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PREVIEW: It’s Champions League time!

At the risk of becoming awfully repetitive…club football, in all of its glory, is back! The quality of games and the depth of the rivalries have been out of this world. It’s almost as though the universe acknowledges the hardships we’ve had to endure these past few days. Anyway, its Champions League time!

UEFA Champions League

At the risk of becoming awfully repetitive…club football, in all of its glory, is back! The quality of games and the depth of the rivalries have been out of this world. It’s almost as though the universe acknowledges the hardships we’ve had to endure these past few days. Anyway, its Champions League time!

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Tuesday 4 October

1/25 Bayern Munich | Draw 14/1 | Viktoria Plzen 43/1 (18:45)

Much of a muchness really, the visitors are the whipping boys of the group – and rightly so. I guess it’s their German edition on Tuesday night. Of course, Bayern murder them, but surely you throw a humble tenner at the away price of 43/1? 

12/10 Marseille | Draw 49/20 | Sporting 9/4 (18:45)

This should be an interesting game of football. Marseille haven’t really lived up to the hype associated with them whilst Sporting have absolutely ripped up the script. I think Sporting win this and take another leap toward unprecedented environments in Europe!

12/10 Porto | Draw 5/2 | Leverkusen 22/10 (21:00)

A mixed bag of results is the soup of the day for both teams! There isn’t much to separate them and so I’m inclined to think that Porto are deserved favourites – considering they are hosting the game. This is also coupled with the fact that Leverkusen are another team entirely when playing on the road. I’ll have the 12/10 on offer about the home win, care for a slice?

5/2 Club Brugge | Draw 24/10 | Atletico Madrid 11/10 (21:00)

I’m not sure if I’m missing something here, but surely Atletico win this. I know they need to travel and come into the game off of defeats to Real Madrid in La Liga and Leverkusen in the Champions League…but this is a side full of confidence and ability. 11/10 is a gift.

12/10 Ajax | Draw 26/10 | Napoli 21/10 (21:00)

This should be a proper game as well; Napoli are in a good space and are registering impressive results but in Ajax you find a team who just continue to personify the zest of youthfulness.

The Dutch side seem to be able to go through incredible transitionary periods and yet still come out competitive every time. I can’t split these two, so I’ll favour the draw.

5/2 Eintracht Frankfurt | Draw 51/20 | Tottenham 21/20 (21:00)

The battle for second place in Group D comes to head in Germany here. Spurs have been brilliant in their domestic season, but the spotlight remains on Antonio Conte and his seemingly negative experience of Europe…

Frankfurt have been brilliant in Europe and then stutter in their domestic quarters…I mean if it’s down to a mathematical explanation surely this balances out? I’m backing the hosts to get a result, get on the Frankfurt Win/Draw Double at 7/10.

3/1 Inter Milan | Draw 29/10 | Barcelona 17/20 (21:00)

Barcelona can be as bad as they like for parts of a season and yet remain competitive when it matters. Its incredible really. Inter, unfortunately, seem to be on the opposite side of the coin, there was a sense of hope around their chances to find success this season and yet they have stumbled at every hurdle.

Barcelona win this and at 17/20, add it to everything.

2/11 Liverpool | Draw 13/2 | Rangers 12/1 (21:00)

Liverpool haven’t enjoyed the greatest start to their season, but they are a side with incredible ability, talented players, and an accomplished manager. I mean don’t get me wrong, enjoy the banter while it lasts – but it’s only a matter of time before they are back to their roaring bests.

Anfield on Champions League nights is a beast on its own, I’m not sure Rangers has the sinew to stand up to that.

Wednesday 5 October

7/10 Salzburg | Draw 31/10 | Dinamo Zagreb 38/10 (18:45)

I’ve been really impressed with Salzburg to be fair. They are one of those sides who have slipped under the radar again and just sort of floated on by. They are yet to lose in Europe and although they haven’t won – the performances they have been clocking in deserve our attention.

Zagreb made a complacent Chelsea pay for their sins, but I judge Chelsea’s performance more than I credit the visitors with a well-worked win. Get on the 7/10 home win.

11/20 Leipzig | Draw 7/2 | Celtic 44/10 (18:45)

This is likely Leipzig’s best chance at finally getting some points on the board in Europe…Celtic haven’t been horrible in the Scottish Premier League, but they have struggled to replicate those performances in Europe – and yes, granted they have a tricky group.

I think a sneaky play on the 44/10 available on the away win might be the way to navigate this one.

8/10 Chelsea | Draw 28/10 | AC Milan 7/2 (21:00)

The tests just coming for Graham Potter and Chelsea Football Club. Welcoming Milan to the Bridge is never a dull ask, but it’s not as though Milan is back to their glory days.

Irrespective I think the bookmakers have it wrong here, Milan can get something out of this game and given the generous price – back the away side on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 19/20.

3/10 Juventus | Draw 48/10 | Maccabi Haifa 8/1 (21:00)

Juventus need a bit of a boost if they have any hopes of qualifying from this group. They are yet to register any points from their fixtures against Benfica and PSG – but in fairness if you need a bit of confidence adage in Europe, it won’t come much better than a home game against Maccabi Haifa.

Back Juve to win both halves at 33/20.

2/11 Real Madrid | Draw 13/2 | Shakhtar Donetsk 12/1 (21:00)

Real Madrid have continued to look unplayable at times this season. They just continue to grow from strength to strength with each passing season and although Shakhtar have shown they can make a game competitive I just can’t see where it is on the field that the visitors will get a foothold. Back the hosts to win and both teams scoring at 31/20.

19/10 Sevilla | Draw 51/20 | Dortmund 27/20 (21:00)

Tricky game this one, only in that these two teams are so evenly matched. Sevilla have been horrible in Europe, I know that’s a tough statement to make, but their performances just haven’t matched up.

Dortmund is also a bit of an enigma away from home, I think a draw might be the best bet here.

31/10 Benfica | Draw 33/10 | PSG 15/20 (21:00)

Clash of Group H. Benfica have come out of the gates with a clear intention of remaining competitive and challenging for their spot in the next round.

PSG have blown hot and cold at times and then relied on their inherent ability to get through. If the visitors are slightly off the boil here – they live to rue their chances. I’m happy to rather back both teams scoring here at 5/10.

1/14 Manchester City | Draw 11/1 | Copenhagen 28/1 (21:00)

I think Copenhagen could have asked questions of City had they been playing at home. Against Sevilla, the visitors showed they can get stuck in and make a game a little scrappy, they played with simplicity that day and earned a point against the men from Spain.

I maintain that City will have to eventually prioritize a tournament – however the reality is its likely to be this one, and with a squad like theirs I’m not sure their quality will ever be compromised. Back City to score in both halves at 4/10.

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