Champions League Breakdown Round 2: Part II By Cody Gehlhausen

by Pub Sports Radio

After Tuesday’s matches we sit at a record of 3-1which cultivated exactly 3 units of profit. We look ahead to Wednesday’s fixtures full of confidence and will build on the success. 

Genk v Napoli

After the success Club Brugge had against the La Liga titans Real Madrid, all eyes are on the other Belgian side, Genk. Let me tell you something folks, if you have not taken the time to watch Genk’s Ianis Hagi, son of legend Gheorghe Hagi, you need to tune in. A recent transfer from Romanian side FC Viitorul, Hagi is a silky dribbling creative midfielder with the eye for a killer pass. Not only can he play the ball in for his teammates, he also bags goals like it’s checkout time at the grocer. Hagi’s return this season on the Juniper League is three goals and two assists in only seven matches. This is about as bright as it gets for Belgians. Genk stank so far in league play this year. There is no reason a club of their caliber should be resting seventh in the league. Inconsistency has been a major issue and they were battered by RB Salzburg in round one.

On the other side we have the formidable Napoli. Carlo Ancelotti will fully expect to travel to Luminus Arena and leave with all three points. It is tough to find a more complete side in Europe than The Blues. They boast who I think is the second best center half in the world in Koulibaly, and next to him they have paired Manolas from Roma. Going forward they devastate with pace and timely finishing between Mertens, Callejon, and Insigne. 

Napoli will pick up three points here, but will they cover the -1 spread? Yes they will my friends. I think they romp Genk 3-1.

Play: Napoli -1.5 +121

Slavia Prague v Borussia Dortmund

League dominance is an understatement when describing this Czech Republic side. Boasting a record of 9-2-0 through their first eleven matches, Prague are a force. Anchored by a dominant defense especially at home, they host Dortmund who are looking to once again make a CL statement. All four teams in group F sit at a point a piece and all will be looking to garner three points this week. 

Prague just does not lose at home. They have won six straight home matches including a win against Romanian side CFR Cluj. Two weeks ago they went into San Siro and went toe to toe with Inter Milan scraping out a 1-1 draw. Dortmund would be foolish to take this one lightly.

Dortmund historically are an outright attacking football team. Lucien Farve’s men hosted Barcelona at Signal Iduna and played them to a nil-nil deadlock. The German giants have a bevy of attacking talent in Sancho, Reus, Alcacer, and Thorgan Hazard. For all the talent going forward it will prove to be a tricky puzzle to break down this Slavia Prague side. Dortmund has not been firing on all cylinders this year scoring just nine in their six Bundesliga matches in what is the highest scoring league in Europe.

I do believe Dortmund will get it done, but I strongly believe there will be a shortage of goals. I am going with the under here readers. 

Lean: Under 3 goals -126

FC Barcelona v Inter Milan

Boy oh boy am I looking forward to this one. Inter Milan are completely revamped under Antonio Conte this year as they pace the Serie A table with six wins in six matches. Barca are a dominant home side as usual this campaign winning all three of their La Liga matches so far in Spain.

Inter Milan as mentioned by my co-host Matt Lawrence (@1991handicapper) and I, are a bet on team this year and have proved profitable. Led by what I think is a top three defense in Europe, they have allowed just three goals combined in UCL and Italy. Skriniar is a top center half in Europe and anchors this Steel Curtain-esque defense. Romelu Lukaku is the ideal striker in the Conte style attacking play. Loanee from Sampdoria Stefano Sensi has arguably been their best player this season bagging three goals and four assists in just six matches. Away from home Inter is 6-1-0. Personally I see this side letting Barcelona take their possession and hitting them on the counter with everything they have.

As Messi works for fitness after a thigh injury that has kept him out of most of the 2019 campaign, the Catalonian side is searching for answers and they will not find them on a Wednesday night in Camp Nou. Lacking creativity even after the signing of Dutch wonder-kid Frenkie De Jong and Antoine Griezmann who, in my opinion, is being played out of position, Barca cannot seem to find the right combination on the pitch.  Most worryingly for them is the defense. It has been dreadful even at home allowing ten goals in La Liga through ten matches. Without Ter Stegen this team would be lost without a paddle.

My final thought on this match is the fact that Antonio Conte will completely out-manage Ernesto Valverde on the touchline. Conte is a tactical mastermind and will sit in against this tepid Barcelona side and counter attack them to death. Do not be surprised if you see a 65/35-possession line in favor of Barca. All that matters is the score-line, which I predict to be level, or even in Inter’s favor.

Lean: Inter Milan +1 -109

Liverpool v RB Salzburg

I have really never been able to wrap my head around this Salzburg side. Year after year they make appearances’ in Europe and surprise me one week, then let me down the next. Liverpool will host them at Anfield, which is a place you never want to venture. Just take a look at my beloved Arsenal and see the massacre that was the match in August.

Youth has always been what Salzburg is all about. This is a Red Bull team, which means they have money to spend, so they choose to use that money to invest in youth. Whether it be selling them to the German side RB Leipzig or offloading them to other teams in the top five leagues. Players from Salzburg range from Kevin Kampl (RB Leipzig) and Sadio Mane (Liverpool), the aforementioned faces his former club in this match. Salzburg is about one thing my friends, and that is scoring goals. With 40(!) league goals in just nine league matches, they average just shy of 4.5 goals per match. For any of you that may be reading this, this is an outlandish number. I think this side will go into Liverpool and get a goal or two no doubt. Defensively they allow a goal per game at nine in nine matches.

