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UEFA Champions League predictions, odds, picks, schedule, live stream: PSG-Man City, Milan-Atletico, more

Written by on September 27, 2021

The UEFA Champions League is back with Matchday 2 taking place this week as all 32 teams play across Tuesday and Wednesday. Lionel Messi and PSG welcome Pep Guardiola and Manchester City to France; Juventus host Chelsea and more Americans are expected to get significant minutes during a crucial part of the calendar. 

But who is going to win these matches (which are all available streaming on Paramount+)? Our CBS Sports soccer experts have you covered with our predictions below:

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and subscribe to ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.   

Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Inter Milan

Time: Tuesday, 12:45 p.m. ET (Paramount+)

Latest Odds:

Inter Milan

Thomas Rongen: Both sides are under pressure to pick up a result due to their losses on Matchday 1. Expect a tight game in Ukraine, but Inter’s superior quality, particularly in the final third, will just shine through to help them pick up an important three points. Pick: Shakhtar Donetsk 1, Inter Milan 2

Fabrizio Romano: It won’t be as easy a match as it may seem, and Inter won’t have much of a margin for error. Pick: Shakhtar Donetsk 0, Inter Milan 1

Luis Miguel Echegaray: These two met in the Champions League the last time around in December, and Inter wasted away some previous chances in a stalemate but I have a feeling they will not commit the same mistake again. Especially since they lost their first game against Real Madrid two weeks ago.  Pick: Shakhtar Donetsk 0, Inter Milan 2

Jonathan Johnson: The Italian champions will tap into their domestic form to earn three valuable points on the road. Pick: Shakhtar Donetsk 1, Inter Milan 2

James Benge: It’s still a little bit difficult to be fully convinced with an Inter side that disappointed in the Champions League for so long but considering they’ve performed above expectation in Serie A so far it seems fair to give them the benefit of the doubt against a Shakhtar side who looked ill at ease when asked to set the agenda against Sheriff. Pick: Shakhtar Donetsk 1, Inter Milan 2

Roger Gonzalez: The Inter defense shows up as Lautaro Martinez scores twice.  Pick: Shakhtar Donetsk 0, Inter Milan 2

Mike L. Goodman: Milan keep scoring goals in Serie A, and despite a late loss to Madrid in their Champions League opener looked like much the better side. Shakhtar meanwhile lost at Sherriff. Pick: Shakhtar Donetsk 0, Inter Milan 2

Ajax vs. Besiktas

Time: Tuesday, 12:45 p.m. ET (Paramount+)

Latest Odds:


Thomas Rongen: Besiktas already arrive in Amsterdam as major underdogs, their extensive injury list only compounds their problems. Ajax have been in fine form this season, and should overrun a depleted Besiktas side on home turf, given their impressive attacking ranks. Pick: Ajax 3, Besiktas 0

Fabrizio Romano: Quality can make a difference for ten Hag’s men, especially in attack. Pick: Ajax 2, Besiktas 1

Luis Miguel Echegaray: Since Ajax beat Sporting 5-1 in the opening game, the Dutch side have won 9-0, 5-0 and 3-0 in all competitions. Basically, this is a team that cares little about you and if you give them an opportunity they will punish you. At home, this statement is even more emphatic.  Pick: Ajax 3, Besiktas 0

Jonathan Johnson: The Dutch giants will continue their prolific start with another clear-cut win. Pick: Ajax 2, Besiktas 0

James Benge: Erik ten Hag’s side was exceptional in the opening week and whilst backing Sebastien Haller to keep the goals flowing seems a risky prospect there is no reason to doubt the quality in other spots on the pitch. This Ajax team are going to be one to keep an eye on during the tournament. Pick: Ajax 2, Besiktas 0

Roger Gonzalez: Ajax are red-hot in UCL and aren’t stopping anytime soon as Sebastien Haller scores again.  Pick: Ajax 2, Besiktas 0

Mike L. Goodman: Every year Ajax show they’re good enough to be in the upper echelons of this competition, this is no different. Pick: Ajax 3, Besiktas 1

Real Madrid vs. Sheriff

Time: Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)  

Latest Odds:

Real Madrid

Thomas Rongen: Sheriff are more than capable of making this an uncomfortable evening for Real Madrid, with the Moldovan outfit impressing in their two-goal success over Shakhtar. That said, it difficult to predict anything other than Los Blancos win taking everything into consideration. Pick: Real Madrid 2, Sheriff 0

Fabrizio Romano: Sheriff want to impress, but Real Madrid are too strong. Pick: Real Madrid 4, Sheriff 0

Luis Miguel Echegaray: Los Blancos have looked good under Carlo Ancelotti and Kareem Benzema has been on fire. Sheriff will put up a good fight and make it uncomfortable, but the most successful club in this tournament might just be too much to handle.  Pick: Real Madrid 2, Sheriff 1

Jonathan Johnson: The minnows to taste dreamland with an early opener before the Spanish giants come back strong. Pick: Real Madrid 3, Sheriff 1

James Benge: Carlo Ancelotti’s side surely have too much star power across the pitch for their visitors from Moldova even if staying deep and hitting Madrid on the counter is a gameplan that could suit Sheriff very well indeed. Ultimately Karim Benzema promises to be too much for the Champions League rookies. Pick: Real Madrid 3, Sheriff 1

Roger Gonzalez: Sheriff impressed in their first match, but can they do it against the big boys? I don’t think so. Pick: Real Madrid 4, Sheriff 0

Mike L. Goodman: Sheriff impress, but Madrid pull it out late because they are, after all, Real Madrid. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Sheriff 0

AC Milan vs. Atletico Madrid

Time: Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+

Latest Odds:

AC Milan

Thomas Rongen: Simeone must find a solution to Atletico’s attacking woes soon. The Rossoneri will certainly have a hard time breaking down their visitors’ own resilient backline. Expect the two sides’ search for a first European win of the season to continue following a hard-fought draw. Pick: AC Milan 1, Atletico Madrid 1

Fabrizio Romano: Experience, history, a game that will be beautiful and decisive for this group. It can end in a draw. Pick: AC Milan 1, Atletico Madrid 1

Luis Miguel Echegaray: This one is tough to predict. On one hand, both need a win as neither was able to get all three points in the opening round. The offensive side of things favors Milan but Atletico will be compact and careful, hoping to – at the very least – get a draw.  Pick: AC Milan 2, Atletico Madrid 2

Jonathan Johnson: The Italians will edge a tight contest for an important continental win. Pick: AC Milan 1, Atletico Madrid 0

James Benge: Stefano Pioli’s side may not have the years of Champions League experience available to Diego Simeone but they are playing winning football and proved against Liverpool that the biggest of stages do not intimidate them. Atletico might be tough to score on but they just do not seem to be offering the thrust at the other end to scare Milan. Pick: AC Milan 2, Atletico Madrid 1

Roger Gonzalez: Very defensive, few chances and a goal for each as they share the points. Pick: AC Milan 1, Atletico Madrid 1

Mike L. Goodman: Lost in the La Liga storm is the fact that Diego Simeone’s defending champions Atleti are off to an uninspiring start, including a 1-0 loss to Alaves last time out. Pick: AC Milan 1, Atletico Madrid 0

Borussia Dortmund vs. Sporting

Time: Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)    

Latest Odds:

Borussia Dortmund

Thomas Rongen: BVB certainly excel going forward, they boast immense quality to condemn the Portuguese champions to another defeat. If Erling Haaland is deemed fit, he will hope to continue his eye-catching form on the continental stage with another rampant performance. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 3, Sporting 1

Fabrizio Romano: The difference can be the attack, where Erling Haaland is more than a factor. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 3, Sporting 1

Luis Miguel Echegaray: Let’s see. Sporting were embarrassed by Ajax and now they have to face Erling Haaland. I think we all know the outcome. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 3, Sporting 1

Jonathan Johnson: The Germans will react to their setback over the weekend with a win thanks to the returning Erling Haaland. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 2, Sporting 1

