The Champions League dominates today. I am in Australia for my sister's wedding. The Champions League begins 4:45 am Australian time. If I can get up early, I will follow these matches on Twitter @drtclub. Let's hope these teams' poor weekend performances and sacrificing of points was worth it for this competition.
19:45 - Barcelona v Juventus - 1.86 Barcelona
- This Group D should be dominated by these 2 teams. Olympiakos and Sporting Lisbon make up the other 2 sides.
- 3-0 Juve, 0-0, 1-2 Barca in the 3 head to heads in the Champions League and in 2017.
- Both sides have been full of goals domestically. I do, however, slightly favour Barcelona on this occasion given the last 2 head to heads in the Champions League saw them not lose.
- Barcelona at home in the Champions League tend to welcome all comers and not lose. Arsenal, Man City, PSG, all have been beaten recently.
- Noticeably Barca tend not to concede 2 goals. Away goals though are not a factor in this Group stage.
- Juventus beat Barca 3-0 last season as we know and their last defeat was a 1-4 v Real Madrid who, admittedly, look the stronger of the Spanish giants this season.
- I would take into account Barca's defensive strength at home and note that Juve are unlikely to follow up with a 2nd goal if scoring first.
19:45 - Bayern Munich v Anderlecht - 1.11 Bayern
- Anderlecht have been surprisingly poor domestically of late in a league they typically dominate.
- You don't want to be below par when meeting Bayern.
- Group B is a tough group, featuring Celtic, Bayern, Anderlecht and Paris St Germain. It is against Celtic and Anderlecht where Bayern should reap their rewards.
- Anderlecht did score draw with Arsenal and Dortmund, albeit in 2014. Do not expect Bayern to mess this one up.
- 1.11 odds suggests 3/4 goals minimum. Dare we expect the 5 Bayern put past Arsenal twice?
19:45 - Benfica v CSKA Moscow - 1.73 Benfica
- Benfica are in Group A with Basel, Man Utd and CSKA Moscow. A tough group. Basel have Champions League experience, Man Utd have Champions League expert Mourinho at the helm. CSKA may be the weaker link.
- In 2016 Benfica scored 2 goals against Bayern at home but the problem is, in 5 of 6 home matches around that result, Benfica only scored the one goal. Yes 2 1-0 wins in their last 3 at home but 1-0 is a tough old scoreline to pull off.
- CSKA played AEK Athens and Young Boys so far this year in the Champions League and won without conceding.
- In 2015 and 2016, CSKA showed their weakness in this competition. Man Utd, PSV, Monaco Tottenham were the types of teams CSKA lost to away. The question is whether Benfica can be put in the same bracket as those sides. I would argue no.
- We may see a 0-0 here for a while. I would back 0-0 pre match and hope this is a tight affair.
19:45 - Celtic v Paris St-G - 1.28 PSG
- Group B is a toughie for Celtic. Bayern Munich, PSG and Anderlecht are their opponents.
- PSG have conceded in their last 6 away matches in the Champions League. Can Celtic get a goal this evening?
- Celtic failed to score at home v Mgladbach and Barcelona. You get the feeling that when the level ratchets up, Celtic will have trouble scoring.
- Ideally PSG should win to nil. 0-2 is a viable correct score. If Celtic score and score first, I would back PSG at enhanced odds.
19:45 - Chelsea v Qarabag Fk - 1.11 Chelsea
- Chelsea have more to worry about from Roma, and Atl Madrid than Azerbaijani Qarabag.
- Chelsea's last 2 Champions League matches were v PSG, where they lost home and away.
- Qarabag have played the likes of Samtredia, Sheriff and Copenhagen to get here. They should be out of their depth.
- 1.11 odds usually suggests 3/4 goals from Chelsea, and a goal at least before halftime.
19:45 - Man Utd v FC Basel - 1.21 Man Utd
- United were last in the Champions League in 2015 and have a manager who has won this competition twice.
- Basel in 2016 were out of their depth in this competition losing to Arsenal, PSG twice and drawing with Ludogorets
- Man Utd have the manager, the centre forward (albeit not experienced at this level) and the defence in order to go far here.
- It is a relatively weak group for United with Basel, Benfica and CSKA Moscow. United must be winning their home matches.
19:45 - Olympiakos v Sporting Lisbon - 2.62 Olympiakos
- Good luck to these 2 from Group D, accompanied by FC Barcelona and Juventus.
- Oly are likely to be found out against the big boys.I am referring to the likes of Arsenal and Bayern Munich. I am not sure where Sporting Lisbon fit in here.
- Olympiakos historically have been good at home, albeit they lost v Bayern and Arsenal but in 2014 beat Benfica, Anderlecht, Man Utd, Atl Madrid and Juventus. That is quite a list.
- Sporting look out of their depth.Losses to Dortmund, Real Madrid and Legia, I must admit, were tight one-goal-in-it results.
- Tricky match to weigh up as these 2 are unlikely to be progressing from this Group D.
19:45 - Roma v Atletico Madrid - 2.82 Atl Madrid
- Tough Group A featuring these 2, Chelsea and Qarabag.
- The matches between the big 3 will sort this group out.
- Roma struggled in the Champions League last year, failing to score v BATE, Real Madrid and Porto.
- Atl Madrid tend to keep it really tight in the Champions League.
- The market cannot split these 2, neither can I!
19:45 - Aston Villa v Middlesbrough -
19:45 - Leeds v Birmingham -
19:45 - Norwich v Burton -
19:45 - Preston v Cardiff -
19:45 - QPR v Millwall -
19:45 - Sheff Wed v Brentford -
19:45 - Sunderland v Nottm Forest -
19:45 - Wolves v Bristol City -
20:00 - Bolton v Sheff Utd -