Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham all begin their group stage campaigns in the Champions League on Wednesday, with holders Real Madrid also beginning their title defence.
Liverpool are back in Europe’s top club competition for the first time since 2014 and it is the first time under Jurgen Klopp as they host Spanish side Sevilla at Anfield.
Klopp is picking his side up from their shock 5-0 defeat to Manchester City and is expecting a tough clash against the Liga outfit.
“I expect a very strong Sevilla side. [Playing against teams like this] is what the Champions League is all about. They’ve done an outstanding job in the last few years. They have all our respect. They’re a very strong side. We’re aware of who we’re about to face,” said the German.
Likewise, whilst many believe Manchester City will be far too strong for Dutch champions Feyenoord in Rotterdam – Pep Guardiola is refusing to look too far ahead.
“It doesn’t matter who we are playing, the famous teams or the lower teams. Hopefully, the players can enjoy being here. We are starting in a country that appreciates and loves football and we will try to do our best,” Guardiola said.
Tottenham are back at Wembley as they host Borussia Dortmund and Maurcio Pochettino feels they need to beat the Germans – who they are competing with for second, with Real Madrid expected to win Group H.
“It’s so important to try to win the game. Dortmund are a great team but in our mind our mentality is to win and be aggressive from the start,” he said.
“It is so important to start well in the competition and get the three points. In theory it should be Real Madrid first and the others trying for second, but football is not about theory.”
Madrid begin their quest for a third straight title with a home clash against Crypriot minnows APOEL.
Elsewhere, Porto entertain Besiktas, Slovenian champions Maribor face Spartak Moscow, Napoli travel to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk and RB Leipzig make their debut in the competition by hosting Monaco.
See below for a run-down on the game, including predictions from former England, Crystal Palace and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray, leading agent Barry Silkman and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey together with everything you need to know from the bookies – with BoyleSports’s Leon Blanche.
Football INDEX is a stockmarket game where players, known as Traders, take a position on the “future success” of footballers with real money – CLICK HERE to play and start winning, and take advantage of your £20 cashback only with TheGamblingTimes.
Liverpool 19:45 Sevilla
TEAM NEWS: Loris Karius will start in goal for Liverpool, whilst Mo Salah is a doubt due to a cold. Philippe Coutinho could be involved, but Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne remain sidelined. Johannes Geis and Nolito are sidelined for the visitors
KEY FACT: Liverpool have won last six European games at Anfield
MATCH ODDS: Liverpool 3/4 Draw 3/1 Sevilla 7/2
ANDY SAYS: I think the Spanish side might cause a shock here and claim a win…0-1
GRAEME SAYS: This could be a tight one here, and I think there could be goals, just Liverpool…3-2
SILKY SAYS: Not sure I can separate these two and I think that Sevilla will get something…1-1
BOYLE SPORT PICK: Sadio Mane to score first @ 9/2
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Just over £3 – Mane still looks a very good investment
Feyenoord 19:45 Manchester City
TEAM NEWS: Yaya Toure has been left behind by City for sporting reasons, whilst captain Vincent Kompany is a doubt. Ridgeciano Haps and Nicolai Jorgensen are ruled out for Feyenoord whilst Kenneth Vermeer, Bilal Basacıkoglu and Sven Van Beek are all doubts.
KEY FACT: Feyenoord in group stage for first time in 15 years
MATCH ODDS: Feyenoord 8/1 Draw 4/1 Man City 4/11
ANDY SAYS: This could be closer than some people think, but City should win…1-2
GRAEME SAYS: I don’t see City being troubled at all here…0-3
SILKY SAYS: I think Feyenoord will give this a good go and will keep it close…1-2
BOYLE SPORT PICK: Sergio Aguero to score @ 8/11
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: £2.69 for Sergio Aguero – why wouldn’t you go in for him?
Tottenham Hotspur 19:45 Borussia Dortmund
TEAM NEWS: Dele Alli is suspended for Spurs, whilst Danny Rose and Victor Wanyama are sidelined. Dortmund have a lengthy injury list with Marc Bartra, Julian Weigl, Erik Durm, Sebastian Rode, Marcel Schmelzer and Raphael Guerreiro all out. Former Chelsea man Andre Schurrle may feature.
KEY FACT: Spurs won one of four 16/17 European home games
MATCH ODDS: Spurs 5/4 Draw 13/5 Dortmund 21/10
ANDY SAYS: I think Spurs’ poor form will continue with Dortmund getting the win…1-2
GRAEME SAYS: I can see Spurs putting their Wembley hoodoo behind them…2-1
SILKY SAYS: Tough call this one but I think it will end up a draw…2-2
BOYLE SPORT PICK: Draw @ 5/2
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at under £2 – great investment