The Champions League Is Back And The Big Boys Are Set To Clash!

The Preliminary Rounds are all over, and we know who the 32 teams are that will start off in the Champions League Group Stages this week. The eight groups have given us some outstanding matches in this first phase of the tournament, some of which are good enough to grace the final.

Now the Champions League is followed all over the world so whether you are in the United States and enjoying a bet at BetRivers Sportsbook, or are in the UK and using your Bet365 Games log in to access bet365 Sport to enjoy a wager on the matches, we are sure you will find plenty to bet on in either case.

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So let’s take a look at the game that will kick off Matchday 1 in the competition.

Champions League Matchday 1

Tuesday 14th September

  • Sevilla v FC Salzburg (5.45pm)
  • Young Boys v Manchester United (5.45pm)
  • Barcelona v Bayern Munich
  • Chelsea v Zenit St Petersburg
  • Dynamo Kyiv v Benfica
  • Lille v Wolfsburg
  • Malmo v Juventus
  • Villarreal v Atalanta

Wednesday 15th September

  • Besiktas v Borussia Dortmund (5.45pm)
  • Sheriff Tiraspol v Shakhtar Donetsk (5.45pm)
  • Atletico Madrid v FC Porto
  • Club Brugge v Paris St Germain
  • Inter Milan v Real Madrid
  • Liverpool v AC Milan
  • Manchester City v Red Bull Leipzig
  • Sporting Lisbon v Ajax Amsterdam

However, rather than give you tips of each game this week, we have decided to go through each of the eight groups and give you our tips on which two teams will make it through into the Knockout Stage of the tournament in the New Year.

Champions League Groups

All odds shown are for the team to qualify from the group in question in the top two positions and were correct as of 13.00 on Monday 13th September 2021 with Bet365.

Group A

  • Club Brugge -12/1
  • Manchester City – 1/8
  • Paris St Germain – 1/7
  • Red Bull Leipzig – 2/1

For me, Group A is the one which is the easiest of all to predict in terms of which two teams will qualify for the next stage of the tournament. As you can see by the odds, Manchester City and Paris St Germain, who met in the semifinals last season, are the two massive favourites to do that.

Red Bull Leipzig are likely to be their main threat in the group, but the German side have lost a number of key players from last season and were well beaten 4-1 at home by Bayern Munich at the weekend. I don’t feel they will fare much better against the big two in this division.

Club Brugge won’t be too much of a threat to the big two either, so I am expecting Manchester City and Paris St Germain to make it through, but it is much more difficult to predict who will finish top out of the two, but with the money they spent in the summer on significant investments, I am backing PSG to do that.

Group A Prediction – 1. Paris St Germain, 2. Manchester City, 3. Red Bull Leipzig, 4. Club Brugge

Group B

  • AC Milan – 11/8
  • Atletico Madrid – 4/9
  • FC Porto – 12/5
  • Liverpool – 1/4

This is a very tough group to predict and I would not be surprised if the group went down to the final game with all four teams perhaps in a position to qualify. Atletico Madrid and Liverpool are the favourites, probably because of their form in this competition over the last few years, but AC Milan and FC Porto are no pushovers.

In fact, the Italians have won the most Champions League titles of any team in this group and they are going to be very difficult to beat on home soil. However, I feel you can say the same of Atletico and Liverpool and it may well be the away form of these teams which decides who progresses.

For me, that is most likely to be Atletico and Liverpool, but I think AC Milan will go very close to finishing in the top two.

Group B Prediction – 1. Atletico Madrid, 2. Liverpool, 3. AC Milan, 4. FC Porto

Group C

  • Ajax – 4/6
  • Besiktas – 5/2
  • Borussia Dortmund – 1/6
  • Sporting Lisbon – 11/10

Group C is a tricky one in many respects. Sure, Dortmund look to be the class act in this company of teams, and I would expect the German side to progress as the group winners, but the battle behind them for second place should be intense.

Ajax are probably the second favourites, but they are a young side and I feel are still a bit fragile. But you can say the same about Sporting Lisbon too, while nobody ever fancies going to Turkey to play an away game with Besiktas able to rely on fervent support.

The key games for me in this group will be the two Ajax v Sporting games on Matchdays 1 and 5 and whoever comes out on top of those two games will likely qualify alongside Dortmund.

