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@BurrOaks' UCL Picks: Porto vs Inter Milan & Man City vs RB Leipzig - 3/14


UCL soccer is back again this week. We have our final four matches of round one.

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Porto vs Inter (Tuesday 4pm ET)

Porto at home is a wagon. This season they have only had 3 home losses, including a surprise loss to Brugge in UCL group stage. The fans at Estadio do Drago will be absolutely insane. Porto has a long and rich history in UCL, but have struggled to find success past the round of 16 in recent years. Fans are ready for a deeper run and this team may be capable of producing one. The tip of the spear in attack is Iranian international Mehdi Taremi. Taremi was in on Inter twice last match, and had a very tough miss that would have given Porto the lead early. Taremi is a clinical passer and finisher. He has racked up 13 goals and 6 assists in 24 matches domestically for Porto. He has also accumulated 5 goals and 2 assists in UCL so far this season. I feel like Taremi owes us a goal after getting his attempt saved away at Inter. I do not think he misses in front of this home crowd.

Inter is also a perennial UCL contender. They have had struggles in the competition since winning back in 2010, but come into this match with a 1-0 lead on aggregate. Inter also has the advantage of playing against Porto without Otavio in the lineup. Inter got him to draw a second yellow late in the first leg, and then were able to further capitalize by scoring a goal up a man. Inter will look to play defensively and protect their one goal lead in this hostile environment. I really only see them scoring on a counter attack. They have no need to press the issue and are a stout defensive team. This match will be very physical. I am expecting a lot of fouls and cards. It will be a great match for football fans, but may be boring to people who don’t enjoy lower scoring technical games.

Burroaks77's Picks

  • Porto Draw No Bet -115 @ DraftKings
  • Under 2.5 Goals -120 @ DraftKings
  • Taremi Anytime Goal +240 @ Barstool

Manchester City vs RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig have been atrocious away from home for a long time. They typically manage to score, but defensively they struggle. They simply can't keep opponents out of the back of their own net on the road. That is going to be a massive problem this week as they have to travel to England to take on the high flying offense of Man City. If Nkunku is healthy and starting, I think he will be the best offensive weapon on the pitch for RB Leipzig. Nkunku is a special young talent with a knack for scoring in the biggest moments. Pressure will not rattle him.

For Man City, the names are endless. Haaland, Mahrez, Foden, KDB, ect. The list goes on and on. The price on Haaland to score is absolutely unbeatable. The best price I have seen is -143. That means sports books have the implied probability of him scoring at 59%. I know Haaland is good, but absolutely NO ONE is that good. Scoring a goal, especially in The Champions League, is never a given. For my money, I’ll look further down the odds list. Someone like Mahrez, who is in form and has been able to rest/rotate at +200 sounds like a better player to back. Also, I believe he will be the primary PK taker if he is on the pitch. Mahrez has taken responsibility from the spot a majority of the season when he and Haaland are both on. RB Leipzig mat get a little sloppy and reckless on the defensive end. If they concede a penalty opportunity, I would want to be holding a Mahrez ticket.

Burroaks77's Picks

  • Mahrez Anytime Goal @ +200
  • Both Teams To Score @ -110

Napoli v. Frankfurt and Real Madrid v. Liverpool are very hard to write about a second time. I believe I covered everything that needed to be covered in my first article. Not to brag, but we went 6-0 on that article and still have a Real Madrid to advance position open.

I won’t be hedging that position. I have 0 concerns with Liverpool traveling to Madrid. The 7-0 win over Man U didn’t impress me even a little bit. I certainly am not afraid of a team that lost to Bournemouth 1-0 over the weekend. Pool fans can talk all they want. This squad is not beating Madrid by 4 goals in the Santiago Bernabeu. It’s that simple.

Napoli returned home up 2-0 on aggregate. Going against Frankfurt, who managed to have a player pick up a red and get himself suspended for this match. I would look up who, but I don’t think it particularly matters here. Napoli are absolutely not letting Frankfurt score 3 unanswered goals on them. Napoli has only given up 3 goals at home this season twice. Once was a Club Friendly during the World Cup break (not a real match) and once in the Copa Italia where they rested starters. Napoli should win this handedly.

Just because the last two matches won’t be entertaining to write about, doesn't mean they won’t be fantastic to watch or gamble on. I expect Napoli to keep their foot on the gas and score goals. Everyone expects goals in Madrid. Osimhen, Special K, Vini, Benzema, Salah, and the rest of your favorite players will all have very playable numbers. I recommend re-reading my article from 2/21 for more insights.

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