The Champions League returns this week and there are several fascinating fixtures to look forward to as the group stage gets underway.
Four Premier League teams are among those in action, including Newcastle United’s first appearance in the competition for two decades.
A £10 wager on our three-leg acca would pay out £59.37, while the same stake on our five-leg version offers a potential return of £159.30.
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AC Milan vs Newcastle United: Under 2.5 goals (11/10)
Newcastle United are back in Europe’s premier competition – and not before time.
One of the biggest clubs in England consistently punched below its weight during Mike Ashley’s ownership, but they are about to return to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
Being drawn alongside Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan has complicated Newcastle’s task somewhat, but each of those sides would have wanted to avoid the Magpies too.
After a run of two clean sheets in their previous 22 matches, Newcastle went back to basics against Brentford on Saturday. A 1-0 victory stopped the rot after three straight defeats before the international break.
Newcastle will be determined to keep things tight first and foremost at San Siro, where AC Milan could be on a downer following a 5-1 thumping by arch-rivals Inter at the weekend.
This looks set to be a close encounter, so do not expect a goal-fest in Italy’s second city.
⚽ Go for under 2.5 goals when Newcastle visit San Siro at 11/10 with bet365 ⚽
Manchester City vs Red Star Belgrade: Man City to win to nil (8/13)
Manchester City begin the defence of their Champions League crown on Tuesday when Red Star Belgrade come to town.
Pep Guardiola’s side are the holders and favourites to win this year’s competition, and five wins from five at the start of the Premier League season suggests their hunger is still there after last term’s treble.
This is perhaps the toughest opening game possible for Red Star Belgrade, who were crowned European champions back in 1991.
They have not made the knockout phase of the tournament since then, however, and they will struggle to hold City at bay.
Expect Red Star to be pinned back in their own half for most of this encounter. Quite frankly, it would be a surprise if City – who beat West Ham United 3-1 on Saturday – did not keep a clean sheet against the Serbian champions.
⚽ Back Manchester City to win to nil at 8/13 with bet365 ⚽
Paris Saint-Germain vs Borussia Dortmund: PSG to win (3/4)
After Manchester City finally lifted the Champions League trophy last season, Paris Saint-Germain will hope that this is their year.
They are now managed by a former winner in Luis Enrique, who led Barcelona to European glory in 2015.
There has been substantial turnover at the Parc des Princes over the summer, with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Marco Verratti among the big names to depart.
PSG have made a mixed start to the Ligue 1 season, winning only two of their first five games. Borussia Dortmund have also had a shaky opening in the Bundesliga, triumphing in only half of their four matches to date.
Both teams should improve as the campaign wears on, but it is hard to see Dortmund outperforming PSG in the Champions League.
With home advantage behind them, we fancy Luis Enrique’s side to get off to a winning start.
⚽ Tip Paris Saint-Germain to beat Borussia Dortmund at 3/4 with bet365 ⚽
Add the following two bets to make it a 5-fold acca.
Bayern Munich vs Manchester United: Bayern Munich to win (8/15)
Manchester United is not a happy club right now. Following the Mason Greenwood saga, Antony has now stepped away from the first team amid domestic violence allegations.
Jadon Sancho is also training apart from the rest of the squad after his public fallout with Erik ten Hag.
United are in the bottom half of the Premier League table after losing three of their first five games, including a 3-1 defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion at the weekend.
And things could get worse before they get better with this daunting trip to the Allianz Arena.
Bayern Munich have not been perfect at the start of 2023/24 and Thomas Tuchel did not get everything he wanted in the summer transfer market.
But Bayern should prove too strong for a United team that has not played well yet this term.
⚽ Choose Bayern Munich as the victors in this one at 8/15 with bet365 ⚽
Real Sociedad vs Inter: Both teams to score (3/4)
Inter were the runners-up in last season’s Champions League and they will be targeting another deep run in the tournament this time around.
A 5-1 demolition of AC Milan was the perfect preparation for this trip to Anoeta, but this will be a tricky match for Inter.
Real Sociedad have scored in all three of their La Liga home games so far this season, while they only lost three times on their own patch in 2022/23.
Inter have won four out of four in Serie A so far and they will arrive in northern Spain with the mentality that only victory will do.
The Nerazzurri may well come out on top but they should expect a stiffer challenge from Real Sociedad than that which Monzo, Cagliari, Fiorentina and even Milan have provided back home in recent weeks.
⚽ Round off your acca by tipping both teams to score in San Sebastian at 3/4 with bet365 ⚽
About the author
Greg Lea is a freelance football writer from London. He predominantly covers the Premier League and has had work published by the Guardian, FourFourTwo, ESPN and others.
Follow Greg on Twitter @GregLeaFootball
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