to roll on – and another win for Pep Guardiola’s side looks likely here. They won’t necessarily keep a clean sheet but City are solid value for money at 13/5 to win with both teams scoring.

It is hard to put too much faith in the Blues defence right now but this City side has goals in it and a high-scoring contest looks likely.

TIP: Manchester City to win and both teams to score @ 13/5

 

*Odds subject to change – accurate at the time of writing…*

Bet NOW!

Content Morata eyes long stay

Alvaro Morata has made it clear that he sees his long-term future as being at Chelsea even though he was quoted as saying he did not like living in London as it was too stressful.

The 25-year-old Spaniard said he had had difficulties in adapting to the "stress" of England's capital but has moved quickly to clarify his comments.

Morata moved to the Blues from Real Madrid in the summer on a five-year contract and has scored seven goals for Antonio Comte's side already this term, including a ah-trick in the 4-0 victory at Stoke City in September.

However, he has failed to score in his last five appearances and missed several presentable opportunities in the 1-0 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday, a result that left Chelsea at 4/9 to finish in the top four this season.

Morata said: "I'm happy with this club, in this city, with everything in London. I really like London and, probably, if I make good and improve, I can stay here more than five years.

"If Chelsea proposed me ten years I'd probably sign that too. But I need to score many goals otherwise Chelsea will buy another player. It's normal.

"I want to say, probably in the future when I finish in my career, I won't live in London. For me, I prefer the place I was born. But now I'm very happy.

"When I say it's a stressful city, I'm only talking about the traffic and that there are a lot of people. But it's an incredible city with many religions and many kinds of different people, so I really enjoy London."

Chelsea face Roma in the Champions League at Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday, a fortnight after they drew 3-3 with the Serie A side at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are available at 7/4 to beat Roma with Morata 11/10 to score at any time in the match.

Dyche won’t get carried away

Sean Dyche is happy to concentrate on one game at a time after guiding his Burnley side to seventh in the table after ten games of the campaign.

Dyche, who continues to be linked with the managerial vacancy at Everton, saw his team record their fourth win of the season on Monday when Jeff Hendrick tapped home Johann Berg Gudmundsson's fine cross to seal a 1-0 victory against Newcastle United.

The result leaves the Clarets eight points clear of the bottom three and they can be backed at 9/2 to be relegated this term and at 11/2 to beat Southampton at St Mary's on Saturday.

Dyche said: "We just keep getting on with it. That's my focus and my team's focus.

"We take each game as it comes and we work on that, moving forward again. We keep that clarity of thought and I keep that clarity of thought myself.

"The ball for the goal from Johann is a fantastic cross and there was a great press to start the moment for the goal. There were a lot of good signs there."

Burnley are 15/2 to win to nil against Saints this weekend while Ashley Barnes is 5/1 to score ar any time in the mid-table encounter.