The Champions League is back this week and European football’s premier competition features 32 outstanding clubs competing for 16 places in the knockout phase.

But first, they must negotiate six tough Group Stage games to earn a place in the top two of their group and those games begin this week across the continent.

You can get great odds on the first round of matches and the tournament itself with Bet365 Sport and remember, if you have not yet signed up with the site, you can use our bet365 bonus code in order to claim your free bet365 credits.

Let’s begin our preview of this week’s games with a look at how the eight groups in the Champions League shape up this season.

Champions League Group Stage Draw

Group A

  • Ajax
  • Liverpool
  • Napoli
  • Rangers

Group B

  • FC Porto
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Bayer Leverkusen
  • Club Brugge

Group C

  • Bayern Munich
  • Barcelona
  • Inter Milan
  • Viktoria Plzen

Group D

  • Eintracht Frankfurt
  • Tottenham Hotspurs
  • Sporting Lisbon
  • Marseille

Group E

  • AC Milan
  • Chelsea
  • Red Bull Salzburg
  • Dinamo Zagreb

Group F

  • Real Madrid
  • Red Bull Leipzig
  • Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Celtic

Group G

  • Manchester City
  • Sevilla
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • FC Copenhagen

Group H

  • Paris St Germain
  • Juventus
  • Benfica
  • Maccabi Haifa

Now we know which teams are in which group, let’s take a look at the key games that will take place on Matchday 1 of the competition this week.

We have given you a quick preview of each game, together with our correct score betting tip for each match up.

Odds were correct with bet365 Sport at time of writing but may change in the run up to the games.

Champions League Matchday 1 Fixtures

Tuesday 6th September (Kick Off 8pm unless stated)

  • Borussia Dortmund v FC Copenhagen (5.45pm)

These two teams have had contrasting form to start the season. Dortmund lie second in the Bundesliga on goal difference, having won four of five games, while Copenhagen have played eight and lost four of those (winning the others). Dortmund’s consistency and big home advantage allied with their quality in the squad should see them land the win relatively comfortably here.

Correct Score Bet – Borussia Dortmund 2-0 FC Copenhagen – 7/1

  • Dinamo Zagreb v Chelsea (5.45pm)

Dinamo Zagreb have picked up 22 out of 24 points in the Croatian League this season and have opened up an eight point gap on their nearest opponents, whereas Chelsea lie 6th in the Premier League and have only won once on the road this season (at Everton). That said, I think while this will be a tough game, I am backing the English side to take a narrow win in this one.

Correct Score Bet – Dinamo Zagreb 1-2 Chelsea – 15/2

  • Benfica v Maccabi Haifa

Both these teams have made 100% starts to their respective domestic league season, Maccabi winning their opening three games, Benfica their opening five, but it is the Portuguese side that will be the hot favourites to land the win here. They need a good win as with PSG and Juventus in this group too, qualifying will not be easy, so expect the home side to try and go for goals.

Correct Score Bet – Benfica 3-0 Maccabi Haifa – 13/2

  • Celtic v Real Madrid

Celtic have had some memorable nights at Celtic Park in past times, a win over Barcelona perhaps their most famous, but they face a stern test against a Real side who are holders of this trophy. The Spanish side have had a solid start to their domestic season and they have so much quality that I would expect them to end up winners on the night by a couple of goals.

Correct Score Bet – Celtic 0-2 Real Madrid – 7/1

  • FC Salzburg v AC Milan

In recent years, Salzburg have been one of the more unusually strong teams in European competition, giving some big name teams tough games at times. I can’t see them being strong enough to beat AC Milan, even at home, but I do feel they will score a goal or two. The only problem is I see Milan being able to match that and as such, I think a higher scoring draw is the best bet here.

Correct Score Bet – FC Salzburg 2-2 AC Milan – 11/1

  • Paris St Germain v Juventus

What a cracking game to open up Group H this is as two of European football’s top teams clash in Paris. PSG will be desperate to land this trophy after many near misses in recent times and I think in Messi, Mbappe and Neymar, they have three men that can do that starting with a statement win over a Juventus side that I feel is not the match of some of the stronger Juve sides of recent times.

Correct Score Bet – Paris St Germain 3-1 Juventus – 10/1

  • Red Bull Leipzig v Shakhtar Donetsk

It is incredible that Shakhtar Donetsk are playing in Europe this season at all given the conflict in Ukraine over the last six months and despite the Ukraine league resuming, I can’t see Donetsk being ready for this game. Leipzig’s form isn’t great which may give the Ukrainian side a fighting chance but I think the German team will do just enough to claim the win here.

