This week sees the return of the Champions League on Tuesday and Wednesday nights with the second of six matchdays being played in the group stage. After the opening round of games, the British teams competing had mixed fortunes. Only Manchester City, who defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 in the Ukraine earned a victory, with Tottenham drawing away to Olympiakos, while Chelsea lost at home to Lille and Liverpool lost away to Napoli for the second successive season.
So there is plenty at stake in this next round of games as teams will know that picking up points to keep them involved at the top of the group is absolutely vital. Manchester City face Dinamo Zagreb at home on Tuesday and on the same night Spurs face Bayern Munich, while on Wednesday Chelsea face a trip to North France to face Lille while Liverpool take on Red Bull Salzburg at Anfield.
It promises to be a big evening and we have given you our tips, as well as the tips we would back, for all the other 12 games taking place across both days below.
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Champions League Matchday 2 Tips
All kick off times are 8pm unless otherwise stated. Outlined below are our Match Tip predictions for all of the 16 ties played this week.
Tuesday 1st October
Atalanta v Shakhtar Donetsk (5.55pm) – Home Win – 4/5
A hugely disappointing start to the Champions League campaign for both these teams would be exacerbated with another defeat here but that is the likelihood facing a Donetsk team that don’t appear to be as strong as in previous seasons. On home soil, I fancy Atalanta to eke out a narrow win perhaps by a single goal.
Real Madrid v Club Brugge (5.55pm) – Home Win – 2/7
Real Madrid went top of La Liga this weekend and they should celebrate that with another victory here against a Club Brugge side that have some talented players but who are just not cut out to play at this level. If Madrid are anywhere near their best, then this could be a very long night for the Belgian side.
Galatasaray v Paris St Germain – Away Win – 3/10
It’s fair to say that their 3-0 win over Real Madrid has set up Paris St Germain nicely in this group and if they can pick up a win here, they will be big favourites to claim top spot. That is precisely what I think they are capable of against a Galatasaray team that are well organised but who are not quite at the level PSG operate at.
Juventus v Bayer Leverkusen – Home Win – 9/20
Juventus deservedly earned a point from their trip to Atletico Madrid in the opening round of games and I think they’ll pick up all three here against a Bayer Leverkusen side who were very poor against Lokomotiv Moscow in their first game. I can see Juventus hitting a number of goals in this game to secure a strong win.
Lokomotiv Moscow v Atletico Madrid – Away Win – 8/13
Lokomotiv Moscow are in the unusual position of leading their group at the moment, but I feel that won’t be the case after this game. Atletico are a very talented, strong and experienced side at this level and although they were held by Juventus and Real Madrid in recent weeks, they should be strong enough to pick up the points in Russia in this one.
Manchester City v Dinamo Zagreb – Home Win – 1/14
Can I make any case for Zagreb to win this? Well they did win their opening game 4-0, but in truth City are about three levels above Zagreb even when the Croatian team are playing at their very best. City create so many chances that it is almost inevitable they will score numerous goal sand in truth, I can’t see Zagreb living with them in this one. This should be an easy City victory.
Red Star Belgrade v Olympiakos – Home Win – 2/1
Belgrade made life tough for Bayern Munich in their opener while Olympiakos were holding Spurs in Greece, but I think this time around it will be Red Star smiling. Greek teams tend not to travel too well in Europe and Belgrade is a very tough place to go and get a result. As such, I think Red Star will emerge with a narrow win here.
Tottenham v Bayern Munich – Draw – 14/5
The biggest game of Tuesday night sees Spurs take on Bayern Munich. In truth Spurs need a win to move ahead of Bayern in the group, but I can’t quite see that happening. The Germans are very pragmatic and dogged and can pick up a result on the road if they need to. I can see both teams scoring but I feel this game has a 1-1 or 2-2 draw written all over it.
Wednesday 2nd October
Genk v Napoli (5.55pm) – Away Win – 2/5
After securing a vital and impressive win at home to Liverpool, Napoli will be keen to build on that away from home. They did struggle on the road in the group stages last season and that was eventually what saw them eliminated from the group. I don’t expect them to fall short here though against a Genk side I feel is a little outclassed in this company.
Slavia Prague v Borussia Dortmund (5.55pm) – Draw – 11/4
I think Slavia Prague are one of the most underrated teams in this group and after earning a draw away to Inter Milan in the first round of games, I expect them to be a real tough test for a Dortmund side that have started the season a little below the standards they would expect. As such, I expect this one to be a battling draw between the two teams.
Barcelona v Inter Milan – Home Win – 8/13
Both these teams drew their opening game in Group F and that leaves things very evenly poised in this group. However, I feel Inter are at more of a disadvantage, given their draw came in arguably the easiest game they have, home to Slavia Prague. Barcelona are incredibly tough to beat at home and while Inter are much improved this season, I still fancy Barcelona to take the points here.
Lille v Chelsea – Away Win – Evens
After losing their opening game, both these teams badly need a positive result here, perhaps Chelsea more so after losing their opening game to Valencia at home. Lille are a strong side though and they will not be pushovers at home, but I do feel Chelsea’s attack and youthful energy will give them an edge in this one and I can see them claiming the victory by a single goal.
Liverpool v Red Bull Salzburg – Home Win – 1/4
After defeat in Napoli last time out, Liverpool need to find some of the form that took them to Madrid to win this trophy last season and I feel they will do that against a very talented Salzburg side. If the Reds play as poorly as they did against Sheffield United at the weekend, then this Austrian side could give them real problems, but I am expecting Liverpool to bounce back with a win here.
Red Bull Leipzig v Lyon – Home Win – 13/20
Red Bull Leipzig made a great start to the group winning in Portugal against Benfica and now they will try to cement that win at home to a Lyon side that don’t quite look as strong as they did last season. The French side were disappointing at home to Zenit and as such, I think the German side should do just enough to claim the win.
Valencia v Ajax – Draw – 13/5
I think both these teams are looking to establish a bit of a lead in this group (which also includes Lille and Chelsea) and as such, after winning their opening game, I think both these team’s mindset will be focused on not losing, rather than winning the game. When that happens between two well-matched sides like these, a draw is often the outcome.
Zenit St Petersburg v Benfica – Home Win – 5/4
Benfica are not a team that travel particularly well in Europe, although they are capable of a surprise result now and then. Zenit is a tough place to go and will be much cooler than Lisbon this time of the year, which I feel will play into the hands of the home team to secure a win in this one, although I do expect this to be a closely contested game.