On to the semifinals of an upset-filled UEFA Champions League tournament. Paris Saint-Germain meets RB Leipzig on Tuesday and Bayern Munich takes on Lyon on Wednesday, both in Lisbon, Portugal. Here’s how the matches break down:
Paris Saint-Germain vs. RB Leipzig: PSG meets up with the up-and-coming Bundesliga club for a game I am particularly excited about. PSG was trailing Atalanta up until the 90th minute, and then of course added one more to win in extra time. I am a big fan of Atalanta and really wanted it to hold on, but PSG was the better side.
The advanced metrics back this up as well, with PSG’s expected goals of 2.8 vs Atalanta’s 0.5. If Neymar brought his shooting boots with him, PSG could have easily scored three goals in the first half. Kylian Mbappe came on in the 60th minute, and his elite talent really showed. He is expected to start against Leipzig and will be a handful to contain for the full 90 minutes.
RB Leipzig really impressed me in its win against Athletico Madrid. It plays a really entertaining brand of soccer. If you watched that game, you know what I mean. Even without former superstar Timo Werner, Leipzig created enough chances to get past Athletico Madrid. Athletico played pretty poorly, but nonetheless it was a very impressive game from Leipzig.
Most people know how exciting the team is offensively, but Leipzig is not too shabby defensively, either. It ranked second in the Bundesliga in expected goals allowed, just barely trailing juggernaut Bayern Munich.
These games have been very open in the Champions and Europa leagues due to the World Cup nature of the play. So, while I do like Leipzig’s defense more than most, I expect an attacking game. I would have liked over 2¹/₂ goals, but that has been steamed and now the Over 3 is the only playable option. I give Leipzig a fair shot, but I am playing PSG. With Mbappe back in the lineup and Werner missing for Leipzig, I think PSG will just be too much for the Germans.
Bayern Munich vs Lyon: Bayern Munich draws Lyon in a surprise after the French side pulled the huge upset over Manchester City on the weekend. Bayern Munich beat Barcelona 8-2 in the quarterfinal, which is the most impressive and resounding victory I have witnessed in a long time. Yes, Barcelona has its own issues. I expected Bayern to win something like 4-2, but wow, that was something.
What really impressed me was Bayern’s press and its dominance in the midfield. Barcelona could not possess or win the ball back at all. The eight goals are eye-popping, but I couldn’t believe it dominated Barca like that.
Lyon made the most of its scoring opportunities versus Man City, while the English side had four quality chances and scored only once. The Raheem Sterling miss was like blowing a layup in basketball.
I think Bayern is an unstoppable force at this point, and Lyon has gotten a bit lucky. I like Bayern -2 goals at plus money and Over 3¹/₂ goals.
All eight games so far have had at least three goals. I think Lyon can definitely get one on the counter, and Bayern won’t have issues scoring. Bayern 4-1 is what I see playing out here.
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