Football Features

Champions League predictions for Matchday Two’s biggest fixtures

By Muhammad Butt

Champions League predictions: Matchday Two feat. Juventus vs Barcelona

Published: 19:00, 26 October 2020

The Champions League is back and in full swing with Matchday Two upon us.

2020/21’s compressed schedule means that it’s been just one week since the opening round of group stage games, but now we dive head first into the action yet again. The four Premier League sides will each face a unique test this week, so we’ve run the rule over their games and come up with some predictions, as well as looking at the percentage odds as presented by SBK.

In addition to the four English sides, we’ve picked out one other key fixture per day to preview as an alternative to the Premier League interest on offer.

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Tuesday 27th

Marseille vs Man City prediction

Manchester City cannot seem to make their mind up whether or not they’re a good side. They’ll have spells in matches where they look back to the old peak days that saw them rack up 198 points in two seasons, a wondrous artistic peak that saw hit after hit come with ease, like The Rolling Stones from 1967-1972. And then at other times they look a slow and shambling bunch who can barely keep it together, like The Rolling Stones from 1992 to the present day.

Marseille present a challenge not unlike Lyon, in that they are a team City should be beating comfortably but will somehow manage to make life very difficult for Pep Guardiola’s men by playing on the break with no fear of the City attack or defence (especially as Sergio Aguero is injured). Look for Dimitri Payet and Florentin Thauvin to roll back the years and rock City in the Stade Velodrome. 2-2 draw.

SBK percentage odds: (all odds correct at time of publication 26/10/2020 at 19:00)

Marseille win: 10.64%
Draw: 17.86%
Man City win: 71.94%

Liverpool vs Midtjylland prediction

The Reds have been rocked by the news that defensive pillar Virgil van Dijk is set for an extended spell out injured, but Fabinho has proven (thus far) to be an able deputy, and goalkeeper Alisson has returned to fitness at the perfect time to help his compatriot ease into what will be his new role for the forseeable future. Everywhere else on the pitch they are still a superb side and with Thiago Alcantara close to a return and their forward line in fine form they will simply have too much for Midtjylland to handle. 5-0 Liverpool.

SBK percentage odds:

Liverpool win: 88.50%
Draw: 9.52%
Midtjylland win: 3.12%

Borussia Monchengladbach vs Real Madrid prediction

Real Madrid won El Clásico despite never really rising out of first gear during the whole game, so confidence will be high amongst the squad. Zinedine Zidane will know that they cannot afford to slip-up here after their Matchday One loss at home to Shakhtar Donetsk, but the problem is Marco Rose’s Gladbach are exactly the kind of well-drilled counter-attacking side designed to exploit Madrid’s defensive weaknesses. Los Blancos will almost certainly score, but don’t be surprised if Gladbach pick the Madrid defence apart and spring yet another surprise on the 13-times champions of Europe. 1-1 draw.

SBK percentage odds:

Gladbach win: 25.97%
Draw: 24.39%
Real Madrid win: 50.51%

Wednesday 28th

Krasnodar vs Chelsea prediction

Chelsea went to Old Trafford looking to avoid defeat and they did just that thanks to an organised low block and an opposing manager who wasn’t keen to up the pressure. Krasnodar will attack Chelsea with players like Remy Cabella and Marcus Berg, but these are threats that the Blues should be more than able to cope with, and there’s nothing to suggest that Krasnodar could possibly live with the full force of Chelsea’s attacking unit being unleashed, especially if Hakim Ziyech gets a start. After their tense draw with Sevilla on Matchday One, expect the Blues to get themselves three points in Russia. 0-2 Chelsea.

SBK percentage odds:

Krasnodar win: 12.20%
Draw: 20.83%
Chelsea win: 68.03%

Man United vs RB Leipzig prediction

Man United shook up world football with a phenomenal win away to PSG on Matchday One. They were compact in defence and bright in attack, picking their hosts to pieces on the break. The problem is Leipzig aren’t going to allow Man United to play that way.

The German side are excellently coached by Julian Nagelsmann and he will have his players counter-press Man United ferociously, forcing their poor passing options at the base of midfield into easy turnovers. Alternatively they could sit deep and rip through the Red Devils on the break with an attack that features Alexander Sorloth, Hwang Hee-chan and Dani Olmo. Man United will get a close-up look at Dayot Upamecano, and they can expect to see just why Leipzig were so reticent to part with the defender this summer.

After the joys of Paris, this match may well continue Man United’s rotten home record (they’ve not won a game at Old Trafford yet this season) and a big away win would put Leipzig in a commanding position to qualify. 1-3 Leipzig.

SBK percentage odds:

Man Utd win: 43.10%
Draw: 28.17%
RB Leipzig win: 29.85%

Juventus vs Barcelona prediction

The undoubted heavyweight clash of Matchday tTwo sees Juventus take on Barcelona in Turin, although injury and illness will likely rob the match of two stars in Giorgio Chiellini and Cristiano Ronaldo, this rematch of the 2015 Champions League final will still offer much interest including Arthur and Miralem Pjanic facing the clubs they left just a couple of months ago.

Juventus have been plodding along under new boss Andrea Pirlo, looking alright but nothing particularly special. Their win on Matchday One was a mostly uninspiring performance away to a Dynamo, and their only impressive win of the season, a 3-0 victory over Napoli, came as a result of a forfeit: they didn’t actually play anybody.

Barcelona meanwhile have been steadily improving under new coach Ronald Koeman and look genuinely exciting in the first-halves of games. They fall off hard after half-time, however, and the continuing presence of Sergio Busquets in the midfield leaves them vulnerable to the counter-attack. The thing is; with Leo Messi and Ansu Fati in form you can see them having just a bit too much in attack for the Italians, although Juve will probably dominate the second period and come close to an equaliser late on. 1-2 Barcelona.

SBK percentage odds:

Juventus win: 36.23%
Draw: 28.17%
Barcelona win: 36.23%