Champions League picks: Manchester United sans Ole Gunnar Solskjaer; Man City vs. PSG; Sheriff vs. Real Madrid


UEFA Champions League play returns on Tuesday as many teams face crunch time with only two matchdays remaining in the group stage. Manchester City vs. Paris Saint-Germain has enough star power to carry the slate, but there are lots of other important matches across two days of action. Sheriff Tiraspol are in contention for the knockout stage as they host Real Madrid, plus we will get our first live look at Manchester United post Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Villareal hosts the Red Devils.

All UCL matches are available to stream on Paramount+. Below, our CBS Sports soccer experts have you covered with our picks and predictions: 

COMPLETE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PICKS

Key matchups

Villarreal vs. Manchester United, Tuesday, 12:45 p.m. ET (Paramount+)  

Featured Game | Villarreal vs. Manchester United

NAME: James Benge  
PICK:
Villarreal 1, Manchester United 1
MAN OF THE MATCH: Geronimo Rulli
WHY: Villarreal probably don’t have the attacking firepower to do too much damage to United but a good performance at the back and they might just be able to sufficiently prey on United’s insecurities steal a point.

NAME: Chuck Booth
PICK: Villarreal 1, Manchester United 2
MAN OF THE MATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo
WHY: With Ole out the door, a return to basics will see Manchester United take care of business with Mr. UCL himself Cristiano Ronaldo carrying the team to victory.

NAME: Mike L. Goodman  
PICK: 
Villarreal 1, Manchester United 0  
MAN OF THE MATCH: Dani Parego 
WHY: Parejo is an ageless wonder bossing midfield for Villarreal, and United’s weakest point is controlling the center of the pitch. Look for him to create a goal with his relentless passing.

NAME: Jonathan Johnson
PICK: Villarreal 1, Manchester United 1  
MAN OF THE MATCH: David De Gea
WHY: The Red Devils are vulnerable while the Spaniards need a win and another De Gea masterclass will be needed to ensure a point.

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game, including Man United’s managerial search? 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.  

Chelsea vs. Juventus, Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)  

Featured Game | Chelsea vs. Juventus

NAME: James Benge  
PICK:
Chelsea 2, Juventus 0
MAN OF THE MATCH: N’Golo Kante
WHY: Chelsea are starting to hum at both ends of the pitch again and the Frenchman rarely disappoints in the biggest games.

NAME: Chuck Booth
PICK: Chelsea 1, Juventus 1
MAN OF THE MATCH: Reece James
WHY: This is a tough one with both Chelsea and Juventus coming off of good results this weekend. Since a two-goal victory can see Chelsea top the group, I think they’ll go strong here but it won’t be enough as they can settle for a draw.

NAME: Mike L. Goodman  
PICK: 
Chelsea 1, Juventus 0  
MAN OF THE MATCH: Reece James
WHY: James has come into his own for Chelsea the last two months and Tuchel is adapting his tactics to let the wing back run wild. Juventus’ defense has improved recently, but James is in the kind of form that can make even the best defenses look silly.

NAME: Jonathan Johnson  
PICK: 
Chelsea 1, Juventus 0  
MAN OF THE MATCH: Jorginho
WHY: Thomas Tuchel does not like second best and the group makeup leaves just about enough of a challenge to outwit Massimiliano Allegri for top spot. It will be tight, though.

Barcelona vs. Benfica, Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)  

Featured Game | Barcelona vs. Benfica

NAME: James Benge  
PICK:
Barcelona 1, Benfica 0
MAN OF THE MATCH: Gavi
WHY: Barcelona looked much more like the real Barcelona in Xavi’s first game in charge. He will certainly trust his youngsters to deliver and every indication from their recent progress suggests they will.

NAME: Chuck Booth
PICK: Barcelona 2, Benfica 0  
MAN OF THE MATCH: Memphis Depay
WHY: A Memphis Depay a day keeps the doctor away. Barcelona will carry their derby victory and the good feelings of having Xavi on the touchline into securing qualification for the next round of UCL.

NAME: Mike L. Goodman  
PICK: 
Barcelona 1, Benfica 0  
MAN OF THE MATCH: Gerard Pique
WHY: One thing Xavi knows well is that against a committed defense sometimes even if you have all the possession in the world, it takes a set piece goal from an important defender to get the needed three points.

NAME: Jonathan Johnson  
PICK: 
Barcelona 2, Benfica 1
MAN OF THE MATCH: Memphis Depay
WHY: This one might need a later winner to decide it, but Xavi will get his debut Champions League win to continue his good start to life back at Camp Nou.

Manchester City vs. Paris Saint-Germain, Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)  

Featured Game | Manchester City vs. PSG

NAME: James Benge  
PICK:
Man City 2, PSG 0
MAN OF THE MATCH: Phil Foden
WHY: PSG are racked with doubt and discord whilst City have been cruising along with plenty of room to accelerate into. This could be a chance for Guardiola’s side to really flex their muscles.

NAME: Chuck Booth
PICK: Man City 2, PSG 2
MAN OF THE MATCH: Joao Cancelo
WHY: As always this is a match that could go either way. Messi couldn’t have gotten his first PSG goal at a better time with City coming up but Cancelo’s form is out of this word.

NAME: Mike L. Goodman  
PICK: 
Man City 2, PSG 0  
MAN OF THE MATCH: Phil Foden
WHY: City continue to impress, while PSG’s version of struggle ball despite their stars continues to underwhelm. In this case it will be Foden’s trickery that carries the day.

NAME: Jonathan Johnson  
PICK:
Man City 1, PSG 2
MAN OF THE MATCH: Kylian Mbappe
WHY: While all eyes will be on Mauricio Pochettino as the United links intensify, the French giants will produce one of their best performances of the season.

Atletico Madrid vs. AC Milan, Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)  

Featured Game | Atlético Madrid vs. AC Milan

NAME: James Benge  
PICK:
Atletico Madrid 2, AC Milan 3
MAN OF THE MATCH: Olivier Giroud
WHY: Atletico’s defense looks like one that can be got at. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Milan might just do enough to stay alive in Europe a while longer.

NAME: Chuck Booth
PICK: Atletico Madrid 2, AC Milan 0
MAN OF THE MATCH: Angel Correa
WHY: Milan have shown that they’re not a strong enough team to compete on both fronts, so with a chance at the Serie A title, I can’t see why they would want to win this game when it gives them more European matches to play.

NAME: Mike L. Goodman  
PICK: 
Atletico Madrid 0, AC Milan 1    
MAN OF THE MATCH: Brahim Diaz
WHY: It’s been an incredibly disappointing CL return for Milan despite some encouraging performances. Look for a typical Atleti defensive masterclass, counteracted by a moment of magic.

NAME: Jonathan Johnson  
PICK: 
Atletico Madrid 1, AC Milan 1  
MAN OF THE MATCH: Antoine Griezmann
WHY: Both teams could do with the win although it would not change much with the Italians looking at Europa League at best and the Spaniards second spot.

FC Sheriff vs. Real Madrid, Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET (Paramount+)  

Featured Game | Sheriff Tiraspol vs. Real Madrid

NAME: James Benge
PICK: FC Sheriff 0, Real Madrid 4
MAN OF THE MATCH: Karim Benzema
WHY: The party isn’t over just yet for Sheriff even if they need a favor from Shakhtar. The Moldovans have been living dangerously without the ball throughout the group stages, eventually it’s going to lead to a heavy defeat.

NAME: Chuck Booth
PICK: FC Sheriff 0, Real Madrid 2  
MAN OF THE MATCH: Vinicius Junior
WHY: Sheriff have had a Champions League run for the ages but Real Madrid isn’t going to get shown up twice by them.

NAME: Mike L. Goodman
PICK: FC Sheriff 0, Real Madrid 2   
MAN OF THE MATCH: Karim Benzema
WHY: Sheriff shocked the world last time out, but didn’t stop Madrid from creating a ton of good chances. This time, look for Benzema, by far the best player in La Liga this season to put one away.

NAME: Jonathan Johnson  
PICK: 
FC Sheriff 1, Real Madrid 3  
MAN OF THE MATCH: Karim Benzema
WHY: Los Blancos will avenge their humiliating home loss to the minnows earlier this season and dish out a reminder of who is boss.





Source link

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on tumblr
Tumblr
Share on stumbleupon
StumbleUpon