The European Champions League returns this midweek, and BetBonanza brings you all the exciting analyses of the hottest matches.
Manchester United vs Villarreal
This tie will be loud. Under-pressure Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must win this game for many reasons. First, Unai Emery denied him, last season, his first trophy as United manager. Ole had come so close, qualifying against the jeer of critics for the Europa League final. He went into the game as the clear favorite, with bookmakers predicting an easy win for the Red Devils. Then the unexpected happened, and stretched to the unbelievable. Villarreal held United to a draw the full 90 minutes.
Well - many thought - that was a final, and deserved some tension. Spectators and viewers believed United would seal the game in the impending extra time. But the first 15 minutes ticked past, and the next followed. Still, a draw. It was then time for penalties, pulsating, gripping shootouts that saw all ten players of each side score. Then it got to the keepers, and Villarreal’s Geronimo Rulli stopped David De Gea’s weak, predictable shot. That saver stopped, also, Ole’s trophy dream.
Had the United manager won that Europa, it would have bought him time before more pressure would pile. The assurance that he is equally a winner would have defended him against detractors’ accusation that his poor tactics cost United the Champions League opening game against Switzerland’s Young Boys two weeks ago. That loss would go on to open a floodgate of even more losses: a Carabao cup defeat to West Ham, an EPL stunning home loss to Aston Villa.
With a squad depth only comparable to Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, Ole will be facing Villarreal conscious of the huge expectations on him, and the club’s fans’ impatience with more excuses and explanations. The game will be a rematch of the Europa final, with Ole gunning for revenge. Our bookmakers believe Manchester United players will go all out, and have therefore given them a 76% win chance.
AC Milan vs Atletico Madrid
Milan is unbeaten in their last six domestic games in which they won five and drew one, a result that has kept them in the league’s second position, just two points below leaders Napoli. Atletico, on the other hand, is 4th in the La Liga, having lost only one in seven games. Both teams will seek to win in this encounter, since none won their opening Champions League campaign. Milan lost to Liverpool, while Atletico drew Porto.
Milan goes into the game with a more formidable domestic record, but Atletico’s one-point advantage from the Porto draw takes the pressure off them for a bit.
Fikayo Tomori will seek to atone for the own goal he caused his side in the Liverpool game, while Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann will aim to end Atletico’s goal scarcity so far this season. It will be a tough encounter for both sides, which is why betBonanza gives Atletico a slightly higher odd of victory at 53%.
Juventus vs Chelsea
This should come easy for Chelsea, given Juve’s current form. Manager Massimiliano Allegri recently stormed off the pitch in a fit of anger during which he swore for his players after a draw with AC Milan. His side is 9th in Serie A, having lost two, drawn two and won only two in 6 games so far in the season’s domestic league. One of those two victories came last Sunday, against 15th placed Sampdoria that has only managed to win one game in this campaign.
Thomas Tuchel’s point man at the attack, Romelu Lukaku, knows Juventus well. He was in Inter Milan between 2019 and this summer when he returned to Chelsea. In that period, Lukaku won the Italian League title and the league’s most valued player. All this points to an experience in dealing with The Old Lady.
Also, Chelsea are the current Champions League title holders, seeking to rise out of their last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City. The team will go all out to attack. And because they are set up to defend well, as their record of conceding only twice in the domestic league has shown, BetBonanza bookmakers give them a 65% of winning the encounter.
PSG vs Manchester City
Perhaps the most anticipated group stage game, this encounter is a couple of things fused into one. First, a replay of last season’s semifinal which City won. Second, that rematch, but with Lionel Messi now in the PSG attack. One of the two greatest footballers of all time (the other is Ronaldo), Messi left Barcelona in the last transfer window, after 21 years’ illustrious relationship that saw the club win loads of trophies, including 10 La Liga and 4 Champions League. Now Manchester City will be playing a PSG with a Lionel Messi that has always stood up in big moments – at least at the club level.
There is also a third reason this tie is high profile: Pep Guardiola. His City just cruised past current Champions League holders, Chelsea, on Saturday, pocketing in the entire 90 minutes Chelsea’s most dangerous man, Romelu Lukaku. City holds the English Premier League title, and sits second on the domestic league table, where they are also favored among a few others to win the title again.
Lionel Messi has yet to discover his goal-scoring form in PSG, where he pairs with former Barcelona club mate Neymar, and red-hot rising goal-machine Kylian Mbappe. But no one knows the particular game in which Messi will find that form. And when he does, a PSG that has remained unbeaten in the French league without any goal from Messi will crush opponents to mere dusts. Guardiola will pray that moment does not come on the day he faces PSG. We recognize the near balance of strength in this tie, but believe Pep’s tactical superiority to PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino’s will give City the edge. This is why we gave City a 56% victory chance
Other interesting games hold today and tomorrow, up to Thursday during Europa group stages. Which of them are you following? And have you placed your bet on your most exciting games? Do that now, and do it on our platform.