It feels like only yesterday that Spanish juggernauts Real Madrid were lifting the 2017-18 Champions League trophy after beating Liverpool in the final, however, this week marks the start of mid-week football once again as the 2018-19 Champions League gets underway Wednesday morning. There are some great matchups in the first day of group matches this week and we take a look a couple of the best and give our betting tips below.
The game of the first week sees Liverpool hosting PSG at Anfield from 5am. Liverpool are yet to drop a point in the English Premier League, recording five wins from five games and conceding just two goals in that time. They’ll still be heartbroken over their loss in the Champions League final to Real Madrid last season and will be looking to get their redemption campaign off to a good start against PSG.
Liverpool and PSG have an extremely tough group to contend as they are joined by Napoli in Group C. Only two of those three teams can advance, so this game will be super important for both the Reds and PSG. Paris Saint Germain are also yet to drop a single point through the opening five games of the Ligue 1 season. They have scored 17 goals and conceded just four through those five games.
Amazingly, the two teams have only faced each-other twice throughout their long and illustrious histories. They faced off in a home and away fixture in the 1997 Champions League and each won their respective home game. Both teams have been in fantastic form to start their respective domestic seasons so it’s hard to pick a winner here. PSG have scored over three goals per game in Ligue 1 so far this season and we know that Liverpool’s defence can be shaky at times against premier attacks. I like PSG to score at least two goals here.
Great matchup here between another English-French combination as Manchester City host Lyon at the Etihad on Thursday morning. Manchester City have a 4-1-0 record through five games in the EPL so far this season and sit third behind only Chelsea and Liverpool. They might be a bit disappointed with the start after their dominant season last year and will still be without a bunch of key players in their Champions League opener through injury. Claudio Bravo, Kevin De Bruyne and Eliaquim Mangola will all miss the clash while defender Danilo also looks doubtful.
Lyon have had a tough start to their domestic campaign with a 2-1-2 record through their opening five games. Offence has been a massive issue for them as they have scored just six goals in those five games. The loss of Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal last season seems to be taking its toll as Lyon seem to be still adjusting to life with former Celtic striker Moussa Dembele at the top of the line-up.
This will be the first ever competitive meeting between Manchester City and Lyon. Interestingly, no French club has ever won at Manchester City in competitive matches, although only three total games have been played. Through eight Champions League games against English opponents, Lyon hold a 1-4-3 record and have failed to reach the knockout stage in their last two Champions League appearances. The bookies aren’t leaving much meat on the bone here with Manchester City at just $1.14 to win their home leg.
After being the top scoring team in the EPL last season, just one of Manchester City’s five games this season has resulted in over three goals while Lyon’s goal scoring troubles have been prominent. I think both teams will be a little hesitant here and unders looks the pick.
Spanish giants Real Madrid will still be adjusting to life without star forward Cristiano Ronaldo, but have managed a decent start in the Spanish La Liga, going 3-1-0 through four games and currently sitting second behind Barcelona on the table. Make no mistake, Real Madrid still maintain one of the most talented squads in world football and could still easily win this tournament, but their air of invincibility seems to have disappeared with the departure of Ronaldo.
Roma have gotten their Serie A campaign off to a very slow start, winning just one of their four opening games to sit ninth on the table. They have allowed seven goals through those four games and will need to be better in defence this week if they wish to stop a rampant Real team that has scored 11 goals through four games.
This will be the 11th meeting between Real Madrid and Roma in Champions League history. The Spanish teams holds the upper hand in the stats with six wins and just one loss through the 10 games. Roma have kept just one clean sheet in their 10 previous Champions League meetings and start as $8 underdogs here. Can see Real Madrid claiming a 2-1 or 3-1 win here.
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