- As it stands, UEFA Champions League Group G is the closest running of all eight groups
- Zenit St. Petersburg leads this pack with goals scored, but RB Leipzig are currently favored to win against, at -185
- The two teams meet this Wednesday, October 23, at the RB Arena in Leipzig, Germany
We are nearly halfway through the group stage of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League, and things in Group G are close. With the top three positions separated by just a single point after two games, this week in Leipzig it’s top against third. With no teams on a 100 per-cent record, it’s everything to play for as Zenit travel to the RB Arena (KO 12:55 pm ET).
UEFA Champions League – RB Leipzig vs Zenit St. Petersburg Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total||Odds to Win Group G|
|RB Leipzig||-1.0 (-112)||-185||O 3.0 (-103)||+160|
|Zenit St Petersburg||+1.0 (-104)||+440||U 3.0 (-113)||+275|
*All odds taken on October 17, 2019
The odds favor a home win, but this has so far proven to be a very difficult group to call – and with Zenit’s hard-earned draw on opening day in Lyon, this one isn’t the obvious home win the odds are suggesting.
Away Success For RB in Lisbon
Leipzig’s campaign got off to a flyer with a fine and unexpected away win in Benfica, but they were unable to build on it at home against Lyon, where they slumped to an equally unexpected 2-0 defeat.
The win in Portugal was exceptional and will be the type of form Leipzig needs to tap into against Zenit if they are to win the game. A goal-less first half exploded into life in the second, when striker Timo Werner hit a quick-fire double that looked to have earned his team the three points.
They were made to sweat a little in the closing stages after Haris Seferovic pulled one back for Benfica with six minutes remaining, but held on for the win.
The home defeat that followed was disappointing, but was a game they could and probably should have got something from. Both Werner and Yussuf Poulsen both missed good opportunities for RB, yet a goal in each half (from Memphis Depay and Martin Terrier) sealed the points for the French side.
Zenit Top of the Group
Zenit lead the group, but only by virtue of having scored one more goal than Lyon, the team they faced on opening day. The 1-1 draw was a fine result for the Russians who have, in the past, not been great travelers. Things could have been so much better given they led at the interval, through Sardar Azmoun.
In the end, a second-half penalty from Depay leveled things up, the 90 minutes fairly reflected by a point apiece.
The Russians, to their credit, were able to follow this up with a 3-1 home win when Benfica visited St. Petersburg, effectively ending the Portuguese challenge. Artem Dzyuba gave Zenit a half-time lead which was added to when Ruben Dias put through his own net, then furthermore when Azmoun continued his hot streak by scoring a third.
Benfica struck a late consolation through Raul de Tomas, but the result was still enough to take the Zenit to the top of the group.
On a Knife-Edge
This group is truly at a knife-edge point. RB are favorites because of their strong home record, but this Zenit team have shown that they can win on the road. Statistically, all roads leads to a home win, but my gut tells me that Russia’s point in Lyon will be a huge confidence booster, sending them to Germany with confidence.
My pick: Zenit to win (+440)