The upcoming 2018-19 UEFA Champions League season should bring plenty of excitements, as the competition in the group stage is arguably stiffer than ever. On the first day, Tuesday, September 18th, 2018, the bettors will see a huge derby between the last season’s finalists Liverpool and Paris SG set at Anfield in Liverpool, so let’s take a closer look on this matchup.
LIVERPOOL vs. PARIS SG
Three-way: 1: Liverpool +115; X: +280 Draw; 2: Paris SG +200
Spread -0.5: Liverpool +115; Paris SG -135
Total 3.5 Goals: Over +110; Under -140
Both Teams to Score: Yes -225; No +162
The Reds made a perfect start in the English Premier League, winning the first five games with an 11:2 goal difference, including a 2-1 victory over Tottenham on the road last Saturday. Liverpool fortified its’ squad this summer, and Jurgen Klopp’s team works like a well-oiled machine at the start of the new season. The newcomer Alisson Becker is doing a great job between the sticks, while the deep-lying playmaker Naby Keita is proving he will be a great addition in the middle of the park.
Liverpool kept the net intact in three out of the five games in this term, and three times we saw more than two goals in the total. The winger Sadio Mane is leading the reds with four goals in five appearances, whilst Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both added two goals each. Four guys recorded two dishes apiece thus far – James Milner, Andrew Robertson, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino. The manager Jurgen Klopp will miss the midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the defender Dejan Lovren due to injuries, while the attacking midfielder Adam Lallana is still doubtful with a groin strain.
- Liverpool is unbeaten in the last 12 games at home
- Liverpool didn’t concede in the previous four home games
- Liverpool kept the net intact in three of the last four Champions League games at Anfield
Just like Liverpool, the Parisians have won all their six games of the new season, including a 4-0 demolition job over AS Monaco in the French Super Cup. In the domestic championship, the Parisians have recorded five victories out of five outings with a 17:4 goal difference, keeping the net intact two times in the process, while all these five tilts had at least three goals in the total. In two games on the road, they’ve beaten Nimes 4-2 and Guingamp 3-1 respectively.
Paris SG has a new manager, and Thomas Tuchel prefers an attacking approach which suits his team very well. The forwards Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria, and Neymar are topping the team’s scoring chart with four goals apiece, while the striker Edinson Cavani added three goals in three appearances. Angel Di Maria is the best assist-maker so far with three dishes on his account, whilst Kylian Mbappe recorded three assists in three outings. Thomas Tuchel will have some problems to field his best eleven, as the keeper Gianluigi Buffon and the playmaker Marco Verratti are both suspended, while the full-back Dani Alves is still recovering from a knee injury.
- Paris SG lost just one out of the last ten games overall
- Paris SG is undefeated in ten road games straight
- Paris SG conceded in three out of the previous five tilts on the road
The bookies expect to see a high-scoring affair, setting the odds on the over 2.5 goals at -225, and it sounds reasonable as both Liverpool and Paris SG possess plenty of attacking weapons. However, the opening game is always a tricky one, and considering the Group C as a tough one with Napoli also in the competition for the top two spots, neither side cannot afford a loss here. Therefore, we could easily see a patient approach, at least in the first half, so I’m backing a draw at the halftime at +150 odds. On the other hand, the opening goal is always a huge game-changer and the price on both teams to score in the first half at +240 sounds quite intriguing.
The hosts are slight favorites to win the clash, but nailing the winner in the game like this one is always a difficult job. Both sides are playing well at the start of the season, so I just cannot separate them.
The Pick: Draw at +280
Additional Pick: Draw at HT at +150