Group C Prediction – 1. Borussia Dortmund, 2. Ajax, 3. Sporting Lisbon, 4. Besiktas

Group D

  • Shakhtar Donetsk – 7/4
  • Sheriff Tiraspol – 10/1
  • Inter Milan – 1/4
  • Real Madrid – 1/33

Three of these teams were drawn in the same group last season, Shakhtar, Inter and Real, and I think they will be the three teams in contention in this group as Sheriff Tiraspol, who have done wonderfully well to get this far, are going to find this level of opposition much tougher than the Moldovan league opponents that they face each week.

Real Madrid should definitely win this group and I’d expect them to do so in a more comfortable fashion than they qualified last season. The race for second place should be good though but I do feel Inter will just have too much for Shakhtar in that race.

I think all teams will pick up at least six points from the games with Sheriff, but it will be the games between the other three that will decide this group.

Group D Prediction – 1. Real Madrid, 2. Inter, 3. Shakhtar Donetsk, 4. Sheriff Tiraspol

Group E

  • Bayern Munich – 1/8
  • Benfica – 2/1
  • Barcelona – 1/4
  • Dynamo Kyiv – 8/1

Some of the biggest names in European football have been drawn into Group E, with Bayern Munich and Barcelona the stand out names. Although Benfica have their own illustrious history and have won this competition on multiple occasions too.

Dynamo Kyiv are the team I think will struggle in this company, but even so I expect them to give teams a real game at home and they may surprise one or two by taking a point or so from those games.

Bayern Munich should win the group and I think despite their off the field issues, Barcelona will finish second with Benfica finishing third, but if a big name could go out of the competition here, I would think Barcelona could be one of the teams most at risk.

Group E Prediction – 1. Bayern Munich, 2. Barcelona, 3. Benfica, 4. Dynamo Kyiv.

Group F

  • Atalanta – 2/5
  • Manchester United – 1/4
  • Villarreal – Evens
  • Young Boys – 8/1

Manchester United’s return to this competition coincides with a heavy investment in talentPokerStars Sport Bore Draw over the summer, so much so that I think they are going to dominate this group and win it relatively comfortably ahead of the other teams.

Villarreal and Atalanta will likely battle it out for second spot and I just feel that the Spaniards have the edge here after their Europa League win last season and the fact that they have a bit more experience in their squad.

Atalanta will push hard for qualification but I feel may just miss out on the knockout phase, with Young Boys most likely to be finishing in the bottom position in the table.

Group F Prediction – 1. Manchester United, 2. Villarreal, 3. Atalanta, 4. Young Boys

Group G

  • FC Salzburg – 7/4
  • Lille – 11/10
  • Sevilla – 2/5
  • Wolfsburg – 4/5

Many experts feel that Group G may be the weakest in the competition this year and there is some truth in that, but that does not mean that it is not going to be competitive and in my view, this is the hardest of all the groups to predict along with Group B.

All four teams look well matched in this group and I think it will be the teams that manage to land points or wins on the road that will eventually triumph. Sevilla are my pick to win the group, simply because they have regular experience of the Champions League at this level.

Who finishes second though is a much tougher question to answer and I think all three remaining teams will have a reasonable shout at doing so. For me though, I feel Wolfsburg may just edge out Salzburg and Lille for that final qualifying spot.

Group G Prediction – 1. Sevilla, 2. Wolfsburg (3. FC Salzburg, 4. Lille)

Group H

  • Chelsea – 1/12
  • Juventus – 2/7
  • Malmo – 11/2
  • Zenit St Petersburg – 7/4

The Champions begin their defence of the title they won last year this week and drawn in a group that they should be confident of doing well in. Juventus will be their main rivals, but Chelsea fans will know that Juventus don’t look as strong as they were just a few years back.

That said, the Italians should still be strong enough to clinch second place in the group relatively comfortably and I expect them to be able to see off the challenge of Zenit and Malmo with comfort.

Zenit will probably land third position in the group ahead of Malmo but I can’t see there being too many surprises with how things shape up in this group in the final reckonings.

Group H Prediction – 1. Chelsea, 2. Juventus, (3. Zenit St Petersburg, 4. Malmo)

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