One of the worlds’ largest soccer competition starts today as the Champions League gets underway for the 2020-2021 season.
I will be sharing with you my personal favorite matches for day 1 of the tournament as well as some revised predictions. If you have yet to catch up to episode #7 of the Yellow Card Podcast, you better get on that like now! You can find it on Spotify, YouTube and even SoundCloud.
Why am I suggesting the Podcast? Well, on Episode 7, Chris Jones and myself went over the first two days of the Champions League and gave some predictions. However, I am looking to go more in depth here with just day 1. Let’s get to it!
Day 1 Matches – Champions League 2020-2021
Day 1 of the Champions League is about to be a ferocious one for all the right reasons. In my opinion, this is the best Champions League in quite sometime as the teams in this tournament look sharp with a lot of options for either great defensive games coming up or great offense techniques at full display.
While there is a lot of great matches today, I will pick the top 3 games that I believe will be sensational to watch but before I do that, let me share with you my score predictions.
Today’s Score Predictions:
- Zenit vs. Club Brugge: 1-0 Brugge win.
- Rennes vs. Krasnodar: 1-0 Rennes win.
- RB Leipzig vs. Basaksehir: 3-0 RB Leipzig win.
- Dynamo Kyiv vs. Juventus: 2-1 Juventus win.
- Barcelona vs. Ferencvaros: 4-1 Barcelona win.
So now that I have gotten that off my chest, lets go more in depth over the remaining 3 matches which I believe will be awesome to watch.
Lazio vs. Borussia Dortmund.: Score Prediction 2-1 Lazio Wins.
The class and level of talent this matchup offers is just beyond everything one could ask for in all honesty.
Lazio comes into this clash versus a giant titan in Borussia Dortmund whos core is young and driven but also fast and hungry. Like I said in this weeks’ episode of the Yellow Card Podcast, I truly believe this is the perfect opportunity for Ed Woodward and Manchester United to finish their scouting and either bring back Andreas Pereira who will be playing for Lazio, or finally seal the deal with English sensation, Jadon Sancho and bring him to Manchester United.
There are a couple of issues for both teams that will surely come to play in this match. First one being Pepe Reina, Lazio’s goalkeeper. As Chris Jones mentioned, he is one that can’t be trusted. Pepe struggles to maintain consistency in net but being Champions League competition, anything can happen and this could be his shining year under Simone Inzaghi’s leadership.
For Borussia, their troubles remain mainly with Marcus Reus and him keeping healthy. Reus has experienced a variance of injuries throughout the past 5 years and with Lazio playing a physical and tactical game, Reus could be a weak link for this game. The other problem Borussia Dortmund faces is the continuous scouting for Jadon Sancho by teams like Real Madrid and Manchester United, should the talent be worth the money Dortmund is requesting, rest assure these two titans will be investing.
Dortmund also has a strong forward link in Erling Haarland, he will be one to watch for.
Chelsea vs. Sevilla.: Score Prediction 2-1 Sevilla Wins
I am excited to see Sevilla back in action and love that they are coming into this competition as an underdog for many still.
Chelsea comes into this competition stacked with a team filled with young talent but still struggling to grasp consistency in their lineup. The upside for Chelsea is having Cristian Pulisic back in action and actually meshing really well with Timo Werner up front. However, their downside remains on their back four as Thiago Silva continuously makes careless mistakes that will be deadly against a Sevilla team that keeps proving many wrong.
Sevilla on the other hand comes in dangerous as their core is persistent and a bunch of go-getters. I truly believe the likes of Ocampos, Suso and Rakitic will bring many problems upon Chelsea and will be a defending battle for Frank Lampards’ side.
I am going with a 2-1 victory for Sevilla. Of course, anything can happen and we could very well see a much different Chelsea playing at Champions League level.
Manchester United vs. Paris St. Germain.: Score Prediction 3-2 Victory for Manchester United.
As the joker in the Batman trilogy once said “and here we go!”
Many of you know by now that I am a Manchester United fan, but when I say this game is about to be bloody, I mean that for all sides involved.
I truly believe that there is still a nasty taste in the mouth for those at PSG who lost to Manchester United back in 2019 at home after what many called, a United-classic comeback for the ages. Now as the year moves forward, Manchester United has made a move for PSG’s talisman, Edinson Cavani but unfortunately won’t be seeing him on round 1 against his former team.
PSG on the other hand have a developing Ander Herrera but they also have Thomas Tuchel who United are in hot pursuit of for a potential replacement of Solskjaer should he continue to bring poor performances. We can also see a dangerous side on PSG as Neymar will be involved and unless United brings a strong defensive 4 core, United will have their hands tight.
I truly believe that we will see a good scoring game with high quality football to be played by both sides. United will need to bring their “A” game and bring a strong lineup. Here are my thoughts on the lineups for both teams:
Paris St. Germain: Navas (GK); Kursawa, Kimpepe, Diallo, Florenzi (Defense); Marquinhos, Rafinha, Herrera (Midfield); Mbappe, Di Maria (Wings); Neymar (Forward). 4-3-3 Formation.
Manchester United: Henderson (GK); Telles, Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, McTominay (Defense); Matic, Van De Beek, Fernandes (Midfield). Rashford, Mata (Wingers); Martial (Forward). 4-3-3 formation.
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to see day one of the Champions League! Feel free to share with us your predictions and as always, may the odds be ever on your favor!
~Diego Galvis (@Diego_TheDJ on Twitter)
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