ALEX CROOK PREVIEW

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ALEX CROOK: Champions League Preview

talkSPORT’s chief football correspondent ALEX CROOK previews the return of the Champions League looking at the AC MILAN v NEWCASTLE, BAYERN MUNICH v MAN U and ARSENAL v PSV games with his recommended selections on starsports.bet including a BOOSTED treble.


⚽ AC MILAN v NEWCASTLE

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Tuesday sees a historic night for Newcastle as they return to the Champions League for the first time in two decades.

The Magpies have had some famous moments in the competition, from Tino Asprilla’s iconic hat-trick against Barcelona at St James’s Park in 1997 and an Alan Shearer-inspired 2-2 away from home with a star-studded Inter Milan team on their last visit to the San Siro.

On the subject of Inter, Milan were thrashed 5-1 by their arch-rivals on a derby day to forget, hardly ideal preparation for the seven-time European champions.

The one-sided nature of that result was unexpected given Milan had won their first three games of the season and coach Stefano Pioli will be demanding a response from his players.

In contrast Newcastle have enjoyed an underwhelming start to the season, following a 5-1 demolition of their own of Aston Villa with three successive defeats before squeezing past Brentford 1-0 on Saturday.

This is also the first taste of European football for Toon boss Eddie Howe whereas Milan are experienced campaigners at this level and reached the semi-finals as recently as last season.

Roared on by a loud and proud army of travelling fans I am expecting Newcastle to give a good account of themselves, but if they are to escape from their group of death which also includes Dortmund and Paris St Germain, that will surely be down to the points they can collect at home.

Milan are 17/10 with starsports.bet to win the game while, after finding the net at the weekend, Rafael Leao is 19/10 to score at any time.


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⚽ BAYERN MUNICH v MANCHESTER UNITED

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After making their worst ever start to a Premier League season and their worst to any league campaign since 1989 a trip to face Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena is the last thing shell-shocked Manchester United want or need right now.

The German champions may have lost their 100 per cent start to the season after being held to an entertaining 2-2 draw at home to Leverkusen on Friday, but are still a formidable prospect for a United side who look drained of any confidence or conviction in their play.

Thomas Tuchel’s men (pictured below) are also protecting a Champions League record of 34 successive home group games unbeaten and have won their last 14 such matches on home soil.

United’s injury problems show no signs of easing with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who would surely have started this game, facing a couple of months out with a hamstring issue suffered during a late cameo in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Brighton.

Bayern emerged as 3-1 victors when these two European giants last met in Bavaria in the second leg of a quarter final nine years ago and I fear they should have a couple of goals in hand over Erik Ten Hag’s men this time around. Bayern to win 3-1 is 9/1 with starsports.bet.

Harry Kane has already scored four goals since his big-money move from Tottenham to Bayern. The England captain is odds-on to score at any time, but I think Kane to assist a goal at 11/4 with starsports.bet represents better value.


⚽ ARSENAL v PSV

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While Arsenal have not had to wait anywhere near as long as Newcastle to hear the Champions League anthem ringing out on the Emirates Stadium PA system it will still be a special night in north London on Wednesday.

PSV Eindhoven are the visitors having beaten Arsenal 2-0 in Holland in last season’s Europa League group stage.

The 1988 European Cup winners are also on a long unbeaten run of 26 games in all competitions and thrashed Rangers in the second leg of their play-off tie.

But having sold Xavi Simons to PSG and Ibrahima Sangare to Nottingham Forest, PSV are not the force they could have been.

Arsenal’s record at the Emirates since the start of last season has been largely exemplary but they have conceded in each of their last 11 games so I like the look of Arsenal to win and both teams to score at 13/8 with starsports.bet.

After finding the net against Rangers and against Arsenal last season, Luuk De Jong to score at any time at 16/5 with starsports.bet is another bet that catches my eye.

Check out starsports.bet specials on the Champions League (prices subject to change)


RECOMMENDED BETS

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Luuk De Jong to score at any time 16/5 1 pt(⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
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Good luck
ALEX CROOK


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