There were few upsets to speak of on Matchday 1 with giants Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, PSG, Bayern Munich and both Manchester clubs all registering wins. Liverpool were the most notable team to drop points and with a trip away to Moscow this week the pressure could be on if they fail to get a result. The Wolf breaks down all of the Matchday 2 action.
UCL Matchday 2 Feature Previews
APOEL v Tottenham – (Wed 4:45am)
On paper this looks like a complete mismatch. Spurs had arguably their best performance of the season in a 3-1 win over Dortmund on Matchday 1 while Cypriot champions APOEL failed to score in a loss away to Real Madrid. The Wolf says not to completely write off the underdogs in this one. In their last 30 UCL matches at home (including qualifiers and playoffs) only 3 sides have managed to score more than once – Barcelona, Real Madrid and Shakhtar. Sides like Chelsea and PSG have managed only 1-0 victories! We have seen them register wins over Atletico, Potro and Zenit while also taking points off Atletico and Ajax. Tottenham have won just 2 of their 9 away games in this competition and ironically both off those came via a 1-0 scoreline. Pochettino is completely aware of how tough a game this will be and it is reflected by the fact that he subbed Eriksen of with 20 minutes to go in the win over the Hammers at the weekend. Kane has scored in each of his last 3 UCL appearances and is finally starting to find his groove but The Wolf says that his ambition will be met by sheer numbers and physicality. Aussie Tommy Oar hasn’t been able to earn a starting spot for APOEL but we may see him make an appearance off the bench. Goals will be hard to come by with APOEL huge value to take something out of this game.
Best: Under 2.5 goals ($2.25)
Value: Double Chance APOEL or Draw ($3.30)
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid – (Wed 4:45am)
It has been far from the ideal start to the season for the defending champions. They were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Levante and if that wasn’t enough of a warning their record of consecutive games scoring at home came to an end in a loss to Betis. Meanwhile Dortmund are gathering momentum. Their loss to Spurs was disappointing but they have gone on a tear since winning 3 straight and scoring 14 goals along the way. Aubameyang has 6 goals in his last 3 not to mention scoring in each of his last two against Madrid. Dortmund have a great record against their more fancied rivals. The Germans have lost just 2 of their last 9 meetings against the La Liga side and have never lost to them at home (3 wins & 3 draws). There have been at least 3 goals in of the last 8 meetings and The Wolf says we are in store for another treat. This is the pick of the Wednesday games by a long way.
Best: Over 3.5 goals ($2.00)
Value: Draw ($3.80)
Man City v Shakhtar – (Wed 4:45am)
Pep has City firing on all cylinders! The duo of Silva and Aguero have been in irresistible form with the side posting 6 straight wins – 4 of which have come by a margin of multiple goals. The Wolf notes that there has been a real shift in team mentality at the Etihad with City really buying into the culture of Guardiola – unselfishness. Seven different players have scored in their last 4 matches so look for them to continue spreading the love. With a meeting to come against Chelsea at the weekend we could see Pep rotate some of his key players. That being said, Shakhtar are far from pushovers. The Wolf tipped them as underdogs in a upset win over Napoli on Matchday 1 but says their away form in this competition is concerning. They have lost their last 4 away games in this competition and have in fact managed just 1 goal in their last 7 travels. Shakhtar will put up a fight early but once City find the back of the net they will take complete control. The Wolf believes Pep will put the order out to play keep ball in the final 20 in order to preserve energy for the Chelsea clash. City to win and maintain a clean sheet.
Best: Teams To Score – Man City Only ($2.15)
Value: HT/FT – Draw/Man City ($4.50)
Spartak Moscow v Liverpool – (Wed 4:45am)
Liverpool can thank Jamie Vardy for missing a penalty to tie the game at the weekend. It meant that the Reds were able to hold on for the win and end a run of four games without victory. Defensively they continue to struggle and that will concern Klopp – especially when his side heads away from home to places like Russia. It has been 11 matches and almost 8 years in this competition since Liverpool maintained a clean sheet with Spartak scoring multiple goals in 3 of their last 4 home UCL encounters. The Wolf simply cannot trust the Liverpool defence and it shocked to see them installed odds on in a UCL match away from home. With all four sides in this group sitting on a single point top spot is there for the taking. We are yet to see the Reds contain a team for an extended period of time and their best form of defence has been attack. The reality is that in this competition you have to be able to absorb pressure and The wolf has concerns over the Reds ability to do so. We’ll be taking Spartak to score multiple goals!
