Champions League Matchweek 1 Predictions: UCL betting tips

The big dogs are expected to bark and bite in UCL Matchweek 1



9 months ago

The UEFA Champions League group stage begins for the final time in its current format this week before switching to the single league, eight-game ‘Swiss Model’ next season.

As the last edition played in the time-honoured modern setup it feels only right that our Champions League Matchweek 1 predictions are all about backing the big dogs to maintain the status quo.

Champions League Matchweek 1 best bets

Manchester City (-3) to beat Crvena Zvezda @ 5/4

Bayern Munich (-1) to beat Manchester United @ 13/10

Jude Bellingham to score against Union Berlin @ 23/20

Bet on the latest UEFA Champions League odds at Betzone

City can brush off early season cobwebs to batter Belgrade

It’s rare to see win-draw-win odds as lopsided as those on offer about City vs the team also known as Red Star Belgrade. Pep Guardiola’s side are 1/25 for victory – their visitors are 33/1 to win.

Handicap punters need City to win by a margin of a least four goals to land an odds-against wager, but the (-3) handicap win did cop three times at the Etihad in last season’s UCL. FC Copenhagen, RB Leipzig and even the mighty Real Madrid were beaten by four or more in Manchester.

These predictions were penned long before the teams have been announced, but the Copenhagen match could prove instructive as to seriously the hosts will take this one.

In last season’s group game win over the Danes Guardiola fielded a full-strength team, despite the low perceived threat level of the opposition and was rewarded with an authoritative 5-0 win.

Tip: Manchester City (-3) to beat Crvena Zvezda @ 5/4

United should struggle in Bavaria in wake of Brighton battering

Bayern Munich conceded just one goal in five Champions League home games last term and that came in a 1-1 draw against eventual winners City. Each of the other four saw them cover the (-1) handicap – impressive given Barcelona, Inter and PSG were among those victims.

United have lost three times already in 2023/24, with each of those defeats to Tottenham, Arsenal and Brighton coming by a margin of a least two goals. Bayern represent a step up from those foes.

Tip: Bayern Munich (-1) to beat Manchester United @ 13/10

Inspired Bellingham an irresistible goalscorer shout at the Bernabeu

Jude Bellingham’s fairytale move to Real Madrid has been a joy to follow for England fans so far this season, with the Birmingham boy going beyond expectations by netting five goals in as many La Liga games.

Available at odds-against to bag anytime against Champions League new boys Union Berlin, he looks well worth backing to continue his scoring heroics.

The Germans have lost the last two of their four Bundesliga games as they bid to follow up a 2022/23 season that surpassed all expectations – getting walloped 3-0 at home by RB Leipzig two games back.

They should be scoring for fodder for Bellingham, who continues to reap the rewards of playing in an unusually attacking role for his new employers.

Tip: Jude Bellingham to score against Union Berlin @ 23/20