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Champions League ACCA: Five fantastic favourites to put one foot in group stages

17 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Champions League ACCA: Five fantastic favourites to put one foot in group stages

A host of established European names are a round away from the continent's premier club competition - there is no room for error

3/5 – Celtic to beat Malmo

Celtic are almost certain to continue their dominance of Scottish football and it is this domestic ease which gives them freedom to go all out in Europe.

The Hoops have enjoyed considerable success in recent campaigns in the Champions League, defeating the likes of Inter Milan and Barcelona.

Ronny Deila’s side have started this European campaign in similarly positive fashion, winning three out of their four fixtures against FK Qarabag and Stjarnan.

With the backing of a passionate Celtic Park crowd they can get the job done against their Swedish opposition.

9/20 – Basel to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv

Last year’s Swiss Super League champions have carried their dominance into the new campaign – winning all five of their league fixtures – while remaining untouchable in the Champions League qualifying stages.

It is in Europe that Basel have had considerable success in recent years, regularly reaching the group stages of the Champions League and making a run to the Europa League semi-final in 2013 before being eventually downed by Chelsea.

This European pedigree alone should be enough to scare off Maccabi, a team with little Champions League experience who traditionally struggle on the road.

4/5 – Valencia to beat AS Monaco

Only Barcelona and Real Madrid were statistically stronger at home than Valencia last season and it is this form at the Mestalla Stadium that makes Nuno Santo’s side justifiably warm favourites to beat Monaco.

The French club were the Champions League’s surprise side last year, frustrating the likes of Zenit St Petersburg and Arsenal with robust defensive displays.

This negative style of play is unlikely to reap the rewards against a Valencia side oozing firepower, however. A comfortable home victory looks on the cards.

7/5 – Shakhtar Donetsk to beat Rapid Vienna

Shakhtar Donetsk’s 3-0 aggregate triumph over Fenerbahce in the previous Champions League qualifying round demonstrated again just what a competent outfit they are in Europe.

The Ukranian side have excelled in elite competitions in recent years, qualifying from the Champions League group stages last season and reaching the quarter finals in 2011.

These results go hand in hand with a Europa League victory in 2009 and consistent dominance of their domestic league.

They are a superb price when considering the hosts’ lack of experience and quality at this level.

10/11 – Dinamo Zagreb to beat Skenderbeu

Little-known European minnows Skenderbeu face the biggest match in the club’s history on Wednesday, but Dinamo Zagreb are widely expected to play the role of party poopers.

The Croatian side travel to Albania armed with quality in all areas and the likes of Angelo Henriquez and Ante Coric should cause all sorts of problems.

Dinamo manager Zoran Mamic has got his side playing resolute, efficient football and they won’t be fazed by this potentially tricky trip.

£10 on the five-fold accumulator returns £191.33.

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Champions League betting

*Odds and amounts correct at time of publication but subject to change. See site for latest.