UEFA Europa League Round of 32 – Leg 1 of 2 Predictions and Champions League Recap

92-78-9 on Soccer in 2018 up 8.17 units

15-14-5 on Soccer in 2019 down 4.78 units

Huge Card today. Not sitting on the bench with this many exciting games happening. My largest win of the season came yesterday on Real Madrid (12 units). The first ever VAR decision went Real Madrid’s way. Typical in the tournament they have won 4 of the past 5 years. It was prolly the right call, but when not a single Real Madrid player appeals for it… seems like VAR is doing too much. Courtois made a great save right before this error so I wouldn’t go crucifying him. Benzema’s goal was a thing of clinical class. The hate boner against Real is large, but can’t deny they know how to win tournament games. They do it over and over and over..

Sergio Ramos got a late yellow card on purpose so he will be out the next game, but not the next round. 4-D Chess by one of the best defenders in the World (assuming they can beat Ajax at home). Ramos did snitch on himself, so he may receive a 2 game ban for trying to “cheat” the system. Time will tell. Ajax deserved more than a 2-1 loss, but they lacked the precision in the final third. If they can keep the majority of these young players and find a solid striker, this Ajax team could make a Champions League Quarterfinal soon.

I wanted to bet on Dortmund because Kane and Alli were out, but they gave up 3 goals off of crosses in the final 20 minutes against Hoffenheim at home over the weekend. They gave up 3 more goals off of crosses against Tottenham at home. That’s 6 goals off of crosses conceded in their past two games for the mathematically challenged. Son’s goal. Vertonghen’s goal. Llorente’s goal. C’mon Dortmund, I want to cheer for you because you have a great American, but that is tough to watch over and over. Congrats to Tottenham. If Kane gets healthy and hot, they could actually make a serious run in this tournament.

Onto today’s card:

Eintracht Frankfurt/Shakhtar Donetsk over 2 at -241 for 7 units.
Frankfurt +0.5 at -151 for 4 units. If you know me know this ain’t my feng shui
Certified everywhere, ain’t gotta print my resume….. Nah but really if you’ve been reading me you know I love Luka Jovic. He is a scoring machine for Frankfurt. Jovic has 5 goals in his 6 Europa League games this season. Shakhtar’s last 6 competitive European games have all seen 2 or more goals (1-1 Lyon draw was the only one with only 2 goals). Man City scored 6 on them. Shakhtar may be disappointed to drop out of the Champions League, but Frankfurt is a terrible matchup for them IMO. Shakhtar struggles against offensive-minded teams like Frankfurt. Frankfurt won all 6 of their Europa League group stage games. Frankfurt’s current coach Adi Hütter, and Paulo Fonseca of Shakhtar have met before in a two-legged affair that ended 6-4 on aggregate. There will be goals. Also, Frankfurt’s only loss this calendar year was to Bayern (not counting the club friendly match against Flamengo).
Bayern Leverkusen +0 at -203 for 5 units. Krasnodar has conceded in their last 5 Europa League home games. Leverkusen have scored 12 goals in their past 4 games. Bellarabi, Brandt, Havertz, and Volland are all in-form for Leverkusen. Krasnodar has not lost at home since October, but this is the best team they will have faced since then besides Sevilla. Should be a solid-watch, but I am siding with the team with more attacking options.
Valencia +0 at -183 for 3 units. You know how Jay Rock (not the Trailer Park Boys version) has that Win Win Win Win song? Well Valencia hasn’t heard it because all they do is tie. Valencia are the more talented side and should be favored by more IMO. Want to bet their ML because I do think they win, but you have to hedge on the draw a little with this defensive-minded Valencia team.
Sevilla +0.5 at -163 for 2 units.
Sevilla/Lazio over 2 at -186 for 3 units. This Sevilla team doesn’t play a 3-5-2 to sit back. They will go for an away goal or two in this one, which could leave them open at the back. Either way, there will be at least two goals in this one. Ciro Immobile has 10 goals at home this season. Ben Yedder has 19 goals in all comps this season. Sevilla looked terrible against Eibar in the first half over the weekend and then went down a man in the second half already down 2-0. That riled Sevilla up though, and they went on to tie 2-2. If they play with the same intensity they played with after that red card, they will win and this will go over. Sevilla’s struggles on the road keep me from betting their ML, but I do like them to win or draw.
Real Betis +0.5 at -211 for 3 units. The Green team from Sevilla go up against Rennes in their Europa League matchup. Betis only gave up 2 goals in their group stage matches. Lowest in the Europa. Betis hasn’t won an away match in about two months, but they have more talent than Rennes. Lo Celso has 3 goals in his last 4 in this tournament for Betis. Joaquin can use his experience to find the pass or goal that wins this bet.
FC Internazionale at -141 for 2 units. Rapid Vienna and Inter meet for the first time today. Icardi is not in the squad and is no longer the captain. Nainggolan, Perisic, Martinez, and Politano can all score goals though. Samir Handanovic is the new captain. Inter should be able to boss the midfield and come away with the win.
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