It’s BACCKK! The greatest club competition in the world -the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE– is back with the GROUP Stage of the competition kicking off on Tuesday/Wednesday night to get us all back hooked on to mid-week football.
UEFA Champions League
Man City v Roma – Over 2.5 goals @ 1.73 (Betfair) – 2.5 points
This is going to be an exciting encounter as 2 teams who are among the top of their respective leagues showdown, in what could be a decider for a spot in the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Roma routed their opponents CSKA Moscow by a score of 5-1 in their last outing, and have yet to lose a single competitive fixture this season. They have had some stellar performances on the offensive end which has enabled them to keep up with Juventus domestically and top their Champions League group on Goal Difference so far. Destro, Florenzi, Gervinho, Totti and Ljajic make up a strong offensive bunch of players who are looking to put in a team effort and score goals. Definitely expecting them to find the net at least once.
Manchester City might not be in the best defensive form recently, but smash 10 goals in their last 2 games owing to the resurgent form of Dzeko and improving play of Yaya Toure. Defensively Man City are still trying to find themselves with the shuffling of defenders at the back on a regular basis which has pretty much unsettled Joe Hart, forcing Pellegrini to rotate his keepers as well comes as a bit of a tough nut.
At home you would think Man City should be strong, but the way Roma have played until now, leaves them in good confidence to get goals in this game as they know if they win, they will be in good shape to qualify.
Plenty of goals tonight then.
Barcelona Over 5.5 Team Corners @ 1.90 (Bet365) – 3 points (#INPLAYMAGIC)
Barcelona 2nd Goal before 80 minutes @ 1.83 (Bet365) – 3 points (#INPLAYMAGIC)
Barcelona to beat PSG @ 2.00 (Betfair) – 3 points
Arguably this is the tie of the round as PSG host Barcelona in a re-match from the quarter finals from last year where the 2 sides drew 2-2. But that was a different PSG team as they are now weakened by the absence of 3 of their top players in Lavezzi, Thiago Silva and most importantly Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Blanc’s men have endured a horrid time so far, winning just 1 game in their last 5, to put them in 4th spot in Ligue 1, as Marseille have built up a 5 point lead over them. What is worst for them is in their last 4 games which they drew, they have conceded in every single game there. With the notable absences, it is going to be difficult for Cavani to lead the attack line by himself specially also since they have no notable backup other than young 21-year old Jean Bahebeck who is still finding his way in the big leagues.
Barcelona have started to show us what they are all about; strong defensive ethos as they have yet to leak a single goal this campaign and also back to their spectacular best in front of goal, which is a treat for all of us. What continues to surprise you is how they continue to develop their players from La Masia with Munir Haddadi showing to be the latest upcoming talent that is keeping Pedro out of the starting lineup. Ivan Rakitic has signed on as a cheaper replacement for Cesc Fabregas, and has proved to fit in well with Luis Enrique’s system and Neymar is truly giving Barcelona return for the money they paid for him netting 6 goals in 5 appearances.
Barcelona truly look strong on paper, look strong on the pitch and probably are strong mentally due to their winning run. PSG have their issues on and off the park; and I expect their confidence to be low specially with rumors of Blanc’s imminent sacking. Barcelona should win this win and will run the game ragged, I hope.
Chelsea to beat Sporting Lisbon @ 1.91 (Betfair) – 2 points (#INPLAYMAGIC)