Champions League £10,000 Predictions & Betting Preview – Match Day One Tuesday

Champions League Betting

With SportingBet running their Champions League Predictor game for the new season, now is the time to make the most of your Champions League betting and prediction skills. With the popular online bookmaker, if you can correctly predict the outcome of all sixteen matches on a given Match Day, then you will win yourself a nice £10,000. You gain entry into the SportingBet Champions League Predictor by simply making a £10 bet on their great sports book, and you will be given a free entry. Add to this a generous welcome offer of a free £25 bet on a new account, you can really hit the jackpot with SportingBet and Champions League football. Need help deciding the outcome of the matches? Here is our guide to help you along in your quest.

Group A

FC Twente v Inter Milan

The defending champions Inter Milan kick off the defence of their title away to FC Twente of the Netherlands. Twente came from nowhere and shocked the establishment in Dutch football last year when they won the Eredivise. That was the first time they had won the domestic title, and it secured their unexpected place amongst Europe’s elite in the Champions League this year. Being newcomers to the top stage in European club football, Twente look, to some degree to be making up the numbers in Group A. Scour Dutch newspapers and sports feeds and you will see that there they are expected to be heavy underdogs in the group, and especially against the illustrious team that Rafa Benitez can field for Inter Milan. Tests don’t get much tougher than meeting the European Champions in your first ever Champions League match, but, with the Dutch side being at home, you can expect plenty of spirit and a lot of that underdog passion to shine through. Twente have gotten off to an OK start again this year in their domestic league, sitting third with their most notable stat showing that they have only conceded one goal in their five league games. As for Inter Milan, they have lost their most important part, Jose Mourinho, to be replaced by former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez. Inter are not expected to come close again to winning the tournament this year, and you can see that in Champions League betting. They have won one and drawn one in their first two league games so far, and while they will be expected to get out of the group, they may not have it all their own way. They won’t be as defensively sound as last year, adding some vulnerability to their results. They probably don’t have enough in the tank to win the tournament, but they should get off to a good start here, but it won’t be easy at all. Twente will come at them with pace, not something Inter is particularly well built to deal with, but they have enough quality individuals to battle through.
FC Twente to win: 7/2 at Bet365
Draw: 5/2 at SkyBet
Inter Milan to win: 10/11 at BetFred

Werder Bremen v Tottenham

Tough start to their first Champions League venture for Tottenham. Werder Bremen at home is not an easy place to go to, and with Jermain Defoe and Michael Dawson, and awaiting full fitness of Luka Modric, Spurs are up against it. They need to play a very smart defensive game and not get carried away by the emotion of the night. Read our full Werder Bremen v Tottenham betting review here:
Werder Bremen to win: 5/4 at Paddy Power
Draw: 5/2 at Totesport
Tottenham to win: 11/4 at SkyBet

Group B

Lyon v Schalke

This seems as if it will be one of the more entertaining matches of Match Day one and a close contest. Lyon have a great history in the Champions League and came close again to glory last year when they reached the semi finals. They are wonderfully hard working and diligent team, and enjoy causing upsets in the Champions League. They got the better of Real Madrid in the first knockout stage last year to progress, and that is how much of a force they can be when they get it right on the night. As for German teams, you can generally back them to put in a good performance in the Champions League. Schalke made it to the quarter finals in 2007/08 but didn’t get through qualification last year to enter the Champions League proper. They did pick up Dutch striker Klass-Jan Huntelaar to boost their forwards, and he will likely be a threat during the tournament. These two teams look fairly evenly matched as both have gotten off to pretty poor starts to their new domestic seasons. Schalke have lost all three of their opening Bundesliga matches, while Lyon have picked up just one win from five matches (with two drawn). A draw here would not be too much of a surprise, but if you are looking for a winner, Lyon generally have a habit of sneaking matches by the odd goal in the Champions League. Both of these teams should be front runners to qualify from Group B.
Lyon to win: Evens at Totesport
Draw: 5/2 at Stan James
Schalke to win: 10/3 at Ladbrokes

Benfica v Hapoel Tel-Aviv

Another fresh face in the Champions League this year, Hapoel are only the third team from Israel to take part in the competition. They are one of five clubs making their Champions League debut, and that lack of experience will naturally be some kind of hindrance to them in the long run. Portuguese opponents Benfica on the other hand, have had plenty of cracks of the Champions League whip and their best effort in the competition came back in 2005/06 when they reached the quarter finals. Neither team are expected to be much of a threat, and in a group with Lyon and Schalke, if either get into the knockout stages it will be something of a surprise. Benfica will have the best chance of doing so though, and you can expect them to edge this one, even though they are another team which is having a poor start to the season. In the Portuguese league, they have won just one of their opening four matches. Hapoel did come through qualification quite well, helped nicely along by Mahran Lala who hit three goals in four matches. They could cause an upset, but being away from home will make things all that much more difficult for them.
Benfica to win: 4/9 at Paddy Power
Draw: 7/2 at Boylesports
Hapoel Tel Aviv to win: 8/1 at Ladbrokes