Anfield has been home to in my opinion the most well rounded team in Europe over the last few years. In this match they need to be on their toes as Salzburg can easily put a few over the goal line. The likes of their attack is something that the Austrians can in the lack of words, absolutely not prepare for. A barrage of surging runs by the Liverpool fullbacks Robertson and Alexander-Arnold is just too much for them. Combine that with the front three of Firmino, Salah, and Mane and you have a lethal concoction of golazos. 

One thing stands out here and that is going up, up and over on the total score-line. Although the posted total stands at 3.5 goals that is where I am making my move

Play: Over 3.5 goals

Valencia v Ajax

Staying true to my classic plays which have garnered me most of my profit this season, I love the over 2.5 goals in this match. This is another head scratcher for me as was the total for Tottenham v Bayern. I am really looking to hammer this total. I stated as much when the groups were released on twitter that I love the over for virtually every fixture this group has to offer.

Once again guys I am going to make this one short and sweet and hit you with some facts. Ajax have scored twenty seven goals in eight matches in league to Valencia’s 

ten in seven. Los Ches have also allowed eleven goals in those eight matches. Now, Ajax has only allowed six across in the Eredivisie, but they are porous in the CL especially away from home. 

It’s close to a banker but not quite there. Roll with me on the over 2.5 goals here.

Play: Over 2.5 goals -141

Lille v Chelsea

Home of my spanking, new signing Nicolas Pepe, Lille look to take on the young lads from London, Chelsea FC. Just look above to find out what I feel will happen in this match. Again it is 2.5 goals as the posted total. I cannot believe that this is where it lies for the last two matches. Love at first sight is how I would describe the bookmakers at giving me this kind of line. 

Look at these two sides for a moment. Since Chelsea had a horrific start to the season going to Old Trafford and losing 4-0 to United, they have been on a mission offensively. Frank Lampard has The Blues firing on all cylinders moving forward posting twenty-one goals in their last eight matches. Three of those matches were played away from Stamford Bridge in which hey scored eight. Chelsea are thinking three points here, plus maintaining a goal differential over the rest of the group as it will be tight. Olivier Giroud will most likely get a start and Pulisic who is looking for much needed game-time will flank him to the left and they have linked up brilliantly.

Lille are a side who has scored ten goals in their four home matches this year. Pepe may be gone but that void has been filled by up and coming star Victor Osimhen who touts six goals and two assists in eight matches. 

Both teams are counter attacking teams so this will be an open and free flowing match. Neither side is great without the ball in possession, which adds up to goals. The odds we are getting here are absolutely insane to boot. Readers, this is a banker.

Banker Play: Over 2.5 goals -101

Zenit St Petersburg v Benfica

I will be honest here to all that are having a go at my write-up; Group G has been extremely difficult for me to nail down. All four teams venture into inconsistency either in their respective leagues or in Europe. When in doubt I trust the numbers and my system so here we go.

Zenit hold it down at home as they are undefeated in their last five at the Stadion Krestovskyi. Historically they are a very tough team to visit so it gives me pause to bet on a visiting team no matter the opponent.

I really thought Benfica would show up in round one of the UCL against Leipzig but they fell 2-1 to the energy slurping German side. Now, Benfica are a very, very good side away from home even dating back to last year. Three straight wins Benfica have seen on the road allowing just one goal in those matches. Seferovic is a devastating threat in the box as he led all goal scorers in Portugal last season.

So where do we go on this one you ask? Take a look below and find out. I damn near want to make this a play at those odds but I can’t bring myself to do it.

Lean: Benfica pk +125

RB Leipzig v Lyon

Choo-choo everyone. All aboard the Leipzig bandwagon. Cream of the crop for all things Red Bull, you can forget the shitty sugar-free energy drink Salzburg. The German side is the real deal. They take on Lyon who I must admit I was impressed with at the beginning of the season, but has tailed off as of late.

The French side started the season winning convincingly against Monaco and Angers, but have faded to the highest degree as of late sitting eleventh in Ligue 1 going 0-4-3 since their first two matched. If I were to fade any team in this entire round of fixtures (which I am) this is where I stake my flag. They simply lack the ability to control matches, which will not fair well here. Their inability to score the ball will cost them dearly in this fixture.

As I mentioned above as the locomotive of the Leipzig Express, I see the German side taking these French lads to the cleaners. RB is 6-1-1 in their last eight matches. On the back of those matches they have put across eighteen goals. Led by German International Timo Werner who has seven goals in seven matches between Bundesliga and CL, they will get their goals tonight. Poulsen, Sabitzer, and Forsberg are an attacking side that can rival nearly anyone in Europe on their night. I expect them not only to win, but also to crush Lyon. 

Play: RB Leipzig -1 +110

Again, thank you all for taking the time to read my CL breakdowns of every match. This should be another profitable day for all who tail

-Cody Gehlhausen (@Squidspicks)

Follow the @BlokerJokerPod for More Picks from Cody and Matt on all things Soccer!

0 comment

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More