Best: Over 2.5 goals ($1.66)
Value: Spartak Moscow Over 1.5 goals ($3.30)
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea – (Thur 4:45am)
Scoring against Atletico is no easy feat. They are yet to taste defeat this season and have 4 clean sheets in their last 5 matches. We have seen them cause upset after upset in this competitions over the last few years and they can no longer fly under the radar. They also have a favourable record against Chelsea and other English opposition. In their 5 encounters Atletico have 2 wins and 2 draws with just the one defeat. Chelsea have put together a nice little run themselves but they have historically had trouble winning away from home in this competition. They have won only 3 of their last 12 away UCL matches which includes losses to PSG, Porto and Basel along with points dropped away to Galatasaray, Maribor and Dynamo Kyiv. Atletico have 9 clean sheets in their last 11 games at home in this competition which includes keeping Bayern Munich scoreless on multiple occasions. The combination of Atletico dropping points on Matchday 1 and Chelsea winning by 6 goals puts the Blues in an advantageous positions. Conte will look to capitalise on it by walking away with a point and he will set up to do so. Kante and Bakayoko will set up deep in midfield with Alonso and Moses to play more reserved roles out wide. The Unders and the draw are the best bets!
Best: Under 2.5 goals ($2.10)
Value: Under 2.5 goals & Draw ($4.60)
CSKA Moscow v Man Utd – (Thur 4:45am)
He may be the villain, even for a portion of his fans, but The Wolf is ready to give Mourinho credit for what he has done over the last few months. We have seen his side play a variety of styles (tactically) and that is a great sign. We have seem them play open, free flowing football at home but we have also seen them employ the counter attack with great efficiency. In addition, Mourinho has not been shy to rely on his defence. They have 6 clean sheets in their last 8 games with de Gea a dominant figure between the posts. CSKA have had a week to forget. They were knocked out of the league cup by a second division side before dropping points against Dinamo Moskva who will battle for survival in the top flight. They will be extremely disappointed – especially after beating Benfica in Portugal on Matchday 1. We will see Mourinho play multiple holding midfielders as he almost always does in European fixtures. Wolfy is predicting Martial and Mata yo get the nod on the flanks with Mkhitaryan and Lukaku to combine through the middle. There is a certain confidence about the United backline and we have seen the same results irrespective of which players are used in the rotation. Fresh of a 1-0 win over Southampton The Wolf is predicting a similar performace tactically which will produce a comparable result.
Best: Under 2.5 goals ($1.70)
Value: Correct Score Man Utd 1-0 ($6.50)
PSG v Bayern Munich – (Thur 4:45am)
With Neymar on the sidelines against Montpellier PSG failed to produce in a goal-less draw. He will return for this clash and we will see a very different side as a result. The Brazilian has 6 goals in his last 5 matches and opened the scoring on Matchday 1. They were flawless against Celtic and The Wolf says we will see a very different side when PSG play in Europe. The Champions League is their number one goal for the season and everything they do centres around playing their best in this competition. PSG have won all three of their home UCL matches at home to Bayern and the German side have won just 4 of their last 15 away games in the coveted Champions League. They have conceded multiple goals in 8 of those matches including 3 away to Rostov last season. The Wolf is expecting a special performance from Neymar and co. PSG to show why they are one of the favourites to win this competition.
Best: PSG WIN ($1.90)
Value: PSG Over 3.5 goals ($6.50)
Sporting Lisbon v Barcelona – (Thur 4:45am)
Barca look to extend their win streak to 8 games when they travel to Lisbon but may not have it all their own way. Sporting scored three goals in the opening half away to Olympiacos and have had a super start to the season. The fact is that Barca have lost 4 of their last 6 away UCL matches and despite their perfect start to the season The Wolf is not sold on them. They are weaker than last year and following back to back defeats at the hands of Real Madrid in the Super Cup they haven’t exactly faced any stern competition. Juve were short handed while Eibar and Girona are languishing towards to bottom end of the La Liga ladder. Sporting move the ball well in midfield and attack with pace – two key requirements when looking to trouble Barcelona. Winning the midfield battle will help cut off the supply to Messi and Suarez. The duo of Rakitic and Busquets to be put to the test!
Best: Both Teams To Score – YES ($1.60)
Value: Sporting Lisbon Over 1.5 goals ($3.60)
Matchday 1: 7-9
Matchday 1 ROI: 78.75%
Overall ROI: 78.75%
Matchday 1: 5-11
Matchday 1 ROI: 178.13%
Overall ROI: 178.13%
Overall ROI: 128.44%