Free betting tips: Champions League Matchday 1

Sergio Aguero looks set to face Lyon in the Champions League but Manchester City will be without injured left-back Benjamin Mendy.

Manchester United are no certainties to beat Young Boys, but it should be far more straightforward for their neighbours against struggling Lyon.

 

Young Boys double chance against Manchester United at 6/5
With due acknowledgement of the quality of the Swiss League, Young Boys’ start to the season remains impressive. They’ve won six out of six in the league and two Swiss Cup games to go with a fine 3-2 aggregate win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League qualifiers.

Ten games, nine wins (one after extra time) and a draw. Whatever the standard, it’s impressive. Manchester United are hardly pulling up trees and have to adjust here to an artificial pitch. Having already lost to Brighton and Tottenham and failed to fully convince in victories over Leicester, Burnley and Watford the odds-against quotes for the home team to avoid defeat look tempting.

 

Manchester City to beat Lyon by exactly three goals at 15/4
Lyon have made a poor start to the season and now face the prospect of a trip to one of European football’s real powerhouses. City haven’t quite hit top gear this season but have still won all but one of their six games. At home they have won three from three scoring 11 goals in the process.

Lyon are Champions League perennials but nowhere near the team of a decade ago. And they’ve made a shocking start to the Ligue 1 campaign having lost two of their first five games, to Reims and Nice, and drawing another against Caen at the weekend.

It’s not ideal preparation for a game of this magnitude. The safer play here is City -2 on the handicap which looks a perfectly reasonable option at a touch bigger than odds against, but we’ll push the boat out a touch on this occasion and go with an exact winning margin of three at a far chunkier price.

 

Tottenham to beat Inter Milan at 19/10
Spurs have suffered damaging back-to-back defeats after starting the season with three straight wins, but should be pretty confident of taking three points at the San Siro.

Spurs are supposedly in the doldrums because they sit sixth in the Premier League with nine points from five games; Inter, back in the Big Cup after a painful six-year absence, are 14th in Serie A after winning just one of their opening four games.

And that win came away from home at a Bologna side with one point from four games. At the San Siro, Inter have already lost to Parma and drawn with Torino.

Clearly, Tottenham are not at their best right now and are by no means good things here. But they are a better side than Inter, and their recent form – even with those two defeats – is better. Spurs are very rarely going to be almost 2/1 against inferior opposition so it’s worth getting involved here.

 

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Liverpool/Liverpool HT/FT v PSG at 21/10
The match of the night pits Champions League royalty against a team desperate to reach that level and it could be a cracker.

Both teams have started their domestic campaigns with five straight wins, so in a way the obvious play here would be a draw that sees both sides remain unbeaten. In most groups, that would be a result both sides would probably be reasonably happy with, but with Napoli also genuine qualification contenders both Liverpool and PSG will know the importance of a fast start to the campaign.

The onus will be on Liverpool as the home side, but in truth they are a team that can only play at full tilt anyway. You can be sure there will be no let-up after last season’s near-miss.

The ominous thing about Liverpool’s perfect start to the season is the fact there remains clear room for improvement. Nevertheless they have led at both half-time and full-time in every game this season, and you can pretty much double the price of a Liverpool win by adding a half-time lead into the equation.

 

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