The Champions League finally kicks into second gear with just two games to play before the group-stages.
For many clubs their journeys to this point started in early July. The heatwave spread the nation and we were all still recovering from England’s semi-final exploits at the World Cup.
However, we now begin to see the competition take shape as the plucky challengers become real contenders.
With three first leg’s ties kicking things off tonight we take a look at who could strike the first blow.
Bate Borisov v PSV Eindhoven
BATE are no strangers to this stage of the competition. They’ve won four of their last five Champions League play-off ties.
They’ve had a two year absence though and are 13/5 to grab the win. The Belarusian team have Alex Hleb in their side. The former Arsenal man is 4/1 to notch Anytime.
PSV are 11/10 to go back to Eindhoven with the win. Hirving Lozano impressed for Mexico at the World Cup and he’s 11/2 to score 2 Goals or more.
The draw and Both Teams to Score is 17/5.
Red Star Belgrade v Red Bull Salzburg
Red Bull Salzburg eased through their third qualifying round 4-0 on aggregate against Macedonian champions Shkendija.
The original Red Bull franchise are 11/10 to grab the first-leg advantage. Forward Munas Dabour notched two goals against Shkendija and is 9/2 to do so again in Belgrade.
The Serbian side got through the last round in extra-time. The hero that day was forward Nemanja Radonjic. The 22-year-old has scored four goals in six Champions League matches to date.
He’s 10/3 Anytime to make it five goals in seven games. If he does have his shooting boots on then Belgrade could take this, they’re 13/5 to do so. The draw stands at 21/10.
Benfica v PAOK Salonika
Benfica overcame Fenerbahce in the third-qualifying round 2-1 on aggregate and are 4/9 to win here.
PAOK fought off a second-leg comeback from Spartak Moscow to reach this stage of the competition for the first time since 2013-14.
The Greek side are 7/1 for the victory with over 2.5 goals at 4/5.
New signing Chuba Akpom may make an appearance from the bench. He’s 16/1 to be the last goal scorer.
Benfica’s Gedson Fernandes scored in the win over Fenerbahce, the midfielder’s 3/1 to repeat the feat.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication