2017/18 Champions League Group B tips: PSG odds appeal
FootyOn give 2017/18 Champions League Group B tips and PSG odds that are attractive at even-money to top a stacked pool.
The four teams in this year’s Champions League Group B are regular dominant forces domestically, so competition for every point is likely to be fierce.
There are almost two separate battles going on; first to top the pool between PSG and Bayern Munich, then to take third place and a spot in the Europa League knockout phase between Celtic and Anderlecht.
It’s a reflection of the two different tiers of European football the quartet are drawn from.
After four successive Champions League quarter-final appearances, PSG still made the knockout phase last term.
The Parisians were missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, however, and should’ve made it beyond the round of 16.
Neymar purchase made to replace Ibrahimovic
Barcelona were allowed back into a tie they had no business winning after taking a first-leg drubbing.
PSG decided if they couldn’t beat Barca, then they’d persuade one of their players to join them.
Neymar’s £200,000,000 move to the Parc des Princes followed this summer and the Brazil forward now has to step into the shoes of Zlatan.
Bearing in mind this massive world record transfer has taken place, it’s surprising Unai Emery’s men aren’t Group favourites.
That honour narrowly goes to Bayern, coached by old PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti.
Munich have lost retired duo Philipp Lahm, who captained the club, and Xabi Alonso, however.
Alonso and Lahm a big loss
It’s difficult to say what their absence from the dressing room means, but both are World Cup winners.
Manuel Neuer, who has had injury problems in 2017, takes over armband from Lahm, while Ancelotti has resisted the temptation to play a different way.
Portugal prodigy Renato Sanches, who brings dribbling skills and dynamism with him, has been loaned to Swansea City.
Without the steady Alonso sitting and spraying passes, and the movement of Sanches, Bayern may be worth taking on.
Best-price PSG odds of even-money with Paddy Power to win this Champions League pool thus look value.
Munich retain plenty of threat, albeit an ageing one courtesy of familiar front three Arjen Robben, Robert Lewandowski and Franck Ribery.
Ageing Bayern may have questions to answer
Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez’s two-year loan from Real Madrid is a gamble.
Javi Martinez’s injury problems continue, while Ancelotti is yet to get the best out of Germany forward Thomas Muller.
Compared to these issues and what they’ve lost, PSG are arguably stronger.
Kylian Mbappe and Neymar give the French capital club a fresh look in attack.
There’s no danger of PSG being top-heavy, though, as Brazil duo Thiago Silva and Marquinhos are an established pair.
Now joined by compatriot Dani Alves, there is particular strength-in-depth at full back.
Bhoys and Anderlecht obviously weaker
Brendan Rodgers may have steered Celtic to an unbeaten domestic season last term, but it is a very tall order to compete in Europe.
Retaining prolific Bhoys striker Moussa Dembele more by the accident of injury than design and re-signing winger Patrick Roberts on loan are clear pluses.
However tough Parkhead is as a place to go, Celtic still have to “punch above their weight” in the Champions League to challenge.
So says Champions League winning midfielder and former Bhoys favourite Paul Lambert.
And Anderlecht? Well, the Belgian champions are the weakest team on paper relying on loans from Premier League clubs to fill spots at opposition ends of the field.
Matz Sels from Newcastle United keeps goal, while attacking Nigerian prospect Henry Onyekuru is now owned by Everton.
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