THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IS BACK AND SOCCER EXPERT WAG’S CURRENT RECORD IS 23-11 OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS, KILLING VEGAS AND THEIR PATHETIC LINES. READ AND WIN SOME MONEY.
It’s the time of year where the leaves have fallen down, the mornings are becoming brisk, and it’s a week full of soccer. In the light of the Thanksgiving holidays and the importance of giving, the soccer gods have giveth us Champions League soccer to enjoy before we stuff our faces in turkey, pumpkin pie, and a lot of red wine. So far, PSG, Bayern, Manchester City, and Juventus have qualified for the knockout stages in the Champions League. With only two more group stage games left to play, a few teams will be looking to solidify their spot for the knockout stages. Ajax, Chelsea, and Valencia are tied with seven points each in Group H making their situation a win-or-go-home scenario for the remainder of the group stage. Dortmund needs to wake up and hope that Inter Milan don’t sneak up on their three-point lead.
Galatasaray vs. Club Brugge
There are so many other games I wanted to write about that would clearly be more popular to watch than this fixture, but I have a valid reason why this game piques my interest. It’s a game being played in the country of Turkey. I’ve said time and time again that it is so difficult for a team to play in Turkey. PSG traveled to Galatasaray and could only win 1-0 in their attempt, the same fate happened when Real Madrid visited the Turkish side. The people of Turkey display such intimidating passion that big clubs are struggling to be their dominant selves. Club Brugge has a lot of fire within their squad however, it will be tough for the Belgians to ignore the outside noise. It will be an atmosphere unlike others.
- Club Brugge are unbeaten in all 3 CL games vs. Turkish teams
- Galatasaray failed to win all 7 games vs. Belgian teams in all competitions
- Club Brugge have 1 win in 18 CL games, winning away at Monaco
Although the stats and the spread are going against my logistical brain, Galatasaray is going to win this game. This game isn’t going to change Group A’s outcome in any way. But this is a game where both teams need to show that they are worthy of playing Champions League soccer. You gotta beat the best, to be the best. Club Brugge is heading into the trenches traveling to Galatasaray where I believe the fans will drown out the Belgians energy, and helping Galatasaray achieve their first victory in Group A.
Real Madrid vs. PSG
This is a more exciting game from Group A as Real Madrid look to seal their spot in the Champions League knockout stages with a win against Paris Saint Germain. The Parisian’s dominated when the two sides met mid-September winning 3-0. Di Maria punished his old club up scoring two goals with his incredible left-footed strikes along with Meunier’s 90th-minute strike for a Paris 3-0 victory. Recently, Real Madrid have been on an offensive tear. Zidane’s team has scored 18 goals in their last 5 matches, where one of those matches resulted in a 0-0 draw. But Real has two unfamiliar faces that are causing other clubs trouble when they face them, Rodrygo and Federico Valverde. Both Real Madrid players could be featured against PSG that can cause a lot of havoc for Thiago Silva and his flawless backline.
- Real have won 3 of 4 home games vs. PSG
- PSG look to consecutively beat Real since 1994
- PSG have lost last 5 CL away game vs. Spanish teams
Here is what is killing me about this game. PSG dominated Real Madrid without Neymar, and Di Maria stepped in to take care of business. But here are some major questions that are causing this brain trouble. Will Neymar’s presence ruin the flow of PSG’s game, especially when he has to get past Ramos? Could this be the game Hazard makes a Champions League impact for Real Madrid or any impact for that matter? Is PSG for real? The more questions I ask myself, the more I should lean towards the underdog in that of PSG. 0 goals conceded so far in the Champions League? You fo real PSG, You fo realz.
Juventus vs. Atletico Madrid
Jeez, this fucking game? Just kidding, I did not mean to disrespect the king of Champions League soccer. And yes, CR7 represents both these teams, it’s CR7. All jokes aside, Atletico need a win to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages heading into Turin. Previously when the two sides played at the Metropolitano, Atletico Madrid managed to wash away Juventus’ two-goal lead when Herrera scored in the 90th minute. It has not fazed the Italian side as they are leaders of the group with 10 points, but Cristiano Ronaldo only has one goal so far this competition. Dybala leads the way in scoring for Juventus. Gonzalo Higuain is coming off a stellar performance over the weekend which could help make the case for Sarri to start the Argentine veteran.
- Juventus have won 1 in last 5 CL games vs. Atletico
- Atletico have won 3 in last 10 games vs. Juventus in all competitions
- Atletico have won 2 of last 11 CL games away
A combination of Juve’s recent bad form, Ronaldo’s poor scoring record this season, and that Atletico are still playing for a knockout spot helps me realize that Atletico is going to win this game. Juventus have not been themselves lately when it comes to home fixtures. They are still winning games but they aren’t against impressive teams. A 1-0 win against today’s AC Milan is not something to gloat over. Atletico will have more urgency and want to make sure that they get the chance to play for the top spot in the group when it comes to the last day of Group Stage play.
Liverpool vs. Napoli
Napoli are traveling to Liverpool as they will surely fall victim to Klopp’s men heading into Anfield. It’s not fair for me to doubt Napoli this early into my prediction, but it’s Anfield. However, Napoli was able to beat Liverpool 2-0 when the Reds visited. It was a brutal game for Liverpool where the ‘luck’ part of soccer was nowhere to be found for the Reds. But recently, Liverpool have been looking to grind out games where they find a winner within the last 15 minutes of a game. Liverpool’s sense of urgency is one of their strongest qualities, among many others. Napoli are a very boring team to watch, winning games at 1-0 or 2-1. The excitement does not match compared to watching a Liverpool game.
- Napoli have won 0 of 10 CL games away vs. English teams
- Liverpool have won 6 of 7 European home games vs. Italian teams
- Liverpool is at Anfield
Here is the deal, Napoli isn’t winning at Anfield. Look at Liverpool’s home record for crying out loud. If you think Napoli are winning this fixture, go ahead and just give your money to Vegas. Theirs no chance of you winning it back! But Vegas will look really dumb after Wednesday because the total goals over/under is 2.5 goals… I am not joking. Granted, the public are on the bet quickly as it is at -180 for the over. Mama always asked “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” This is where you jump the bridge with your friends and hopefully, we can land on a big pile of money together.
Barcelona vs. Dortmund
Two clubs who struggle to find consistent form look to clinch their spot in the Champions League knockout stages. Barcelona traveled to Dortmund mid-September where the game resulted in a 0-0 draw. Not the way a soccer fan would have wanted the Champions League season to start. But Dortmund are struggling to find some form, especially after drawing last-placed Paderborn 3-3 that saw Dortmund down three goals at the half before completing the comeback. Barcelona played a woeful game versus Leganes where the Catalans where down a goal in the 12th-minute, until Suarez and Vidal each netted a goal in the second half. Barcelona are winning games, just not the Barcelona way that us viewers have been admiring all these years.
- Barcelona never lost vs. Dortmund
- Barcelona have won 13 of last 15 CL home games vs. German teams
- Dortmund have won 1 CL away game vs. Spanish teams
Although both teams are struggling to find consistency, Dortmund is the more struggling party out of the two. Although they have impressive results to show for, their defense is becoming more sketchy as goals are falling. Dortmund’s defense have conceded 9 goals in their last three fixtures in all competitions. Dortmund’s defense will tighten up against Barcelona which is why I think Under 3.5 goals is the best bet for this game. Betting the Barcelona Money Line isn’t great ROI (Return that I don’t want to lose if this becomes a draw.