Our best bets for the opening round of Champions League fixtures on Tuesday include Newcastle, Celtic, and Manchester City.
AC Milan v Newcastle (17:45)
AC Milan need to dust themselves down after losing 5-1 to Inter on Saturday, but their man-for-man edge in Champions League experience should give them a chance to thwart Newcastle at Stadio San Siro.
The Magpies halted a run of three straight defeats by ending Brentford’s unbeaten Premier League start at the weekend.
Although better, Eddie Howe’s side were nowhere near as convincing as they were at home last term and their away form remains questionable.
Milan should dominate possession with corners, and a lack thereof for Newcastle, being a likely consequence of the hosts having more of the ball.
The Rossoneri have allowed their opponents to win an average of just three corners per game this season and can deny the Magpies many set-piece opportunities in this early evening clash.
When Newcastle went to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City last month they did not win a single corner and Howe’s team only managed three at Brighton on their most recent away trip.
Feyenoord v Celtic (20:00)
The football should flow when Feyenoord end their five-year exile from Europe’s premier club competition with a visit from Celtic later in the evening.
The Dutch club have been ultra solid at home in the Europa Conference League and Europa League these past two years, winning 11 and drawing two of their 13 games at De Kuip.
Celtic’s last group stage win was back in 2017 and they took only two points in this phase under Ange Postecoglou last season.
However, they did manage to score in all of their away games which should give Brendan Rodgers’ men some encouragement as they prepare to take on a team that has won its last three Eredivisie games 6-1, 5-1 and 6-1.
Both teams can surely score in this clash, but Arne Slot’s side should prove too slick for the Hoops.
Manchester City v Crvena Zvezda (20:00)
Crvena Zvezda have been handed the toughest task of all on opening night as they take on the all-conquering holders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Head coach Barak Bakhar masterminded one of the shocks of the group stage last season when his Maccabi Haifa outfit beat Juventus 2-0, but the Serbian champions are not in the sort of shape to cause any kind of upset.
They lost 2-1 to Cukaricki at the weekend to make it back-to-back away defeats in domestic competition and cannot draw any confidence from the club’s record against British teams in Europe either.
Crvena Zvezda’s last goal on United Kingdom soil was against Leicester City in the first round of the UEFA Cup 23 years ago.
Since then, the Serbian giants have been beaten twice without scoring by Rangers, earned a heroic goalless draw against Arsenal and suffered 4-0 and 5-0 defeats at Liverpool and Tottenham respectively.
Another shellacking on these shores should follow from Erling Haaland and co — an outcome that looks even more likely after Bakhar insisted that his team would not go on the defensive in Manchester.