Champions League Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester City (Wednesday, April 28)
Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester City standout Phil Foden chats with manager Pep Guardiola.
- Our Action Network soccer analysts are back with three plays for Wednesday's game between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
- Check out their best bets below for this latest Champions League semifinal showdown.
French juggernaut Paris Saint-Germain welcomes Manchester City, arguably the best club team in the world, to Parc des Princes on Wednesday for the opening leg of their Champions League semifinal-round matchup.
With all five of our Action Network analysts making selections in Tuesday’s meeting between Real Madrid and Chelsea, it was impossible for all of selections to hit. However, the group went 2-2-1 in the 1-1 draw and wasn’t complaining about the result from what was a difficult affair to handicap.
Michael Leboff had the most profitable win, correctly backing a draw at +220 odds. Jeremy Pond delivered his victory on the total, cashing on under 2.25 goals. Finally, Anthony Dabbundo got his funds back with his Chelsea –Draw No Bet wager and looks to uncover a win in this second semifinal matchup.
Our crew has pinpointed three different plays in are our latest featured picks. Let’s take a look at where they’re going with their selections and what might be in store for this showdown.
|Jeremy Pond||Total Over 2.75 Goals (-109)|
|BJ Cunningham||Manchester City ML (+112)|
|Anthony Dabbundo||First Half Total Under 1 Goal (+118)|
Odds updated as of Tuesday night via DraftKings.
Jeremy Pond: PSG vs. Manchester City — Total Over 2.75 Goals (-109)
- Odds available at DraftKings
It wasn’t like we didn’t forewarn you about what to expect in that opening contest between Real Madrid and Chelsea. Sure, it looked as if we might have been heading for a barnburner after two goals in the first 30 minutes of play.
However, things settled down and we got what we expected. Los Blancos and the Blues basically chopped the possession battle in half — the hosts finished with a 51-49 percent edge — and neither really club got anything going in the second half, leading to the stalemate.
So, should we expect a similar display and outcome in this meeting between PSG — last year’s finalist — and the most dangerous team in the world in Manchester City? In my opinion, not a chance.
You have two of the most prolific offenses on the planet about to go at it. Manchester City has been wreaking havoc on defenses, especially during the last few months of its campaign. The Cityzens have scored at least two goals in 20 of their last 24 games across all competitions, which is totally absurd.
As for PSG, the Ligue 1 side has been just brilliant going forward. The Parisians have only been shut out four times in their last 29 contests, scoring at least twice in 19 of those contests. That’s another insane stat line.
For those reasons, I’m backing the total on the alternative number of 2.75 goals at -109 odds at DraftKings as my top selection. These outfits simply have too many weapons around the pitch for this turn into an ultra-tight match where the defenses take center stage.
The Parisians have come alive since their 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich, recording a whopping 11 goals in their last three contests. Throw in the fact the Cityzens have scored at least two goals in eight of their last 10 UCL matches, and you have to like your chances of hitting this wager.
BJ Cunningham: Manchester City ML (+112) vs. PSG
- Odds available at DraftKings
PSG has been really impressive offensively in the Champions League this season, averaging 2.04 xG per match. However, the Parisians really shouldn’t have made it past Bayern Munich and were out-created in expected goals by a 5.81-3.26 margin. PSG took advantage of its counterattacking opportunities, but those aren’t going to be there against Manchester City.
The Cityzens have been incredibly dominant in their defensive third of the pitch this season, only allowing an incredible 0.76 xG per match combined in UCL and Premier League action. And the reason for Manchester City’s run is its defensive dominance.
Manager Pep Guardiola made a change at both center-back positions back in December, putting John Stones and Rúben Dias together. Needless to say, that was a move that has done wonders for the Cityzens’ defense and turned them into one of the best units in the world.
The other reason for their improvement is because Guardiola switched them from a 4-2-3-1 formation to a traditional 4-3-3 setup. The change has produced fantastic results, as they’re averaging 2.02 xG per 90 minutes, while allowing only 0.91 xG per 90 minutes in the new tactical approach.
One key to this match is the status of Kylian Mbappé who was forced off in the 87th minute with a thigh injury late of PSG’s win over Metz this past weekend. Manager Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful to have the star striker available, but even if he does play, he might not be 100 percent.
Therefore, I am going to back Manchester City to get a first-leg result in Paris at +112 odds.
Anthony Dabbundo: PSG vs. Manchester City — 1H Total Under 1 Goal (+118)
- Odds available at DraftKings
Pochettino and Guardiola last played a Champions League tie in 2019, when Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur advanced 4-4 on away goals after winning the first leg 1-0 at home.
Guardiola and Pochettino both took a conservative approach in that first leg of that matchup, and I’m expecting a similar transgression.
Pochettino will sit deep with eight or nine players behind the ball, look to clog up space in the middle and force Manchester City out wide. For all of their attacking talent, the Cityzens will be concerned about getting beat by Mbappé and Neymar in transition.
Guardiola will opt for as much control as possible, which will lead lead to a slower start in this game. Eventually, the game will probably become stretched and open up, with Manchester City looking for an away goal or two to take back to England for the second leg.
However, if Guardiola learned anything from his first leg with Borussia Dortmund and the PSG-Bayern Munich contests, he’ll know his team can be vulnerable on the counter and that PSG can eviscerate anyone with their array of talented superstars.
Backing under 1 goal in the first half at +118 odds is good value, as it’s more likely to end scoreless in the opening 45 minutes than it is with multiple goals.