Predictions

2017-18 Champions League Group Stage 1 – Tuesday

The 2017-18 UEFA Champions League kicks off the group stage with some tasty clashes.

Manchester United, Celtic and Chelsea headline Tuesday’s action for British fans. For those preferring European action, Barcelona host Juventus in a rematch of last season’s quarter final.

 

Manchester United v Basel

This is a potentially challenging game for Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils against a team, yet to lose at Old Trafford.

Both teams have one win and two draws from five previous meetings. Basel have however visited Old Trafford twice and got draws from each trip so expect them to push United all the way.

Paul Pogba’s record in this competition is poor with two goals in 32 appearances with previous clubs. Can he turn it around here?

Luckily, the Swiss team haven’t won their last ten Champions League games. That stat will surely be at forefront of their mind before kick off.

I am predicting a home win purely because Man U are a strong club and Lukaku will be keen to prove why he deserves Champions League football.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Basel

Result: Manchester United 3-0 Basel

 

Celtic vs PSG

Celtic are undefeated domestically but face a tough test against one of this season’s title favourites in PSG.

PSG have spent heavily over this summer, bringing in the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

There will be no fitness advantage because both teams played on Friday night, recording 4-1 and 5-1 wins respectively.

We definitely shouldn’t expect those type of results here, if Celtic can keep Neymar, Mbappe and Edison Cavani quiet.

The Hoops will try but I think PSG will have that extra edge to take the three points.

Prediction: Celtic 0-2 PSG

Result: Celtic 0-5 PSG

 

Chelsea vs Qarabag

This one is difficult to read due to Azerbaijani clubs only just rising into European leagues.

Tottenham till kick off stand as the only English side to have faced Qarabag. They won both legs 3-1 and 1-0.

Chelsea have a strong recent record in the Champions League group stage with just one defeat in last 13 games at this section.

Qarabag have won only four of their 18 group stage matches in an European competition so should be easy beating here.

I think that Chelsea will have plenty in them even if rotate to get a comfortable win.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Qarabag

Result: Chelsea 6-0 Qarabag

 

Barcelona vs Juventus

This match marks the first competitive meeting between these teams since last season’s quarter final.

Both teams have lost key players in Neymar and Dani Alves to PSG and seem unaffected coming into this clash.

Juventus won their last meeting 3-0 on aggregate despite drawing the match 0-0 here at the Nou Camp.

Realistically, a draw seems likely and that’s how I see things going.

Prediction: Barcelona 1-1 Juventus

Result: Barcelona 3-0 Juventus 

 

 

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