2023/2024 Champions League Round of 16 Preview

The elite clubs of European football will convene once again in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 with each team dreaming of featuring in June’s final which is set for London.

In a treat to football fans, the draw has thrown up some tantalising clashes over the coming month as the field is reduced to eight teams.

Last season’s runners up Inter Milan have been handed a tough first up assignment as they take on Spanish powerhouses Atletico Madrid and they have a lead to defend as the tie heads to Spain.

Meanwhile Arsenal will be desperate to overturn a disappointing first leg result as they head back to London to try and defeat a stubborn FC Porto side.

We’ve got you sorted with our Champions League Round of 16 match previews and best bets.

Second Legs

Bayern MunichvsLazio
Wednesday 6 March, 7:00am, Allianz Arena
Bayern Munich 3 (3) – Lazio 0 (1)

FIRST LEG: Lazio Won 1-0

In just about any other season, you’d back Bayern to not only win on the night, but do so in a comfortable manner that allowed them to overturn the deficit with relative ease.

However this is not your normal Bayern Munich team and Lazio are no pushovers either, as evidenced by the first leg of this tie.

It looked like we were headed for a dour draw until Dayot Upamecano got himself sent off with just over 20 minutes remaining and Ciro Immobile dutifully dispatched the resulting spot kick.

Since these teams faced off in Rome however, Lazio’s domestic form has been pretty poor with three defeats and one win so that might have dented their confidence somewhat.

However as much as I try to talk myself into Bayern being able to overturn this deficit, they just don’t look like a team that has it this season.

There is value to be had on the visitors here and that’s what I will be backing, even a draw is good enough for them and they have the ability to make this the most frustrating night in Munich since Friday.

Lazio to Qualify @ $3.00

Real SociedadvsPSG
Wednesday 6 March, 7:00am, Anoeta
Real Sociedad 1 (1) – PSG 2 (4)

FIRST LEG: PSG Won 2-0

PSG appears to be well on their way to the Champions League Quarter Finals after a comfortable win over Real Sociedad in the first leg.

Kylian Mbappe and Bradley Barcola were on target for the Parisian side and it’s a bit of a surprise to see the French heavyweights as outsiders for this leg.

They are hardly secure in their position though, with the Spanish side more than capable of overturning a 2-0 deficit if PSG takes this match lightly, which makes the head to head price rather surprising.

With the league title almost in the bag once again, PSG can turn their attention to finally claiming some continental silverware and I’m expecting them to go all out in this match and close out Real Sociedad in some style.

PSG to Win (90 Minutes) @ $2.75

Manchester CityvsFC Copenhagen
Thursday 7 March, 7:00am, Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 3 (6) – FC Copenhagen 1 (2)

FIRST LEG: Manchester City Won 3-1

After dispatching United in their local derby on the weekend, City will turn their attention to defending their continental title as they have a pretty straightforward assignment here.

They took out the first leg in relatively comfortable fashion and should be able to go on with the job at the Etihad.

Perhaps the only reason to be a bit apprehensive about their chances of blowing the Danish side out is the fact they have played five fixtures since that first leg in Denmark, but if any side has the squad depth to cover a busy period, it’s City.

After all they have several hundred million pounds worth of talent on the bench every week, so it’s not like there is a player shortage.

And even with Erling Haaland providing numerous contenders for misses of the season he is still scoring a few complimentary goals to go with the red hot Phil Foden.

In short, City should win this one comfortably and post a massive aggregate victory over two legs.

Manchester City to Win -2 Goals @ $2.05

Real MadridvsRB Leipzig
Thursday 7 March, 7:00am, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid 1 (2) – RB Leipzig 1 (1)

FIRST LEG: Real Madrid Won 1-0

Surely Real Madrid, the Champions League specialists are not going to blow this lead against Leipzig at the Bernabeu.

After all, they have not lost a home game in this competition in almost two years, winning nine and drawing once since April 2022.

One of those home wins came in September 2022 against the German side, 2-0 in the group stage and a similar outcome looks to be on the cards here.

