The Champions League continues on Tuesday night with both Manchester clubs in action. We have four best bets.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Manchester United v Juventus
Group H, 2000 BST, BT Sport 2
The headlines will be focused on Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Manchester when his Juventus side visit Old Trafford to take on United in their Group H encounter.
A positive result of some kind for the home side would be a welcome relief to Jose Mourinho, who continues to come under scrutiny given his side's Premier League form so far.
The Red Devils sit ninth in the domestic standings and second in their Champions League group. Even with defeat, a positive goal difference should mean that they remain in that position at the end of play but it's less clear how many more blows the man in charge can survive.
Juve are, rightly, the favourites for this one given their incredible 16-game unbeaten run in competitive games, with 14 of those being victories. They've secured maximum points in all five of their away games so far this season as well, scoring at least two goals in each encounter.
The temptation may be to back Ronaldo here, but it is worth noting his awful record against Mourinho's teams. In 14 games against his fellow countryman, Ronaldo has only scored on one occasion.
The Serie A side should have enough about them to wrap up their third victory of the Champions League campaign regardless of whether their star man contributes, and given the quality in attack, they're fancied to score two or more at odds-against.
United's defensive record has been poor in recent weeks. They've conceded at least two goals in four of their last five competitive games which includes against Newcastle, who sit bottom of the Premier League table, and Championship side Derby.
United have also conceded two or more goals in three of their six home games, keeping a clean sheet on just one occasion, and it could be another miserable night for the man in the dugout.
Best bet: Juventus to score 2+ goals at 7/5
Manchester United v Juventus Opta facts
- This will be the first meeting between Manchester United and Juventus since the second group stage of the 2002-03 Champions League – the Red Devils won both games (2-1 at home, 3-0 away).
- Manchester United have won their last three meetings with Juventus in all competitions, more than they had in their first nine against them (W2 D2 L5).
- On each of the previous six occasions Man Utd and Juventus have met in Europe, one of the teams has reached the final of that competition – Juventus in the UEFA Cup in 1976-77, the Cup Winner’s Cup in 1983-84 and the Champions League in 1996-97, 1997-98 and 2002-03, while Man Utd reached the Champions League final in 1998-99.
- Manchester United have faced Juventus 12 times in total (W5 D2 L5), more than they’ve faced any other team in European competition.
- Manchester United have kept a clean sheet in both of their Champions League games this season. On the two previous occasions they’ve kept a clean sheet in each of their first three, they’ve ended up reaching the final (2008-09 and 2010-11).
- Juventus have won their two Champions League games this season by an aggregate score of 5-0. Three times previously they’ve won their opening three in the competition (1995-96, 2003-04 and 2004-05), with 2004-05 being the only time they’ve done so without conceding.
- Juventus have lost just two of their last 23 Champions League group stage games (W14 D7), with both defeats coming against Spanish opposition.
- Paul Pogba has had a hand in all three of Man Utd’s Champions League goals this season (2 goals, 1 assist). This will be his first appearance against his former side.
- Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo has scored five goals and provided two assists in his six Champions League games against sides he’s previously played for. This includes a goal in both of his appearances against Manchester United in the competition.
- Only Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech (12) has had more shots without scoring in the Champions League this season than Man Utd striker Marcus Rashford (9).
- Against Young Boys, Paulo Dybala became the fourth Juventus player to score a Champions League hat-trick (also Inzaghi, Vidal and Del Piero) – the only Italian side with more hat-trick scorers are AC Milan (5).
Shakhtar v Manchester City
Group F, 2000 BST, BT Sport 3
Manchester City are on the hunt to claim top spot in Group F and will fancy their chances of victory when they travel to take on Shakhtar.
The hosts have picked up two points so far with two draws, scoring and conceding two in each game.
Based on that track record, we should expect more goals here and that is reflected in the best price of 11/10 on over 3.5 which, of course, the visitors could well manage alone.
That being said City, despite possessing one of the best squads in Europe, have found the Champions League a tough playground and have conceded three goals in their opening two games, including a shock defeat at home to Lyon.
They also conceded within a minute last time out in this competition against Hoffenheim and Shakhtar are capable of scoring, especially with Junior Moraes in attack.
The Brazilian has been outstanding since joining from Dynamo Kiev in the summer, scoring 12 and assisting a further five in 14 games in all competitions.
He is also showing decent form in the Champions League with two goals on his tally and an assist - averaging a goal every 87 minutes that he plays.
The 31-year-old is a best price of 12/5 to carry on that goal scoring form here, which looks a good price considering City's defensive weaknesses in Europe.
Best bet: Junior Moraes to score anytime at 12/5
Shakhtar v Manchester City Opta facts
- This will be the third meeting between Shakhtar Donetsk and Man City, with the sides having also faced off in the group stages of the Champions League last season.
- The home side has won both previous meetings between Shakhtar and Manchester City, with the Citizens winning 2-0 and the Ukrainian side winning 2-1 in the Champions League group stages last season.
- Shakhtar have never lost a home match against English sides in European competition (W5 D2), with their most recent such game being a 2-1 win against Man City in the Champions League last season.
- Shakhtar have scored at least twice in each of their last seven home Champions League games, losing just one of those (W5 D1).
- Manchester City have won four of their last six Champions League away games, losing the other two.
- Man City have only failed to score in one of their last 15 Champions League group stage games, with this coming in a 0-4 defeat to Barcelona in October 2016.
- 17 of Shakhtar Donetsk’s last 19 Champions league goals have been scored by players from South American countries, including 14 from Brazil.
- Shakhtar Donetsk’s Moraes has scored in two of his last three Champions League appearances, after netting in just one of his previous 12 in the competition.
- Sergio Aguero has played 49 Champions League games for Man City, and could become the first player to make 50 appearances for them in the competition.
