Champions League Predictions Matchday 2
Champions League Matchday 2
Champions League action continues this week and the biggest club football competition in the world throws up another round of epic encounters in matchday 2. Below you will find a list of all the big games and their respective odds, followed by our comprehensive preview of some of the most anticipated fixtures.
Group A - CSKA Moscow vs Manchester United
Manchester United have made an impressive start to their 2017/18 campaign; they remain undefeated across all competitions and have secured an impressive sixteen out of eighteen possible points in the English Premier League. They won their first European outing against Swiss champions Basel comfortably, and are expected to make short work of Group A.
Yet they have to travel to Russia’s capital, which is one of the more difficult road trips in European competition. Spartak also impressed in their first group match, making the long trip to Lisbon to defeat a strong Sporting side 2-1 and will fancy their chances of a positive result against the Red Devils.
While on paper this should be United’s game to win, and manager Jose Mourinho’s record in Europe is impeccable, it’s likely to be a low-scoring affair. The Red Devils love to defend a 1-0 lead, mirroring the ‘park-the-bus’ tactics executed by Chelsea while Mourinho was in charge, so if they score early there is a great chance the game will mirror their recent away win at Southampton.
In terms of odds, United actually present reasonable value at -143, and you could always parlay your bet into another of our picks below to further increase your outlay. Don’t forget that the best sites will let you pick the score or margin - put a sneaky wager on a 1-0 win for the away side.
Group B - PSG vs Bayern Munich
This is easily the biggest match of the week. Two of Europe’s biggest clubs are set to produce a match of incredible intensity and quality and it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top. PSG will have home advantage in this one, which sees them as the pre-match favourite, however this should not make too much of a difference to the final result.
Both sides will have all guns blazing in this crucial fixture, and the importance placed on the side’s respective Champions League campaigns is best summed up by their weekend domestic league results; Bayern drew at home to Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, while PSG failed to score in an away stalemate against lowly Montpellier.
So who will win this fixture? PSG have arguably the better team on paper, best summed up by their incredible attacking power. It took no time at all for superstar Neymar to link up with Edinson Cavani, and the addition of Kylian Mbappe has only made the side even stronger in front of goal. While Munich are solid at the back, they will be without Manuel Neuer in goal, so there is a good chance of a few goals from the French champions.
Bayern’s scoring ability should also not be discounted, and while PSG’s defence is good it is not their greatest asset. Robert Lewandowski leads a line that features veterans Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, two of the best wingers in the game, while James Rodriguez has slotted in perfectly. It would be surprising not to see a goal from the Germans.
PSG are surprisingly large favourites in this match at -106, even more surprising when you consider that they were second-favourites to top this group. While we believe they will win this fixture and score at least two goals, the odds available for the draw (+300) and a Bayern win (+280) are tempting. Our prediction is a 2-1 win to the home side.
Group D - Sporting Lisbon vs Barcelona
Both sides were winners in Matchday 1 and this match will be absolutely critical in determining who progresses to the next round. With Juventus lurking, Lisbon needs to get a result in this match, and although they face an in-form Barcelona side they will be difficult to break down at home.
But Barcelona are next level at the moment. They have started the season in imperious form, winning all six of their opening La Liga fixtures and racking up twenty goals and only conceding twice. They have not even looked like missing Neymar, and will likely make short work of this match, which is summed up by their -275 odds.
We like this price, and recommend a parlay into one or both of Manchester United and Liverpool, who also present good value in their away fixture.
Group E - Spartak Moscow vs Liverpool
Liverpool will be one of two English teams travelling to Moscow this week, although unlike Premier League rivals Manchester United they have had a rather scratchy start to both their domestic and European campaigns. They drew at home to Sevilla in their opening fixture, while they also find themselves out of the English League Cup, losing to Leicester City.
However it looks like the Reds may have turned a corner. Phil Coutinho has returned to fitness, form (and perhaps focus), and their win against Leicester City in the league on the weekend may indicate that they are digging themselves out of a rut. He scored a trademark free kick as well as providing a world class cross to Mo Salah. Liverpool will score plenty of goals when he is in the team.
Meanwhile Spartak are coming off a draw in their first league match, failing to get the three points from a NK Maribor side that wasn’t expected to do too much at all in the competition. Even though they return home for this match against Liverpool, it is extremely tough to see the Russians winning this one.
What is almost certain is that Liverpool’s amazing attack and shaky defence will result in a game with plenty of goals. They were irresistible going forward against Leicester on the weekend however in spite of scoring three goals were always a chance of losing. They should win here, and at -150 could perhaps be parlayed into a Manchester United win, while the pick of the markets is the ‘both teams to score’ line.
Group H - Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid
This is an interesting fixture. Many had Dortmund ahead of Tottenham in the race to qualify from a difficult Group H, however Spurs drew first blood at Wembley in Matchday 1 with a very impressive performance, capped off by an in-form Harry Kane. Now Dortmund find themselves behind the eight-ball early, and while they still have a home fixture against Tottenham, they are already playing catch-up.
Dortmund need a result here, and the task will not be easy as they face the reigning champions and one of the best teams in world football. However those that have been observing the Spanish giants closely will be aware that the side have started the season with a definite championship hangover; they have only taken eleven points from their first six games in La Liga and are already seven behind Barcelona.
So how will Real Madrid fare? They comfortably dispatched Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia in Matchday 1, a result that was more or less guaranteed, so there isn’t really any indication on how they will perform in an away match against a genuinely good opponent. This is summed up by their odds, which are probably as good as you will ever get for a Madrid fixture.
With Tottenham almost assured of a win in their match against the Cypriots, it is crucial for Dortmund to get the win here to keep in touch. Against an out-of-form Real side, and with a great home record in Europe, we are going to back the Germans, and this will provide punters with a very decent outlay at outsider odds of +200.
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