Champions League Matchday 5(b) Preview + Predictions – The “Pray 4 NFL” Edition

Sam's Soccer Safe Space For Stoolies

Hi haters™,

Rumor has it the NFL scheduled a real football game in the middle of the afternoon today. Whoops. They are gonna look pretty silly when Ravens/Steelers captures a 0.2% share because everyone and they moms is too busy watching The Beardedjesus, The Babyjesus Jr, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams to care. But that’s their business.

Our business is jogo bonito, and more specifically enjoying all the glorious games the soccergods have given unto us and making buttloads of money while doing so. Along those lines, I’m just gonna leave this here from yesterday:

Not posting that to gloat or rub it in your face if you didn’t get rich. Rather, I simply want to be sure you to be cognizant of the situation going in, and are thus prepared to fade the heck out of all my picks because the universe has an inexplicable but unavoidable way of evening itself out. 

First, though, sit back and let the sweet sounds of soccer set the mood:


Scores from yesterday:

Leaving the groups looking like this:

Same reminder/warning as before: Everybody but wee Middjdjjllyyand has something to play for at this point, whether it be winning the group and getting a better seed (and ostensibly weaker opponent) in the knockouts or third place and a parachute into Europa. However, the teams boxed in red have advanced and thus have some incentive – or at least the flexibility – to rest and rotate players.

With that, these are the matchups on deck for today:


Dortmund [-155]
Lazio [+425]
Draw [+334]

Both teams are sitting pretty at the moment but will know that a loss plus a win for Brugge (a big question mark, to be sure) would lead to maximum sphincter contraction during the final matchday. The similarities don’t stop there as Dortmund and Lazio have been quite good through the Champions League so far but each are fresh off hugely disappointing results this past weekend – losses to Koln and Udinese, respectively. 

Dortmund are just plain better. Haaland is a machine, and Ze (Other) Germans are both more talented and younger. And yet Lazio outclassed them in the first game (winning 3-1 at home) and as much as I want to go with The Babyjesus Jr my crystal ball is beseeching me to say this will be closer than the bookies seem to think. I originally wrote 2-1 BVB and changing picks last minute is a big time no-no but I’m going with…

Prediction: 1-1 draw


United [+175]
PSG [+155]
Draw [+260]

YOUGE game for PSG who have RBL crawling up their ass at the moment.

There is one big reason to like United coming into this one: they have looked like a much more dangerous team with Edinson “Uruguayan Microwave” Cavani giving them an established presence up top. His insertion against Southampton turned the game on its head this weekend and helped the Red Devils overturn an 0-2 deficit to win 3-2.

There are three big reasons to like PSG: United suck at home. PSG are starting to get healthy (Neymar, Mbappe, Icardi, Di Maria and Herrera all expected to be fit) and just plain need it more. Finally, and perhaps most important of all, United is the living embodiment of your buddy who can’t be troubled to do ANYTHING – homework, laundry, dishes, etc – until it becomes a big problem and someone threatens to kick him out of the house. Then suddenly he’s Mr. Industrious for approximately two hours. That is United. And quite simply they don’t need this game. Would it be nice to keep a little buffer between them and PSG/RBL? Sure, but it is not imperative, and therefore I doubt they will be bothered to really care, which is going to be a problem against a motivated PSG.

Prediction: PSG to win 3-1

Basaksehir [+700]
RB Leipzig [-250]
Draw [+430]

The Turks showed against United last month that they are not to be taken lightly at home. Unfortunately they are going to be missing a handful of starters due to injury and RBL rested half their squad this weekend. This one feels like an absolute lock.

Prediction: RBL to win 3-1

Some other picks in the hopes that I eventually get one right (note: those in BOLD are ones that I am a little more confident in):

Krasnodar 1-2 RENNES

• Brugge 2-2 Zenit

• Ferencvaros 1-1 Barcelona [note: no Messi and Barca have lotttttttts of incentive to rest guys so as to start not sucking domestically… so I’m going with a big time flyer – unless this guy starts, which would definitely make me rethink everything]

JUVENTUS 3-1 Dynamo Kiev

Sevilla 1-2 CHELSEA

Fear the Beard

Reminder: another big slate tomorrow. Kidding, just some Europa.

Also – PSA – Don’t forget though that the second western conference semifinal in MLS is also tomorrow:

As always, thanks for reading you beauties.

Samuel Army