Correct Score Bet – Red Bull Leipzig 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk – 13/2

  • Sevilla v Manchester City

Sevilla have started the season very poorly in La Liga and a 3-0 home defeat to Barcelona at the weekend has not been the ideal preparation for this game. City were held by Aston Villa at the weekend but they have been in sizzling form before that, stuffing six goals past Nottingham Forest and with Haaland in their team, I am backing the big Norwegian to be the catalyst for a big City win here.

Correct Score Bet – Sevilla 0-4 Manchester City – 14/1

Wednesday 7th September (Kick Off 8pm unless stated)

  • Ajax Amsterdam v Rangers (5.45pm)

A 4-0 defeat at Celtic is not the ideal preparation for Rangers for a very tough trip to Amsterdam. Rangers will be bolstered by their great performance against PSV a few weeks back, but I think Ajax are a better, stronger and more experienced team at this level and as such, I would be confident that the Dutch league leaders, who have won 5 of 5 games this season, will land a good win here.

Correct Score Bet – Ajax Amsterdam 3-1 Rangers – 10/1

  • Eintracht Frankfurt v Sporting Lisbon (5.45pm)

The Europa League Champions were the draw most teams wanted out of Pot 1 and Sporting Lisbon will be their first opponents in this competition. The Portuguese side have lost two of their five games this season to sit a lowly 8th in the table and they will want to improve on that significantly, but with Frankfurt’s form also patchy (8 points from 5 games), I think this one will end in a scoring draw.

Correct Score Bet – Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 Sporting Lisbon – 11/1

  • Atletico Madrid v FC Porto

These two teams pushed each other very close in the Champions League group stages last season with Atletico pipping Porto to the second place spot in the table. Both games between the two were very close and I can see that being the case here. That said, I think Atletico have the better quality players and home advantage and Diego Simeone will know how important a win will be here in a tough group. As such, I expect Atletico to land the win.

Correct Score Bet – Atletico Madrid 2-0 FC Porto – 13/2

  • Barcelona v Viktoria Plzen

Perhaps the most one-sided game of this opening week of Champions League Group Stage games. Barcelona should be very confident of picking up a key and big win here over their Czech opponents who will not have faced a team as talented as this for a very long time. As such, I think a big win is on the cards for the home team and Lewandowski should grab a couple more Champions League goals too.

Correct Score Bet – Barcelona 4-0 Viktoria Plzen – 6/1

  • Club Brugge v Bayer Leverkusen

Club Brugge picked up four points from their group games last season, but they came at home to PSG (1-1) and a 2-1 away win at RB Leipzig. Those results show Brugge can surprise teams at times and Leverkusen will need to be cautious of that, especially given their woeful start to the season in Germany having lost four of their first five games. I am backing them to start ok here though by nabbing a late and narrow win on the road.

Correct Score Bet – Club Brugge 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen – 11/1

  • Inter Milan v Bayern Munich

In Group C, Inter and Bayern clash knowing that they will likely be behind Barcelona after one game should they not win this game. However, I also feel both managers will feel it is important not to get off to a losing start in this competition and put themselves in real trouble. With that in mind, I think both managers would likely accept the draw if offered and I think a 1-1 draw is going to be the likely outcome here.

Correct Score Bet – Inter Milan 1-1 Bayern Munich – 15/2

  • Napoli v Liverpool

Liverpool have not won any of their three games on the road this season in the Premier League and have also not won in three games played in Naples, losing two and drawing the other. So, my confidence that they can win this game is rather low at the moment, especially given Napoli’s form domestically. That said, the Reds tend to shine in the Champions League and as such, I am going to back them to snatch a 1-1 draw here.

Correct Score Bet – Napoli 1-1 Liverpool – 13/2

  • Tottenham v Marseille

Marseille have started this season very well in France and they also boast four players that have played for Arsenal, so they will be fired up for this one. However, so will Spurs after missing out on the Champions League last season, they’ll want to get back to the form that led them to the final in 2020. This will be a closely fought game I am sure, but I think Spurs extra quality in attack will see them snatch a 2-1 victory.

Correct Score Bet – Tottenham 2-1 Marseille – 15/2