UCL Matchday 2 preview

WE’RE set for some mammoth midweek action in the Champions League as Matchday 2 gets underway across Europe.

There’s plenty of enticing fixtures and we’ve highlighted some of the best, with plenty of value to be found across the board.

PSG v Manchester City

No game will have more eyes on it than PSG’s welcoming of Manchester City to the Parc des Princes.

The French giants have struggled to find the form expected of them when they added Lionel Messi to an already envious frontline containing Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, but to find them at such long odds at home in such a pivotal fixture for them is remarkable.

The hosts have been comfortable in most outings this season, with the exception being that 1-1 draw on Matchday 1 away at Brugge.

It was the first time we got to see the famed front three lineup together, but the teething problems were evident and they failed to live up to the unworldly expectations.

Mauricio Pochettino certainly has his hands full trying to accomodate for an array of superstars and the unfortunate thing for anyone in his position is that time simply won’t be afforded by the board.

That said, he has proven himself more than capable of setting his teams up to frustrate Pep Guardiola’s troops in years gone by and there’s no reason to doubt his managerial ability in games of this magnitude.

The most surprising part of PSG’s shortcoming in Belgium a fortnight ago was the uncharacteristic fragility shown defensively. If they can put their best foot forward without possession there’s enough belief that the forward pairing of Mbappe and Neymar will be able to exploit City’s backline on the counter.

Messi’s status for this game remains up in the air but that in itself could be a blessing in disguise as he adjusts to his new surroundings. In a game where both sides boast equal levels of talent – even with PSG’s list of absentees – the value on the home side here is almost self-explanatory.

The implied win percentage on the Draw no bet market for PSG (44.2%) offers really good value and I don’t believe they should be priced anywhere above $2.00 on this market.

Our best bet: PSG (Draw no bet) @ $2.26

Porto v Liverpool

Porto will be hoping to get their European campaign up and running when they welcome Liverpool to the Estadio do Dragao for a crucial Group B clash.

The Reds started their campaign with a well-deserved win over AC Milan at Anfield and head to Portugal having had fond memories of recent meetings with their opponents.

Jurgen Klopp’s side recorded a 4-1 win at this venue en route to lifting Europe’s top-prize back in 2019. They’ve also never lost to Porto in eight meetings with them since the 2000/01 season.

While the home side have recorded impressive results here recently in Europe – most notably a 2-1 win against Juventus after holding Manchester City goalless – they’ll be set for a difficult evening against an in-form Liverpool attack.

To make matters worse, the hosts are likely to be without their preferred centre-back pairing for this one. Hardly the preparation you’d want when facing a team that currently owns a 2.97 expected goals average on the current season.

While the temptation to rest players ahead of their weekend clash with Manchester City will no doubt be at the forefront of Klopp’s thinking here, the opportunity to make it 2 wins from 2 games in such a difficult group will certainly take precedence.

The visitors should be able to take advantage of Porto’s defensive reshuffle regardless of who they decide to roll out up top. This price is sitting slightly too high for mine and I’d anticipate some late money on Liverpool when line ups are announced that would have them closing closer to the $1.60 mark in this one.

Our best bet: Liverpool win @ $1.69


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