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 3 Feature Previews
Man City v Napoli – (Wed 5:45am)
They are two of the form teams in Europe and the leaders of their respective domestic leagues. City have been scoring goals for fun and their 7-2 win over Stoke at the weekend was an a masterclass. They are undefeated in all competitions and have 9 straight – maintaining 7 clean sheets along the way. David Silva has been phenomenal and there is more good news with Aguero to return much sooner than expected following a rib injury. Like Man City, Napoli has been in a class of their own domestically. They are a perfect 8 from 8 and find themselves 5 points clear of main title threat Juventus. There is some doubt around how they will transfer that form into Europe. Their only loss this season came in the UCL away to Shakhtar and with back to back matches against City they could find themselves in trouble. If they fail to take a point in the next two matches they could find themselves 6 points behind Shakhtar with two matches to play. Napoli have won just 5 of 14 matches in this competition and have conceded in 12 of those matches. They have been unlike Italian teams of the past and have scored 3 or more goals in 7 of their 8 league games this season! The two sides have combined for 55 league goals in 17 games at a rate of 3.25 goals per game. That is insane and makes the Overs the best bet of the week!
Best: Over 3.5 goals ($1.90)
Value: Over 4.5 goals ($3.00)
Maribor v Liverpool – (Wed 5:45am)
The Wolf has said it in the past and it continues to rung true – Liverpool struggle to break down teams that sit deep! We saw it again at the weekend when they failed to find the back of the net at home to Man Utd. They have won just 1 of their last 8 games across all competitions and have managed just 8 goals in that stretch. The clean sheet against the Red Devils was their first in 9 games and this sets up as a real danger game. With just 2 points from their opening two group games anything but 6 points from their two clashes with Maribor would be an unacceptable result. Liverpool have rarely looked convincing on the road in this competition with wins in only 2 of their last 9 away from Anfield. You can be sure that Maribor will park the bus and without an aerial target the Reds are unable to play direct. Liverpool should not be this short in the market and wins by a multiple goal margin away in the UCL is foreign territory for them. Take the Unders and Maribor in the handicap market.
Best: Under 3.5 goals ($1.53)
Value: Maribor +2 ($2.45)
Real Madrid v Tottenham – (Wed 5:45am)
Things could not have gone better for Spurs in the opening two group games. Not only have they collected maximum points, their main threat to qualifying for the knockout stages (Borussia Dortmund) are yet to register a single point. Harry Kane has collected 5 goals along the way and has 15 for the season for club and country which has in turn attracted the attention of Real Madrid. He will be keen to impress the Bernabeu faithful but the focus for Pochettino’s side will be containing a red hot Real attack. Spurs have 5 clean sheets in their last 6 games but The Wolf is adamant that their goal line will be breached in this one. Madrid at home in the UCL are relentless with 39 goals in their 13 at home. Tottenham will not be shy to get numbers forward themselves and have scored 3 or more goals in their last 4 away games including visits to Everton, West Ham and APOEL. Ronaldo has scored in each of his last two against Spurs and scored the winner away to Getafe over the weekend. The two time defending champions have had some struggles early this season and The Wolf says Spurs will be right in this one. He can see them finding the back of the net on multiple occasions.
Best: Over 3.5 goals ($2.05)
Value: Tottenham Over 1.5 goals ($3.00)
Barcelona Olympiacos – (Thur 5:45am)
Olympiacos are in huge trouble and The Wolf says you could put a page worth of exclamation marks following the statement. The Greek champions have won just 2 of their last 8 and sit 5th in the Greek Super League – unheard of for the side that has won 6 straight league titles and 18 in the last two decades. They have never won in Spain with their most recent trip ending in a 4-0 loss to Atletico. What will concern them even more is the fact that Barcelona and their star Lionel Messi, are on fire. A Messi hat-trick secured a World Cup berth for Argentina and he was instrumental in a 1-1 draw away to Atletico, gaining the praises of the opposing manager. The Catalan club have really put teams to the sword at home in the UCL. Last season they scored 24 goals in their 6 games at home and The Wolf will be shocked if they do not manage a handful in this one. Once the floodgates open there will be no stopping them.
Best: Barcelona Over 3.5 goals ($2.00)
Value: Barcelona Over 5.5 goals ($6.00)
Benfica v Man Utd – (Thur 5:45am)
It is no secret that Mourinho likes to take a defensive approach on the road but against a struggling Benfica we should see his side in complete control. Maximum points in the next two fixtures can all but seal top spot in the group. The Portuguese side have been horrible in this competition. They were beaten at home by CSKA on Matchday one before being embarrassed in Basel. They continue to sell off their talent and it was inevitably going to cost them at some point. Ederson, Lindelof, Semedo, Mitroglou and Marcal were among the names to go in the off-season which left them all but gutted. This one has been put on a plate for United and they will take it with open arms. Lukaku has 3 goals already in this competition and could add multiple goals to his tally – he will definitely get more than enough chances to do so.
Best: Man Utd WIN ($1.80)
Value: Teams To Score – Man Utd Only ($2.85)
Chelsea v Roma – (Thur 5:45am)
Chelsea were stunned by Crystal Palace at the weekend and it reveals just how important Kante is to their tactical schemes. Bakayoko got the goal and Fabregas provided some sublime passes but neither has the ability to screen the back line like the Frenchman. Roma have had the ideal preparation for this one. They were winners in Milan and were far from disgraced in a 1-0 loss at home to top of the table Napoli. Tactically they will set up identically to their last two matches but will be without Manolas who has been a stalwart for them in recent seasons. Roma also have to overcome a terrible road record in the competition. Their win over Qarabag was their first in 11 away games in the UCL. The Over is 7-1 in Chelsea’s last 8 UCL matches at the bridge with PSG the only team to take points off them in that stretch. Roma will not be joining PSG on that list.
Best: Chelsea WIN ($1.61)
Value: Over 2.5 goals ($1.72)
Matchday 2: 5-11
Matchday 2 ROI: 56.88%
Overall ROI: 60.28%
Matchday 2: 3-13
Matchday 2 ROI: 68.75%
Overall ROI: 123.44%
Overall ROI: 95.63%