The Premier League has its strangest ever cast of Champions League participants, with Leicester and Tottenham joining Arsenal and Man City in the absence of competition regulars Chelsea and Man United.
Their range of opponents on the opening matchday is every bit as eclectic, and here’s a guide to how their four adversaries have kicked off their campaigns:
Things haven’t quite clicked for the quarter-final constants after a summer of change, with a defeat to Monaco and draw with St-Etienne in their past two outings leaving them three points behind the former and Mario Balotelli and Lucien Favre’s Nice in Ligue 1. Unai Emery was hired for his European silverware-snaring savvy, yet Sevilla claimed just six Champions League group stage points last term.
6/1 to win at Manchester City
The Bundesliga’s fourth-placed finishers became one of only five sides in Man City’s five-year Champions League tenure to be beaten home and away by the Citizens last season. Their 2016-17 started stupendously with a 9-2 aggregate dismissal of Young Boys in the play-off round and 2-1 league victory over Bayer Leverkusen, but momentum was surrendered by losing 3-1 to Freiburg.
19/10 to beat Leicester
This is the Belgian champions’ first group-stage appearance since 2005-06, when they placed a distant third behind Juventus and Bayern Munich. Despite right back Thomas Meunier being their sole big-money deserter, Club Brugge’s title defence is going as badly as visitors Leicester’s, with a three-match winless run, losing to Waasland-Beveren on Friday, sending them into the bottom half.
4/1 to win at Tottenham
Monaco enjoyed arguably their finest transfer window since they stopped throwing money around earlier this decade under Claudio Ranieri. Nobody significant left, they signed three strong defenders yet to peak for around £10m each – Benjamin Mendy, Kamil Glik and Djibril Sidibe – and even have Radamel Falcao back at their disposal with a few goals behind him. That has inspired a promising getaway, conquering Villarreal in both legs of their Champions League play-off and pocketing 10 points from an available 12 in Ligue 1, with PSG among their victims.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.