While there is some value to be had on Los Blancos winning the match outright, I’m expecting a tight, low scoring affair and the under looks like the way to go in this one.

Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.45

ArsenalvsFC Porto
Wednesday 13 March, 7:00am, Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 1 (1) – FC Porto 0 (1) (Arsenal 4-2 on Penalties)

FIRST LEG: FC Porto Won 1-0

When the clock ticked over 90 minutes and the scoreboard read 0-0 in Lisbon a few weeks ago, you would have thought it was advantage Arsenal heading into the return leg.

However Galeno’s speculative and spectacular 94th minute strike that caught David Raya off his line swung the advantage towards the Portuguese club.

It remains to be see just how effective that stifling and defensive strategy will play out on the Gunners’ turf but they have a lead to protect and we know they will be employing every trick in the book to do so.

But this Arsenal team has been a special side in North London, winning 14 of 18 games at the Emirates Stadium thanks in large part to a resolute defence lead by the duo of William Saliba and Gabriel.

To advance in 90 minutes, Arsenal needs to win by two goals or more, however with away goals not an issue anymore, any sort of win will at least ensure extra time.

All three of their home games in the Champions League Group Stage saw them win by at least two goals while also keeping a clean sheet and Porto have lost all three of their competitive matches at the Emirates Stadium while failing to score a goal.

Arsenal to Win -1 Goal @ $1.67

BarcelonavsNapoli
Wednesday 13 March, 7:00am, Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys
Barcelona 3 (4) – Napoli 1 (2)

FIRST LEG: 1-1 Draw

After a controversial draw in Naples, Wednesday morning’s other fixture is delicately poised as they head to Barcelona.

While not quite as imposing as the iconic Nou Camp which is undergoing renovations, this is going to be a tough atmosphere for the visitors.

Barcelona has not won a Champions League Round of 16 tie in four years and they still have plenty of work to do against the Seria A side.

While Napoli’s recent form does suggest we are going to see a slightly more open contest than the first leg, Barcelona have not exactly been ruthless in front of goal lately with just the one goal from their last two domestic outings.

Backing the unders looks like the value play in this market with both teams likely to play quite conservatively to avoid a critical mistake.

Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.05

Atletico MadridvsInter Milan
Thursday 14 March, 7:00am, Metropolitano Stadium
Atletico Madrid 2 (2) – Inter Milan 1 (1) (Atletico 3-2 on Penalties)

FIRST LEG: Inter Milan Won 1-0

It’s another La Liga-Serie A matchup with the runaway Italian league leaders holding on to a 1-0 advantage thanks to Marko Aranautovic.

Atletico have really battled through their last few matches with just three wins and two draws from ten matches since the start of February.

That has them as slight outsiders in the match result market but with their overall struggles in front of goal, it’s tough to see where they will find one, let alone two against one of Europe’s best defences.

Domestically, Inter have conceded just 13 goals from 28 matches and kept eight clean sheets from their last ten Serie A fixtures.

It is a similar story in this competition with five goals conceded in seven matches, three of which were scored by Benfica.

Last season’s finalists have the experience to see out this match and frustrate Atletico into submission.

Inter Milan to Win (90 Minutes) @ $2.45

Borussia DortmundvsPSV
Thursday 14 March, 7:00am, Signal Iduna Park
Dortmund 2 (3) – PSV 0 (1)

FIRST LEG: 1-1 Draw

An impressive effort by the Dutch side in the first leg saw them hold out for a well earned draw to take to Germany.

They created more shots on goal, held more possession and completed more passes against their heavily fancied opponents.

Doing it at home for 90 minutes is one thing though, doing it again on the road for another 90 minutes is another and it is very hard to see them replicating that effort.

While Dortmund’s home form has not been perfect this season in the Bundesliga, these are the nights the Yellow Wall get up for and it will add an extra layer of difficulty to PSV’s task.

That should be enough to swing the tie in favour of the German side and I’ll be backing them to win the match and advance to the Quarter Finals for the first time in three years.

