Champions League Group Stage Picks For September 12

UEFA Champions league

Martin Green

Sunday, September 10, 2017 9:17 PM GMT

Sunday, Sep. 10, 2017 9:17 PM GMT

The Champions League returns on Tuesday and several of Europe’s biggest teams are in action as they begin their bids to win the prestigious competition.

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"https://www.youtube.com/embed/CoIu3d_o4Y8", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]Barcelona v Juventus

This is undoubtedly the biggest game in this round of fixtures, pitting second favorite Barcelona against last year’s runner-up Juventus. The Italian champions knocked out Barcelona last season en route to reaching the final and it was a comprehensive 3-0 aggregate victory. Since then Juventus has sold defensive lynchpin Leonardo Bonucci, but signed plenty of stars to make up for it, while Barcelona lost star forward Neymar and replacement Ousmane Dembele has yet to start a game. Both teams are in excellent form and Barca is the favorite thanks to home advantage, but Juventus could have the psychological edge after keeping two clean sheets against the Spanish team last season. Juventus-draw double chance looks interesting at +115 with Bet365.

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Benfica v CSKA Moscow

Russian teams are typically strong at home in European competitions but poor on the road, largely due to geographical and logistical concerns. Benfica has won the Portuguese league title for the last four seasons in a row and is ranked the ninth best team in Europe by UEFA. Its home form has been very strong of late and there is plenty of talent across this team, so a home win here looks a good bet at -155 with Bovada.

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Celtic v Paris St Germain

The biggest story of the summer saw PSG shatter the world transfer record to sign Neymar for $260 million, and they followed it up by signing Kylian Mbappe, the most exciting young striker around. They join Edinson Cavani, who topped the goal scoring charts in France last summer, to form an outrageously dangerous attacking triumvirate, and many bookmakers now have PSG as the second favorite after champion Real Madrid to win the Champions League this season. Unai Emery’s men should be far too good for Celtic, who lost 7-0 to Barcelona last season in the group stage. The Scottish team is strong domestically but lacks the quality to compete at this level and PSG should beat them comfortably. PSG -2 Asian handicap is +102 with Bet365 and that looks a great option as it has been playing some sensational offensive football of late.

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Man Utd v Basel

Man Utd sits at the top of the Premiership table after four games and it has been playing some excellent football. New signing Romelu Lukaku has combined with Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba to devastating effect, and Utd looks powerful, quick and intelligent this season. Jose Mourinho’s side won the Europa League last season, proving its worth in European competition, and while the Champions League represents a large step up in class the team has improved since last season. Basel has won the Swiss league title for the past eight years in a row and is expected to do so again this season, but it lost 2-1 against Lausanne at the weekend and has taken just 11 points from seven games. Man Utd to win to nil is -147 to win this one with Bet Victor and that looks a good bet as Utd has been strong defensively and has kept clean sheets in both home games so far. Lukaku is -150 to score at any time and that looks a great bet as he has scored in every game so far this season.

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Roma v Atletico Madrid

Roma finished runner-up in Serie A last season but has got off to a poor start to the new campaign and lost 3-0 to Inter at home a couple of weeks ago. Atletico has been one of the best teams in this competition in recent years and is currently ranked the second best team in UEFA by Europe. They are intelligent with the ball and ferocious off of it as they press hard all over the pitch. A strong defense and a clinical offense should give Roma real troubles here, and Atletico look a good bet to win it at +165 with Bovada.

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