Champions League betting preview: Best bets and stats for Tuesday's action, including Liverpool and Chelsea's group games

Check out Tuesday's Champions League preview and best bets
Check out Tuesday's Champions League preview and best bets

The Champions League group stages get under way on Tuesday and George Pitts looks ahead to the action.

Recommended bets

1pt Dries Mertens to score anytime in Napoli v Liverpool at 12/5

1pt both teams to score in the first half of Chelsea v Valencia at 19/5

1pt time of first goal 0-15mins in Dortmund v Barca at 19/10

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Napoli v Liverpool

Adrian: Liverpool goalkeeper lifts the Super Cup trophy after his penalty heroics
Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian lifts the Super Cup trophy after his penalty heroics

A repeat meeting from last year's group stages, with the home side winning each fixture 1-0. There is one big difference from then to present day - Liverpool were Champions League runners up, now they are reigning champions.

A trip to the San Paolo Stadium is pretty tough, never mind for the opening game and the Italian crowd will ensure a hostile atmosphere once again. Despite the task in hand for Jurgen Klopp's men, Napoli are 21/10 second favourites and above evens draw no bet.

Napoli and Belgium forward Dries Mertens has started in style for club and country, scoring four in six. Despite the 32-year-old's form and home advantage, he is still behind Liverpool's front three and Divock Origi in the anytime scorer betting at 12/5.

Napoli could really get something from this game and Mertens' performance in the final third could be key to that.

Considering he had seven shots in their Serie A win over Sampdoria on Saturday, two against Juventus and five away at Fiorentina, he is well priced in the shots on target market, but we prefer backing him to find the back of the net at over 2/1.

Best bet: Dries Mertens to score anytime at 12/5

Key stat

  • Over a third of the 55 goals scored by Napoli in the UEFA Champions League (35%) have been scored by either Dries Mertens (10) or Lorenzo Insigne (9).

Chelsea v Valencia

Frank Lampard's Chelsea let a two goal lead slip at home to Sheffield United
Frank Lampard's Chelsea let a two goal lead slip in their last home fixture (v Sheffield United)

After a difficult start, Chelsea are beginning to find their feet under Frank Lampard, but the Champions League level is another step up as the former midfielder takes charge of his first match in Europe's top competition.

Chelsea's young side have proved value for money by scoring 10 goals in their last three games, but they look liable defensively and have already conceded 11 goals in five Premier League games - only Norwich have let in more.

Valencia have collected just four points from their opening four games, shipping five at the weekend at Barcelona, and you would fancy goals at both ends in this one with two attack-minded outfits.

Most of Chelsea's goals have come in the first half - eight out of 11 - and Valencia have found the back of the net in the first half in their last two games. This could be a wide open fixture with plenty of goals from the start and backing both teams to score in the first period is worth a small play at 19/5.

Best bet: BTTS in the first half at 19/5

Key stat

  • Of the 21 clubs to have played at least 100 games in the UEFA Champions League, Chelsea have the fourth best goals per game ratio (1.71) behind only Real Madrid (2.13), Barcelona (2.02) and Bayern Munich (1.90).

Dortmund v Barcelona

Barcelona's talented teenager Ansu Fati celebrates scoring at Camp Nou
Barcelona's talented teenager Ansu Fati celebrates scoring at Camp Nou

Just like Chelsea v Valencia, this match, on paper, screams goals.

Dortmund have won five of six games in 2019/20 and their last four fixtures have all produced over 3.5 total goals (it is 7/5 for the same in this game), while Barcelona are yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

But a more appealing price without relying on a particular team is on the time of the first goal.

Barca's last three games have all had a goal scored inside the opening quarter of an hour while there have been goals in the opening half hour of Dortmund's Bundesliga clashes. Both are quick starters.

Considering the attacking threat from both teams, the 19/10 available on the game's first goal to come inside 15 minutes appeals, from a Group F clash with plenty of potential.

Best bet: Time of first goal 0-15 at 19/10

Key stat

  • 16 of the last 17 defeats suffered by Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League have come in away matches; two of which have come in Germany (both at Bayern Munich).

SPORTING LIFE PRICE BOOST

Both teams to score in:

  • Benfica v RB Leipzig
  • Chelsea v Valencia
  • Dortmund v Barcelona
  • Napoli v Liverpool

Available exclusively for our readers at 13/2, thanks to our friends at Sky Bet

Check out Tuesday's Champions League Sporting Life Price Boost
Click here to check out Tuesday's Champions League Sporting Life Price Boost


Tuesday's Champions League fixtures

The full draw for the Champions League group stages
The full draw for the Champions League group stages
  • Inter Milan v Slavia Prague (1755 BST)
  • Lyon v Zenit St Petersburg (1755 BST)
  • Ajax v Lille
  • Benfica v RB Leipzig
  • Chelsea v Valencia
  • Borussia Dortmund v Barcelona
  • Napoli v Liverpool
  • Salzburg v Genk

Champions League outright preview

The Champions League gets underway in September with 32 teams aiming for European glory. Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets - click the image below to have a read...

Our outright preview and best bets for the 2019/20 Champions League
Our outright preview and best bets for the 2019/20 Champions League

Odds correct as of 1300 BST on 16/09/19

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Related Champions League links


Responsible gambling

We are committed in our support of responsible gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

Sky Bet's responsible gambling tools are detailed here and if you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133, or visit begambleaware.org.

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