Dortmund to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.80

First Legs

FC CopenhagenvsManchester City
Wednesday 14 February, 7:00am, Parken Stadium
FC Copenhagen 1 – Manchester City 3

If you have been a regular reader of our Premier League previews, you’ll know that the sense of inevitability regarding City is looming large and Pep Guardiola’s side is gaining momentum as the weeks go by.

They have gone 13 matches without defeat and won their last 10, which is a big reason why they are starting as $1.22 favourites to win the first leg and $1.02 to progress before a ball is kicked.

In the past these Round of 16 ties for City have all followed a similar sort of script with the English powerhouse advancing in a canter.

Last season they blasted RB Leipzig 8-1 on aggregate, the season prior Sporting CP 5-0 and in 2021 Borussia Monchengladbach 4-0.

Copenhagen is not exactly setting the world alight in the Danish league at the moment, currently coming third and only just returning to competitive action in the last fortnight after the winter break.

With battles to fight on multiple fronts, City should be eying off a big win here to kill off the tie before the return leg in March.

Manchester City to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ $1.70

RB LeipzigvsReal Madrid
Wednesday 14 February, 7:00am, Red Bull Arena
RB Leipzig 0 – Real Madrid 1

There is actually a bit of recent history to go off with these two clubs having been paired off in last season’s Group Stage.

RB Leipzig actually won in Germany on Matchday 5 but their side is going to be just a bit different this time around with all three goalscorers plying their trade elsewhere.

It also does not help that Real is finding some form domestically ahead of this fixture with their last loss inside 90 minutes coming in late September.

This is also their speciality competition having made the Round of 16 in every edition of the tournament dating back to its introduction in 2003/2004.

They have made it past this stage in 11 of the last 13 years and they should be able to give themselves something to defend heading back to Spain next month.

Real Madrid to Win @ $2.25

LaziovsBayern Munich
Thursday 15 February, 7:00am, Stadio Olimpico
Lazio 1 – Bayern Munich 0

The Champions League might be Lazio’s only real shot at lifting silverware this season, however this unbelievably tough draw might mean they have to focus solely on their Serie A fortunes.

Bayern might not be having a vintage season for the Bavarian club, currently five points adrift of league leaders Leverkusen but they are still a much better team here.

After suffering a humiliating defeat to their title rivals on the weekend, the bounce back factor for Munich is way too strong to back against here.

Bayern Munich to Win and Over 1.5 Goals @ $1.95

PSGvsReal Sociedad
Thursday 15 February, 7:00am, Parc des Princes
PSG 2 – Real Sociedad 0

The Parisian powerhouse has pretty much wrapped up another domestic title and now they can turn their attention to finally claiming continental silverware after years of disappointment.

When both sides are at full strength they should have Real Sociedad covered and with the reported absences the Spanish side are dealing with, it becomes a much more straightforward task.

Perhaps their only concern is a history of struggles against Spanish opposition with three of their last five Round of 16 exits coming at the hands of La Liga opposition.

However that won’t become a real issue until the second leg and I’ll back the Parisians to take care of business at home.

PSG to Win and Over 1.5 Goals @ $2.05

Inter MilanvsAtletico Madrid
Wednesday 21 February, 7:00am, San Siro
Inter Milan 1 – Atletico Madrid 0

Dreaming of another run to the Champions League Final, Inter Milan heads into this match on an impressive run of domestic form, winning their last eight matches and keeping clean sheets in five of their last six.

Their last defeat came before Christmas in the Copa Italia, going down in extra time to Bologna.

Atletico on the other hand is going through a bit of a blip that has seen them fall to fourth in La Liga, with four points from their last three matches.

On the plus side they did get a confidence boosting win over Las Palmas on the weekend however, blasting them 5-0.

Chances are this match won’t be as free scoring with both clubs happy to play with a safety first approach.

A 0-0 draw on the night looks incredibly likely and fans in Italy might be lucky to see one goal scored.

