Champions League Preview: Road to Wembley begins!

The Champions League group-stage gets underway this week, as the long road to the final begins. There has been much talk of the dreaded ‘group of death’, with Ajax, Dortmund, Manchester City and Real Madrid all paired together in Group D. In addition, there are several other big clashes to look forward to.

Tuesday night’s stand-out game takes place at the Bernabeu, as Spanish champions Real Madrid host Premier League title holders Manchester City. The draw hasn’t been kind to Roberto Mancini’s men for two years running, but he will be hopeful of taking advantage of Madrid’s recent poor form. Nevertheless, Jose Mourinho’s side are favourites at 1.65 to start their campaign with a win.

It’s an immediate return to his former club for struggling Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, as the Gunners’ travel to France to take on Montpellier. Following their 6-1 thumping of Southampton on Saturday, spirits will be high in Arsene Wenger’s squad while the reigning French champions have started the season badly. At 2.20, can Arsenal come away with a win? Will Giroud finally break his duck? The Frenchman is at 2.30 to get on the score-sheet at any time.

Elsewhere, there is a return to Europe’s top table for big-spending PSG. The French capital club have relied heavily on the goals of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Ligue 1 thus far, and the Swede will be hoping to add to his tally with his side at 1.60 to grab all three points at home against Dynamo Kiev.

It hasn’t been a great start to the season for Italian giants Milan either, who have fallen to consecutive home defeats in Serie A for the first time since 1930. Massimiliano Allegri is coming under increasing pressure to produce, and he will be desperate to get off to a positive start against Anderlecht with the Rossoneri at 1.50 to win.

 

On Wednesday night, Italian champions Juventus travel to Stamford Bridge to take on reigning European kings Chelsea. The Bianconeri warmed up with a 3-1 win at Genoa, while the Blues’ were held by QPR. It promises to be a tight encounter, with the draw at 3.20 worth a look.

It was a Champions League campaign to forget for Manchester United as they crashed out at this stage last season, so the Red Devils’ will be looking to make amends this year. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side get started with a home clash against Turkish champions Galatasaray, with Robin Van Persie at 3.50 to start the scoring and United at 1.25 to secure maximum points.

Barcelona are also in action on Wednesday, as they welcome Spartak Moscow to the Nou Camp. It has been an almost perfect start for new boss Tito Vilanova, and the Catalans are undoubtedly favourites to win, with a 3-0 win at 6.00. However, it is another Spanish side who are likely to play their part in a fascinating game. Valencia travel to Germany to take on Bayern Munich, with the La Liga side hoping to pull off a shock but it is Bayern, at 1.42, who start as the favourites.

Elsewhere, despite the loss of Axel Witsel and Javi Garcia, Benfica will be confident of returning to Portugal with something to show for their efforts from their trip to face Celtic. The Portuguese giants are at 2.00 to come away with all three points.

 

Check out all the latest odds for the Champions League, see our Betslip below for our pick of the fixtures, and make sure you follow us on Twitter (@BetclicUK) for all our latest coverage.

17/09/2012 - posted by
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