Internazionale have made a poor start to the Serie A season and look vulnerable against a strong Bayern Munich team in their opening Champions League match.
Checking out the top sportsbook sites (see our online sportsbook reviews here), we can see that Bayern Munich are clear favorites to start their Champions League campaign with a win, despite being the away side in their opener. The German champions are rated as -120 while the home team are at +285. And, if you think a draw is on the cards, you can wager on that option at +315.
This is where the Champions League really begins. The Group Stage of the tournament offers us the chance to see Europe’s best teams. Some of them got through to this stage directly, and others arrived here after successful qualifying campaigns. There are eight Groups with four teams in each, and the top two teams at the end of this stage will go through to the knockout stage of the competition. But with six games to play, squad rotation and strategy are a key part of the way big teams approach the Groups.
Two of the biggest teams in Europe go head-to-head on Wednesday evening in what is sure to be a fascinating battle, but Bayern have the edge over their Italian rivals.
Simone Inzaghi is an attack-minded coach, but so far this season, his team has not struck the right balance between defense and attack. They’re the second-highest goalscorers in Serie A, but only two teams in the league have conceded more goals than Inter, which leaves them vulnerable here.
Bayern have yet to really fire in the Bundesliga, having drawn two of their last three, but they are still undefeated and Julian Nagelsmann rested some key players at the weekend, so they will be fresh for this one. The news that Romelu Lukaku will miss this game through injury is a major blow to Inter, and they face a hard struggle against dangerous opponents.
Contrasting starts to the season for these two teams mean that this clash of two of the oldest names in European football is likely not to be a straightforward one.
Liverpool have made a poor start to their season. Although they’ve only lost once so far, they have dropped valuable points against Fulham, Crystal Palace and Everton, and nine of their 15 goals came in a single match, against Bournemouth. Sadio Mane’s departure and a string of injuries appear to have unsettled the Liverpool system, while defensively they are looking more vulnerable than usual.
By contrast, Napoli are having an excellent start to the season. They lead the way in Serie A and in Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, the ‘Georgian Maradona’ have uncovered an exciting new star. The bookies have been slow to downgrade Liverpool, and the home team look the best pick here.
Having been ninth in the Premier League when Antonio Conte took over at Tottenham last season, the north London club pulled off an impressive feat when they clinched the fourth spot in the table and qualified for the Champions League and will hope to emulate the 2019 campaign when they reached the final.
Conte’s record as a manager marks him out as one of Europe’s best, although it is worth noting that his teams have failed to get out of the Group stages in this tournament four out of the last five times.
That perhaps suggests that the particular demands of navigating the Group format don’t play to his strengths as a coach. If that’s the case, Marseille look capable of capitalizing. They’ve made a strong start to their Ligue 1 season and have match winners in Dimitri Payet and Alexis Sanchez.
Atletico Madrid have had an uncertain start to their La Liga season, but their defensive strength remains daunting. Diego Simeone’s team have conceded only three goals so far in four games, and that is in stark contrast to the chaotic defensive form that they showed last season when their goals against tallly was the highest out of all the teams in the top eight.
Last year’s Portuguese double winners Porto look in better form, with four wins under their belt already, but they have also been notably strong at the back. Five games into the season, Sergio Conceicao’s team have only conceded four goals.
The combined defensive record of these teams so far this season is an impressive 0.78 goals against per game and that suggests spectators could be in for a tough watch in Madrid. The home side are the clear favorites here, but the value is with the draw.