Under 1.5 Goals @ $2.88

PSVvsBorussia Dortmund
Wednesday 21 February, 7:00am, Phillips Stadion
PSV 1 – Dortmund 1

For the first time in eight years, PSV will be playing a Champions League knockout tie at home and they will want to make a statement against Dortmund in this fixture.

Their only defeat in the group stage came away to Arsenal with a win and two draws in Eindhoven and a parochial home crowd will be spurring them on to victory.

Domestically they have been almost unstoppable with 20 wins and two draws in the Eredevise while scoring a ridiculous 70 goals across those matches.

It won’t come easy against the Germans, who have picked up four wins and two draws from their last six matches however that did come on the back of a seven match winless streak.

However the home field advantage might just be enough to give PSV an advantage heading into the second leg next month.

PSV to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.90

FC PortovsArsenal
Thursday 22 February, 7:00am, Estadio do Dragao
FC Porto 1 – Arsenal 0

While Arsenal’s recent Premier League form has been near perfect, winning their last five matches by a combined score of 21-2, this trip to Portugal presents a massive potential banana skin for them.

Despite this being their first clash with Porto in over 14 years, they have not won a match at the Estadio do Dragao in three attempts.

In the 2010 Round of 16, Porto won the first leg 2-1 before getting trounced by the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium in the second leg.

However in their current form it is just not worth backing against Arsenal, it might not be the blowouts we saw against West Ham and Burnley but they should be able to do enough to take a lead back to London.

Arsenal to Win and Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.25

NapolivsBarcelona
Thursday 22 February, 7:00am, Stadio Diego Armando Maradona
Napoli 1 – Barcelona 1

While these two clubs might have qualified for the Champions League by winning Serie A and La Liga last season, their form in the current campaign means this tie carries a bit more weight.

Napoli has been in a bit of a slump domestically with one win from their last five, but they should be able to find a way to get up for this fixture.

The same cannot be said for Barca, with the Catalan club with three wins and a draw from their last four outings.

In the last four years these clubs have met in a pair of European competition knockout ties and on each occasion, the first leg ended in a draw.

Let’s have a play on that again, and as for how those ties finished up?

Barca won the 2020 Champions League Round of 16 second leg 3-1 before a 4-2 victory in the 2022 Europa League.

Draw @ $3.40


2022/2023

European football’s premiere club competition returns in 2023 with the knockout stages of the Champions League kicking off this week.

The Round of 16 has dished up a number of fascinating ties to play out over the next month starting with two tournament heavyweight PSG and Bayern Munich facing off.

Chelsea will try and arrest their horrendous domestic form with a positive result against Borussia Dortmund while Liverpool has drawn the most dominant Champions League side of the last two decades in Real Madrid.

We’re previewing every Champions League tie below so read on and find our best bets below.

First Legs

AC MilanvsTottenham
Wednesday 15 February, 7:00am, San Siro
AC Milan 1 – Tottenham 0

Tottenham could have had a better build up to this Round of 16 trip to Italy after an embarrassing defeat at Leicester on the weekend.

However AC Milan are not in the best form ahead of this fixture either, with the weekend’s win 1-0 over Torino their first victory since January 4.

Their biggest issue has been a lack of goals with the side held scoreless in four of their last seven matches, a far cry from the team that scored eight goals in their final two group stage fixtures.

It is not a great recipe against a manager like Antonio Conte who will set up an organised Tottenham defence to try and jag a low scoring win to take back to North London.

A draw is not a bad result for Spurs and if they can hold out here, they will be well placed heading into the second leg.

Back the Draw @ $3.20

PSGvsBayern Munich
Wednesday 15 February, 7:00am, Parc Des Princes
PSG 0 – Bayern Munich 1

PSG has not had the best run of results in 2023 with the French powerhouse team suffering another defeat on the weekend away to Monaco which sparked a hostile reaction from the fanbase.

Such was the hostility, players had to directly address the supporters to try and calm them down after the match and a win in the first leg here would go a long way towards restoring some confidence.

