With September’s international break over and club football back, it means that its time for a new season of Champions League Football to get underway.
The first night of Group Stage action sees Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and last season’s runner-up, Liverpool amongst those in action as groups A, B, C and D kick off another action packed season of European Football.
Now will we see a team from this half of draw look set to eventually knock three time defending champions, Real Madrid off their patch?
Club Brugge vs Borussia Dortmund
Monaco vs Atletico Madrid
This should be a nice and easy start for Borussia Dortmund because I really don’t see Club Brugge causing them much trouble, despite Dortmund conceding in three of their opening four matches this season
Monaco meanwhile really need something against Atletico here because they are struggling domestically whilst the Spanish side have made a solid start to their La Liga campaign.
Defence seems to be the biggest issue for Monaco who are however are stronger on the attack goals wise so far, with seven goals to Atletico’s three.
This therefore is a tough one to predict so a draw wouldn’t be much of a surprise.
Club Brugge 0-3 Borussia Dortmund
Monaco 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Club Brugge 0-1 Borussia Dortmund
Monaco 1-2 Atletico Madrid
Barcelona vs PSV
Inter Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur
For Tottenham this is an absolute must win because defeat here could come back to bite them come December.
Inter Milan meanwhile are unbeaten at home against Spurs, scoring four goals in each of two previous meetings here so will have real belief of marking their return from a six year exile in style.
There are however two things that could undo them here. First, the Champions League has evolved massively from when they were last in the competition which will provide a huge challenge to overcome.Embed from Getty Images
The second obstacle is that this is a radically different Spurs side who are a solid team and have various goal scorers across the pitch from Harry Kane to Christian Eriksen to Jan Vertonghen.
Either way, victory is important for both and I am backing Spurs here simply because this is Inter’s first Champions League game in six years. so nerves might catch them out here.
Over at Nou Camp, Barcelona and PSV have both made excellent starts to their domestic season but given the quality of the Catalonian side, I can see a simple home win.
Barcelona 2-0 PSV
Inter Milan 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Barcelona 4-0 PSV
Inter Milan 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Red Star Belgrade vs Napoli
Liverpool vs PSG
I definitely expect Napoli to win here because they have a top manager in Carlo Ancelotti and a squad which Red Star really won’t be able to cope with, unless they produce a real defensive display.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool vs PSG meanwhile should be a corker because Liverpool look fierce when pushing forward, particularly with Sadio Mane on left but the French side have Neymar and Kylian Mbappe amongst their ranks.
Add in the fact that both are unbeaten domestically and we should see goals at both ends, although Liverpool have only conceded twice to PSG’s four.
Ultimately, I am going for a Liverpool win because they will have home advantage which was like a hellish fortress last season and they won their only previous home clash with PSG.
Red Star Belgrade 0-2 Napoli
Liverpool 3-2 PSG
Red Star Belgrade 0-0 Napoli
Liverpool 3-2 PSG
Schalke vs Porto
Galatasaray vs Lokomotiv Moscow
This group looks very unpredictable because any of these sides could progress so predicting each matchweek is probably going to be tough.
Schalke are currently winless domestically so need to use this match as a platform to find some momentum but Porto look really strong and I can see them getting a comfortable win, if Schalke don’t turn up defensively.
Galatasaray meanwhile should win their clash with an out of form Lokomotiv Moscow who seem to vary in performance every match.
Schalke 0-2 Porto
Galatasaray 2-1 Lokomotiv Moscow
Schalke 1-1 Porto
Galatasaray 3-0 Lokomotiv Moscow