- Sergio Aguero has scored 22 goals in the Champions League group stages for Manchester City – only Didier Drogba (23 for Chelsea) has more for an English club.
Hoffenheim v Lyon
Group F, 2000 BST, BT Sport Extra 4
I tipped him up for the game against Manchester City, in which he looked threatening in advanced positions for the hosts, and I'm willing to put my faith in Joshua Brenet again against Lyon.
He has struck twice in the five games he has played in so far this season, with four of those outings being a spot in the starting XI. Game time has admittedly been a little hard to come by, although head coach Julian Nagelsmann suggested in his pre-match press conference a placing in the side awaits here.
The 24-year-old was signed from PSV Eindhoven in the summer, where he played as a full-back, but he has been used in more advanced roles for his current side.
Four of the five games he has played in so far have seen him line up as an midfielder, but some firms have effectively priced him up as a full-back which makes for great value in the anytime scorer market.
The shortest price available on him is 7/2, which highlights that he is one of those players more than capable of scoring if he does start. At 12/1 in places, there is certainly a case for backing him from a value perspective and anything in that region should be taken.
Results may not be going the way of the hosts, but the key factor for this bet is the fact that they have scored in each of their five competitive home games this season. Lyon have managed to keep just one clean sheet on the road so far, they were also hammered 5-0 by PSG in their last outing.
The Bundesliga outfit seem to have faith that they can pick up enough points to progress from this group, even after leaving empty-handed against Manchester City, and victory over Lyon will go a long way into helping them achieve that goal.
Best bet: Joshua Brenet to score anytime at 12/1
1899 Hoffenheim v Lyon Opta facts
- This will be the first ever competitive meeting between Hoffenheim and Lyon. It will also be Hoffenheim’s first meeting with French opposition.
- Lyon have lost four of their last five Champions League matches against German opposition (W1), this after a run of eight unbeaten games against German sides (W6 D2).
- Lyon have won Champions League away games against four different German opponents (Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen and VfB Stuttgart) – only Barcelona (5) have won away against more in the competition.
- TSG Hoffenheim have won just one of their 10 matches in all European competition (D3 L6), with that solitary victory coming against Istanbul Basaksehir in the Europa League last season.
- Hoffenheim lost their first ever home Champions League match – the only German side to lose their first two home games in the competition were Schalke in the 200102 campaign.
- Hoffenheim have opened the scoring within the first six minutes in both of their Champions League games, but have failed to win either (D1 L1).
- Lyon have won their last two Champions League away games – they’ve never managed three consecutive victories on the road in the competition before.
- All four of Lyon’s Champions League goals this season have been scored by different players.
- Nabil Fekir has been involved in 75% of Lyon’s four Champions League goals this season (1 goal, 2 assists).
- 16 of Lyon’s last 17 Champions League goals have been scored by French players, with the exception being Maxwel Cornet’s strike against Man City on MD1.
Ajax v Benfica
Group E, 2000 BST, BT Sport Extra 2
Bayern Munich's early season struggles have given Ajax an advantage in Group E as they sit in first with four points from a possible six.
Erik ten Hag's side beat AEK 3-0 in their opening encounter before picking up a point away at the Allianz against Bayern on Matchday 2.
They've also enjoyed their domestic season so far with seven wins from nine, although PSV's perfect record has denied them top spot in the league.
Ajax are a side who know where the net is, that's highlighted in their 25 Eredivisie goals alongside the four they have struck in Europe, and there should be more here.
In the four league games played at the Johan Cruyff Arena this season, Ajax have scored 14 and conceded just one. They're rightly the favourites here and victory will help to keep them ahead of Bayern, who should win in Greece.
Due to the number of goals they have scored, there is value in looking in the goalscorer market and Dusan Tadic provides the best price.
The former Southampton man has been a star since his switch from St. Mary's in the summer, scoring nine goals and assisting a further eight in 17 appearances in all competitions.
He has three goals and five assists in Europe too, showing that he is more than capable of doing it on the biggest stage in club football.
Given that Ajax are expected to strike here, best odds of 13/5 on Tadic to score anytime looks a little overpriced due to his performances for the Dutch outfit and how quickly he has adapted to life in a new division.
Best bet: Dusan Tadic to score anytime at 13/5
Ajax v Benfica Opta facts
- This will be the first competitive meeting between Ajax and Benfica since the 1971-72 European Cup semi-final. The Dutch side won 1-0 at home before drawing 0-0 away to progress to the final.
- Benfica won their first ever European meeting with Ajax (3-1 in February 1969), but are winless in their subsequent four against them (D1 L3).
- Dutch clubs have won just one of their eight Champions League meetings with Portuguese sides (D4 L3), with Ajax beating Porto 2-1 in September 1998.
- Ajax have won one and drawn one of their two Champions League group stage games this season. The last time they were unbeaten in their first three group games was in the 1995-96 campaign (excludes a second group stage in 2002-03).
- Ajax have won their last two Champions League home games (December 2014 vs APOEL Nicosia and on MD1 this season vs AEK Athens). They last won more consecutively in the competition back in the mid-nineties (a run of seven between 1994 and 1996).
- Following a run of eight consecutive defeats in the competition, Benfica won their last Champions League match and are looking to secure back-to-back victories for the first time since November 2016.
- Benfica have kept just one clean sheet in their last 14 away Champions League matches, conceding at least twice in each of the last six.
- Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech has attempted the joint-most shots in the Champions League this season (12, level with Lionel Messi) – however, the Moroccan has failed to find the net.
- Three of Ajax’s four Champions League goals this season have been scored by defenders.
- Haris Seferovic has scored two of Benfica’s last four Champions League goals.
Odds correct as of 1615 BST on 22/10/18