Champions League Quarterfinals- 4/6/21
Champions League returns once again Tuesday after an International break and we are really into the best of the best here. Some really great matchups, probably highlighted by PSG/Bayern on Wednesday but Tuesday’s two games are both really great games as well! Both games kick off at 3pm EST, so lineup construction shouldn’t be much of an issue. Let’s start by breaking down the current odds:
Manchester City (-303) vs. Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool (+150)
Man City enters this game as a sizeable home favorite. They are fully healthy and look to chase a possible 4 trophy’s this season. Liverpool is the surprising away favorite (albeit not much of one) to Madrid. Liverpool did just thump Arsenal 3-0 on the weekend so I’m sure that is playing somewhat into this line. Let’s jump into our Game by Game Breakdown for more info.
Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund came out of the international break dropping a real tough one to Frankfurt, which now puts them 7 points behind them for 4th in the Bundesliga and the last Champions League spot for next season. Man City on the other hand beat 3rd place Leicester City 2-0 to further cement their top spot in the Premier League. City has won 5 straight and have not conceded in their last 4.
City is a powerhouse, this team is just loaded and now they are fully healthy with Aguero back. Kevin De Bruyne ($9200) is the most expensive player on the slate and I’ll be honest, this is extremely soft pricing. KDB has not been his dominant self of late but that’s more to him letting others take some weight off and by doing so, the team has become just a machine. That being said in his 3 UCL games this season; he has averaged almost 25 DK points, so fade at your own risk. The other pieces up front are what will be important to see lineups for. I would assume Raheem Sterling ($7100) will be on the left and Sergio Aguero ($6700) will be in the middle, but who will be on the right. Riyad Mahrez ($8600) has some great games this season but other than his last game vs. Gladbach, he hasn’t done it in the UCL. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Bernardo Silva ($5700) or maybe they go with the 4-2-3-1 they played on the weekend with Aguero at the tip and then the wingers (Sterling probably instead of Gabriel Jesus ($7300) who started on the weekend) and Mahrez with KDB in the middle and two more defensive midfielders like Rodri and maybe even Ilkay Gundogan ($7000) playing a deeper role. City is tough to get a good read on but I really love the KDB/Aguero duo and then throw another piece in there somewhere, maybe a cheap CB like Ruben Dias ($3100) or even John Stones ($3500). Joao Cancelo ($5100) is very cheap for the form he has shown this season and he is rested after Mendy started on the weekend. Ederson ($5800) is a top keeper in the world right now and while Haaland is the baby goat, this Dortmund squad hasn’t shown the ability to light it up but he should see a decent amount of action considering how important away goals are.
Erling Haaland ($7800) is just a walking goal scorer, he’s had an UNREAL record in the Champions League (10 in 6 games this season) and he’s had a great domestic campaign too, with 21 goals. The problem is, he can’t do it himself, all good strikers need someone to send in the services and Jadon Sancho missing the entire month will not help his cause. Thorgan Hazard ($6200) has tried to fill in but just hasn’t found the form this season. I’m never a big Marco Reus ($6000) fan but he does seem to step up in big games lately with assists in his last two. Raphael Guerreiro ($4400) is pretty cheap for the set pieces he probably gets, but the issue is how many does Dortmund get and will they do anything with them? Dortmund is well known now as a not very DFS friendly squad due to the lack of open play stats they accrue (crosses, interceptions, shots assisted). They tend to be very passing dependent and vs. this stout City defense and midfield, that will not work. If for some reason Giovanni Reyna ($4000) starts here, I think he’s worth a flier for cheap, no issue with Jude Bellingham ($3800) either if he starts in a good position. Thomas Muenier ($3200) is a guy I’m looking at hard if he gets slotted in, he has the experience and can really play on the front foot for a Dortmund side that likes to sit back a little too much for my liking. Marwin Hitz ($3800) is the cheapest keeper and should be popular as he will be plenty busy at the Eithiad Tuesday.
Prediction: Manchester City 3 – Borussia Dortmund 1
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool
Two squads that can use the injury excuse all they want, but they are still in the final 8 of the Champions League and Madrid are just 3 points off first in La Liga. Liverpool is still vying for 4th in the Premier League but have more work to do. Real Madrid hasn’t lost in 11 matches, while Liverpool has won 3 straight all without conceding.
Sergio Ramos will be missing for this Madrid defense and he is the captain and PK taker which hurts a good deal. Yet they still have plenty of attack power with Karim Benzema ($8400) still doing it for the Blancos. He has 3 goals in his last 2 Champions League appearances and has had a nice domestic campaign as well with 18 goals. Toni Kroos ($6900) royally let me down last match, he had a run of double digit games then threw up a 1.7 point stinker. I think some may pivot off especially with the soft pricing, but if you are going Madrid, Kroos/Benzema is the best place to start. Vinicius Junior ($4900) is really cheap, but with the added subs, he is a definite sub risk. Marco Asensio ($6400) and Luka Modric ($5300) are also decent options for the prices here, Casemiro ($6100) is overpriced for me since he will be sitting deeper at home making sure Salah, Mane or Jota don’t get a free run at their defense. No issue with Marcelo ($5400) if he starts but I’d guess it’s Mendy/Vazquez at the full back spots. Thibault Courtois ($4700) as many of you may already know is one of my least favorite keepers and this is a great spot for him but I just can’t do it.
PLAY DIOGO JOTA, KLOPP!! For the love of God, start the man!! Liverpool looked pretty hapless for the first hour vs. Arsenal then the Portuguese starlet comes on and BOOM 3-0 win thanks to his substitute brace. Diogo Jota ($7200) is a lock for me IF he starts, and he freaking better. The guy has had an unreal season and just finds a way every time. He has 4 goals in his 6 UCL starts this season. Mo Salah ($8000) has started to wake up a bit here, he looked very lively on the weekend and I think that added bonus of another creator and finisher has really helped him lately. (He’s still the PK taker too by the way.) Sadio Mane ($7400) always the little brother here and now with Jota emerging he is pushed down the list even more but is still very dangerous on that left hand side. Roberto Firmino ($5500) is a great GPP play, if he starts in that 10 role; I think he is firmly in play. Fabinho ($3100) being back in the midfield really shores up the defense here and will keep everything in front of ‘pool more here. Trent Alexander-Arnold ($6500) has had a challenging season and being left out of that England squad I think really lit a fire under him. He had the extra rest over the break and looked dangerous again on the right. He’s the top defense pay up for a reason. Alisson ($4900) is sporting a killer mustache right now and it’s working for him. He has had some real head scratcher moments this season for the elite keeper we know him to be, but he seems to be in a better head space now and should be ready to take on Madrid.
Prediction: Real Madrid 1 – Liverpool 2
I hope you enjoyed this breakdown and will join us on the DFSKarma discord channel and check out our core plays at https://www.dfskarma.com/shop/all/soccer/
-Ram (DFSKarma Soccer Lead)