UEFA Champions League Expert Tips 2019/20

Betfair Soccer Experts Form Labs are back to give their Champions League Tips for the 2019/20 tournament. They will preview major games in each stage of the tournament and give their expert tips along the way.

PSG v Bayern

Chelsea are the only side to lift the trophy for the first time in the past 20 years and PSG will be looking to add their name to the list. However, Bayern are experienced operators at this level and although their most recent final appearance came when they landed silverware seven years ago, they have been consistent in Europe since, reaching the semis on four occasions in addition to this year.

The Parisians have a better-balanced side than in years gone by with Marquinhos providing some midfield steel to compliment the array of forward talent. They arrive with a W25-D3-L1 record across all competitions since December when including extra time and penalties, including victories over Lyon (twice), Dortmund, Atalanta and Leipzig within the past six.

However, as good as that is, it pales in comparison to Bayern’s current form. So far in 2020 they’ve won 24 of 25 unbeaten matches and bagged at least three goals in 17 of these, with each of the past 20 ending in victory. In fact, over their last five alone against Wolfsburg, Leverkusen, Chelsea, Barcelona and Lyon, they’ve netted a whopping 23 times at a healthy average of 4.6 goals per game.

If there is a weakness in this Bayern team to be exploited, it’s clearly not in attack. The Bavarian giants have however seen both teams score in seven of their last 10 appearances, with Lyon the only side to draw a blank against them in their last four. Rudi Garcia’s side should have found the net though, with Memphis Depay fluffing his lines, Karl Toko Ekambi striking the post and missing another golden chance later on, while Marcelo wasted a free header from a corner by putting it down the middle.

Although Neymar has missed a few chances across the last two games here in Portugal, we can’t envisage PSG failing to score in this one. With Mbappe having made a swift return from injury and other dangerous outlets, another Bayern clean sheet is unlikely. Furthermore, both teams have scored in eight of the past nine finals to date.

PSG have only won by more than a single goal in one of four outings since returning to action, and even that saw them presented some golden chances by Leipzig last time out as Julien Nagelsmann’s side attempted to play out from the back.

Bayern have been irresistible and given the Champions League final has been settled inside 90 minutes in eight of the past 11 editions, with three of the last nine finishing 3-1 to the favourites, the correct score is certainly worth a pop.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Bayern and BTTS at $3.11

BACK – Bayern 3-1 Correct Score at $14.20

Lyon v Bayern

Lyon won’t be underestimated by Bayern after dumping out Juventus and Man City, though Rudi Garcia will be counting his lucky stars after a controversial VAR decision, Raheem Sterling’s missed sitter and Ederson’s fumble helped contribute to his side’s progression.

Most of all, Pep Guardiola’s tinkering left him without playmakers Phil Foden, Bernardo or David Silva on the pitch, as only the latter of those saw any minutes at all as a late substitute. Hansi Flick won’t make the same mistake for Bayern and possesses a well-oiled machine, while there can be no doubt over their ability to create chances following their 8-2 demolition job on Barcelona – the first time anyone’s put that many past the Catalan’s since Sevilla in 1946.

In fact, the Bavarians have now won 23 of 24 unbeaten matches across 2020, including each of the past 19. They scored at least three goals on 16 occasions, as the most recent four each saw them bag a minimum of four strikes. These were against Wolfsburg, Leverkusen, Chelsea and Barca, so it’s hardly as though they’ve just benefited form a kind schedule.

Lyon were well organized against City but that will only get them so far here. The dam will be broken at some point and they’ll need to find goals of their own if they’re to stand a chance at reaching the final. They’ll be highly dependent on captain Memphis Depay and top scorer Moussa Dembele for output, and if there is a weakness in this Bayern team it would have to be at the back.

Following a run of seven clean sheets from eight games between February and May, both teams have scored in seven of Bayern’s subsequent nine outings. Lyon are going to have to open up at some point in this clash, and have certainly demonstrated an ability to find the net versus football royalty.

Les Gones have now scored in 15 of 17 Champions League matches since the start of last season, while up against heavyweights Juventus, Man City and Barcelona they’ve done so in six of seven matches over this period.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Bayern and BTTS at $2.36

Leipzig v PSG

This is PSG’s first Champions League semi since 1994/95, back when Leipzig didn’t even exist as a club. However, although Chelsea are the only first-time winners in this competition over the past 20 campaigns, the Blues had built up experience throughout a strong spine in the years leading up to their 2012 triumph.

The Parisians have big-game players like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, as well as a bit more steel in midfield with Marquinhos and Idrissa Gueye, so although they’ll miss midfield metronome Marco Verratti, there’s a better team balance overall and less of a reliance on individual magic than in previous seasons.

Thomas Tuchel looks set to be without experienced goalkeeper Keylor Navas as well, though there’s better news further forwards with Angel Di Maria back from suspension and Mbappe showing no ill effects on his return. The latter’s introduction against Atalanta helped changed the dynamic of the game, with the comeback a phycological boost after being on the receiving end of late drama in recent years.

Leipzig had a more restrained quarter-final as Atletico lacked ambition in the final third, with Diego Costa left isolated up front and Diego Simeone’s men only really threatening after substitute Joao Felix came on.

Their deep defensive line ensured Leipzig didn’t miss Timo Werner as much as they otherwise might have done following his move to Chelsea, but the Parisians won’t be so negative and Leipzig will miss Werner’s runs more here with space in behind the opposition defence.

The German side are happy to sell stars like Werner, buy young players with resale value and build new stars, but PSG’s business model is very different and their squad is ready for the here and now. The French outfit are W24-D3-L1 across all competitions since December, including victories over Lyon, Dortmund and Atalanta within their last six fixtures since March.

Meanwhile, although Leipzig have only lost once since early February (W9-D7-L1), when squaring off with the two best sides they faced other than Atletico, they drew with Bayern in the very first game of this spell and were defeated 2-0 by Borussia Dortmund in June.

Betting Strategy

BACK – PSG at $1.83

Current Results

Total Units Staked: 28.00

Total Units Returned: 27.18

ROI: -2.92%

(Note: Each bet is for one unit). 

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