After all, Bayern is still Bayern, although they have been held to a remarkable seven draws and one defeat from 20 league matches so far, putting them in a proper title race with Union Berlin and Dortmund.

In the last two weeks they have been able to have a couple of tune up fixtures with a 4-0 cup win over Mainz plus a 4-2 victory over Wolfsburg and 3-0 win over Bochum.

While the simultaneous tie will likely be a conservative, defensive battle, this has the makings of a much more wide open tie with both teams trying to win through their attack.

Both teams to score has hit in PSG’s last five matches and we should see plenty of goals here.

Back Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals @ $1.73

Club BruggevsBenfica
Thursday 16 February, 7:00am, Jan Breydel Stadion
Brugge 2 – Benfica 0

Benfica might have lost a cup tie in extra time on the weekend, but they are still in a much stronger than their Belgian rivals heading into this tie.

Brugge have won just one of their nine matches since the World Cup and have been forced to settle for a draw on six occasions.

What is most surprising out of all of this is the fact they have scored in eight of those nine matches but they have also kept just one clean sheet in that time.

Take the price on Benfica on the road as they should have no problems in this one.

Back Benfica to Win @ $1.82

Borussia DortmundvsChelsea
Thursday 16 February, 7:00am, Westlfalenstadion
Dortmund 1 – Chelsea 0

How can you have any faith in Chelsea at the moment?

The Todd Boehly era suffered another blow on the weekend with a bad draw against relegation strugglers West Ham on the weekend.

Now they head to one of the more intimidating venues in the Westfalenstadion and Borussia Dortmund’s Yellow Wall.

It is a surprise to see the market having these sides as close as they are considering Dortmund’s six match winning run since the German action resumed following the World Cup.

But that is all the more reason to take the price on Dortmund and back them to have something to defend when they had to London for the second leg.

Back Borussia Dortmund to Win @ $2.40

FrankfurtvsNapoli
Wednesday 22 February, 7:00am, Deutsche Bank Park
Frankfurt 0 – Napoli 2

Serie A leaders Napoli have been borderline unstoppable all season, with an impressive run to the top of Group A setting the stage for this Champions League tie.

They took care of business in their first five matches, winning each of them by multiple goal margins before dropping what was essentially a dead rubber at Anfield on the final day.

In the league they have dropped points on just three occasions and have won their last five fixtures, so it makes perfect sense for them to be favoured ahead of their trip to Germany.

Frankfurt on the other hand is very much in the mix in a tight Bundesliga battle, five points off the lead and they were pushed all the way in Group D to make the knockout phase.

However the drain of a punishing domestic schedule might make this contest a bridge too far, especially when taking on an in-form opponent.

Look for the visitors to grind out a lead to take back to Italy by any means necessary.

Back Napoli to Win @ $2.15

LiverpoolvsReal Madrid
Wednesday 22 February, 7:00am, Anfield
Liverpool 2 – Real Madrid 5

The reigning club champions of Europe (and the world as of earlier this month), will take on the Liverpool side they defeated in the final last May.

That match was everything you would expect from a final in that it was tight, cagey and probably a good preview of what we can expect here.

Liverpool has found a bit of form in the last two weeks, recording back to back 2-0 wins over Everton and Newcastle as their defence has looks as cohesive as it has all season.

Real Madrid has experienced its share of stumbles this season, currently eight points adrift of Barcelona in La Liga, but the Champions League remains their speciality.

With a pair of clean sheets of their own since returning from the Club World Cup, Real should be able to keep a hot and cold Liverpool attack in check.

That should give both sides plenty to play for ahead of the return leg in Spain next month and we’re going to back a low scoring arm wrestle.

Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.15

Inter MilanvsFC Porto
Thursday 23 February, 7:00am, San Siro
Inter 1 – Porto 0

Whose form line do you want to trust more heading into this first leg?

Porto has won their last 10 matches, 19 of their last 22 and have not been defeated since October 22, having also topped Group B.

Meanwhile, Inter has won five straight, sits in second place in Serie A and has lost just once in their last 11 matches.

