Champions League Round-Up: 18/09/2018

Champions League Round-Up: 18/09/2018

Barcelona vs PSV

The opening round of Champions League group fixtures sees the meeting of two teams that are looking to defend their 100% starts to their respective domestic campaigns. Barcelona have made a terrific start in La Liga, winning each of their first four games, scoring a total of 14 goals during that time. However, they run into a PSV side who have been in electrifying form thus far, currently sitting top of the Eredivisie table with 15 points and a +18 goal difference, after netting 13 goals in their last two league outings. As such, we are expecting goals in this contest between two sides who like to get forward and attack. With Barcelona winning 24 of their last 26 home games in the Champions League – drawing the other two – we are expecting them to come out on top in this contest.

Recommended bet: Barcelona win and both teams to score at 5/4 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Inter Milan vs Tottenham

Two teams plagued by poor form in recent weeks meet at the San Siro on Tuesday evening, with Inter Milan’s return to the competition for the first time since 2011/12 being marked with a fixture against Tottenham. These two sides previously met in the 2009/10 group stages, with each taking a win apiece from their two fixtures but neither will be particularly confident heading into this one. Inter have won just one of their first four Serie A matches and their misery was further compounded when they lost 1-0 at home to Parma last time out. Meanwhile, Tottenham come into the contest off the back of successive defeats in the Premier League to Watford and Liverpool and there are fears that Mauricio Pochettino’s team are currently suffering from burn out. However, Spurs were unbeaten away from home in the Champions League last season, securing two wins and also earned two impressive draws, holding both Real Madrid and Juventus in their own backyard. As such, we expect Spurs to get a result on Tuesday night.

Recommended bet: Tottenham draw no bet at 4/5 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Club Brugge vs Borussia Dortmund

Club Brugge have made a storming start to life in the Belgian First Division, currently sitting top of the table with 19 points from their first seven games. After missing out on the competition altogether last year, Brugge are now back amongst Europe’s elite following their title win last term. However, the Belgian side haven’t fared well in this competition, losing nine of their last 10 matches in it and have failed to score in three of their last five games at home. As such, it seems as if Dortmund could be especially difficult opponents for them on Tuesday night, with Lucien Favre’s team getting off to a solid start in the Bundesliga this year. They currently sit second after earning two wins and a draw from their first three matches and have looked much-improved from last year early on in this season. Dortmund have had their fair share of struggles on the road in Europe in recent years, taking just one point from their three away group games last year, but the differential in quality on both sides should suit the visitors.

Recommended bet: Borussia Dortmund win and over 2.5 goals at 6/4 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Galatasaray vs Lokomotiv Moscow

Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Moscow meet in what is arguably the most wide open group in the Champions League, with the two clubs also being drawn alongside Porto and Schalke, meaning it is open for anybody to run away with. Galatasaray have started their domestic season with four wins from five games and have something of a point to prove in the Champions League, particularly at home. The Turkish side have won just one of their last seven home matches in the competition, but are almost always a threat, having failed to score only twice in their previous 14 games there. Meanwhile, Lokomotiv Moscow will feature in the group stages for the first time since the 2003/04 campaign, but their current form suggests it could well be an uphill struggle for them. They are currently 10th in the Russian Premier League table and come into this game without a win in two. After such a lengthy absence from the competition, Gala should be favourites here and we expect them to start with three points.

Recommended bet: Galatasaray win at 19/20 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Monaco vs Atletico Madrid

Both Monaco and Atletico Madrid have enjoyed successful runs in this competition through recent seasons and will be hoping to replicate former glories this time around. However, Monaco look a long way off doing so following a turbulent start to their Ligue 1 campaign, which currently sees them sat 15th in the table with just five points. Without a win since the opening day, they will need the likes of Radamel Falcao – who has two goals in four appearances this term – to step up against his former club. Monaco were eliminated from the Champions League with a whimper last term, failing to win any of their six group matches with four defeats and two draws and must be fearing the worst heading into this clash. However, Atletico have hardly hit the ground running themselves and will hope to end a two-game winless run. Diego Simeone’s team have struggled in front of goal so far this term, finding the back of the net just three times in La Liga, with striker Diego Costa still yet to get off the mark for the campaign. This should be a cagey affair between two sides that haven’t started well this term, but Atletico should have the edge.

Recommended bet: Atletico Madrid to win to nil at 13/8 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Red Star Belgrade vs Napoli

Whilst being the undoubted underdogs in this clash, Red Star Belgrade will be in a confident mood as they approach this fixture, after making a 100% start to life in the Serbian top flight. After overcoming four qualifying rounds, the club are now finally back in the competition proper and will feel as if they have the players that can hurt their forward-thinking opponents. In attack, Milan Pavkov and El Fardou Ben Nabouhane have combined to score six goals and the club have faced defeat in only two of their previous 17 home Champions League matches. That said, seldom have they faced a team with the threat and quality of Napoli, who have been in good form under Carlo Ancelotti, a 3-0 defeat to Sampdoria aside, winning three of their opening four Serie A games. The Naples outfit are amongst one of the most dangerous in Europe and are expected to be competing with both Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain for a place in the knockout stages within this group. Napoli did lose all three of their away group games 2-1 last year, but should have too much quality for their Serbian counterparts in this meeting.

Recommended bet: Dries Mertens to score first at 13/5 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Schalke vs Porto

Schalke could hardly be in more catastrophic form coming into their first game back in the Champions League since 2015, currently finding themselves sat bottom of the Bundesliga table with no points after three matches. They are only one of two teams in the league to have lost each of their first three games, albeit against sides you would expect to be competitive in Wolfsburg, Hertha Berlin and Borussia Monchengladbach. Fundamental to their second-placed finish last year was the team’s home form and they have lost only three of their previous 25 Bundesliga games at the Veltins Arena – form they will want to get back to here. Meanwhile, Porto sit fourth in their domestic league after a start of three wins in four games. The Portuguese giants are regulars in this competition and will feel at home in their Champions League surroundings, though they aren’t known as being particularly good travellers in the competition, failing to win any of their last three road matches. As poor as Schalke have been, the return of European football should inspire the team to lift their performance levels, but we don’t anticipate them taking three points against a solid Porto side.

Recommended bet: 1-1 draw at 5/1 with Bet365 – BET HERE