After a brief hiatus for domestic cup play, Champions League soccer returns for midweek action once again. It is important to note the new aggregate rules for UCL before we dive into the games and our gambling action.
@BurrOaks' UCL Picks: Bayern vs PSG & Chelsea vs Dortmund - 3/6
What does "Aggregate" Mean and why does it matter?
In this best of two head to head competition, each team is given a home and away match to keep the playing field level. Away goals no longer hold any weight when discussing aggregate scoring.
Aggregate scoring for us is advancing on a combined total goals scored. For example, Madrid beat Liverpool 2-5 away. This means that when Liverpool travels to Madrid, They must be leading by 3 goals at the end of regulation to force the game into an extra time or penalty kick scenario.
If Liverpool ends regulation up 4 goals they will advance. If Liverpool wins the match by anything less than a 3 goal lead, they will fail to advance and their tournament will be over. I will remind everyone of the aggregate scores for games when I discuss the matches below.
Chelsea vs Dortmund (Aggregate: Dortmund lead 1-0)
Dortmund has been an absolute wagon since the World Cup break. They have yet to lose a single match, and are on an 8-0-0 undefeated run in the Bundesliga. They have also handled their business in the Porkal Cup and in UCL bringing their post world cup record to 10-0-0.
Chelsea have been fairing much worse, even after setting a record in money spent during the winter transfer window. Since the last UCL match, Chelsea have been 1-0-2. The team has also still failed to score more than three goals in a match this season. The money spent on offensive players has not led to on-field production for Chelsea. That is a major problem this week, hosting Dortmund and starting with a 0-1 deficit. In order for Chelsea to advance in regulation, they will need to keep a clean sheet and win 2-0 (or 3-1, 4-2, ect.). Something they haven’t been able to do in international competition this season. This becomes even more difficult when Chelsea has lost star defender Thiago Silva for over a month due to injury. Another notable missing piece for Chelsea will be Mason Mount. He will miss the match due to yellow card accumulation.
Dortmund are not without problems of their own. Karim Adeyemi (who scored in the last H2H) will be out with a thigh injury. Julian Ryerson will also miss the match due to card accumulation. We have an open position on Dortmund to advance from my last article. I am going to continue riding that bet, but there is a hedge opportunity for Chelsea to advance widely available at +120.* You can secure a nice profit if you like.
Chelsea will have to press the issue and attack from the beginning until they take, at minimum, a one goal lead. I do not expect Dortmund to sit in a low block and defend. I don’t believe they want to invite all that pressure onto the defense and keeper for a full 90 minutes. I think Dortmund will look to steal possession and spring counter opportunities when possible through the midfield. Chelsea have been in a big time rut, but they do have talent and Dortmund will respect that. Ultimately, I just don’t see Chelsea being able to put up enough goals to advance because they haven’t proved they can for the entire season.
- Under 2.5 goals -106 @ FanDuel
- Dortmund to advance from Match 1*
Bayern vs PSG (Aggregate: Bayern lead 1-0)
This is a game I will expect goals and fireworks. PSG lost the opening match in their building and will need to press the issue from the opening whistle. Last match Mbappe came off the bench and was not fully fit. Messi was also dealing with a lingering injury and did not play at 100%. Bayern was able to come away victorious, but with only a one goal lead. Sergio Ramos for PSG gave Bayern fits defensively and really limited this powerful attack. The goal Bayern scored came on a lofted cross as Ramos was closing down space. Bayern switched the field away from Ramos and found their only scoring success of the game. Bayern looked to be dominating the game until Mbapee subbed on. His impact was felt immediately and he produced several dangerous scoring opportunities for PSG. Having him available for the entire match will be a game changer for this PSG side. I think it is also important to mention that Pavard for Bayern picked up a red card in the last H2H. Pavard is a veteran defender who does a ton for Bayern and he will be missed greatly. I see a lot of goals coming for this match.
Ultimately, I think Bayern have what it takes to win. It is incredibly difficult to walk out of The Allianz Arena with a win as a visiting club. Bayern also have the depth and the experience I look for when making my predictions. They have won six UCL’s and the veterans on this squad will not be intimidated by the big stage.
- Mbappe AGS +140 @ Barstool
- Choupo-Moting AGS +180 @ Barstool
- (.5u) Messi Assist +350 @ Barstool