BILLY BUNTER

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

19:45 TODAY ITV

Chelsea v NK Maribor

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Chelsea have won five of their six home matches this season
Expert verdict
This Stamford Bridge clash appears to be one of the biggest mismatches in this season’s Champions League. Jose Mourinho may even have one eye on Sunday’s trip to Manchester United but whatever starting 11 he selects should be good enough to comfortably overcome the threat of Maribor.