Champions League Group Stages 13th-14th September
The Champions League group stages kick off on Tuesday 13th with a host of highly anticipated fixtures especially Arsenal’s away clash with Paris Saint-Germain, who reached the quarter-final of last season’s competition and have established themselves as a major European force. However, with PSG without their first-choice right-back Serge Aurier for Tuesday’s game potentially giving Arsenal a chance to break through and find the net. This could be anyone’s game despite PSG being heavily favoured at 8/11 – a draw could be a good shout at a more enticing price of 13/5 also with bet365.
On UK turf Manchester City welcome Mönchengladbach to the Ethiad Stadium, Pep Guardiola will be keen to secure a win against the only team he failed to defeat in last seasons Bundesliga with his previous team, Bayern Munich. The game will see the return of a fresh Sergio Aguero after his 3-match domestic suspension making him prime candidate for first goalscorer. City won both home and away in last season’s competition and are therefore naturally favourites to take the win this time too priced at 1/2 with bet365.
Elsewhere, Barlcelona welcome Celtic to Camp Nou where they previously experienced their joint biggest European defeat as they lost 6-1 to Barcelona back in the 2013 group stages. Celtic have made a strong start to their domestic campaign with both Scott Sinclar and James Forrest regularly on the score sheet either of these on the break could prove to be a threat to the Spanish team. Having said this, Barcelona took a comfortable 3-1 win in a pre-season friendly just 2 months ago therefore a home win would be most likely here and is currently priced at 1/12 with bet365.
Wednesday sees defending champions Real Madrid take on Sporting FC at home. With the improved form of Sporting Lisbon since Jorge Jesus took charge as coach last season the Españoles could be in for a challenging opening. Cristiano Ronaldo should return from injury to play against his former side, where he spent 6 years, which immediately adds extra pressure to Sporting’s defence. The two teams last met in 2000 as part of the 2000-01 Champions League where Madrid recovered from a 2-0 half time deficit to draw 2-2 in Lisbon. The Spanish team will be hoping to avoid a repeat in history and realistically its unlikely to see anything other than a home win and are therefore favourites to take a win at 2/9 with bet365.
Leicester start their Group G campaign in Belgium as they take on Club Brugge after their fairy-tale 2015/16 domestic campaign. Robert Huth and Wes Morgan will no doubt be tested by centre-forward Abdoulay Diaby, a clean sheet could be unlikely but their well-known organisation they shouldn’t concede too many chances. Between Vardy and Mahrez it’s likely the foxes will find an opportunity to score here and as a result just make it as favourites to take the win with a price of 29/20 at bet365.
Back in the UK Tottenham face Monaco who have won all 3 of their first Ligue 1 games, offering a tough challenge for the London team who have only managed to secure one win and two draws in the start of their domestic campaign. Spurs did however secure a 4-1 victory the last time the two teams met at White Hart Lane and there’s no reason why they can’t do this again and are currently 4/6 to take the home win.
As always, bet365’s Euro Soccer Bonus will be available for your Champions League acca potentially earning you up to an additional 100% on your winnings.
*Prices correct as of 14.00 GMT 09/09/16