UEFA Champions League Playoff Tuesday: six teams have group stage in sight, with six more in action Wednesday
You know when you are so close to something that you can smell it, but yet still so far away so as you have to keep the eye on the prize for a little longer?
That is how it feels to be the players on the six teams playing in the UEFA Champions League Playoffs on Tuesday, and the six teams playing Wednesday.
Win one more tie, and you get to play in the best completion on the planet: the Champions League group stage, with a chance to keep going and advance into the knockout rounds. I have been to Champions League matches in Manchester, London, Liverpool, Porto, and Lisbon, and there is nothing quite like those nights. You get to play against teams from other countries, and maybe get your name in lights for the whole world to see with a big performance.
Well, the six teams playing Tuesday are just one step away from that. But first, they have to navigate one more round of qualification before they join the 32-team group stage.
Five of the six ties could come down to one goal over the two legs. Today, Monaco and Red Bull Salzburg are favored at home (I will take both), with Dinamo Zagreb favored away at Sheriff Tiraspol.
Look for Salzburg to put up a few goals, and there could be a few in the AS Monaco Shakhtar Donetsk match as well.
Check and Paramount+ for schedules
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAYOFFS FIRST LEGS
(All TV games on Paramount+)
Monaco (-155) v Shakhtar Donetsk (+400), draw (+275)
Red Bull Salzburg (-560) v Brøndby IF (+1300), draw (+575)
Sheriff Tiraspol (+370) v Dinamo Zagreb (-117), draw (+215)
Monaco -0.75 (-112)
Mon/Sha over 2.75 (+100)
Red Bull Salzburg -2 AH (-107)
Red Bull Salzburg over 2.5 goals (-122)
Dinamo Zagreb ML (-117)
Dinamo Zagreb over 1.5 goals (+106)