Duke breaks down Tuesday’s two-game DFS slate in the Champions League!
THESE ARE THE CHAMMMPPPPIOOOOONNNNSSSSS!!
We’re back, baby. The Prem return was fairly successful. We typically have great UCL slates so I’m jacked up. I had a great Easter with the fam. The little one is allergic to eggs so there was no painting eggs. She’s allergic to peanuts so there were no Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. They are quite literally my favorite candy.
Is chocolate a candy or it’s own category? Anyways, there were infinite smiles and just as many belly laughs. It was good to get that energy out and get focused for the week because we are STACKED with content. It’s Masters Week. Thankfully I don’t have to produce any content for that event and can just be a fan. That is NOT the case for Soccer and UFC this week. We have a slate nearly every day and a couple on Saturday. As always, manage your bankroll and let’s finish the week in the green.
Reminder, these UCL knockout games are 2 leg contests. These teams play home and away. The away goal rule is in place. These are always fun games but I’ll explain below why, for once, we don’t have the best teams in Europe involved and that should benefit the teams from England.
To the desert…
Quarterfinals of the Champions League and we have a -300 favorite. That should tell you everything you need to know about Dortmund. I’m on market. I don’t have an edge on the side but, for the total, this one could get absolutely wild. I can’t imagine taking the under here and have a slight lean to the over 3 total.
Dortmund are struggling in all areas this season. They are floundering in the Bundesliga. They barely squeaked by Sevilla in the Champions League. They are conceding a million goals. Their star players have their heads turned by new teams and the summer transfer window. They have a lame duck manager.
This looks like a team that could fold like a cheap tent IF things start to go agains them. I fully expect a strong and focused 15-20 minutes of the match. They will absolutely be dangerous on the counter attack and I’m convinced Haaland would score a goal a game if his team played with 6 players.
Dortmund have played 7 away matches in the Bundesliga against the top half. They’ve conceded at least 1 goal in each. They’ve conceded 2 or more goals in 5 of the 7. They lost 5 with just 1 win and 1 draw. In UCL group play they played 3 games and won 2 but conceded in 2 of the 3 and lost 3-1 to Lazio. LAZIO!?!
This is a game that will have Pep salivating. There are holes throughout the Dortmund team. He has his defense sorted and the combination of Dias/Stones OR Laporte should be able to keep Haaland in relative check.
Dortmund also don’t mind playing on the counter attack lending themselvs to the City possession attack. It’s possession with a purpose, by the way. There is a distinction that needs to be made. They are constantly challenging the back line with runs in behind. They are looking for the incisive pass. They don’t force the play which can lead to 10-20-30 pass moves.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see both teams score here but anything other than a City win would be an utter failure.
Perhaps the demise of Real Madrid was a bit premature. There were doubters calling for heads a month or two into the season. Madrid did start the season and UCL group play with a sputter but are flying at the moment.
They sit 2nd in the La Liga table just 3 points behind Madrid and 1 point ahead of Barca. Domestically, they’ve gone 9 games unbeaten with 7 wins. Madrid will be without Sergio Ramos, Hazard, Carvajal and Federico Valverde.
Is the demise of Liverpool overblown as well? No one is more on board and calling the downfall of Liverpool than me. My outlook is over the next 5 year window, not 12-24 months. This is still a team loaded with absolute superstars and a forward who is in the form of his life in Diogo Jota. Kabak and Phillips put in another shift against Arsenal and continue to build their relationship.
Klopp also made the curious decision to sub off Andrew Robertson after just 61 minutes to bring on more attacking bodies. I’m guessing that decision was made with an eye on Tuesday as well as getting Jota 40 minutes of run before the UCL gets going.
Liverpool is the slightest of slight favorites here on the road. A Real Madrid home match in the UCL typically means goals are incoming but this match has the lower total of the two.
Karim Benzema has been the man in form. In games he’s started, he’s scored in 7 straight games with 9 goals. You have to go back to January 30th to find his last game where he didn’t break double digit DK points.
Asensio has scored in 3 straight. Lucas Vazquez has reprised his role further forward with some success. Toni Kroos is the steady heartbeat in the middle of the park.
