Big week coming up in the Champions League as the group stage continues with the 2nd round of games. There were some thrilling matches in matchday one and we are hoping that continues as we provide some of our best bets for the key matchups this week below!
Wednesday 4.55am (AEDT)
Is there a better team in the world than Bayern Munich at the moment? Probably not. The defending UCL Champions got off to a hot start in Matchday 1 of the Champions League with a dominant 4-0 win over their only threats in Group A, Atletico Madrid. They now have a relatively easy matchup against Russian side Lokomativ Moscow, albeit on the road.
Bayern are 4-0-1 in the Bundesliga so far this season but have not lost a competitive match since the 27th of September, racking up six straight wins in that time with a combined goal difference of 23-6. The Russian top flight is 12 games into their season and Lokomotiv Moscow currently sit in fourth place on the table with a 6-3-3 record.
Bayern will win this game, of that we have absolutely no doubt. There isnt much value about the $1.12 price tag though, so we will be taking them to win to nil, as they have done so in three of their last four games across all competitions, including the domination of Atletico just last week.
Thursday 7am (AEDT)
The matchup we have all been waiting for since the Italian and Spanish juggernauts were drawn into the same group could be without one of its main draw cards. The rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiana Ronaldo has been a storied one over the years and while Messi will be fit for the clash, there are some doubts over Ronaldo’s fitness after testing positive for COVID-19 during the international break. It won’t be known until later in the week as to whether or not the Portuguese star will be cleared to play.
Even without Ronaldo in the line-up, this matchup is still without doubt the best of the week in the Champions League, pitting two of the serious favourites for the tournament against each other in the group stage. Barcelona have had an extremely slow start to the La Liga season by their standards, going just 2-1-2 through the opening five games. As for Juventus, they are 2-3-0 through their opening five Serie A games and sit in 5th place on the table.
The bookies have this as a straight pick’em with both teams starting at around $2.60 each. We like the look of Juventus here. They have been in much better form in their respective domestic competition and have the home field advantage. Plus, if you get on them now at $2.60, there’s a chance that Ronaldo is cleared to play and Juventus firm as favourites.
Note: Ronaldo has been ruled out of the clash, we still think Juventus are great value at home against a struggling Barcelona side.
Thursday 7am (AEDT)
Manchester United secured an upset win over PSG in the first week of the Champions League. Usually, a win over the top ranked side in the group would be a massive step towards qualification, however, Group H is the group of death in this year’s UCL, and this week Man U will have a tough matchup at home against German side RB Leipzig.
Leipzig sit atop the German Bundesliga with a 4-1-0 record through the opening five games and have looked like one of the only sides capable of competing with Bayern Munich for the title. They had a comfortable win over the Group H minnow in Istanbul last week and haven’t lost a game since a 2-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund back in June.
Manchester United start as slight favourites at home, which is hard to argue given the home field advantage and their turn of form which has seen them go undefeated in their last three games. Love the value of the German side here though. They are one of the form sides in the world and generally travel pretty well. Back them with the money back for a draw here.
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