James Benge: It’s the Champions League so it’s wise to assume Erling Haaland will score at least one, assuming he is fit. Take Marco Reus out of this team as well and the result could be very different. Though Dortmund wobbled at the weekend they have a similar ferocity to their attack that Ajax showed in the opening matchday, it should be enough to carry them past a Sporting side who haven’t really got up and running this season. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 2, Sporting 1

Roger Gonzalez: If Erling Haaland plays, this one shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. If he misses, don’t be shocked to see Sporting get a point. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 2, Sporting 0

Mike L. Goodman: Dortmund are a rip-roaring fun team with all the attack and a shambles of a defense, they’re also better than Sporing. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 3, Sporting 2

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester City

Time: Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)    

Latest Odds:


Thomas Rongen: PSG’s perfect record in Ligue 1 does not exactly tell the full story given some of their under-par performances, while the potential loss of Messi will certainly be felt in a clash of this magnitude. Having had recent experience prevailing in battles with their French counterparts, Man City ought to feel confident about their chances of repeating the trick at the Parc des Princes, and they will just do that by the narrowest of margins. Pick: Paris Saint-Germain 1, Manchester City 2

Fabrizio Romano: A fantastic game full of champions, the home factor can become decisive. Pick: Paris Saint-Germain 2, Manchester City 1

Luis Miguel Echegaray: For all their star power, PSG are disjointed and it seems — at least from a distant eye — that there is no team unity. This is a problem for Mauricio Pochettino, who has to deal with a Man City side who are the complete opposite. Guardiola’s side is clicking, well organized and with plenty of threat all over the pitch. The No. 9 issue still remains a worry for me, but at least in this game, I don’t see anything but a Man City victory. Pick: Paris Saint-Germain 1, Manchester City 2

Jonathan Johnson: We have been waiting for the French giants to click all season and this is where they finally do it. PSG have a knack of getting results against their biggest group opponents in Europe as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Liverpool have all found out in the past. Messi and his new teammates will get it done here to silence the growing critics. Pick: Paris Saint-Germain 3, Manchester City 2

James Benge: The shirt sales, crypto tie-ins and pure unadulterated vibes may have gone through the roof in Paris of late but the football has hardly been enough to set Europe’s best teams quivering. Given time together you might trust PSG’s big three to break down Manchester City’s outstanding defense but on the basis of what we have seen so far this season Mauricio Pochettino can only really pin his hopes on star quality. Pep Guardiola has that and it all slots perfectly into a team tailor made for him. Pick: Paris Saint-Germain 0, Manchester City 1

Roger Gonzalez: So many storylines and so much attacking talent. In the end, neither get the result they wanted. Pick: Paris Saint-Germain 1, Manchester City 1

Mike L. Goodman: PSG aren’t close to their final form, and Manchester City just utterly shut down Chelsea. When these teams meet again, PSG might be better positioned to pry apart Man City’s defense, but not this time. Pick: Paris Saint-Germain 0, Manchester City 1

Porto vs. Liverpool

Time: Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)    

Latest Odds:


Thomas Rongen: Porto have proven themselves as a tough nut to crack both domestically and continentally, while their home record in the group stages speaks for itself. Klopp cannot afford to take any games in Group B lightly and must also factor in the impending visit of Man City, but a rotated Reds side will still have enough firepower to come away with all three points in a tightly fought affair. Pick: Porto 1, Liverpool 2

Fabrizio Romano: Great moment for Klopp’s team, winning in Porto will be a huge boost in securing a spot in the next round. Pick: Porto 1, Liverpool 3

Luis Miguel Echegaray: Porto remains undefeated this season and it’s no coincidence. They are a tough nut to crack. Liverpool have been one of the best teams in Europe but I think the Brentford game took a lot out of them. Could be cagey draw.  Pick: Porto 1, Liverpool 1

Jonathan Johnson: The Portuguese to hold Jurgen Klopp and his men to a draw which opens Group B up a little. Pick: Porto 1, Liverpool 1

