These are important because it’s here, for the most part, where the outcome of each group will be decided.
There’s some huge games this week and British concerns will be put through the ringer in a string of high profile encounters.
So where does the pick of the betting value lie?
Manchester City vs Napoli (Tuesday, 7:45pm)
Now this should be a cracker between two in-form teams that utilise the old ‘attack is the best form of defence’ strategy.
Manchester City’s last four matches on home soil have ended 5-0, 2-0, 5-0 and 7-2, and while we expect Napoli to present more of a challenge than the four opponents dismantled in that run, they will still find themselves up against it.
City have been enhanced massively by Pep Guardiola’s decision to switch to three at the back, and they now defend like an elite-level team as well as attacking like one.
Napoli have won eight out of eight in Serie A – an incredible effort, but they have conceded at least once in three out of their five away league outings and lost 1-2 at Shakhtar in this Champions League group.
Expect Manchester City’s imperious march to continue here.
Manchester City -1.00 Asian Handicap (5/6 with Paddy Power)
Feyenoord vs Shakhtar Donetsk (Tuesday, 7:45pm)
We were slightly discombobulated to see Feyenoord priced at a lengthy 5/2 to win this match, and while that is tempting enough the extra security of a Draw No Bet kicker has still surely been greatly mis-underestimated by the bookies.
The Dutch champions have lost to both Manchester City and Napoli so far in the Champions League – no shame in that, and while points have been dropped in the Eredivisie this is still a side that has compiled 5-0, 4-0 and 4-2 wins in just eight outings.
Shakhtar just don’t travel well in the Champions League – W3 D3 L9 is their extended formline – and in fact they haven’t scored in each of their last five on their travels in this competition. Punters, tuck in.
Feyenoord Draw No Bet (11/8 with bet365)