Sportsbooks Favor Top-Ranked Teams to Win Matchday 2 of UEFA
October 1, 2018
Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League 2018-2019 will be held on October 2 and 3. Sportsbooks, including Bethard, predict that the top teams will win over the underdogs.
According to a list released by Yahoo! Sports last August, the eight top-tier teams for the 2018-2019 Champions League are Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool, Real Madrid, PSG, and Atlético Madrid.
After an eventful 1st Matchday with a hat-trick from Lionel Messi, a loss for Manchester City, and a triumph for Atletico Madrid, will the top teams be unbeatable this time around?
Manchester City F.C (10/27) vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (7/1)
Manchester City is the current title holder for Premier League champion, which is most probably why sportsbooks are rooting for them over Hoffenheim. Bethard gives Man. City 10/27 odds and Hoffenheim only 7/1 odds.
Man. City lost to Lyon in their first game into the Champions League. Meanwhile, Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk tied at 2-2. Even if Man. City had a disappointing turnout, players are still hopeful that the team will win its next games as a home defeat can be motivating.
İlkay Gündoğan, Manchester City’s midfielder tweeted, “Seriously unhappy about our start in the @championsleague – it was an evening to forget. We’ll come with much more energy into the next matches.”
— Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan) September 20, 2018
The English team will be traveling up to the Rhein-Neckar-Arena in Germany on Tuesday night. The Man. City and Hoffenheim match will be the first time these two teams go face to face. Six of Hoffenheim’s players will most likely sit out this match due to injuries. Meanwhile, three of City’s players will be skipping this match as well.
FC Bayern Munich (2/11) vs AFC Ajax (15/1)
These teams won their first game at the Champions League Matchday 1. But Bethard thinks that Bayern Munich will take the win this Tuesday with 2/11 odds while Ajax is at 15/1 odds.
Bayern Munich won against Benfica their first Champions League match with a score of 2-0. Bayern Munich’s Portuguese midfielder, Renato Sanches had a lot to contribute to the team’s victory. He scored one of the team’s goals which earned him applause from the audience.
Coming back from an injury, Renato has earned the trust of his teammates and coach to lead the team to future victories. Niko Kovač, Bayern Munich’s head coach said:
“Renato has done well against Benfica, he has confirmed our confidence and will play regularly in the coming weeks.”
🗣️ Der Trainer über @renatosanches35: "Renato hat es sehr gut gemacht gegen Benfica. Er hat unser Vertrauen bestätigt und wird in den nächsten Wochen regelmäßig spielen." 🔝#S04FCB #FCBayern #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/R4xhzxxedp
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) September 21, 2018
Will Renato continue to be an asset to the team against their match with Ajax?
FC Barcelona (21/20) vs Tottenham Hotspur F.C. (13/5)
One of the matches Champions League fans are most intrigued by is the Barcelona-Tottenham match. But Bethard sees a Barcelona win. The sportsbook sets Barcelona’s odds at 21/20 odds and Tottenham’s at 13/5 odds.
Barcelona won against PSV Eindhoven last September 18 with a score of 4-0. Barcelona’s forward and captain, Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick which was one of the highlights of that match. A video of Messi scoring that goal even got over 3,000 retweets and 19,000 likes as of today.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 20, 2018
Will Barcelona’s star-player lead the team to victory against Tottenham?
Juventus F.C. (4/27) vs BSC Young Boys (21/1)
Juventus won over Valencia on the first group stage match with a score of 2-0. Meanwhile, Young Boys lost to Manchester United at 3-0. This may be the reason sportsbooks are rooting for Juventus. Bethard gives Juventus 4/27 odds and Young Boys 21/1 odds.
On Matchday 1, the Juventus team was paired down to 10. The team’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo was given the red card after a seemingly harmless kick toward Valencia defender Jeison Murillo. But even without Ronaldo, the team persevered to get a win for Juventus. Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus’ coach, said that what happened with Ronaldo “increased the players’ desire to prove themselves.”
Emre Can, Juventus’ central midfielder tweeted, “Difficult game going down to 10 men early on but we stuck together as 1. Great teamwork!”
