Fresh off the International break, Europe’s elite club competition returns for gameweek 5 with some cracking ties in prospect.
Our football expert has cast an eye over Manchester City’s trip to Lyon tonight as well as Liverpool’s visit to Paris and here are his best bets.
Lyon vs Manchester City
Life is pretty good at the moment for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. They are unbeaten and top of the Premier League and look to hold all the aces as they seek to retain the title. They also sit top of Group F in the Champions League and they have been imperious since their only defeat of the season to Tuesday night’s opponents Lyon.
That loss was in truth a total shock because while Lyon are a decent side, they are nowhere near the quality of this City side.
With PSG already 15 points clear at the top of Ligue 1, Lyon are effectively battling it out for second and they are one point clear of Montpellier in third.
Manager Bruno Genesio has built much of his side’s success on their home form, with just one loss coming at the Groupama Stadium and they will be a hard nut to crack.
With just a solitary loss this season, it’s unsurprising that City come into this as the strong 2/5 favourites, and while that’s a short price, on current form, you have to fancy the Citizens to get the job done here.
There isn’t much value in backing them outright so I’d advise backing Pep’s side to win by at least two goals at 10/11 with Grosvenorsport.com. That looks a pretty decent price considering City have won seven of their last eight by at least two goals.
PSG vs Liverpool
The tie of gameweek 5 and if the first game was anything to go by, we should be in for an absolute thriller. Perhaps surprisingly, these two sit second and third in Group C and while they are both still in a good position to qualify for the knockout stages, they have been inconsistent and have made life much harder than it needed to be.
Liverpool, in particular, have been incredibly frustrating. They were dominant in their opening round tie against Wednesday’s opponents, but followed that up with a last minute away defeat to Napoli. A comfortable home win against Red Star Belgrade put them back in control of the group and a win in the reverse fixture would have seen them have one foot in the last-16.
They were however, humiliated by their Serbian opponents, with Jurgen Klopp’s side looking a shadow of the energetic and devastating side that tore teams apart last season. Their fate is still in their hands, with a win by two clear goals against Napoli in gameweek six enough to see them through.
Their hosts are already the runaway leaders in Ligue 1 and look nailed on to win their sixth league title in the past seven seasons.
They’ve won all 14 matches in the league and their only defeat came at the hands of Liverpool at Anfield in September. Thomas Tuchel has done a fantastic job combining the huge egos that exist at the club and he’ll be praying that both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are fit having sat out their 1-0 win over Toulouse at the weekend.
PSG are the rightful favourites for this one at 11/10, especially given their impressive home record where they’ve conceded just three goals. However, I’m not sure how well that form correlates with the quality of opposition here and I think the Parisians are vulnerable to the potent Reds’ attack.
Liverpool rarely fail to turn up in the big games and you’d have to think they’ll get plenty of chances given the lack of pace in the PSG defence.