2019-20 Champions League Semifinals
There’s a decent chance we have domestic rivals square off in the Champions League Final for the second straight season and the fifth time in the last eight years. Both semifinal games feature a team from France taking on a German counterpart, but while French club Paris Saint-Germain are favorites in the first game, German juggernauts Bayern Munich are massive favorites per the soccer betting odds in the second game. Bayern Munich are the only team of the four left standing that have reached a Champions League Final, so we know there will be at least one debutante at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on Sunday, August 23.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMIFINALS BETTING ODDS
AUGUST 18, 2020
RED BULL LEIPZIG +295
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN -128
The story of Red Bull Leipzig is an inspiring one to upstart football clubs everywhere. Red Bull Leipzig were only founded in 2009, but they have quickly become one of the top clubs in German football thanks to the largesse of Dietrich Mateschitz. His funding and some shrewd moves by management have put this team in position to challenge Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, and this is the furthest they have ever made it in the Champions League.
RB Leipzig are still very young. The average age of this team at the start of the season was 24, but Julian Nagelsmann has done an excellent job of bringing along his talent. Although Timo Werner left for Chelsea during the summer transfer window, this team still has enough up top to pull off an upset and a world class center back in Dayot Upamecano.
Perhaps this is the year that PSG finally win the Champions League. This club has been scarred by flameouts over the last decade, and it appeared they would fail to make the semifinals for the eighth straight season despite perennially being one of the favorites. PSG trailed Atalanta 1-0 in the 90th minute but late goals from Marquinhos and Eri Maxim Choupo-Moting were enough to stun the high-flying Italian side.
PSG are now hoping to become just the second French team to win the Champions League. They will receive a huge boost as Kylian Mbappe is healthy enough to get the start on Tuesday, and he will pair with Neymar to create one of the most formidable attacking combinations in the world. Mauro Icardi has been electric too, but there are concerns in goal. Sergio Rico will be starting in place of the injured Keylor Navas, so PSG are only moderate favorites on the three-way betting line.
AUGUST 19, 2020
OLYMPIQUE LYON +900
BAYERN MUNCHEN -455
There’s no question which team is playing Cinderella in this year’s Champions League. No one expected Lyon to be here after a 2-2-2 record in the Group Stage that saw the club barely qualify ahead of Benfica and Zenit St. Petersburg. Lyon were expected to be bounced by Serie A giants Juventus, but the French side advanced on away goals to send Cristiano Ronaldo and company crashing out early.
Lyon were prohibitive underdogs against Manchester City in the quarterfinals per the Champions League betting odds, yet they shocked the Citizens thanks to some great play from supersub Moussa Dembele. Dembele’s late brace was enough to put Lyon ahead for good, giving them a 3-1 victory over Pep Guardiola and City.
As good as those two clubs were this season, there’s no question that Bayern Munich have been the most dominant team in Europe throughout the 2019-20 campaign. They were the only team that won all six of its games in the Group Stage, posting a +19 goal differential in the process, and they obliterated Chelsea and Barcelona by a combined scoreline of 15-3.
Robert Lewandowski has seven more goals in this competition than any other player that is currently active. Serge Gnabry has been excellent, Thomas Muller has been sublime, and Ivan Perisic and Joshua Kimmich have had their moments. Alphonso Davies has been one of the breakout players of the Champions League too, and Barcelona’s decision not to pursue him has been roundly mocked following the drubbing. While Lyon have been great, Bayern will end their miracle run here.