Difficult game going down to 10 men early on but we stuck together as 1️⃣ Great teamwork!
Back to Turin with 3 important points! 💪🏼⚪⚫
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#EC23 #iCan #WeCan #FinoAllaFine #UCL pic.twitter.com/5hsZ224GfZ
— Emre Can (@emrecan_) September 19, 2018
Due to the red card against Valencia, Cristiano Ronaldo was suspended to play against Young Boys on October 2. Juventus’ strong bond as a team led them to a victory against Valencia
Liverpool F.C. (11/10) vs S.S.C. Napoli (5/2)
In the first group stage match, Liverpool won over Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) with a score of 3-2. On the other hand, Napoli’s match with Red Star Belgrade ended with a 0-0 draw, putting Napoli as the underdog against Liverpool.
Now Bethard gives Liverpool and Napoli 11/10 and 5/2 odds, respectively.
Liverpool’s win against PSG was a tight match. The English team led the match with two points. After halftime, attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino substituted for Daniel Sturridge. PSG scored a goal to reach a tie. But at the match’s last moments, Firmino scored the last goal, giving the team victory.
Liverpool’s left-back Andrew Robertson thought that the match would be a draw. He said, “There’s nothing better than a late goal – Bobby [Roberto Firmino] has come off the bench and done that. To a man, we were brilliant I thought.”
"There’s nothing better than a late goal – Bobby has come off the bench and done that. To a man, we were brilliant I thought." 🙌@andrewrobertso5 on another dramatic European night at Anfield: https://t.co/UBQ5s8hUGM pic.twitter.com/Py5w9CD0Jd
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 18, 2018
Real Madrid C.F. (20/33) vs PFC CSKA Moscow (5/1)
Real Madrid won a 3-0 against Roma at the first group stage match. But their star midfielder Francisco Suárez (Isco) will not be joining the team in their match against CSKA Moscow because of his appendicitis. Despite Isco’s absence, Bethard still roots for Real Madrid set at 20/33 odds to win.
Upon arriving in Moscow, Real Madrid tweeted its list of players that will be playing on Champions League Matchday 2. Seen on the list is goalkeeper Keylor Navas, right-back Dani Carvajal, and midfielder Toni Kroos, among others.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) September 30, 2018
Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow had a 2-2 draw with Plzeñ on Matchday 1. With this, Bethard gives CSKA Moscow 5/1 odds of winning against Real Madrid.
Paris Saint-Germain F.C. (2/35) vs Red Star Belgrade (37/1)
PSG may have lost to Liverpool in Matchday 1, but sportsbooks predict that they will win this match against Red Star Belgrade who had a 0-0 draw against Napoli. PSG have already won five out of six domestic titles. They have also opened up a huge gap in terms of points which will make it difficult for other teams, including Red Star Belgrade, to catch up. Bethard gives PSG 2/35 odds and Red Star Belgrade 37/1 odds.
Despite PSG’s loss, the French team’s right-back Thomas Meunier remains optimistic about their future matches. He said, “It’s a good omen for the future; we [the team] showed character and desire.”
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) September 19, 2018
Atlético Madrid (4/13) vs Club Brugge KV (21/2)
Atlético Madrid won against Monaco last September 18 with a score of 2-1 while Club Brugge lost to Dortmund with 1-0. With the Spanish team’s success at the group stage opener, they sit at 4/13 odds on Bethard while Club Brugge is at 21/2 odds.
Heading off to a victorious start, Atlético Madrid tweeted, “Important triumph! We continue to work to face the next challenge more forcefully! Thanks for the encouragement of passion!”
— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) September 18, 2018
Atlético Madrid is ready to face Club Brugge with more strength than when they played against Monaco. But will the Belgian team recover from their loss to Dortmund and claim the victory on Matchday 2? Or will Atlético Madrid continue on winning?
As seen on Bethard’s predictions, the top-ranked teams do have the upper hand at the Champions League second group stage match. But bettors should not solely depend on sportsbook odds as underdogs sometimes still happen to win against prominent teams.