James Benge: A couple of wobbles against Brentford and AC Milan shouldn’t hide the fact that Liverpool right now look to be Europe’s unstoppable attacking juggernaut. Porto are very strong defensively but even they may be overwhelmed when Jurgen Klopp’s front five stretch the field. Pick: Porto 1, Liverpool 3

Roger Gonzalez: The Reds are looking sharp with Diogo Jota continuing to improve. Three more points here to take command of the group. Pick: Porto 0, Liverpool 2

Mike L. Goodman: Liverpool had a shocking draw against Brentford at the weekend but top to bottom, they’ve been one of the best teams in Europe this season. That continues here. Pick: Porto 0, Liverpool 2

RB Leipzig vs. Club Brugge

Time: Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)  

Latest Odds:

RB Leipzig

Thomas Rongen: Leipzig have their work cut out to breach a watertight Brugge, but a six-goal crushing victory in the Bundesliga will have done wonders for their confidence. Clement’s side produced the goods against PSG in front of their own supporters and cannot be written off by any stretch, but Leipzig will keep their strong Champions League home run going with all three points. Pick: RB Leipzig 2, Club Brugge 0

Fabrizio Romano: Not an easy game, but the hosts can win with determination. Pick: RB Leipzig 2, Club Brugge 1

Luis Miguel Echegaray: RB Leipzig and Jesse Marsch finally delivered this past weekend, and what a way to do it. 6-0 against Hertha Berlin. I think this is the beginning of a good run and it continues with a strong victory over Brugge.  Pick: RB Leipzig 3, Club Brugge 1

Jonathan Johnson: Jesse Marsch will get his troops firing to leave Group A fairly balanced after the opening two rounds of games. Pick: RB Leipzig 3, Club Brugge 1

James Benge: The Belgians definitely showed that they are not to be taken for granted in Matchday 1 whereas most of this early season has proven that Leipzig could not be so consistently bled of talent while still being competitive. Having said that there is still just about enough talent available to Jesse Marsch to convince you that his side can win against the weakest side in the group. Pick: RB Leipzig 2, Club Brugge 1

Roger Gonzalez: Jesse Marsch’s men get back on track with a festival of goals after a big weekend in the Bundesliga. Pick: RB Leipzig 4, Club Brugge 1

Mike L. Goodman: Leipzig have had a rough start to life under Jesse Marsch, but coming off a 6-0 in Germany, they keep the ball rolling. Pick: RB Leipzig 2, Club Brugge 0

Atalanta vs. Young Boys

Time: Wednesday, 12:45 p.m. ET (Paramount+)

Latest Odds:


Thomas Rongen: A constantly improving Atalanta continue their campaign with clash vs Young Boys, who stunned Manchester United in their opening fixture but given their poor record on the road in the competition, the Italians should have the upper hand. Pick: Atalanta 3, Young Boys 1

Fabrizio Romano: It is not an easy moment for Atalanta, but the attacking force is what will lead to an impact. Pick: Atalanta 1, Young Boys 0

Luis Miguel Echegaray: Atalanta just came off one of the most entertaining games of the season against Inter Milan and it ended as a draw so i think they’ll want to figure things out here, especially since they also drew another exciting match against Villarreal. They’ll be goals here. Mainly from the home side. Pick: Atalanta 3, Young Boys 1

Jonathan Johnson: The Italians are looking meaner in defense but less prolific in attack and I see them grinding this one out. Pick: Atalanta 1, Young Boys 0

James Benge: This could be one of the most stupidly fun games of the group stage. Two teams that attack with abandon and abandon their defensive duties, expect goals and mistakes in abundance. Pick: Atalanta 3, Young Boys 2

Roger Gonzalez: That Atalanta attack has yet to take off. It happens here with a monsterous performance.  Pick: Atalanta 4, Young Boys 0

Mike L. Goodman: It’s been a weird season so far for Atalanta with only eight goals insix matches in Serie A. Young Boys offer the team, which is coming off a thrilling 2-2 draw against Inter Milan, a chance to get back to their scoring ways. Pick: Atalanta 3, Young Boys 0

