Champions League is back at its best. Three fantastic encounters on Matchday 1 as Bayern Munich host Atletico Madrid, Liverpool travel to play Ajax, and Paris Saint-Germain welcome Manchester United. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and our betting picks.
Sound on, the iconic Champions League anthem is back and that is always making everyone cheerful. The first matchday of the season is a total treat with Bayern vs. Atletico, Ajax vs. Liverpool, and Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester United, being the main encounters of the group stage.
In two of the three groups, the situation is cropped in two parts, with two teams clearly favorites to qualify. That means these games have already a relevant meaning on the final outcome of the group, as the winner will probably top the group and we know how big is the difference between 1st and 2nd place in the knock-out stages draw.
Bayern Munich vs. Atletico Madrid
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 – 03:00 PM EDT at Allianz Arena
If Atletico Madrid want to challenge Bayern and win this group, then they must try and keep the Bavarian giants to a draw at Allianz, or at least losing by no more than 1 goal. In 2016 this was the stadium where they gained access to the Champions League final facing Pep Guardiola and Co.
Obviously, this is a totally different story. Bayern don’t seem they can get distracted in such a game while Atletico have strongly reinforced their squad by adding Luis Suárez and Lucas Torreira, but it takes time to fully absorb that addition and try to be consistent.
Unfortunately, Diego Costa will be out, and maybe his style would have been particularly useful to put pressure on Bayern's long ball possession. The Bavarians will be explosive on the wings, as usual, a kind of game that Diego Simeone can't cope with. Simeone's fullbacks are still not getting the performance he demands while in the middle he's not having anymore that kind of extra work which helps the team to resist. This game seems to come just too early for Atletico.
Ajax vs. Liverpool
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 03:00 PM EDT at Johan Cruijff Arena
Ten Champions Leagues trophies on the pitch, but as we know history doesn’t play a part. The technical mismatch is huge, even though two years ago Ajax were smelling the final from so close, but meanwhile, they have lost half of that outstanding starting XI.
Too much frustration for Liverpool in Premier League and that seems it can find its way out in the Champions League. They are facing an open play team, perfectly fitting to their gegenpressing building up. Virgil Van Dijk's long term injury will definitely take its toll along the season. The reaction of his teammates must not be underestimated, as they will surely want to play for their charismatic leader. Jurgen Klopp knows he can't drop points in such a difficult group.
Free Soccer Pick: Liverpool to win at -135 (1.74) at BetOnline
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester United
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 03:00 PM EDT at Parc des Princes
Two years ago Romelu Lukaku's brace cost PSG the quarter-finals and gained Ole Gunnar Solskjær a future at United. Right Now, PSG are the fresh runners-up, and possibly the team (alongside Manchester City) who are the most determined to win the Champions League trophy.
Most of all, PSG's players are all back and seems to have already returned to their level, while Manchester United are back to being an unreliable team with huge ups and downs and a shaky defense. God bless Bruno Fernandes for being there, cause Paul Pogba's chronically personality lacking is still unsolved. PSG's attacking line threats to be an unbearable wave for United holding midfielder, leaving the defense totally exposed.
Free Soccer Pick: Paris Saint-Germain to win at -181 (1.55) at Bookmaker (Visit our Bookmaker Review)