By: Rex Eastwood, @REast_Eazy
Some sides have qualified for the knockout stage while others have been eliminated or are fighting for their lives in the group. These factors present value in Matchday 5 of the Champions League.
PSG vs. Real Madrid Nov. 26, 3:00 p.m. EST
Line: PSG ML (+187), Real Madrid (+140), Draw (+282)
Total: 3 (Over -121, Under +109)
The top match of Tuesday features PSG and Real Madrid. Real Madrid needs one point in their final two matches to advance from the group. Already securely through to the knockout stage, it may be hard to gauge PSG’s motivation on the road. Plus, Real Madrid has yet to lose at home in La Liga or UCL matches.
The French three pronged attack will make its debut in Madrid. Mbappe, Icardi and Neymar are all projected to start the match for the first time since acquiring Mario. Fans should be excited to see this talented attack, but I am a little skeptical in their first appearance together. The chemistry may take time to build, especially against a stout backline. In all competitions this season, Real Madrid has conceded 0.88 goals per game along with a 0.87 xG per game at home. Los Blancos should come away with at least a point so I am backing the PK.
The Pick: Real Madrid PK (-126).
Barcelona vs. Borussia Dortmund Nov. 27, 3:00 p.m. EST
Line: Barcelona ML (-178), BVB (+481), Draw (+361)
Total: 3 (Over -131, Under +118)
Both sides are secured in the top two positions with Inter looming. With a 3 point cushion, I do not see either team coming out firing. Rather, a defensive battle could be in store given each other’s dominant possession style. They build up their attack from the back into the final third, so chances could be limited. Expect a cautious approach as neither want to put their position in the table in jeopardy.
How will the squads’ counterattack look? Neither have seen much thus far from a counterattack perspective with their style. The team that is capable of capitalizing on the counter may dictate the outcome. This type of match leans me towards the under.
The first week in Champions League produced a 0-0 draw between these sides. Barcelona is conceding 0.5 goals per game with 12 shots per but only 30 percent on net. BVB is allowing 1 goal per game while allowing 9 shots per with an xG of 0.87 per game.
The Pick: Under 3.25 (-112).
Ajax vs. Lille Nov. 27, 3 p.m. EST
Line: Ajax ML (-114), Lille (+300), Draw (+311)
Total: 3 (Over -120, Under even)
Group H is up for the taking and Ajax has the advantage to stay in the driver’s seat. Three teams are tied with 7 points, but Ajax sits in first due to their goal differential. Now facing the only side not in promotion contention, 3 points are needed for the Dutch. David Neres is out for Ten Haag, who is a focal point in their attack. However, this should not be a problem against Lille as they are conceding 2.5 goals per game in UCL competition. Tadic, Promes and Ziyech will have no problem stepping up in his absence.
Lille has been in poor form and is struggling to gain a positive result in Ligue 1 or UCL competition. They have one win in their last ten matches and have only kept a clean sheet twice. The contrarian side in me wants to back Lille, but Ajax has shown too much to go against. Ajax have won eight of their last ten matches with a draw and loss coming to Chelsea. They should have plenty of chances at goal as they produce 15 shots per game while Lille concedes 12 per game.
The Pick: Ajax ML (-114).
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