Europe's premier club competition is back and there are eight matches taking place tonight on matchday 1 of the group stages.
Let's get right into our picks on betPawa. Use our booking code D711E89 which auto-fills your slip.
💫 Sheriff vs Shakhtar
Sheriff Tiraspol will make history in this game as they’ll become the first Moldovan team to feature in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. Sheriff hasn't lost a competitive match since July and they've kept clean sheets in each of their last five, so they'll be no pushovers for Donetsk. Shakhtar avoided defeat against Inter and Real Madrid in a sequence that saw them lose just two of their last ten UCL matches.
💶 TIP: Shakhtar win & BTTS
💫 Beşiktaş vs Dortmund
Turkish champs Beşiktaş make their long-awaited return to the Champions League with their first appearance since 2017-18. Dortmund arrives in Istanbul on the back of a thrilling 4-3 win on the road against Bayer Leverkusen. They've won three of their four Bundesliga matches this season, all whilst scoring three or more times. In fact, Dortmund has now scored more than three goals in nine of their last 11 fixtures overall. Erling Haaland bagged 14 goals in 10 UCL appearances last term. There should be goals here.
💶 TIP: Dortmund win & both teams to score
💫 Inter vs Real Madrid
Inter and Real Madrid meet again in the Champions League after doing battle in the group stages in the 2019-20 season. Real Madrid won both of those meetings and they'll head into this encounter as slight favourites again. The Nerazzurri has to settle for a 2-2 draw at Sampdoria over the weekend but they've still made a fine start to their Serie A title defence with two wins and a draw from their opening three encounters. Los Blancos beat Celta Vigo 5-2 on Sunday after trailing twice. This is a genuine glamour tie on matchday 1 and it shouldn't disappoint.
💶 TIP: Both teams to score
💫 Sporting vs Ajax
Former Portugal midfielder Rúben Amorim has already set the Primeira Liga record for consecutive unbeaten games with Sporting (32), and despite nearing his 60th match in charge he still has a win-rate of over 70% across all competitions. Sporting will need Amorim to keep that up, considering that they've advanced from just one of the eight group stages they've contended in their history. His opposite number is Erik ten Hag, a highly coveted manager who’s restored Ajax as a dominant force in the Eredivisie and guided them to the semi-finals of the 2018-19 UCL. Pedro Gonçalves could return to the Sporting squad here, the highly-rated midfielder was the 2020-21 Primeira Liga top-scorer with 23 goals. Ajax playmaker Dusan Tadic has been simply superb for Ajax - the Serb has 78 goals and 71 assists from 154 competitive matches since joining the Amsterdam giants. Sporting hasn't lost at home since October 2020.
💶 TIP: Draw
💫 Liverpool vs Milan
European club football royalty comes toe-to-toe here with six-time winners Liverpool against seven-time victors AC Milan. Surprisingly, this is the first European H2H excluding finals, but memories of Istanbul will flood back for Liverpool fans, while Milan supporters will cherish the memories of their revengeful 2-1 win two years later in Greece. Liverpool’s resurgence as a European contender has been felt strongly. Since the start of the 2017-18 season, only Bayern Munich (32 & 115) and Man City (30 & 96) have won more games and scored more goals than Liverpool’s 25 and 95. That was Mo Salah’s first season at the club, and only Robert Lewandowski (35), Cristiano Ronaldo (30), and Lionel Messi (26) have scored more UCL goals than the Egyptian’s 25 since. Both sides are in superb domestic form but form tends to go out the window here, as Milan has won just one of their last 13 matches against English opposition. Under Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool has lost only one UCL group stage home game (W9, D2), while averaging 2.5 goals scored per game in that period. There should be fireworks at Anfield.
💶 TIP: Liverpool win & over 2.5 goals
💫 Atlético Madrid vs Porto
The Rojiblancos have progressed from all but one of their last eight UCL group stages and they enter this match with momentum, unbeaten in LaLiga so far. As the best and third-best defences of their domestic league campaigns in 2020-21, more would have been expected defensively of Atlético and Porto at this point of the season. However, with just three clean sheets between them in all competitions this term, this fixture could produce goals at both ends for just the second time from six UCL H2H meetings since March 2009. The second half has been the highest-scoring half in five of Atlético’s last six competitive fixtures so late action is expected.
💶 TIP: Both teams to score
💫 Club Brugge vs PSG
With PSG winning by two or more goals in five of their last six UCL group stage away wins against sides drawn from pot 4, Club Brugge’s status as this group’s bottom seeds doesn’t bode well. The Parisians have started this season like a house on fire, winning all five Ligue 1 fixtures and averaging 3.20 goals per league fixture. Kylian Mbappé memorably netted a hat-trick beyond the hour mark vs Club Brugge in 2019 and he'll be eager to heap more misery on the Belgians here. PSG has scored 2+ second-half goals in 18 (a 60% majority) of their last 30 UCL wins. Watch out for Champions League debut in PSG colours for the great Leo Messi.
💶 TIP: PSG win & over 3.5 goals
💫 Man City vs RB Leipzig
After winning their last three Premier League games to nil, Man City will now look to carry that impressive form into the UEFA Champions League, where they share Group A with another pre-tournament favourite, PSG. Having lost the final last seas, this is Pep Guardiola's chance to make a strong start before a trip to Paris on matchday 2. Leipzig has lost three of their first four Bundesliga matches this season. Couple that with City's record against German sides at home (W10, D2, L1) in history, and the visitors are up against it here.
💶 TIP: City win to nil
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