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Sporting events of week: Champions League center stage

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Champions League

Europe’s premier competition returns this week and there are some extremely exciting games to look forward to. On Tuesday, in-form Barcelona travel to Italy to face a strong Inter Milan team and they look well priced at 21/20 with Sky Bet to secure victory. However, the odds are constantly shrinking on Barca so it might be worth backing them sooner rather than later. Porto should be able to secure a comfortable victory over Lokomotiv Moscow, while you would expect Liverpool to thrash Red Star Belgrade, but Napoli v PSG looks intriguingly poised. On Wednesday, Ajax are extremely well priced to pick up an away win at struggling Benfica, and draw no bet might be a tempting option there. The biggest game sees Juventus host Man Utd and Cristiano Ronaldo and co should be confident in their ability to secure another victory against the Red Devils. Comfortable wins are also expected for Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Europa League

The Europa League takes centre stage on Thursday night and Arsenal should be good for a win against a Sporting Lisbon side that lost most of their team in the summer. Fans broke into the training ground and attacked them for failing to qualify for the Champions League, and they cancelled their contracts. The new look team is struggling and even after resting key players the Gunners should be able to cover a reasonable handicap here. There are huge odds on AC Milan winning away at Real Betis, while RB Leipzig look intriguing at even money to win away at Celtic.

England v Sri Lanka

The first Test starts in Galle on Tuesday and England will bid to end a miserable run that has seen them fail to win a red ball contest away from home since 2016. We should see Chandimal Hathurusingha preparing turning pitches and England’s Test stars will face extremely challenging conditions, as home advantage is huge for Sri Lanka. They beat a strong South African team here earlier this year, and England will have their work cut out as they embark on a brave new era following the retirement of record-breaking opener Alastair Cook. The draw is 6/4 with Bet365 and that looks interesting as rain is likely to affect play, what with it currently being the rainy season in Sri Lanka.

Autumn internationals

England host New Zealand in the pick of the autumn internationals on Saturday and Eddie Jones’ men are huge underdogs against the world’s best team. You can find 5/1 on England at Betway, while the best price on offer for a New Zealand win is just 1/5 with William Hill. England did well to battle back and secure victory against South Africa at the weekend, and that should give them a sense of belief heading into this game, so England +13 looks good at 10/11 with Bet365. Wales’ game against Australia looks a lot closer. The Welsh have won their last six home games, but Australia have beaten Wales in the last 13 meetings between these sides, so they will enjoy a psychological edge heading into the contest. Ireland should cover a decent spread against Argentina, while France v South Africa in Paris looks like a fascinating contest.

Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tony Bellew

Bellew heads into this fight on a 10-match winning streak after securing back-to-back victories over David Haye. The 35-year-old Brit has been mulling over retirement plans, but the prospect of a shot at undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk was too tempting to ignore. The Ukrainian is unbeaten and he should emerge triumphant in this slugfest. Paddy Power and Betfair are offering a tempting even money on Usyk to win via a knockout, which might just send Bellew into retirement after all.

Brazilian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has already wrapped up the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship and he is now taking it easy. That has allowed Red Bull wunderkind Max Verstappen to thrive and the Dutchman looks like an interesting each-way option at 9/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair in the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.