Zenit vs. Malmo

Time: Wednesday, 12:45 p.m. ET (Paramount+)

Latest Odds:


Thomas Rongen: Malmo have a poor record in the group stage of the competition and given Zenit’s solid home form, the Russians will be confident of claiming all three points. Pick: Zenit 2, Malmo 0

Fabrizio Romano: Very complicated game, it can end with a victory with few goals. Pick: Zenit 1, Malmo 0

Luis Miguel Echegaray: I want to be biased here because Peruvian Sergio Peña returns for Malmo and he could be another factor in their midfield against Zenit. Malmo will look to rectify the 3-0 loss to Juventus with a more professional display away from home. Pick: Zenit 0, Malmo 1

Jonathan Johnson: I hope to be proven wrong, but I fear this one could be a fairly dour affair. Pick: Zenit 0, Malmo 0

James Benge: It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for! To their credit Zenit gave Chelsea a tough time at Stamford Bridge last time out and probably should have scored one. If they can get Malcom more involved in this contest they should win. Pick: Zenit 1, Malmo 0

Roger Gonzalez: If the Russian side doesn’t win this one, it should get the boot from the competition.  Pick: Zenit 2, Malmo 0

Mike L. Goodman: This isn’t going to be fun for anybody as these two sides are likely competing for third place and a Europa League spot. Pick: Zenit 1, Malmo 0

Wolfsburg vs. Sevilla

Time: Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)  

Latest Odds:


Thomas Rongen: It’s third in Germany vs. third in Spain. Sevilla look a classy lot this season and should have enough about them to get the win in Germany. They’ve only failed to score once this season and will be keen to amend for that opening round dropped points. Pick: Wolfsburg 1, Sevilla 2

Fabrizio Romano: The offensive quality, the speed of Julen Lopetegui’s men is the basis for this result.  Pick: Wolfsburg 1, Sevilla 3

Luis Miguel Echegaray: Sevilla are quietly taking care of business in the league and will look to win big against a Wolfsburg side who is also doing well domestically. This should be a fun game with plenty of action. Pick: Wolfsburg 2, Sevilla 3

Jonathan Johnson: The Spaniards to get the better of the Germans who are wobbling a little of late. Pick: Wolfsburg 1, Sevilla 2

James Benge: Wolfsburg are going to try to bore their way to the round of 16 but European football simply should not stand for it. Expect Sevilla to strike one in the eye for teams that like expressing themselves. Julen Lopetegui’s side might have looked wobbly in their Champions League opener but in Spain they are imperious. Pick: Wolfsburg 0, Sevilla 1

Roger Gonzalez: John Brooks misses out due to suspension, but the German side gets what ends up being a solid point at home. Pick: Wolfsburg 1, Sevilla 1

Mike L. Goodman: Good defenses, conservatice attacks, and a draw which suits Sevilla more than Wolfsburg. Pick: Wolfsburg 0, Sevilla 0

Bayern Munich vs. Dynamo Kiev

Time: Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+

Latest Odds:

Bayern Munich

Thomas Rongen: Kiev are hardly the easiest side to break down — as Benfica found out two weeks ago — but such a youthful backline may come unstuck against a rampant Bayern. Julian Nagelsmann’s side are sweeping aside everything in their path this season and have their eyes firmly on the continental prize. Pick: Bayern Munich 3, Dynamo Kiev 0

Fabrizio Romano: Impressive fitness and a different level of quality, Bayern are clearly favorites. Pick: Bayern Munich 5, Dynamo Kiev 0

Luis Miguel Echegaray: Bayern Munich at home? Who made Barcelona look like a semi-professional team? Undefeated? Yes, you know where I’m going here. Pick: Bayern Munich 3, Dynamo Kiev 0

Jonathan Johnson: I can see the German giants dishing out a major thumping here. Pick: Bayern Munich 4, Dynamo Kiev 0

