European Soccer Forecast: Projected Odds, Totals for This Week’s Champions League Matches
Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images. Pictured: Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo will the Italian side’s Champions League match after his positive COVID-19 test.
After just a two-month break, the Champions League is back.
This season’s campaign kicks off with major intrigue. Can Bayern Munich defend its title? Will Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City finally end their Champions League nightmares? Can Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, who will miss Juventus’ opener against Dynamo Kiev after his positive COVID-19 test, bring their respective squads back to the promised land?
We will start to get some answers to those questions Tuesday when the competition commences across Europe.
I will be putting out these projections every week until the end of the season. If you’d like to read more about how I determine my projected lines and totals using an expected goals model, you can read about it here.
For Champions League, my projections factor in UEFA Coefficients for every country represented in the competition. The projections also factor in the talent of each squad based on their total transfer value on Transfer Markt. That way, the projections can account for the strength of the domestic league each club plays in and talent level of each club.
Here is the total squad transfer value of every club in the Champions League (via transfermarkt.com):
You can use these projections to identify early betting value on the opening lines, and follow me in The Action Network App to see any bets I make throughout the week.
Note: These projections do not take into account injuries. The injury news highlighted below is for players that regularly would start in each team’s starting XI:
Notes for Tuesday’s matches:
- PSG vs. Manchester United: This is, by far, the most fascinating match of Tuesday’s fixtures. PSG finished runner-up to Bayern Munich in the previous Champions League campaign, while Manchester United finished as a Europa League semifinalist last season. These are two are the favorites to come out of Group H, so the opening match is crucial due to the fact RB Leipzig having a favorable game against Istanbul Basaksehir.
- Chelsea vs. Sevilla: The new-look Blues will see if the high proceed transfers can get them over the Champions League hump. They’ve struggled to open up the Premier League season, with draws against West Brom and Southampton. Sevilla was one of the better defensive teams in La Liga last season, yielding only 0.96 xGA per match.
Tuesday’s Injury News:
- Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo (CF) and Weston McKinnie (CM) are out due positive COVID-19 tests.
- PSG: Mauro Icardi (ST), Juan Bernat (LB), and Thilo Kehrer (CB) are out versus Manchester United. Marquinhos (CB), Marco Verratti (CM), Julian Draxler (CAM), and Danilo Pereira (CM) are questionable.
- Manchester United: Edison Cavani (ST) and Harry Maguire (CB) are out versus
- RB Leipzig: Marcel Sabitzer (CAM) is questionable vs. Istanbul Basaksehir.
- Barcelona: Jordi Alba (LB) and Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) are out vs. Ferencvaros.
- Chelsea: Eduoard Mendy (GK) is doubtful to face Sevilla.
- Lazio: Manuel Lazzari (RM) is out vs. Dortmund. Stefan Radu (CB) and Luiz Felipe (CB) are questionable.
- Dortmund: Thorgan Hazard (LW) is questionable to face Lazio and Lukasz Piszczek (RB) is out.
Champions League Wednesday Notes:
- Bayern Munich vs. Atletico Madrid: The defending champion was not getting an easy start in its title defense, drawing Atletico Madrid in its opening match. Bayern Munich has looked like the best team in the world for the past year, but its offense will be put the test against Atletico, who might be the best defensive team in the world. Atletico’s 4-4-2 formation has translated to fantastic success in the Champions League, as it has made it to quarterfinals five out of the last seven years.
- Ajax vs. Liverpool: The Reds will begin life without their best defender, Virgil Van Dijk, who injured his knee against Everton. They may be on upset watch, due to the fact Ajax beat SC Heerenveen, 5-1, in Eredivisie play over the weekend in the Netherlands, while Liverpool has conceded nine goals in their last two matches.
- Manchester City vs. Porto: The Cityzens will be without Kevin DeBruyne and Gabriel Jesus. They better be careful, too, because Porto is one of the better teams outside the five major European leagues. The club only conceded 0.73 xG per match in the Portugal’s Primeira Liga last season.
Wednesday’s Injury News:
- Real Madrid: Sergio Ramos (CB) and Marcelo (LB) are out versus Shaktar.
- Lokomotiv Moscow: Vedran Corluka (CB) and Dmitri Barinov (CM) are out against RB Salzburg.
- Manchester City: Kevin De Bruyne (CM), Gabriel Jesus (ST), Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) are out against Porto.
- Porto: Mouhamed Mbaye (ST) and Ivan Marcano (CB) are out against Manchester City.
- Bayern Munich: Joshua Kimmich (CM) and Leroy Sane (LM) are out against Atletico Madrid.
- Atletico Madrid: Jose Gimenez (CB) and Sime Vrsaljko (RB) are out against Bayern Munich.
- Liverpool: Virgil Van Dijk (CB) and Alisson (GK) are out, while Thiago Alcantara (CM) and Naby Keita (CM) are doubtful to face Ajax.