- The UEFA Champions League makes its long-awaited return this weekend with two matches between four of the top clubs in all of Europe on Friday.
- Tournament favorites Manchester City look to take down European powerhouse Real Madrid (+400) in the second leg of their bout with -164 odds.
- Meanwhile, Christiano Ronaldo and Juventus (-175) look to advance against French side Lyon (+520).
MANCHESTER, U.K. – After a summer of postponements and scheduling headaches, the UEFA Champions League is finally ready to continue its competition.
Four Round of 16 games will play their second legs this weekend to decide the final eight teams in the tournament. Friday features two of these matches set to start at the same time with both kicking off at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Manchester City looks to take down 13-time UCL winners Real Madrid in their match from the Etihad Stadium in England.
Meanwhile, Italian champions Juventus look to move past challengers Lyon in their bout.
Both matchups feature ample legal sports betting opportunities across the board and will draw the attention of soccer fans from around the world.
Manchester City vs. Real Madrid
Manchester City was able to pick up a key win in the first leg of competition against Real Madrid where they won 2-1 on the road in Madrid.
In Champions League competition, away goals are doubled in value in the case of a tie. This means that Real Madrid will need to win by at least two goals to defeat Man City.
UEFA Champions League – Leg 2 – 3:00 p.m ET
- Manchester City -164
- Real Madrid +390
- Draw +360
Oddsmakers are not placing much faith in Los Blancos, who will be without defensive pillar Sergio Ramos. Ramos received a red card in the 86th minute of the first match between the clubs back in February.
However, a lot has changed since these teams last met. Not even taking into account the worldwide pandemic that moved this match from its original date of March 17, Real Madrid is in a much stronger position since their last UCL match.
Real returned from the hiatus on fire, winning ten straight matches across all competitions and soaring past Barcelona on the La Liga table to win the league.
Behind the stellar play of Karim Benzema and Luca Modric, Real Madrid were able to conjure the firepower they couldn’t seem to find earlier in the season to win their record 34th La Liga title. On the other hand, Manchester City was dominant in its campaign as runners-up in the Premier League and look to continue that against the shorthanded Spanish side.
Manchester City has won seven straight matches at home and carries an average of 3.86 goals scored per game across their last seven UCL home fixtures. This leads to their huge odds advantage in Friday’s matchup.
While Manchester City has been the better side throughout the year and maintains their status as favorites to win the overall competition, Real Madrid looks like a completely different club than the last time they played.
While overcoming a 2-1 lead is a tough ask, seeing Real Madrid at a number like +390 in the Champions League is a rare occurrence.
Soccer bettors might want to consider the value on Real Madrid scoring a huge win on the road.
Juventus vs Lyon
The second match of the day sends us to Italy, where Serie A champions Juventus look to overcome a 1-0 loss in the first leg of competition against French side Lyon.
UEFA Champions League – Leg 2 – 3:00 p.m ET
- Juventus -182
- Lyon +540
- Draw +320
Since Lyon scored the lone goal of the match at home, there is no away goal mathematics to formulate going into this one. Juventus needs to win by two to advance outright, and win by one to force extra time.
Luckily for Juventus, they have been scoring goals at will over the last few months since returning to play. Juventus has scored two or more goals in each of their last 12 wins at home, with seven of those also accompanied by clean sheets.
A key factor in this one will be the presence of Juventus forward Pablo Dybala, who was questionable for the game with a muscle injury but has since been announced in the starting XI.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 7, 2020
Juventus hasn’t looked like a cohesive unit for the majority of the season, with many of their wins coming thanks to heroics by Dybala or Christiano Ronaldo.
Lyon plays great defense and was able to get the win in the first leg by capitalizing on focused counter attacks. They will likely employ a similar strategy in today’s game to try and hold on to their slim lead. The deciding factor in this one will be the attackers for Juventus. If Dybala is healthy and Ronaldo is on his game, Juventus should be able to breakthrough.
However, if the attack is unable to manifest itself or Lyon is able to grab an away goal off a mistake, it could spell disaster for the Italian champions.
Jimmy began his journalistic journey as a stat recorder and PA announcer for his middle school baseball team. Full of experience across print, broadcast, and sports radio, he brings his knowledge and toolkit to the LegalSportsBetting team. You can find him watching sports, making parlays, and listening to music on any day ending in Y.