By Lee Dover
The Champions League returns to our screens tonight with last year’s beaten finalists Bayern Munich looking to continue their good start to the season and Barcelona facing a tricky tie to Portugal.
BATE Borisov v Bayern Munich (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)
On paper, this match looks like a no brainer. Four-time European Cup winners Bayern Munich will be expected to take home a win against BATE Borisov in many people’s eyes – this prediction is priced at 1/3 for those who are interested.
- Betting: Bate Borisov v Bayern Munich
Benfica v Barcelona (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)
This match has a funny old stat attached to it – whoever has emerged victorious has always gone on to lift the European Cup.
Of course, Barcelona will be favourites to cast aside the Portuguese outfit, and are a slim 4/7 with Paddy Power to do just that. However, Benfica are chasing their first win against Spanish opposition in 30 years and their passion could pay off for punters who put some cash on the 5/1 for a Portuguese party later tonight.
Galatasaray v Sporting Braga (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)
It’s the battle of the form in this tie. Galatasaray have only lost once in their past nine European home fixtures, while Braga head to Turkey with a six-match unbeaten sequence on their travels giving them plenty of momentum.
Juventus v Shakhtar Donetsk (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)
Juventus showed true might in their first Champions League match of the new campaign, overturning a 2-0 deficit against reigning champions Chelsea to draw at Stamford Bridge.
The Italian heavyweights are odds-on favourites at 8/13 to take all three points against Shakhtar Donetsk. However, the Ukraine outfit is bound to be buoyed by their 2-0 win against FC Nordsjaelland two weeks ago and cannot be totally wrote off when the tempting price of 9/2 for an away victory is hanging over them tonight.
Valencia v Lille (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)
It is little wonder Lille is the outsiders at 5/1 to beat Valencia this evening. The Spaniards hold a 100 per cent home record against Ligue 1 opponents in European action, winning seven ties out of seven.
However, both Valencia and Lille were left licking their wounds after defeats in matchday one of the 2012/13 Champions League campaign. Due to the double-whammy of confidence slides, the French giants are a worthy shout at 5/1 for victory.