- RB Leipzig were fortunate in the last round against a very capable opponent in Atletico Madrid. The match was on a knife-edge and Tyler Adams long-range effort got deflected and hit the net. RBL created just 0.59xG in that game
- RBL will be unchanged from the XI that started against Atletico Madrid with Poulsen starting up top and Nkunku and Olmo just behind.
- Poulsen coming in for Timo Werner cannot be ignored. Poulsen has averaged just 0.26 goals p90 in Europe and the league. Werner's contribution was 0.81 p90 across the league and Europe. This is in no way the fault of Poulsen, he's more of a target man / defensive forward
- Across all competitions Werner accounted for 0.98 Goals +Assists per 90 which is streets ahead of their next best (Christopher Nkunku) who's generating 0.68 p90
- The Germans have scored 5 goals in their last two UCL outings but the xG shows they’re not creating big chances. From their last 180 mins we see only 1.52xG, Emil Forsberg’s goal against Spurs (0.33xG) their biggest chance from those matches shows that they’ll probably need to be rather fortunate again to have any chance of progressing.
- Even in that 1st leg with Spurs (1-0) the only big chance they had was the penalty.
- Nagelsmann has shown us in the past that he respects dangerous opposition. Just look at his Bundesliga games with Bayern when they played 5 at the back with a holding midfielder. I feel they will have no choice but to respect PSG’s attacking prowess and try their best to hit them on the counter and from set-pieces. For that reason, I don’t see an end to end shoot out as the markets seem to be expecting.
- PSG stayed consistent against Atalanta, the Parisians generated a whopping 2.75xG and conceded just 0.8. As we all saw, big chances were squandered early but overall they looked a massive threat while remaining relatively secure at the back.
- For what's it's worth I don't think Upamecano will allow Neymar the kind of freedom that Caldara (Atalanta) allowed him in the last game
- PSG’s team news is kind of mixed. They do have Mbappe back (he will start the match) however Verratti isn’t fit enough yet, Gueye is also injured as is their starting GK Keylor Navas.
- Sergio Rico (backup GK) isn’t the worst and has even played in the UCL this season (vs Galatasaray) and kept a clean sheet. Judging by the xGA he’s faced this season he’s performing quite well. I don’t think the replacement weakens PSG that much.
- Besides PSG have been allowing just 2.6 shots on target per 90 in this year’s Champions League campaign.
- We don’t usually give PSG credit for their defensive efforts but top-level opposition rarely have a lot of success. Real Madrid at the start of the group phase didn’t register a single shot on target, while BVB’s free-scoring attack managed to get off just 5 shots on target over 180 mins. Atalanta who are only behind Bayern and Man City for goals and xG managed to get off just 4 attempts on target which were mostly low % timid attempts.
- Interestingly every time Tuchel has taken on RB Leipzig in the past it’s been a low scoring affair (1-0 win and a 1-0 loss) These results both came when Tuchel was managing BVB. On both occasions, Tuchel team had restricted RB Leipzig massively (average xG for RBL hovered around the 0.42 mark)
- Although these matches were a while ago, RBL’s philosophy hasn’t changed much so I see Tuchel handling whatever they throw at him again
Final word: I’m going completely against the market here. This is a one - legged Champions League semi-final and the stakes are massive for these two clubs. I don’t expect an end to end shootout with neither team defending. I expect a far more cautious approach from both teams.
With one team leading heading into the last 30 mins we should also expect a lot of time-wasting which always helps when playing the under.
Under 3.5 Total Goals at 1.69 with Marathon- 2 units (Don't bet below 1.6)