Group C

Bursaspor v Valencia

What do we know about Bursaspor for our Champions League betting? Well, the Turkish side are one of the debutant sides in the competition this year, and they have an interesting opening against Italian side Valencia. To back up their efforts of getting into the Champions League, they have climbed straight back to the top of their domestic league, with four wins out of four for the new season. They have also only conceded one goal in those matches. Turkish sides are usually quite physical and like a good midfield battle, but then at the flick of a switch pull out some wonderful creative move. This should be a good match, especially with the fanatic home crowd pulling out the stops. Valencia though, look to be a good quality side, and could be one of the dark horses of the tournament. They have won their opening two matches in Spain’s La Liga, and really gave a great account of themselves last year in the tough league. Don’t forget, Valencia reached two Champions League finals back in 2000 and 2001 and there is a lot of belief that they can make and impact here. They will be favourites to qualify from Group C which also houses Manchester United and Rangers, and they could give teams a big headache. Not the easiest of starts because of the enthusiasm of the Turks, but nonetheless, you have to look towards them to run out as winners here, however uncomfortable if they are going to stand up and be counted.
Bursaspor to win: 9/4 at Ladbrokes
Draw: 9/4 at Bet365
Valencia to win: 6/4 at Paddy Power

Manchester United v Rangers

A nice Battle of Britain scenario to get the Champions League underway this year. Scottish champions Rangers head south with the formidable task of trying to unseat Manchester United at Old Trafford. United though are showing defensive frailties at the moment, failing to kill of games. Is this the right time for Rangers to cause a major Champions League shock? Read our full Manchester United v Rangers preview here
Manchester United to win: 1/5 at Boylesports
Draw: 6/1 at Bet365
Rangers to win: 18/1 at Totesport

Group D

Barcelona v Panathinaikos

Here come the mighty Catalans Barcelona, now with the added factor of Spain’s goal machine David Villa playing up front for them. But wait, in their opening La Liga fixture, Josep Guardiola saw his side defeated at the Nou Camp by two goals to nil by Hercules. That was the big shock of the football betting weekend as Barcelona, pre tournament favourites to win the Champions League will have been rocked by that. Quite where that came from, Barcelona fans will be left wondering. Barca were expected to deliver the goods last year in the Champions League, but they found Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan just too much of a defensive stalwart to break down. The pressure is always on them to deliver, and now with Mourinho at rivals Real Madrid, the two Spanish clubs are expected to press hard for European glory here. They still have a squad which is an embarrassment of riches, and they will make for a sensible Champions League bet as outright winners. When you field Lionel Messi, David Villa, Xavi, Iniesta and co, then you are always in with a chance. Barca also picked up Javier Mascherano from Liverpool and really once they start clicking again and getting momentum, they will hard to take down. They fire off this new campaign against Panathinaikos who are just two matches into their new domestic season, and remain unbeaten there. The Greeks are one of those teams which pretty much continuously just grace the group stages of the competition, and they never look as if they have enough quality to really threaten the top sides. They could face a bit of a Barca backlash after that shock defeat, and anything less than a comfortable pick up of maximum points for Barcelona, really would be an even bigger shock than the La Liga loss. They have a lot to prove and need to come out firing.
Barcelona to win: 1/7 at Bet365
Draw: 8/1 at Stan James
Panathinaikos to win: 20/1 at SkyBet

FC Copenhagen v Rubin Kazan

This is quite an interesting match, from the point of view of who should finish second in the group behind Barcelona. Copenhagen make their Champions League return after four years out, and they could be quite a handful if their league form are anything to go by. They are strong leaders at the top of the Danish league, and while the Danish league may trigger raised eyebrows over the quality levels, they are full of optimism and see this match as a massive chance to take out one of the strongest competitors in the group. Rubin Kazan caused a shock in last year’s Champions League when they beat Barcelona at the Nou Camp, and held Inter Milan to a draw as well. They looked to be a breath of fresh air, but they couldn’t hold everything together in the end, and the Russian champions finished third behind Barca and Inter. Now they are paired back with Barcelona in Group D, and while we await that rematch, they should be the stronger force in this match, and should be able to build on their experience of last year. Rubin Kazan themselves appear confident of getting a draw out of this match, at the very least, and will be worth looking at if you want to edge a winner. However, this looks as if it will end up in some form of parity, as Rubin drew three of their group matches last year. Neither team will have enough of a cutting edge to threaten if they make it through to the knockout stages, but realistically, behind Barcelona, you would tip the Russians to take that spot.
FC Copenhagen to win: 7/4 at Victor Chandler
Draw: 23/10 at Stan James
Rubin Kazan to win: 9/5 at Boylesports

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