Champions LeagueFootball

Champions League QF betting tips: Lewandowski to upstage Messi, Man City to break their quarter-final curse

August 12, 2020

If you have alternative plans for this Friday and Saturday, cancel them immediately. Barcelona versus Bayern Munich, Lionel Messi versus Robert Lewandowski on Friday, Man City versus Lyon, Raheem Sterling versus Memphis Depay on Saturday… and you're thinking of going out to a restaurant or having a family barbecue? Ridiculous! Clear your schedule, stock the fridge, and first of all, read part two of this week's Champions League quarter-final betting tips.
 

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich | Friday August 14, 20:00 GMT
 

This will be Barcelona and Bayern Munich's first meeting since the infamous 2014/15 semi-final when Lionel Messi essentially made a meme out of Jerome Boateng. That was a rare victory against the Bavarians however, with Bayern winning five of their eight Champions League clashes which is more UCL victories over Barca than any other side.

Despite their well-documented problems, Barcelona remain unbeaten in this season's Champions League with five wins and three draws. However, Bayern have won every game and victory here would see them chase down two records, both currently held by their opponents. Only Barca (2002/03) have started with nine straight wins, while Barca (2014/15) were the last team to win nine straight at any point in the competition, with the final victory being that Messi-Boateng semi-final. Revenge may be served with a sprinkling of irony on Friday.

Post-lockdown, Lionel Messi has been approaching his best form with seven goals and nine assists. In fact, only one player has been involved in more goals – you've guessed it, Robert Lewandowski. Since May, Bayern's Ballon d'Or-deserving frontman has 14 goals and three assists. Incredibly, his Champions League record this season is even better! Seven games, 13 goals – that's a goal every 47 minutes, or the best minutes to goals ratio in a single campaign to put it another way.

Luis Suarez on the other hand has gone five years, 1,896 minutes, 67 shots, and 19 different stadiums since he last scored a Champions League goal away from the Camp Nou. That's not the most encouraging record as the teams head to Portugal, particularly with Antoine Griezmann only managing two goals in eight appearances this season. Again, it seems, Barcelona will completely rely on Messi. That's worked on plenty of occasions, but here, back Bayern, the more cohesive side with their own world class goal scorer.

Match Odds: Barcelona (49/20) Draw (3/1) Bayern Munich (Evens)
Tip: Match Multi – Lionel Messi to score and Robert Lewandowski to score (18/5)
Correct score: Barcelona 1-2 Bayern Munich (15/2)

 

Man City vs Lyon | Saturday August 15, 20:00 GMT   
 

The bad news for Man City is that Sergio Aguero is still unavailable. The good news is that his replacement, Gabriel Jesus, has been directly involved in more Champions League goals than any of his teammates this season (6 goals, 3 assists). Jesus scored two of City's four goals against Real Madrid, assisted another, and was named man of the match in the second leg.

There can be no excuse for Man City taking Lyon lightly given their strong defensive performance to hold on against Juventus last time out, and the fact that most of the squad were involved in Les Gones taking four points off City in the 2018/19 group stages. In fairness, complacency is generally not a criticism you can generally throw at this City side. Last year's first leg quarter-final defeat to Spurs is City's only loss in their last 17 Champions League matches.

Lyon talisman Memphis Depay can become the first Dutchman since Ruud van Nistelrooy to score in seven consecutive UCL appearances. That's some effort considering Lyon were only good enough for a seventh place finish in Ligue 1 this season. Rudi Garcia may switch him to the right to take advantage of City's permanent left-back trouble. Wherever Depay plays, he will require special attention.

Raheem Sterling has scored 11 goals in 12 post-lockdown matches and has 31 for the season overall. His link-play with Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden was instrumental to the comfortable win over Real Madrid last time out. The only flaw was that they should have had more goals – something they can put right against Lyon's inferior defence on Saturday.

Match Odds: Man City (1/4) Draw (21/4) Lyon (21/2
Tip: Raheem Sterling to score any time (11/10)
Correct score: Man City 3-1 Lyon (19/2)