It’s that time of year again: Champions League! And your boy Duke is here to break it all down and give his favorite UCL DFS plays!!
THESE ARE THE CHAMPIOOONNNNNSSSSSS!!!!
Well, kind of. Dortmund finished second in the Bundesliga last year and Sevilla finished 4th in La Liga. But Porto did with the Portuguese league and Juve won Seria A!!
Good lord do I love Champions League soccer. The games are generally high scoring. We have some of the best talent in the world on display. On top of that, every game means something. Every goal means something. Every minute means something. The best managers in the world prepare their teams for segments of the game.
Each manager is different and each game can present different segments. Some like to break the game down into 15 minute increments. Especially against fast starters a manager might ask their players to manage the game and survive. That’s something that perhaps Juventus could have considered against Porto!
This is the second of two legs so there is plenty to break down. Let’s get to it.
To the desert…
1st LEG RECAP
Dortmund won the first leg 3-2 at Sevilla and are massive favorites to advance here. Not only are they ahead on aggregate but they have 3 away goals to boot. To advance, Sevilla need to win by 2 goals or win 3-2 to force extra time.
Juve grabbed a crucial away goal in the 82 minute of the first leg but it’s Porto who heads to Italy with an aggregate lead. Juve carried large portions of the match but Porto won 2-1. For the record, Porto scored 2 minutes into the first half and 1 minute into the second half. The fast start artists will look to score an away goal at some point on Tuesday.
Juventus need to win the match and concede no more than one goal. Should they concede two, the away goal advantage shifts to Porto and Juventus must win by 2 or more goals.
What do Dortmund take away from the 4-2 loss to Dortmund? They were up 2-0 behind goals from Haaland. They lost Haaland to a knock; it wasn’t an injury, which is key. They then concede 4 unanswered goals and lose the match.
There absolutely were positives to take but my goodness what a collapse. They are missing key attacking pieces as well. No Sancho. No Reyna. No Guerreiro. The last 2 will be late fitness tests. They come in good form otherwise and only need a draw or to lose by 1 to advance. I’ll be interested to see their approach at home with the 3 away goals in the bag.
Sevilla don’t have the firepower to make up the difference here without exposing themselves on the counter. With that in mind, I wonder if they are a bit more conservative in the first half with a potential second half go for broke approach. We’ve seen it countless times in this competition and keep in mind, a 2-0 win by Sevilla wins them the tie. The 3 goals they conceded aren’t good but they are only down by 1.
Juventus need a massive response after losing the first leg but they return home with a goal in hand and a rested Cristiano Ronaldo. I like those odds! As mentioned above, Juve dominated for stretches of the first leg but conceded at the start of each half. Surely that will be a point of focus for Pirlo and his men as they try to advance.
Porto have been spectacular away from home all season domestically and in the Champions League. In group play they went 2-1-0 while only conceding 3 goals. The lone loss was a 3-1 defeat to Man City on matchday 1. They were thoroughly dominated but only allowed 9 shots from City. That is a bit of the worry here. Porto are so organized and happy to concede possession in favor of limited opportunities. The key here is if Porto concede one goal, they have to chase the game and score themselves. They aren’t nearly as effective defensively when they have to open things up.
- Ronaldo – JUV – $11.3k – Cash and GPP
- Haaland – BVB – $10.9k – Cash/GPP
- Reus – BVB – $7.3k – GPP
- Marega – POR – $6.6k – GPP
- Morata – JUV – $8.3k – GPP
- Bernardeschi – JUV – $7.6k – Cash/GPP
- Ocampos – SFC – $7.4k – GPP
- Hazard – BVB – $8.5k – Cash/GPP
- Chiesa – JUV – $9.2k – GPP
- Oliveira – POR – $6.1k – Cash/GPP
- Rabiot – JUV – $4.7k – Cash/GPP
- McKennie – JUV – $5.8k – GPP
- Bellingham – BVB – $5.1k – GPP
- P Gomez – SFC – $6k – Cash/GPP
- Dahoud – BVB – $4.5k – GPP
- Uribe – POR – $3k – GPP
- Rakitic – SFC – $4.4k – GPP
- Cuadrado – JUV – $6.9k – Cash/GPP
- Navas – SFC – $5.1k – Cash/GPP
- Guerreiro – BVB – $5.2k – GPP
- Sanusi – POR – $4.3k – GPP
- Carlos – SFC – $3k – GPP
- Shulz – BVB – $2.7k – Cash/GPP
- Meunier – BVB – $4.8k – GPP
- Marchesin – POR – $3.8k – Cash/GPP
- Hitz – BVB – $5.2k – GPP
- Szczesny – JUV – $5.8k – Cash/GPP
- SFC GK – SFC – $4.4k/$4.3k – GPP