James Benge: A really good football team playing really good football, Bayern have already reached that stage of their season where it is hard to know what interesting things there are to say about them. Leroy Sane’s good, that’s new… Pick: Bayern Munich 3, Dynamo Kiev 0

Roger Gonzalez: This should be over by halftime. If Bayern were able to do that to Barcelona, imagine what they can do here. Pick: Bayern Munich 4, Dynamo Kiev 0

Mike L. Goodman: There are questions about Bayern’s depth, but none about their top-line talent, and they should show that easily against Kiev.  Pick: Bayern Munich 5, Dynamo Kiev 0

Red Bull Salzburg vs. Lille

Time: Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)    

Latest Odds:


Thomas Rongen: Lille’s new manager Jocelyn Gourvennec is yet to endear himself to the Lille faithful and will come under increasing pressure if his side fails to win here, but they at least appear to have improved on the goalscoring front. However, Salzburg are equally impressive in the final third and could have easily come away with three points against Sevilla but for a lack of ruthlessness from 12 yards, expect a pulsating encounter to end with the hosts coming out on top. Pick: Red Bull Salzburg 3, Lille 2

Fabrizio Romano: With balance between these two teams, a draw is a possibility.  Pick: Red Bull Salzburg 1, Lille 1

Luis Miguel Echegaray: A massive game for both sides, especially in a group where everything is still for the taking. Lille were poor against Wolfsburg so this could be a tough outing against Salzburg, who fought hard against Sevilla and showed more guile. A well-earned home win. Pick: Red Bull Salzburg 2, Lille 1

Jonathan Johnson: The French champions really should have beaten Wolfsburg and while I do not think that they will lose here, two points from a possible six will feel an insufficient return unless they can sneak a win in Austria. Pick: Red Bull Salzburg 1, Lille 1

James Benge: Lille have started to turn things around in Ligue 1 but when you look at the talent both these sides have to offer it’s hard not to favor the Austrian champions. All that they need to prove is that they have the fortitude to turn good performances into three points. They did not do so against Sevilla but ought to this time out. Pick: Red Bull Salzburg 2, Lille 0

Roger Gonzalez: A little upset as Brenden Aaronson scores on the counter, seeing his stock further climb. Pick: Red Bull Salzburg 2, Lille 1

Mike L. Goodman: Salzburg continue to be feisty and Lille are a far cry from what they were last season.  Pick: Red Bull Salzburg 1, Lille 0

Juventus vs. Chelsea

Time: Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)    

Latest Odds:


Thomas Rongen: The European champions suffered a home defeat to Manchester City, their first defeat of the season. Juventus suffered through the first four games of Serie A without a win for but at least have recovered by consecutive 3-2 wins in their last two matches. Chelsea look a tad short here in a venue where it’s never going to be easy, even accounting for Juve in transition and their injuries. Pick: Juventus 1, Chelsea 1

Fabrizio Romano: European champions Chelsea will not have an easy time. This will be the most “tactical” match of the week. Pick: Juventus 1, Chelsea 1

Luis Miguel Echegaray: Key injuries for Juventus will not help Max Allegri, but hopefully he looked at the tape from this past weekend, seeing how Pep Guardiola finally defeated Thomas Tuchel. Still, this will be a cagey affair. One where picking out a winner is just too hard. Pick: Juventus 0, Chelsea 0

Jonathan Johnson: Massimiliano Allegri’s men have lost Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata in attack so their chances against Thomas Tuchel’s titleholders have taken a hit after the Blues’ loss to City over the weekend. Pick: Juventus 0, Chelsea 2

James Benge: If this game is decided in midfield then Juventus are done for. Frankly if it is decided anywhere else it’s hard to look too favorably on their prospects when they have no Paulo Dybala or Alvaro Morata in attack and have only kept one clean sheet all season (against Malmo). Pick: Juventus 0, Chelsea 2

Roger Gonzalez: This has a Chelsea win written all over it, but Federico Chiesa has different plans. Pick: Juventus 1, Chelsea 1

