The Champions League is back, and what better way to announce its return to our screens than to digest the three biggest matchups of game week one.
Paris St Germain (PSG) vs Manchester United
Wednesday, October 21, 6.00am (ET)
Last season runners up will host Manchester United at the Parc des Princes in Paris. In particular, it is PSG that would have a burning desire in their belly’s to start their campaign in emphatic fashion after losing out on the trophy against FC Bayern Munich.
Meanwhile Manchester United earned the Champions League spot by securing the third spot in a frantic final day of the Premier League last season.
Manchester United haven’t got off the best of starts in the league despite winning three of their last four games. Scoring goals is no issue for the Red Devils as they have scored 10 goals in their last four matches. But United are vulnerable in defense as was shown if the opposition starts fast which was the case when Tottenham dismantled them 6-1.
PSG, on the other hand, has started their season well with two trophies claiming French Cup and the Coupe de la Ligue. PSG currently sit second in Ligue 1 but have won their last five games including a 6-1 hammering to Angers. On top of that, they have scored 16 goals in their last five fixtures. Kylian Mbappé is one to watch out for as he has scored the most goals from a PSG player this season with four.
Prediction: PSG to win -170
Ajax vs Liverpool
Thursday, October 22, 6.00am (ET)
It may not seem like it, but this contest is an intriguing one purely because of Ajax being in the Champions League in recent seasons and Liverpool’s current Premier League form.
If the Champions League has taught us anything, is that Ajax does love playing against the big boys as was proven in past seasons where they have caused upset wins against Juventus and Real Madrid.
Despite currently sitting in third spot of the Premier League the champions have had a topsy-turvy few weeks. They can be defensively fragile in the midfield and even at the back, as was the case when they were on the end of shock 7-2 loss to Aston Villa which highlights the work that needs to be done.
However, results aside Liverpool head into this clash without their key defender Virgil van Dijk who suffered a nasty knee injury with Everton’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the Merseyside derby on the weekend.
Meanwhile, Ajax will not have the squad they have had in previous years as they have sold their best talent to other clubs such as Hakim Ziyech, Donny van de Beek and Sergino Dest all moving. Despite this, they still have exciting players that can cause trouble like Quincy Promes, Dušan Tadić, David Neres and Ryan Gravenberch.
Ajax currently sits second in the Eredivisie and has only dropped one game since the league started on September 12.
Prediction: Draw +290
FC Bayern Munich vs Atletico Madrid
Thursday, October 22, 6.00am (ET)
FC Bayern Munich would want to get their title defence up and running with a big win over Atletico Madrid to knock off any early nerves.
While on the other hand, Atletico Madrid would want to disrupt FC Bayern Munich and claim a win over the champions. Atletico has so far been poor in the La Liga even after they signed Luis Suarez from Barcelona, who has hit the ground running with his new club netting three times in four appearances for Atletico.
The good thing for Atletico is that they have not lost a game in La Liga since the start of the season, but on the other hand they have only won twice since the September 12 start date and are currently in eighth position.
While Bayern Munich has already added a UEFA Supercup and a DFL Supercup to its cabinet to begin the new season in form. They are currently in second spot as they dropped a game to Hoffenheim in matchday two in the Bundesliga, but have responded winning their last two fixtures as well as scoring eight goals in two games.
Prediction: FC Bayern Munich win -190
*Odds correct at time of publication.
Image by: Alex Motoc
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