Champions League Group Stage 1 (Wednesday): Atletico Madrid Seeks Revenge As Real Madrid Visit Barca-Wannabe Neymar Jr.

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| Footy Fanatic Blogger | 19/20 Everton Fan | Frankfurt Ultra | Rangers | | J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets | Dallas Mavericks | Bronx Bombers | DFB |

Back-to-Back articles as the Champions League just keeps on giving. Wag brings you his expertise picks after a terrible Tuesday. When in doubt, Wag it out!

Welp, I lost a lot of money. Timo Werner is the most in-form striker in Europe right now. I don’t know why I thought Chelsea’s inexperience would triumph a decent Valencia side. Liverpool suffers their first loss in God know’s how long. And Barca still hasn’t lost a group stage game in 3 years. All factors I took into consideration and chose to ignore it, bit me on the nipple. Still, a long season to make up for these loses, starting on Wednesday!

Wednesday’s games aren’t as thrilling as Tuesday’s slate but Atletico Madrid seeks revenge against Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus after a Ronaldo hat-trick knocked out El Atleti. Before all of that, Tottenham will look to transfer their performance against Crystal Palace into Olympiakos as one of the early Wednesday game. Galatasaray and Falcao will travel north to Belgium to face Club Brugge.

Wednesday Lines

Club Brugge vs. Galatasaray

PREVIEW
Club Brugge and Galatasaray will start Wednesday’s slate of games as they look to close group A’s first round of fixtures. Brugge had a tough play-off campaign getting into the Champions League but managed to win 3-1 on aggregate against LASK. Club Brugge is the only undefeated team left in the Belgium Pro League. Galatasaray isn’t having the start they hoped for at the start of the season collecting 7 points from 4 games in the Turkish Super Lig. A very disappointing start after a successful summer transfer window landing Nzonzi and Emre Mor on loan along with striking legend Falcao.

KEY STATS

  • First meeting since 02/03 Group Stage
  • Brugge won 3-1 in previous home fixture vs. Galatasaray

PREDICTION
It’s the classic tale of “Who is more in form?” and which of these two teams is going to give PSG and Real Madrid trouble throughout the group stages. Brugge managed to tie Atletico Madrid in last season’s group match and lost to Dortmund 1-0. Clearly Brugge defend their home very well and with the current form they are in the Belgium league, hopefully, they can bring that into Wednesday’s game.

Olympiakos vs. Tottenham

PREVIEW
After missing the cut last season, Olympiakos cruised through the Champions League Play-off games to put them into group B as they face a rejuvenated Tottenham Hotspur team. Olympiakos have been perfect in the Greek first division scoring 7 goals and keeping a clean sheet in all 3 games. Tottenham’s season is put into question after a few questionable results, but those questions were laid to rest after scoring 4 first-half goals against an in-form Crystal Palace. All eyes are on Pochettino after confessing his depression, losing to Liverpool in last years final as Tottenham fans will find out whether their manager is a sobbing loser, or somebody who is ready to bring the Spurs to lifting a trophy. Probably a sobbing loser.

KEY STATS

  • Valbuena & Youssef El Arabi combined 4 goals in 3 games
  • Luca Moura & Kane scored 5 goals each last CL season
  • Tottenham did not win a CL away group stage game last season

PREDICTION
Going into this game, I knew Tottenham was going to take care of business. The -114 Tottenham money line, the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace, and the fact that they are playing a greek team were all green light indicators to bet on Tottenham. But I talked myself out of it after finding out the Spurs did not win away from home in the group stages. But I have to go with it. Can’t you tell how confident I sound? LOL. The Tottenham money line is your winner!

Atletico Madrid vs. Juventus

PREVIEW
One of two giant fixtures for the day, as Juventus travel across the Mediterranean to Madrid as they face the Griezmann-less Atletico Madrid. This is a rematch from last years round of 16 that saw Juventus advance 3-2 on aggregate as Cristiano Ronaldo breaks Atletico’s hearts. Nothing worse than a last-minute penalty to knock you out of the Champions League. Diego Simeone is receiving a lot of pressure from the fans after so many failed attempts at winning the Champions League, but his team is sitting in 2nd place in the La Liga standings. Juventus and Sarri are having a good start to their Serie A campaign, however, they were dominated by a struggling Fiorentina team, luckily coming away with a 0-0 draw. Juventus will look to put a goal in the net against Atletico. (No shit!)

KEY STATS

  • Juventus have only scored 5 goals in 3 games
  • Atletico have only scored 5 goals in 4 games, conceding 4 goals
  • Ronaldo had 6 goals in Champions League last year

PREDICTION
Atletico is a very good team at home, but Cristiano Ronaldo is the King of Champions League. This game will be a war as we have Atletico seeking for revenge and Juventus’ urge to disappoint Atletico again. However, Juventus is struggling on defense with Chiellini out for many months and De Ligt’s struggles are also working in Atletico’s failure. De Ligt was the cause for Napoli’s 3 goals before the international break, so take Atletico!

PSG vs. Real Madrid

PREVIEW
Neymar Jr. looks to send some Barcelona love towards Real Madrid when they visit PSG on Wednesday. The wannabe Barcelona player and his PSG teammates look to be in front in Group A. After suffering a matchday 2 loss to Rennes, PSG has been flawless keeping three consecutive clean sheets and scoring seven goals. Including Neymar’s stellar bicycle kick against Strasbourg, Choupo-Moting is on a roll being the top scorer of PSG as Mbappe recovers from injury. Real Madrid is on a skid in recent weeks drawing two games and barely beating Levante 2-3 over the weekend. Karim Benzema was put under a defibrillator and has come back to life scoring in three of four games for Real Madrid. Let’s see if he can bring that energy to Paris.

KEY STATS

  • Benzema has 4 goals in 4 games
  • Madrid has conceded 6 goals in 4 games

PREDICTION
I have no idea what to think of this game. The fact that Neymar acknowledges the booing he received last weekend puts me on edge because he is either a) hush PSG fans by scoring bangers, or b) doesn’t give a shit anymore and he is using PSG for practice to prepare him for a Barca reunion. How does that affect this game? He is a Barcelona fan playing against their arch-rivals. I don’t think Karim Benzema will waltz through a PSG defense regardless.

Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Manchester City

PREVIEW
Shakhtar and City have grouped together yet again in group C. This will be the third consecutive year the two teams are in the same group. Not sure that has ever happened before, but it’s the UEFA, aka RIGGED! I’m only stirring the pot. But this will be the fifth game between these two teams as Manchester City hold the upper hand winning three out of the previous four matchups. City also comes off a shocking defeat to Norwich City after two woeful defensive mistakes. Shakhtar on the other hand, is cruising through the Ukrainian league winning all seven of their games, scoring 23 goals.

KEY STATS

  • Aggregate score: Manchester City 12 – 2 Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Manchester City won 0-3 in Donetsk
  • In 2017, Shakhtar beat City at home 2-1

PREDICTION
Pep’s men have to release some frustrations towards Shakhtar after their Norwich fallout. What better way to redeem yourselves than in the Champions League against a familiar foe. I’ve won every single over that Manchester City has played in and I’m not stopping here!

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