Crucially. Casemiro will be back in the first 11 destroying everything in sight. That could be where this match is won. It will be interesting to see if they come out in the 3-5-2 that they’ve been running out recently or revert back to the 4-3-1-2 to handle the attacking 3 of Liverpool.
As you can likely tell by my ramblings, this is a sophisticated tactical battle between the two teams. Typically, I take the team that doesn’t overly change their tactics but Klopp has shown his conservative side in away fixtures.
Add in the midfield of Kroos/Modric/Casemiro being far superior to Thiago/Fabinho/Wijnaldum in my eyes and I give a slight edge to Madrid in this contest.
Realistically, the goal for Liverpool is to bag a goal and not lose. They will take that leaving Madrid.
- Benzema – RMA – $8.4k
- In terms of trust, it’s he and Haaland at the top of the list. I have Madrid as the far more competitive side here and Benz grabbing a goal on this Liverpool back line. Madrid have to go for it.
- Haaland – BVB – $7.8k
- The next time he is stopped will be the first and we are getting a steep discount.
- Jota – LIV – $7.2k
- I’d be less high on this if Ramos was playing. Jota can struggle with the physical side of the game but is in unbelievable form at the moment. These three are basically my 1A, 1B and 1C.
- Mane – LIV – $7.4k
- GPP only but I do like the Liverpool side of this game a bit. My preference here is based on the price break from Mo Salah. It’s significant enough to take into account.
- Hazard – BVB – $6.2k
- Bit of a darkhorse cash option. He and Guerreiro should share sets.
- Asensio – RM – $6.4k
- In sparkling form and on the cheap.
- Mahrez – MCI – $8.6k
- Very expensive, slight gamble. They have options off the bench and his form has dipped a bit. B Silva could fill this space for far cheaper and not be too different in terms of rankings.
- Thiago – LIV – $3.9k
- This sounds crazy but in a pinch I can see Thiago as a cash option. He’s super cheap and Gini/Fabinho will carry quit a bit of the defensive duties.
- Junior – RM – $4.9k
- It’s rare to see a player with this much talent produce so little in the attacking third. This is strictly a talent vs price play.
- Reus – BVB – $6k
- What if? What if Dortmund are devastating on the counter and he assists Haaland twice. It’s not likely but he’s fine to stack with the big man.
- De Bruyne – MCI – $9.2k
- He could line up as a false 9 which would drastically improve his goal odds.
- Kroos – RM – $6.9k
- Locked into my cash lineup. OK for GPPs but really needs an assist to put a dent into any big tourney field.
- Gundogan – MCI – $7k
- Revenge game??? Gundo came to City from Dortmund for around $30m and has been worth every penny. I do expect the midfielders to push forward.
- Modric – RM – $5.3k
- Regaining his form at just the right time. Shooting as much as any time in recent history.
- Foden – MCI – $7.7k
- It feels like it’s been ages since we’ve seen him and he has yet to do it on the European stage against a quality side. GPP only and not a priority for me.
- Bellingham – BVB – $3.7k
- Casemiro – RM – $6.1k
- He gets forward more than you think but is so expensive for the randomness with which his big matches come
- Alexander-Arnold – LIV – $6.5k
- Sets on slight rode favorite who’s found his form.
- Guerreiro – BVB – $4.4k
- Sets for under $5k
- Vazquez – RM – $5.9k
- If he’s playing that RM or RWB role he’ll be tough to ignore but with TAA/Robertson and Cancelo I’m not 100% sure of his ownership.
- Cancelo – MCI – $5.1k
- UCL stud who should see a lot of the ball.
- Mendy – MCI – $3.8k
- He played quite well over the weekend and could look to keep his place in the squad. Value for the money if he does.
- Dias – MCI – $3.1k
- He’ll have his hands full with Haaland but will also have plenty of opportunity to pick up defensive stats and passes.
- Mendy – RM – $4.1k
- If he plays as LB this is fine. As a LCB it’s a little rough and at that point I’d have to consider Marcelo as the LWB.
- Nacho – RM – $2.9k
- Cheap fullback.
- Courtois – RM – $4.7k
- Hitz/Burki – BVB – $3.8k/$3.7k
- Alisson – LIV – $4.9k
- Ederson – MCI – $5.8k
- He could have 1 save and concede 2 goals here while getting the win. Just too volatile of a game flow for this price.