Weblog: The football punter

European belter can live up to top billing

CHELSEA and Manchester City find themselves strictly on the Champions League undercard this week.

Chelsea are at home to Maribor in what should be a bit of a non-event. Chelsea’s thirds could beat Maribor; in fact I’ll go further and suggest a Chelsea team with Didier Drogba  in it could beat Maribor.

As for City, they’re off to Russia for a behind-closed-doors shootout with CSKA Moscow. No fans from either side allowed. It’ll be a soulless, unatmospheric affair at the Arena Khimki - think an Arsenal home game only slightly noisier.

A routine pair of successes for our boys and that leaves us to focus on the European game of the night between Roma and Bayern Munich, the two clubs City fans must be fearing will shoulder charge them into the Europa League.

After years of dining out on being the league with the best perms, moustaches and defenders, Serie A has been in the doldrums for a good decade or more, but there’s definitely signs of a revival with Roma at the forefront.

Both teams like to go for it so both teams will score.

Having picked out that sure thing we can concentrate our fire instead on a packed Football League schedule.

There are loads of classy Championship dust-ups to consider but, rather like Mario Balotelli with the ball at his feet and the goal at his mercy, my sights are set elsewhere. League Two to be precise.

Theres no denying Wycombe are top on merit and I can see them dotting up at Exeter - I bet if Bury or Shrewsbury were visiting St James’s Park they’d be a lot shorter than 6-4 so lump on lads and lasses.

And Morecambe, also going really well, should be 11-10 to beat York so fill your boots.

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Match in Focus

18:00 Th 23Oct ITV4

Lille v Everton

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Both teams have scored in eight of Everton's 11 games this season
Expert verdict
Lille's excellent defensive standards have slipped recently with Ligue 1 defeats to Lyon (3-0) and Guingamp (2-1) so Everton should not fear their trip to northern France. The Toffees ended their recent slump with a fine home win over Aston Villa and Roberto Martinez's men are worth backing to earn a draw.