The curtain is ready to rise on Europe’s biggest stage once again, with all eye’s trained on the start of hostilities in the Champions League group stage.
To celebrate the occasion, we’ve picked out five hotshots almost certain to ripple the back of the net on opening night so you can boost your coffers while humming along to the Gazprom advert.
Steven Gerrard to score anytime @ 11/10
The Liverpool talisman is a very different player to the one who last took to the pitch in a Champions League game, but he’s still the prime man to back to find the net against Ludogorets.
The midfielder boasts a very respectable 19 goals in 68 career games in the competition and although he failed to net in 2009/10, Gerrard bagged nine in 11 group games in 2007/08 and 2008/09.
A deep-lying role will hinder his chances a little, but the 34-year-old has always been a man for the big occasion at Liverpool, and will be desperate to mark their return to the big-time.
Cristiano Ronaldo to score the first goal @ 19/10
The Portuguese sensation is closing in on Raul’s all-time Champions League record of 71 goals, and might fancy he can grab the three he needs to draw level against Basel.
Ronaldo scored a record-breaking 17 in the competition last year, the second year in a row he was the top scorer, and he drew first blood in two of the five group games he played.
Hulk to score anytime @ 5/2
The Brazilian striker and Andre Villas-Boas have a bromance almost unparalleled anywhere in football, especially as both are generally regarded as fairly average performers when not working together.
Hulk has scored seven times in 11 games so far this season under the Portuguese manager, and the pair will be facing familiar opposition away at Benfica in the Champions League.
The powerhouse forward netted four times in four matches against Benfica under Villas-Boas at Porto in 2010/11.
Stefan Kiessling to score anytime @ 6/4
You’d be hard-pushed to find a more exciting side than Bayer Leverkusen in Europe right now, with Roger Schmidt’s attacking ethos yielding 22 goals in their first six games of the season.
As you might expect, prolific forward Stefan Kiessling has been at the heart of those antics, and he netted three times in their two-legged Champions League playoff against Copenhagen.
Away at Monaco would not have been the easiest fixture this time last year, but the Monte Carlo club’s tricky summer has seen them start with three losses in five matches so far this term.
Burak Yilmaz to score anytime @ 13/10
Perhaps undermined by the presence of Didier Drogba, Yilmaz failed to score at all during the Champions League last term, but we’re backing him to get off to a flyer at home to Anderlecht this time around.
Lest we forget, this is the man who bagged in six consecutive games in the competition in 2012/13, notching eight times in nine matches overall.
It’s also worth noting that Anderlecht conceded 17 times in the group stage last season, meaning Yilmaz has the most co-operative of opposition to start against.