Nico reacts to Man City receiving a 2 year ban from the Champions League and what it means going forward for his club. The boys also recap this past weekend’s Premier League action, what’s wrong with VAR and of course the Alderweireld/Engels show. And FINALLY they get to preview this week’s Champions League round of 16 matches and who they like to gain an advantage going into the second leg. Come kick it with us…
All-Time Record: 604-534-161
Last Two Seasons: 341-297-94 (+11.3 units)
This Season: 129-128-46 (-3.3 Units)
Matchweek 26: 2-5 (-3.8 Units)
Well there it is, the first time in history that my units have been in the negative in the history of the blog. It only took 1,299 picks and to me that’s a big win itself.
Regardless, only the weak stop when the going gets tough and I’m not going anywhere. The Champions League is back and the slate of matches this week can’t be ignored.
UEFA Champions League
Tuesday, February 18th
3:00 pm EST
Liverpool @ Atletico Madrid (TV: TNT) – This couldn’t be more of a contrast in styles. Liverpool with their heavy-metal football would like to go for the throat here in the first leg, but Atletico’s low-scoring, defensive, compact style will look to stifle that. With Atletico’s recent form though I don’t trust them to even score here and I think Liverpool will get an away goal and sit on it. I like Liverpool in a low-scoring affair here. Liverpool -0.5 (+115) and Under 2 Total Goals (+120).
PSG @ Borussia Dortmund – This should be quite the opposite match here. With the over/under sitting at 3.5, expect tons of goals here with two of the most powerful offenses in the world facing off. But what separates these clubs is their respective defenses. PSG has held tight for most of the season (with the exception of Saturday’s 4-4 draw) while Dortmund are letting in goals like they’re betting on the over themselves. PSG also has some of the better depth in this tournament and I feel that they have the better chance to get at least a draw here before taking it back to Paris. PSG Pickem (-130).
Wednesday, February 19th
3:00 pm EST
Valencia @ Atalanta – I love Valencia to be a possible dark horse to make a run in this tournament. They have a phenomenal home-field advantage and have punched above their weight against the heavy-hitters in La Liga this season. Atalanta aren’t an easy out either as they’ve done some things similar in Serie A, but their style of play isn’t conducive to success in the Champions League. They’re prone to shoot-outs in their matches and have conceded an average of 2.6 goals per match this season in Italy and the Champions League. I like Valencia as underdogs as well as the over, which sits lower than that goals against average alone from Atalanta this season. Valencia +0.5 (+110) and Over 2.5 Total Goals (-135). *LATE BET ADDITION AT 11:50 AM EST. VALENCIA +1 (-105).*
RB Leipzig @ Tottenham (TV: TNT) – Another one of my dark horses is Leipzig, but not just to make a run, to possibly reach the Final. They’re great top to bottom, are extremely well-coached and have one of the better goal-scorers in the tournament in Timo Werner. Meanwhile Spurs are seriously hurting, especially up top now that Son broke his arm, and they don’t seem to be playing the type of footy that is sustainable for a two-legged Champions League draw. Mourinho’s patented low-scoring, tight and cagey style hasn’t fully translated to Spurs yet and if they pay the way they did against Villa last weekend here against Leipzig, they won’t make it to the quarterfinals. I’m going to double down on Leipzig here especially since their moneyline and spread both have great prices. RB Leipzig Pickem (+110) and RB Leipzig (+195).
Stay kickin’ it. Peace.