Manchester City vs. RB Leipzig Odds, Picks, Prediction: Expect Low-Scoring Affair in Champions League Battle (Sept. 15)

Dave Thompson – Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Manager Pep Guardiola of Manchester City.

Manchester City vs. RB Leipzig Odds

Manchester City Odds -330
RB Leipzig Odds +850
Draw +500
Over/Under 3.5 (+140 / -175)
Day | Time Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET
How To Watch Paramount+ | fuboTV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Manchester City and RB Leipzig meet up to kick off their Champions League campaigns Wednesday at Etihad Stadium.

The Cityzens came so close to winning their first Champions League title in the club’s history last season, losing to fellow English power Chelsea in the final. They’ve since reloaded and brought back potentially an even better team than they had a year ago. Manchester City is in the “group of death,” so grabbing three points at home is vital for Round of 16 qualification.

On the other side, you could argue RB Leipzig has had the worst luck possible for two years when it comes to the UCL draw. Last season, the Red Bulls were paired with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, but was actually able to finish second in the group.

This season they have the two tournament favorites to win the competition in their group, so the question is can they knock off one of world’s best to make the Round of 16 again?

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Manchester City Maintaining Dominant Form

Manchester City is off to high flying start in the Premier League. After losing their opening match to Tottenham Hotspur, the Cityzens have won three consecutive matches by a combined 11-0- score. Manager Pep Guardiola’s side also has the most expected goals (11.7) and the fewest xGA (2.00), so they look just as dominant as they did a season ago.

Even know they lost to Chelsea in the title match, Manchester City was incredibly dominant in the Champions League last season. They were put into an easy group, but out-created their opponents by a 23.61-7.31 xG margin.

The Cityzens also bring their entire squad back, plus they added Jack Grealish from Aston Villa. Grealish had the second-highest expected assist rate per 90 minutes (0.38, which only put him behind new teammate Kevin De Bruyne.

While Manchester City’s attacking prowess gets most of the shine, the real unsung hero of Guardiola’s side was their defense. Over the second half of last season in the English top flight, the Citizens only conceded 0.86 xG per match and led the league in shot-creating actions allowed, touches inside their own final third and touches inside their own penalty area, per fbref.com.

Sluggish Start Hampering Marsch, RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig is not off to the best of starts under new manager Jesse Marsch, losing three of their first four Bundesliga games. They were thrashed, 4-1, this past weekend by Bayern Munich, which doesn’t give them much confidence traveling to England to face an even better team in Manchester City.

However, RB Leipzig finished second in the first division behind Bayern Munich last season. However, when looking at xG and expected points, they were actually better than the nine-time defending champion. Leipzig had a +37.9 xGDiff, compared to Bayern’s +37.06 xGDiff. The reason for that is because it was by far the best defense in the German top flight.

The main reason for its defensive success is because it didn’t allow its opponents to have very many touches, shots or created chances in the final third of the field. RB Leipzig led the Bundesliga in:

  • xG allowed (0.86 per match)
  • Shot Creating Actions allowed (11.21 per 90 minutes)
  • Touches allowed in the final third (38.73/90 minutes)
  • Touches allowed in the penalty area (5.9/90 minutes)

The Red Bulls did lose their top two center backs from last season, but brought in two good replacements, along with Willi Orbán. So, I think RB Leipzig is capable of slowing down Manchester City’s attack. 

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Betting Analysis & Pick

With how good both defenses are, I think this one is going to be a little more low scoring than expected. RB Leipzig’s offense hasn’t been that great to start the season, creating only 5.50 xG through their first four matches, which isn’t that solid considering they’re playing in the highest-scoring league among Europe’s main five leagues.

That said, I have hard time seeing how they’re going to get past Manchester City’s defense. However, they’re defense is good enough to give the Cutyzens some trouble, given how good they were in the Bundesliga a season ago.

I only have 2.54 goals projected for this match, so I think there’s value on the total under three goals at -105 or better via the Asian Handicap at DraftKings and will make it my top selection.

Pick: Under 3 Goals (-105)

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