It was a hell of a weekend for soccer as none of the highly anticipated matches disappointed and we got lots of storylines. Let’s get into it…
Outside the 18
Big Matches – There were 2 big derbies and 2 other huge league matches this weekend and none disappointed. Chelsea and Liverpool drew 1-1 after a stunning equalizer from Daniel Sturridge, Real Madrid drew Atletico 0-0 at home, Napoli fell to Juventus 3-1 after being up 1-0 and Roma beat Lazio 3-1.
Giant Trouble – Three soccer giants have now fallen into poor form as Bayern and Real Madrid have gone winless in their last two and Barcelona winless in their last three. Those struggles lead right into one of the more crucial Champions League matchweeks for these teams as well as a really tough month for Barcelona.
United Struggles – Manchester United managed to lose at West Ham 3-1 as their struggles continue this season. They now sit in 10th and are 9 points off of the lead which is held by City and have gone winless in their last 3 domestic matches. Is it Mou’s time to go?
All-Time Record: 44-37-8 (+3.1 Units)
Matchweek 7 Record: 7-5-1 (+2.5 Units)
Another good week as I’m now 13-8-2 and +5.4 units in my last two matchweeks. Last time around in the Champions League I picked the whole slate and went 8-7-1 so I’m going to see if a more selective strategy is kinder to me. Let’s go!!
Tuesday, October 2nd
12:55 pm EST
Young Boys @ Juventus – Juventus will be home to Young Boys after their big win against Napoli but this time without Cristiano. That doesn’t worry me at all here as Young Boys will have serious trouble regardless of who Juve start. I think 2 is a safe number here as I find it really unlikely that Juventus will only win by one on Turin. Juventus (-2, -120).
3:00 pm EST
Shakhtar Donestsk @ Lyon – Lyon will be looking to stay atop the Group F standings after shocking Man City at the Etihad a few weeks ago. Shakhtar didn’t look convincing after drawing at home to Hoffenheim and will now have to travel to a hot Lyon side who have not lost in their last 5. I see Lyon continuing their form as they have a good chance to get to 6 points in the group before having to play Hoffenheim twice and City once more. Lyon (-0.5, -125).
Real Madrid @ CSKA Moscow – On paper this may look like an easy one for Real but looks can be quite deceiving here. In general it’s not easy to travel to Moscow and grab three points but it also doesn’t help when you’re in a form rut and without captain Sergio Ramos as he is resting. But I actually like Madrid here because of a few of those reasons. People think this is a good time to fade Madrid but I think this is the moment that they change their form before they get a chance to freefall and prove that they can win big games without Ronaldo and their captain. It may be a push but I think they’ll get the win here. Real Madrid (-1, +105).
Wednesday, October 3rd
12:55 pm EST
FC Schalke @ Lokomotiv Moscow – Similar to the Real Madrid pick, I’m going against the public perception of Schalke and predicting this is where their form begins to turn around. Going into this weekend, Schalke were in last place in the Bundesliga but got their first win in the league on Saturday. Now that they have gotten that monkey off their back and Vegas is giving them a Pickem, it would take a lot for me to hop off that line even with the price of (-140). Remember, in a Pickem you can only lose the bet off of an outright loss by the team you bet on. FC Schalke (Pick, -140).
3:00 pm EST
Inter Milan @ PSV Eindhoven – Another Pickem line that is just too good to pass up on here. Inter Milan will be headed to Holland while on a streak of 4 consecutive wins and have had only 1 loss in their last 7. This line, much like the Schalke line, has a steep price of (-140) and has the chance to push the line from a Pickem to -0.5 but I still won’t be scared of that juice. Inter Milan (Pick, -140).
FC Barcelona @ Tottenham – Barcelona, as mentioned in my Outside the 18 segment, are in some trouble. But they were extremely lucky that during their 3 match winless streak, they still didn’t lose grips of the La Liga lead due to Real’s poor run of form as well. They have a chance here to get 6 points through 2 matches before their upcoming schedule of Valencia (A), Sevilla (H), Inter (H), Real Madrid (H). There is value in taking the home dogs in Spurs, but Barca is just too good and this is the exact game Spurs lose every single year (big home match at Wembley). FC Barcelona (-0.5, +105).
Liverpool @ Napoli – Oh my gosh I love this line. You’re really going to make Napoli home dogs, Vegas? Yes they lost to Juve at the weekend but they went up 1-0 and ended up getting a red card. Napoli at home this year are 3-0 with a +5 goal differential and I don’t trust Liverpool walking into the San Paolo and winning the game outright here. With the line of +0.5, it allows Napoli to win or tie and that’s just way too much value to pass on. Napoli (+0.5, -120).
Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.