Bayern v Anderlecht
Bayern Munich’s perfect start to the Bundesliga season came to an end on the weekend when young coach Julian Nagelsmann masterminded his Hoffenheim side to a 2-0 home win against the reigning Champions. It was a reality check for Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti, but in Anderlecht, they have a perfect opportunity to return to winning ways.
Group B is a tough group, with these two, joined by Celtic and PSG. Bayern will know that the Belgian side is the one that they have to take six points from. I’d fully expect them to do so, starting with this home tie to open up the group stage.
For Anderlecht, this will be a huge test. Having lost teen sensation Youri Tielemans to Monaco this summer, they’ll be looking to see who can step up against the giants from Munich.
Their league form this year suggests that no one can replace the talented Tielemans. In their six Belgian Pro League matches so far this season, they’ve won just two and currently sit in 10th place. They’ve got some promising players, but expect the Belgian side to be the whipping boys of Group B.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Bayern Munich -3.00 at 2.176
Celtic v Paris Saint-Germain
The other game in Group B sees moneybags PSG travel to Glasgow to take on Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic.
The Scottish side has had an emphatic start to their Scottish Premiership season, remaining unbeaten in their opening five games. Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has them well drilled, which is complimented well by the attacking talents of Scott Sinclair, Leigh Griffiths, and Moussa Dembele, who could be thrown back into the mix against PSG.
Celtic also have the home strength in this clash, having lost only six matches out of 28 Champions League ties they’ve played this decade. In that time, they’ve beaten some giants; Barcelona, Benfica, and Ajax. Celtic Park will not be an easy place for PSG to visit, who have shown vulnerabilities at the back already this season.
The French side will be relying on their attacking quality, though, with World record signing Neymar joined by Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, and Julian Draxler. This quartet can be emphatic going forward, as shown in the 5-1 thrashing of Metz on Friday.
Celtic will fancy their chances, despite PSG’s attacking power, and will know that they can beat anyone at home on their day.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Celtic 1.50 at 2.500
AS Roma v Atlético Madrid
Last year’s Champions League semi-finalists Atletico Madrid get their campaign underway with a tricky away tie in the Italian capital, where they face a talented AS Roma side.
Despite the 5-1 thrashing of Las Palmas, Diego Simeone’s side has had a difficult start to their La Liga campaign, drawing against both Girona and Valencia. The Argentine coach lives for games like this though – a European away tie where the emphasis will be on the home side to break down Atletico’s resilience.
A 1-0 win on the opening day of the Serie A season was followed up by a humiliating 3-1 loss at home to Inter Milan this weekend, and coach Eusebio Di Francesco will be hoping his side can bounce back here.
Roma’s summer transfer window saw them sign a number of promising young players, including Patrik Schick, Lorenzo Pellegrini, and Dutch right-back Rick Karsdorp. This will be a match in which they look to their experienced heads, though, with few tougher opponents in the competition.
They’ll be hungry to recover from their defeat to Inter, though, and could surprise Atletico.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Roma -0.50 at 2.940
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