We had the hustle and bustle of the Premier League at the weekend, now it's time for the champagne football as the Champions League returns to our screens. Celtic, Chelsea, and Manchester United are all in action (and we're TOP PRICE GUARANTEED on all matches featuring a British team) as well as the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Roma, Atletico, Benfica, et al.
We've taken a look through tonight's games and pick a couple that could not only entertain, but may potentially leave us quids in! Check out our preview, below!
Paradise Lost for Rodgers?
Celtic v Paris SG
Celtic start another season in imperious form - domestically, at least! They smashed Hamilton 4-1 last time out and in all honesty, have no peers when it comes to Scottish football. However, they come up against potentially the best attacks in Europe with Mbappe, Cavani, and Neymar surely licking their lips in anticipation of facing a defence with only one recognised centre-half. However, any team coming to Paradise will have to deal with one of the most vociferous sets of fans and atmospheres in Europe. As Messi himself once said: "I’ve been fortunate to play in some great stadiums in Europe with Barcelona but none compare to Celtic. The atmosphere their fans create make it a very special European night of football."
As the world knows, Paris SG have invested heavily this summer he aforementioned Neymar the world's most expensive footballer. They prepared for this match with a 5-1 destruction of Metz on the road, all of their famed attack finding the net. Traditionally they haven't travelled well in the Champions League with four defeats and five wins in their last ten games.
What We Sayin’?
This is a tough game to call, in all actuality. Celtic are an extremely tough proposition at Celtic Park, whilst it remains to be seen what kind of form Paris SG will bring to the table when on the road in the Champions League this term. We can see the Bhoys getting something from this, and eight wins from their last 12 CL games, netting in nine of those gives us confidence. So we'll take BTTS at 5/6, the draw at 11/2, and a cheeky wee wager on a 2-2 scoreline: 20/1.
CHELSEA V QARABAG
Hazard returns to fitness as the Premier League champions meet their Azerbaijan counterparts Qarabag in what many regard as an easy opening round tie for the Blues. Qarabag secured qualification when they overcame FC Copenhagen on the away goals rule, and whilst they are no pushovers (both Celtic and Spurs fans will remember tough Europa league games with them in the recent past) Conte's men should have enough about them not to stumble tonight.
Qarabag arrive without Spanish winger Dani Quintana and they will miss his pace cutting in from the left. Hazard, as mentioned, is fit again now, and whilst he may start on the bench, expect to see the brilliant Belgian at some point during the match.
What We Sayin’?
MAN UNITED V BASEL
A new era has begun at Manchester United, who enter the Champions League under the guidance of the 'Special One' Jose Mourinho, who added the one trophy missing from their collection last year, the Europa League, ensuring the Red Devils gained automatic entry into the group stages of the competition. Jose, who may not be everyone's cup of tea, certainly knows what it takes to win this competition and the wily campaigner is building a squad that could, potentially, go on to equal those of the great Sir Alex Ferguson, with many people believing this could be the year United regain the Premier League title. He added Nemanja Matic, Victor Lindelof, and Romelu Lukaku to the squad during the summer and all three of those signings will expect to feature tonight. Unfortunately, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all out injured, whilst Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are both suspended.
The Swiss champions are no strangers to the Champions League, or Old Trafford, having met United four times before, with a win each. A total of 15 goals have been scored in the four games, with neither side keeping a clean sheet in that run. However, the last time they met was in December 2011, when they beat United 2-1 at home, after drawing 3-3 at United. Since then they recorded their last win back in 2015 and were smashed last time out by both Arsenal and Paris SG. Indeed, three of their last five outings have seen them lose by at least two goals. At least Basel boss Raphaël Wicky can call on a fully fit squad ahead of tonight's games....
What We Sayin’?
Another comfortable win for the hosts. Jose doesn't lose these games - simple. United are free-scoring this season, with three of their last four league games recording a winning margin of +2 goals. United -2 is 6/4. United to win to nil is 5/6, whilst BTTS (n) and United win is 4/5.
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