Mike L. Goodman: Juve’s nightmare season continues as they have to face one of the toughest defenses in Europe without both Paolo Dybala and Alvaro Morata. Pick: Juventus 0, Chelsea 1

Benfica vs. Barcelona

Time: Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)    

Latest Odds:


Thomas Rongen: Despite claiming three points at the weekend, Barcelona are far from full strength and are not without their morale problems either. One can only imagine what anything other than three points here would do for Koeman’s future in the hot seat, and an in-form Benfica will sense an opportunity at the fortress that is the Estadio da Luz and are more than capable of claiming a hard-earned point from this clash. Pick: Benfica 1, Barcelona 1

Fabrizio Romano: The reaction is fundamental for Ronald Koeman. Barca can make a statement by winning in Lisbon. Pick: Benfica 1, Barcelona 2

Luis Miguel Echegaray: Barcelona looked GREAT against Levante this weekend and the return of Ansu Fati, who scored two minutes after entering the pitch on Sunday, helps Ronald Koeman. Barcelona need to keep going here, if anything for the sanctity of their own reputation. Benfica, however, is not gonna be easy. They remain perfect in the league and will use the energy of their home crowd to make things difficult for the Catalan club. A draw is more likely.  Pick: Benfica 1, Barcelona 1

Jonathan Johnson: Barca will just about get the job done in Portugal after they finally found some form against Levante. Pick: Benfica 1, Barcelona 2

James Benge: Jorge Jesus’ Benfica side have looked extremely hard to score against in Europe and one suspects a 0-0 draw might suit Ronald Koeman, giving him time to tinker on his selection before welcoming the Portuguese side back to Barcelona for a second-place shootout later in the group stages. Pick: Benfica 0, Barcelona 0

Roger Gonzalez: Barcelona are on their way to being eliminated from the group stage after stumbling yet again. Pick: Benfica 1, Barcelona 1

Mike L. Goodman: Barcelona are struggling, but with Ansu Fati back in the fold, there’s enough talent to turn this season into a decent one still. Pick: Benfica 1, Barcelona 2

Manchester United vs. Villarreal

Time: Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)  

Latest Odds:

Manchester United

Thomas Rongen: The pressure is beginning to build for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Man United fans expect their side to be performing at a much higher standard. The Red Devils should be the favorites as Solskjaer is crying out for a response from his players. However, they could be in for another difficult evening against a resilient Villarreal that have been hard to break down. Yet another draw between the two sides could be on the cards at Old Trafford. Pick: Manchester United 1, Villarreal 1

Fabrizio Romano: Delicate and difficult game. But Ronaldo and his teammates can win and recover in the group. Pick: Manchester United 3, Villarreal 1

Luis Miguel Echegaray: A repeat of last season’s Europa League final. Man United lost to Aston Villa at Old Trafford in dramatic fashion, while Villarreal earned a good draw against Real Madrid. United need a response, especially after losing to Young Boys on Matchday 1. I think they just about deliver. Pick: Manchester United 2, Villarreal 1

Jonathan Johnson: Unai Emery’s men to come away from Old Trafford with a draw as the pressure grows for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Pick: Manchester United 1, Villarreal 1

James Benge: The thing with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United is that they never quite go bad enough to teeter into full-blown crisis mode, they always find a way back from the brink. Considering that another loss to Unai Emery’s Europa League champions would bring with it serious questions over the manager one has to assume that a team driven more by narrative arc than any underlying footballing philosophy will conform to story type. Pick: Manchester United 2, Villarreal 1

Roger Gonzalez: Finally Manchester United get a quality victory, but it is only because of a silly penalty conceded by Unai Emery’s men. Pick: Manchester United 2, Villarreal 1

Mike L. Goodman: United struggle to create good chances but Villarreal will play extremely conservatively at Old Trafford under Unai Emery. United will have plenty of chances even if those chances won’t be good ones. One of them will find the back of the net. Pick: Manchester United 1, Villarreal 0

Thanks for checking us out, and good luck with your picks!


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