By Lee Dover | Champions League previews
What a way to kick off another tremendous season of Champions League football than with a clash between the reigning Premier League champions and the holders of the La Liga title.
Real Madrid are 8/13 to start their latest venture in Europe with a home win. It’s not often you see 9/2 about Manchester City in away games but against the stumbling Spanish giants it might be over generous. The draw is priced at 13/5.
The level of Champions League experience is miles apart between the two sides. The French champions are making their debut in the tournament while The Gunners have reached the knockout stages of the competition for the past nine seasons in a row.
Arsenal are favourites at 5/4 to win the match while Montpellier are 9/4 to begin life in the Champions League with a win. A draw is also 9/4.
AC Milan have a decent record against Anderlecht in the Champions League – the past two times the teams have met in the competition, Milan has gone on to become the European Cup victors.
Milan are 1/2 favourites to begin their latest Champions League campaign with a win against the 6/1 outsiders Anderlecht who have never won in Italy in 14 attempts.
The form is definitely on Ajax’s side in this fine fixture. Borussia Dortmund have not won against Dutch opposition at home in four attempts.
Despite this Ajax are 6/1 in Paddy Power’s online betting to pick up all three points in Germany with Dortmund 4/9 to break their hoodoo. The draw is 10/3.
In the four times that Dinamo Zagreb and Porto have met in European action, the home team have always left with the honours. A stat like that makes the price of 3/1 for a Dinamo Zagreb victory tempting. Porto are 19/20 to finally give the away team a win in this tie, while the draw is priced at 23/10.
Money can’t buy you happiness, but it surely can go a long way. Just ask the new moneybags of La Liga, Malaga, who are set to enjoy their first season of Champions League football.
They are 6/4 with Paddy Power to get their road to the European Cup off with a fantastic victory against Zenit StPetersburg. The Russians have not lost on Spanish turf in four trips though, so 9/5 for an away win and 9/4 for a draw both have to be eye-catching odds.
It may be best to steer towards a goal fest in this tie – the last six matches that Olympiacos has played at home against Bundesliga competition has resulted in 29 goals hitting the back of the net.
When it comes to the final result once the dust has settled, it’s very tight between 13/8 for a home win, 17/10 for Schalke 04 to upset their hosts and 9/4 for a stalemate.
One man to watch out for in this Champions League match is Dynamo Kiev goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy. The stopper was a part of the line-up when this fixture first took place in the 1994/95 season and is set to feature again 18 years later.
If Shovkovskiy is in form, the price of 5/1 for a Dynamo victory and the odds of 13/5 for a gruelling draw could prove rewarding. However, money bags PSG will surely be a tough nut to crack at home and are priced at 8/13 to be celebrating victory in Paris by the end of the night.