Group E Leader and 2012 champions Bayern Munich heads to the Italian capital to face AS Roma in a Matchday 3 Group Stage UEFA Champions League encounter. Odds say goals will be forthcoming but will they?
This is a very intriguing match on paper and it should also be pretty entertaining in reality at Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Tuesday (FSN, 2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT) when AS Roma plays host to Bayern Munich on Matchday 3 in Group E UEFA Champions League play in Italy. Oddsmakers have made visiting Bayern Munich solid -105 favorites (William Hill) against host AS Roma (+275, Draw +260) and, rightfully so as no matter how good the Yellow-Reds (i Giallorossi) have been playing lately, they sit at #51 in the latest FIFA rankings while Bayern Munich is right about where it should be at #3. The Total Goals is set at 2½ in the Soccer Odds (Over -125, bet365).
These two clubs last played here in the Group Stage of the Champions League in 2010-11 where the Bundesliga’s Reds won 2-0 at home in Munich with Serie A’s Roma returning the favor at home in Rome, winning 3-2 as Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi scored for the Giallorossi.
Bayern Munich (2-0-0, 2 GF-0 GA, +2 GD, 6 points) heads into this match in first place in Group E and, with a win, can pretty much ensure it will be moving on to the Knockout Stage. Bayern defeated both CSKA Moscow (0-0-2, 0 points) and Manchester City (0-1-1, 1 point) by identical 1-0 scores, so, anyone thinking that Pep Guardiola’s team can top Roma by a 1-0 scoreline once again (Bayern Munich to Win 1-0) will be paid handsomely if he or she is spot on (+800, 8/1, BetVictor). The Bundesliga champions and one of the top clubs in the world over the past decade head into this game a little bit banged up, but, because of its depth, Bayern can still field a starting XI that can compete with anyone, anywhere, at least when it’s playing well like it has been of late. Bayern has lost just once in its last 11 Away games in UEFA Champions League play and has gone unbeaten in its last 11 since falling to Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup (Aug. 3). The Bavarians are also 6-3-9 overall Away against clubs from Italy’s Serie A and this game should be an enticing battle between the top two clubs in the group although there may end up being under double-digit shots on target.
On the injury front, the Champions League website lists Bayern’s Bastian Schweinsteiger (knee), Holger Badstuber (thigh), Javi Martínez (knee), GK Pepe Reina (calf) and Thiago Alcântara (knee) all as Injured for this meeting while Franck Ribéry (knee) is listed as Doubtful. So, this German team is definitely a bit knocked up. But Bayern is Bayern as it showed dismantling Werder Bremen on Saturday at the Allianz Arena as Ribéry returned so take his Doubtful status with a healthy grain of German salt.
The leading candidates for an Anytime Goalscorer prop wager from Bayern Munich are striker Robert Lewandowski (+120, BetVictor), the always reliable Thomas Müller (+127), Claudio Pizarro (+145), Mario Götze (+160), Arjen Robben (+160), the aforementioned Ribéry (+190), Xherdan Shaqiri (+210) and Pierre Højbjerg (+225).
AS Roma (1-1-0, 6 GF-2 GA, +4 GD, 4 points) comes into this Matchday 3 fixture playing some pretty good soccer itself as only defending Serie A champions Juventus have put a dent in the Giallorossi (Juventus won 3-2 on Oct. 15 in Turin) lately. AS Roma will look to Mattia Destro (+175 Anytime Goalscorer, BetVictor), the aforementioned Totti (+229) and De Rossi (+400), Gervinho (+210), Adem Ljajic (+225) and Juan Iturbe (+225) to try to somehow get a ball past the best goalkeeper in the world (Manuel Neuer) while hoping its own goalkeeper (Morgan De Sanctis), and defense—anchored by Kostis Manolas, Ashley Cole and Maicon—can hold the focused visitors at bay. The key for Roma here will be to try to keep a body or bodies on Lewandowski and Müller at all times and to attempt to keep Robben from running roughshod over them on their own sacred Roman soil. Easier typed than done brother.
Injury-wise, AS Roma—which shut out Chievo Verona 3-0 at home on Saturday in Serie A play—is also nursing some wounds and the Champions League website lists Seydou Keita (calf), Marco Borriello (thigh), Leandro Castán (thigh) and Kevin Strootman (knee) all as Injured for this game with Davide Astori (thigh), Iturbe (thigh) and De Rossi (calf) all listed as Doubtful. In short, both teams are banged up but expect injured players to play in a game of such magnitude, especially for the upstart Serie A hosts who are 7-1-3 against Bundesliga clubs and whose captain, Totti, has yet to lose to a German side at Home.
Best Betting Approach
This will be one of the better games on Matchday 3, but, from a betting standpoint, finding an easy soccer betting pick here just can’t be done. One thought is a Halftime Score prop with a 0-0 scoreline in mind (+225, bet365) as both teams have to be a little bit tired—after all of the soccer they have played in a World Cup and Euro 2016 qualifying year—as well as both possibly being a little conservative with Bayern Munich sitting on 6 points in the group and AS Roma on 4 and Those Other Guys (Manchester City and CSKA Moscow) at 1 and 0 respectively.
The feeling here is that Bayern has been playing pretty good of late—unbeaten in its last 11— and that it still hasn’t allowed a goal in this Group Stage and GK Neuer won’t want to do so now. A Bayern Munich to Win To Nil prop bet (+275, Betfred) is definitely worth a gander (and there is not enough is said how special Neuer really is to this team). And with him in goal and leader Müller and the energetic and swift Robben and the prolific Lewandowski, even if Schweinsteiger is hurt and even if Bayern is playing away from home this team expects to win every match. And by beating AS Roma here in Rome on Tuesday, Bayern Munich can make those last three games in Group E so much easier as well as its approach to the Bundesliga over the next two-and-a-half months. A 3-0-0 start and 9 points in Group E would mean the ability to rest some bodies and heal some players as well as the less-stress component and who wouldn’t play hard for that underrated luxury in sports?
Prediction: AS Roma 0 Bayern Munich 2
Free Soccer Pick: Bayern Munich -137 (bet365)