Champions League Odds, Picks & Predictions: Borussia Dortmund vs. Zenit St. Petersburg (Wednesday, Oct. 28)
Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images. Pictured: Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
- Borussia Dortmund's defense has been the key to its success in the early stages of the 2020-21 Bundesliga season.
- Will that defense be enough in Wednesday's Champions League match with Zenit St. Petersburg?
- Jeremy Pond previews the odds and why he's targeting the Over/Under.
Dortmund vs. Zenit Odds
|Dortmund Odds||-305 [Live Odds in App]|
|Zenit Odds||+750 [Live in App]|
|Draw||+450 [Live in App]|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS All Access | fuboTV|
Clubs seeking better Champions League fortunes go at it Wednesday when Borussia Dortmund hosts Zenit St. Petersburg in a Group F showdown.
Both sides are coming off disappointing results in their respective tournament openers, which puts plenty at stake in this important fixture.
Dortmund began group play with a shocking, 3-1 defeat at the hands of Italian club Lazio. On the other side, Zenit endured a disappointing, 2-1 home loss against Belgian combatant Club Brugge.
Neither team has a single point going into this meeting, so expect both to be on their front foot at the start inside Signal Iduna Park.
Let’s take a look at the clubs and see what might be in store:
It has been business as usual for BVB at the start of its Bundesliga campaign, with the club jetting out to a 4-1 record that’s currently good enough for a share of second with defending Champions League winner Bayern Munich. Fellow German giant RB Leipzig (4-0-1) is a point ahead at the top of the table.
The offense has always been there for the high-flying Black and Yellows in the past, but it’s manager Lucien Favre’s defense that’s leading the club’s charge. Dortmund has allowed just three goals, two of which came in a September 26 loss at Augsburg.
Dortmund will look to continue that good run of form against a Zenit side that has had no issues finding the back of the net against its Russian opponents.
Offensively, Erling Haaland continues to lead the Dortmund line, recording a team-best five goals thus far in Bundesliga play.
As you could imagine, Dortmund excels when it comes to the statistical data. The Black and Yellows boast an impressive 10.2 expected goals and paltry 4.2 expected goals against, yielding a +6.0 xGDiff and +1.21 xGDiff/90 minutes in Germany’s top flight.
Dortmund’s expected goals are third overall in the Bundesliga, only trailing defending Champions League winner Bayern Munich (16.5 xG) and league-leader RB Leipzig (10.8 xG) out of 18 teams.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
The visiting side has put together a mixed bag of results in the Russian Premier League, going 1-1-1 in its most recent fixtures. Currently, the Lions (7-2-3) sit in third place on 24 points, trailing front runner Spartak Moscow and CSKA Moscow on the table.
Most recently, Zenit endured a surprising, 2-1 home loss against Rubin Kazan on Saturday at Gazeprom Arena.
If you’re looking for advanced numbers surrounding the club, there isn’t much in-depth detail to offer. However, Zenit sits atop its league’s food chain in most categories. The club has scored 25 goals and yielded just nine in 12 league matches. Its goals against is tied with two others for lowest in the league.
Zenit’s 2.08 xG/90 minutes leads all 16 clubs in Russia’s top flight. It’s also tops in xA/90 (1.67) and xG&A/90 (3.75), slightly ahead of CSKA Moscow in both categories.
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Stellar defense has always been Dortmund’s strong suit, especially in Bundesliga play, but that part of the pitch always seems to play second fiddle to its first-class offense. However, this club actually feels like it’s built from the back to front, with the defense taking center stage.
That said, I am playing the total to stay under the number. Dortmund is the likely winner of this game, with the only question being by how much? I have a hard time believing Zenit’s offense is going to be able to get much going against this stingy back line, hence my belief this will be a low-scoring affair.
I am also backing Dortmund to record a shutout. The Black and Yellows have not conceded a goal in three home matches, with clean sheet No. 4 on the horizon in this meeting.
Picks: Total Under 3.5 Goals (-159); Both Teams To Score — No (+110)