Dinamo Zagreb v Chelsea
A new Champions League season is upon us with Chelsea and Dinamo Zagreb kicking off proceedings in Tuesday’s early clash. The hosts will want to make a statement early on in the campaign by getting something here, and their electric domestic start to the season could give them the confidence to do so. They’ve won seven of their eight unbeaten matches so far in the league and currently sit eight points clear the top of the table already as they gun for their sixth successive title.
Chelsea would be their toughest test yet though, despite a shaky start to the campaign. Thomas Tuchel’s men sit sixth having dropped points in half of their games, while they’ve failed to convince in any of their victories so far and will be hoping the close of the transfer window will allow the squad to settle slightly as they prepare for a mammoth season.
The Croatian side shouldn’t be slept on, having reached the 2020/21 Europa League Quarters, while they also posted victories over the likes of West Ham and Sevilla last season. However, while they’re yet to lose a home game in 2022, they haven’t kept a clean sheet at the Stadion Maksimir for eight matches now.
Chelsea have conceded nine goals already this season, and have been helped out by VAR on more that one occasion so Tuchel has to decide what needs shaking up at the back. Until they start showing some resolve, both teams to score offers some value here. Zagreb have scored 29 times in eight home games this season, including 10 in three in this competition’s qualifiers.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
Sevilla v Man City
Sevilla have had a poor start to the campaign and would have been hoping they at least had one win under their belt before taking on a side as dangerous as Man City. As it happens, though, they have just one point on the board domestically, and a 3-0 defeat to Barcelona at the weekend doesn’t bode well for this one.
Man City fell short of expectations themselves in their 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, and while that’s the second game they’ve failed to win this season, their dominance in others show that it’s not anything to worry about from their perspective.
The hosts haven’t lost back-to-back matches at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan since February 2021, while they only lost two games at home in the entirety of last season. However, their record since the beginning of the 2020/21 season against elite sides at home makes for different reading. Against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Dortmund is W1-D1-L6, and City more than fit into that bracket.
City have conceded nine times in seven outings this season already (when including the Community Shield), and while we’d expect them to come out on top against a slow-starting Sevilla side, the both teams to score market produces some value here.
MAN CITY TO WIN AND BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
Celtic v Real Madrid
Both Celtic and Real Madrid have made electric starts to the campaign and while the Spanish giant have started a title defence with four wins from four so far, The Scots look as though they can’t be stopped with six from six in the league and one away win in the cup. They’ve not failed to score at least twice in any match so far, and have netted 19 across their last three alone, including a very impressive 4-0 win over rivals Rangers.
Real obviously pose much more of a threat though, and also have netted at least twice in all their outings this year. They are yet to keep a clean sheet in the league though, conceding a first-half goal in every game and we’d expect the hosts to get on the scoresheet here considering.
Each of Los Blancos’ game have followed a similar pattern, struggling in the first half before coming up trumps deeper in the second, and it’s worth a flutter on that pattern to emerge again here. They’ve been level at the break in two of their last three before going on to win, while the exception also looked like it was going to be level away at Celta Vigo before Luka Modric netted merely minutes before the interval.
REAL MADRID TO WIN AND BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
DRAW/REAL - HT/FT
PSG v Juve
The highlight clash of the opening night sees a star-studded PSG line-up take on 36-time Serie A winners Juventus. The Italian side have made an unbeaten start to the campaign, but three draws from five outings is far from convincing as they sit in sixth, albeit just two points off the top.
PSG have looked dangerous domestically this year, winning six of their seven unbeaten matches so far, scoring three or more in each of those wins, while the front three of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar already have 20 to their name between them.
This will be the first meeting of the sides since 1996, while PSG have only hosted one Italian side since returning to the Champions League in 2012 (2-2 vs Napoli), so there’s not much indication on that front.
Paul Pogba, Federico Chiesa and Wojciech Szczesny are just a few of Juventus’ many injury problems, and while Leonardo Bonucci could return to the side, it’s unlikely to do much to stop the threat of the hosts’ front three. Ultimately, PSG look to have too much quality and while we’d expect the Old Lady to progress from this group, they may have to endure an opening day defeat and recover in order to do so.
PSG TO WIN
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