Champions League Knockout Stage- 3/17/21
Champions League returns Wednesday after two pretty blah games Tuesday. Manchester City dominated Gladbach 2-0 to advance 4-0 on aggregate, and also Real Madrid defeated Atalanta 3-1 at home to move on with a 4-1 aggregate score line. But enough about Tuesday, we are onto Wednesday and we get one very lopsided game and one very tight contest that should be low scoring again. Just like Tuesday, both games kick off at 4pm EST due to Daylight Savings Time. I don’t have the prices for players up at the time of the article due to some family matters but hopefully the player pool and some insight helps you build some take down lineups! Let’s start by breaking down the current odds:
Chelsea (+130) vs. Atletico Madrid
Bayern Munich (-333) vs. Lazio
Bayern is a huge home favorite, and deservedly so after thrashing Lazio 4-1 in Italy. Chelsea is a small home favorite after a 1-0 “away” win. (The game was not in Spain due to covid restrictions.) Let’s jump into our Game by Game Breakdown for more info.
Chelsea vs. Atletico Madrid –
I will try not to let my Chelsea fandom get in the way once again here but I really like how well they are playing as a unit. Traveling to Romania and playing on a neutral site and grabbing the vital away goal is key here, their defense has been stout under Tuchel and the offense is starting to look a bit livelier. Atletico are no slouches defensively either, and are unbeaten since the defeat to Chelsea (2 wins, 2 draws in La Liga).
Like I mentioned, this Blues defense is stout and have not conceded a goal in the last 5 matches in all competitions. The biggest issue here though is that their best player this season in my opinion, Mason Mount, is suspended for this game due to yellow card accumulation. Chelsea will also be without midfielder Jorginho (who is important since he is the primary PK taker when on the pitch). My guess is we see Olivier Giroud up top with Timo Werner on the left and Callum Hudson-Odoi on the right. I would be most interested in CHO here; he has the best floor of the 3. The wing backs are really interesting to me though and especially Reece James who should have a majority of sets, maybe sharing a few on the opposite side with Marcos Alonso. I prioritize them over the big name forwards for this squad. Andreas Christensen has been the man in the middle of the back 3 of late and doesn’t rack up a ton of stats but should be busy here with Atletico attacking all game. Edouard Mendy has been sensational this season, he should see a good amount of shots and I like the way his defense has been playing protecting him from anything too easy for the opposition.
Joao Felix has been pretty invisible of late but is still a dangerous player and one to watch out for. Luis Suarez terrifies me as a Chelsea fan, he is definitely due and if he gets a few good chances, you can guarantee he nets at least one. Marcos Llorente is a great play if he plays up on the wing, less interested if he’s deeper. Kieran Trippier is back from suspension but he just hasn’t been the same guy we knew when he was a crossing fool for Spurs. He should still have a big role Wednesday but won’t be on sets. Yannick Carrasco is also back for this side and will provide a nice width to the pitch Jan Oblak is a fine play but I don’t see Chelsea putting a ton of shots on goal.
Prediction: Chelsea 1 – Atletico Madrid 1
Bayern Munich vs. Lazio-
Bayern is the second best team in the world right now… yes Manchester City are better in my opinion. But it’s not by a lot; this squad is still loaded and is still dangerous from everywhere on the pitch. Lazio on the other hand, have lost 3 of their last 4 (including the 4-1 game against Bayern) and are a little lost at the moment.
Robert Lewandowski is the best play on the slate, and it’s not close. The man just scores goals constantly. Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry should be out on the wings with Thomas Muller sitting in the middle. I don’t see Joshua Kimmich in projected lineups and I don’t believe he is suspended so check on that. Leon Goretzka is once again a solid value option for this German side. I don’t love any Bayern defensive plays on paper but if they are cheap enough, I don’t mind a Bayern CB vs. a Lazio onslaught. Manuel Neuer is the cash keeper again as his side should control this game from kickoff and he should see plenty of shots.
This squad is all about 4 core players, Ciro Immobile, Luis Alberto, Joaquin Correa and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. These guys are super talented and will need to be pushing forward as much as possible. I prefer Immobile and Alberto as they are the PK taker and set piece taker respectively. Not a ton of defensive options I love on this squad, check in to lineups and the discord to get the latest news. Pepe Reina will be busy facing the Bayern machine but should see a few odd number rushes that will put him in serious danger.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3 – Lazio 1
I hope you enjoyed this breakdown and will join us on the DFSKarma discord channel and check out our core plays at https://dfskarma.com/shop/all/soccer/
-Ram (DFSKarma Soccer Lead)