Champions League Groups EH outright predictions and free betting tips | Sports News
Free Champions League football tips, best bets and analysis for EH groups.
Unrest at Stamford Bridge may not be a bad thing judging by Chelsea’s previous two Champions League triumphs.
On both occasions, first under Roberto Di Matteo and then Thomas Tuchel, the Blues felt, well blue, in the first half of the season before being good when it mattered most.
Tuchel must lift Chelsea out of their slump – they have already lost at Southampton and Leeds – after spending £250m this summer, including three extremely late deals as Wesley Fofana, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Denis Zakaria joined Marc Cucurella, Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly moving to the Bridge.
Chelsea need to improve, but a group including Milan, Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb should allow them to qualify without being on top form.
Milan were surprise Serie A champions and they did so with impressive powerful performances from young players who improved as the season progressed.
Former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori has developed brilliantly and the world is at the feet of striker Rafael Leao. The Rossoneri have once again focused mainly on youth, bringing in 21-year-old trio Sergino Dest, Malick Thiaw and Charles De Ketelaere.
Second place should go to Milan, with Salzburg continuing their pattern of selling their best players. Over £80m have been brought in this summer and their scouting is generally spot on, so expect the relatively unknown replacements to be of a decent standard.
Dinamo Zagreb have already won three qualifying fixtures, although they needed extra time to defeat Bodo/Glimt, suggesting they are likely to finish bottom of a group where no bets stand out.
Real Madrid needed several slices of luck to overtake Paris St-Germain, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool to win the Champions League and their good fortune continued with this peach of a draw.
This is Real Madrid’s 27th crack in the group stage – a record they share with Barcelona – but unlike their arch-rivals, the current holders have always qualified from this stage.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are expected to return with the minimum of fuss, but the race behind them is less certain and Celtic could upset the odds.
For fairly obvious reasons, Shakhtar is going to struggle.
They will have no home advantage and their sizable foreign contingent have fled war-torn Ukraine, so second place should be between Leipzig and Celtic.
There’s still some form left – Rangers knocked Leipzig out of the Europa League last season and Celtic already look good at retaining their Premiership crown after beating rivals Glasgow at the weekend.
It’s been seven straight wins for Celtic at domestic level this season under the impressive Ange Postecoglou and they were able to weather an early injury to Kyogo Furuhashi to crush Rangers.
Furuhashi is likely to put himself in the store window if he can recover quickly from this shoulder problem and Jota is another who could attract interest from Europe’s wealthiest clubs.
Leipzig were beaten 4-0 by Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday and have taken four points from five Bundesliga games.
Celtic qualify from Group F
1point 11-4 bet365, coral, Ladbrokes
Manchester City are aiming to qualify for the knockout stages for the tenth consecutive season and should do so easily against Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund and Copenhagen.
Pep Guardiola’s side have managed to finish top in each of their last five attempts and deservedly have the chance to qualify as group winners, potentially giving City an easier draw for the first knockout phase.
However, City’s presence as a dominant force means betting opportunities are hard to come by, especially as bookmakers are lukewarm about Sevilla’s chances and rightly prefer Borussia Dortmund’s chances.
But for a crazy last few minutes against Werder Bremen, when they blew a 2-0 lead from the 89th minute to lose, Dortmund got off to a perfect start.
Nil wins over Leverkusen, Hertha and Hoffenheim suggest defensive collapse was not a structural problem with the team and the arrival of German internationals Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Sule will improve BVB from last season.
The same cannot be said for Sevilla, who have sold centre-backs Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos.
They took one point from a possible 12 in La Liga and were flattered by the 3-0 loss to Barcelona on Saturday. Sporting director Monchi is known for his skill and trades, but money is tight for most Spanish clubs.
Copenhagen averaged just 36 per cent possession in their two-legged qualifier with Trabzonspor, so next month’s trip to City could get ugly.
The bookmakers have decided Group H is a closed shop with Paris St-Germain and Juventus advancing at the expense of Benfica and minnows Maccabi Haifa booked for last place.
PSG should rightly win. They have moved to a 3-4-3 formation and that seems to suit their players, allowing some freedom for Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, and it plays to the strengths of attacking full-backs Nuno Mendes and Achraf Hakimi. .
Sergio Ramos has positioned himself defensively alongside Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe and the balance is better. So too is the attitude and a more united front on and off the pitch that puts Paris in a better place to launch a successful Champions League push.
The main battle is Benfica against Juve for second place and it’s much closer than the odds suggest.
Juve never recovered from the vain plan to bring in Cristiano Ronaldo. They’ve had to downsize, including losing Matthijs de Ligt, and coach Max Allegri seems unsure how to get the best out of Dusan Vlahovic.
The Old Lady have failed to beat Sampdoria, Roma and Fiorentina this season and Benfica are not without a reasonable chance after reaching the quarter-finals last term.
Darwin Nunez was sold at great expense and they seem to have used that money wisely to bring in David Neres, Fredrik Aursnes and Enzo Fernandez.
Benfica qualified in Group H
1pt 7-2 bet365
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 2:05 PM, SEPTEMBER 5, 2022