Our betting preview for the opening round of UEFA Champions League fixtures.
Wednesday's fixtures look promising on the betting front. Check out our preview below to find out which teams are worth backing.
Wednesday 14 September
Tottenham 13/20 | Draw 26/10 | Monaco 4/1
Group E favourites, Tottenham Hotspur, take on French side, Monaco, at White Hart Lane. Despite being one of England’s lesser sides in the tournament, Spurs have a fairly decent group in which they should make it out of. Monaco got off to a solid start to their French Ligue 1 campaign, beating PSG 3-1, and are on top of the log for now. Tottenham haven’t been convincing so far, drawing two of their three matches played. The Red and Whites did well to earn a spot in this year’s Champions League, beating Villarreal in the playoffs both home and away. However, if you’re expecting a goal fest, you’re in the wrong place. All Spurs’ games so far have produced Under 2.5 Goals. Follow the trend at 15/20.
Bayer Leverkusen 11/20 | Draw 29/10 | CSKA Moscow 52/10
Bayer Leverkusen secured third place in the German Bundesliga, ensuring an automatic spot in the Champions League this season. They have an exciting group of young players, combined with that extra bit of experience to make them a formidable force. Players like Hakan Calhanoglu and Javier Hernandez along with new signings, Aleksandar Dragovic and Julian Baumgartlinger, strengthen the spine of the team. CSKA Moscow finished bottom of their group last year. They lost their star player, Ahmed Musa, to Leicester City without making any top signings. Nicknamed the Horses, CSKA will hope to ride their way to the next round, knowing that they avoided Europe’s bigger names in the group stages. However, a trip to Germany is where they should fall short. Bayer Leverkusen at 6/10 is the tip.
Legia Warsaw 13/2 | Draw 37/10 | Dortmund 4/10
After three rounds of qualification, Legia Warsaw were handed a spot in Group F alongside holders, Real Madrid, and German heavyweights, Borussia Dortmund. The Militarians will know that nothing more than third spot in the group is realistically achievable. Dortmund on the other hand, will look to punch above their weight and take on Madrid head on in the fight for top spot. Thomas Tuchel has done a superb job since taking over from Jurgen Klopp, building a new “Yellow Wall”. BVB have an abundance of young talent at their disposal, including Emre Mor, Julian Weigl, Marc Bartra and Ousmane Dembele. Dortmund to win of the Halftime/Fulltime Double is the tip at 17/20.
Real Madrid 13/2 | Draw 37/10 | Sporting Lisbon 4/10
Making just one signing in the transfer window, Zinedine Zidane clearly feels that his side is not far from perfect. Alvaro Morata was the only new signing for Los Blancos, brought in to give Karim Benzema competition up front, adding to what was already a lethal attack-minded team. No team has ever retained the Champions League, and Madrid will look to make a statement in their opening game. Had Sporting not sold Islam Slimani, I would have considered the Portuguese runners-up to give Madrid a challenge at the Santiago Bernabeu. They managed to keep hold of William Carvalho, but will lack that extra cutting edge up front following the departure of Slimani. Madrid to Win To Nil is tipped at even money.
Club Brugge 2/1 | Draw 22/10 | Leicester 14/10
Club Brugge will be looking to make a name on the big stage after missing out last year, but their headlines will be overshadowed by surprise Premier League winners, Leicester City, in Group G. They’ve lost their best player – Thomas Meunier – to French outfit, PSG. Leicester on the other hand, have strengthened massively after losing N’Golo Kante to Chelsea. They’ve signed Islam Slimani, Ahmed Musa and Nampalys Mendy, managing to keep hold of PFA Player of the Year, Riyad Mahrez and Writers’ Player of the Year, Jamie Vardy, in the process. Back Leicester to claim their first ever victory in the Champions League at 29/20.
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FC Porto 5/10 | Draw 3/1 | Copenhagen 11/2
FC Porto may not be the dominant force they once were, but are a team that you can just never write off. They steamrolled their way past Roma in the playoff round, winning 4-1 on aggregate. Don’t be fooled by the scoreline, though, Porto were far from their best and still have a lot more talent to show. Copenhagen managed to scrape their way past Apoel Nicosia in the playoff round, winning 2-1 on aggregate. However, with home ground advantage, back Porto to start their campaign off with a win.
Juventus 11/20 | Draw 29/10 | Sevilla 52/10
Juventus, who are firm favourites to top Group H, have an excellent squad well worth challenging for Champions League glory. The Bianconeri may have lost Paul Pogba to Manchester United, but they’ve managed to spend that money wisely, most notably on Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic. Juve managed to keep hold of their formidable back three, adding to that, the likes of Mehdi Benatia from Bayern Munich and Dani Alves from Barcelona. Sevilla have also done some neat business in the transfer window, bringing in Samir Nasri, Gabriel Mercado, Luciano Vietto and my personal favourite, Ganso. Jorge Sampaoli will need to get his charges performing at their best if they are to get anything out of Juve. I don’t see it happening, though. Back the Bianconeri at 13/20.
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Lyon 11/20 | Draw 3/1 | Dinamo Zagreb 9/2
Lyon are far from the team that made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League back in 2010. However, they shouldn’t be underestimated. They’ve held on to their star striker, Alexandre Lacazette, who is likely to run away with the Ligue 1 top scorer award, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic no longer in the running following his move to Manchester United. Dinamo Zagreb performed one of the biggest shocks last year in the Champions League, beating Arsenal 2-1. But now, they let go of their brightest talent, Marko Pjaca, and goalkeeper, Eduardo. Personally, I don’t feel that they have a chance in this group. Back Lyon at 5/10.
WEDNESDAY TREBLE @ 5/1
Juventus WIN 13/20
Real Madrid WIN TO NIL 1/1
Dortmund HALFTIME/FULLTIME WIN 17/20
Written by Jesse Nagel @Hollywoodbets