There is no recent form to go off with this set to be the first competitive fixture between these sides since the group stage in late 2005.

Inter should be able to hold serve at home, however a one goal margin might not be enough to get them over the line come March but any win will do for now.

Back Inter Milan to Win @ $1.72

RB LeipzigvsManchester City
Thursday 23 February, 7:00am, Red Bull Arena
RB Leipzig 1 – Manchester City 1

With the news surrounding Manchester City and their finances over the last few weeks, this might be their last chance to deliver Champions League success depending on the potential sanctions should they be found guilty.

After their Premier League campaign suffered a blow at Nottingham Forest on the weekend, they will want to use this as a chance to bounce back as they continue to push for a treble.

Both teams to score has hit in City’s last three matches which is not something that will make Pep Guardiola happy, but it is something worth considering for punters.

RB Leipzig has the second best goal scoring record in the Bundesliga and had no problems scoring in the group stage where they finished second in Group F behind Real Madrid.

There will be goals in this tie, it will just depend which striker shows up on the night as to which team scores more.

Back Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.00

Second Legs

BenficavsClub Brugge
Wednesday 8 March, 7:00am, Estadio da Luz
Benfica 5 (7) – Brugge 1 (1)

FIRST LEG: Benfica Won 2-0

In the Champions League, you can never declare a tie over, but Benfica have got a fairly strong grip on this one.

Considering they have kept seven clean sheets from their last nine and have not conceded two or more goals in a match since January 16, it’s going to be a massive ask for Brugge here.

It’s just a case of how much the Portuguese club wants to try and push their advantage early on.

Their Belgian rivals have the capacity to score two goals, however a leaky defence that has kept just two clean sheets from their last 13 games which does not bode well for their chances here.

There is not a lot of value in the head to head market unless you give Brugge a chance of an upset, but a low scoring game does offer a bit of value.

Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.25

ChelseavsBorussia Dortmund
Wednesday 8 March, 7:00am, Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 2 (2) – Dortmund 0 (1)

FIRST LEG: Dortmund Won 1-0

It’s a simple equation for Chelsea, win or go home and based on their recent results, the winning part might be a tough ask.

The Blues domestic form has been the source of much criticism with Graham Potter’s bloated squad stuck in mid table mediocrity.

While they won against Leeds on the weekend, that performance did nothing to alleviate the concerns that this is a club destined for failure over the next few months.

Dortmund on the other hand continued their imperious form on the weekend, winning their 12th match in a row in all competitions to stay level on points with Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga.

The Germans’ recent history in England is not great with their last win across the channel coming in March 2016 in the Europa League knockout phase against Tottenham.

On their last four trips they have been sent home defeated and their last Champions League win in London came in the Group Stage of the 2013/14 campaign when they beat Arsenal 2-0.

However now appears to be as good a time as any to break those streaks and their price to win appears to be way over the odds and well worth taking a long shot on.

Back Borussia Dortmund to Win @ $4.00

Bayern MunichvsPSG
Thursday 9 March, 7:00am, Allianz Arena
Bayern Munich 2 (3) – PSG 0 (0)

FIRST LEG: Bayern Won 1-0

The Germans went to France and snatched a hard fought 1-0 victory in the first leg, however they will be forced to battle right to the end of this second fixture.

Holding the upper hand, their cause will have been boosted by the news that PSG’s Brazilian superstar Neymar is out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.

Although the fact Christophe Galtier will still be able to rely on the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar means you cannot completely count out the French side.

In a situation like this however, you have to like Bayern and the removal of the away goals rule only further benefits their chances.

If PSG looks to go on the front foot they will be able to keep pace with them and if this becomes an arm wrestle where one goal decides it, they have the difference makers to score that one goal.

Back Bayern Munich to Win @ $1.80

TottenhamvsAC Milan
Thursday 9 March, 7:00am, Tottenham Stadium
Tottenham 0 (0) – AC Milan 0 (1)

FIRST LEG: AC Milan Won 1-0

Milan battled it out in the first leg, coming away with the slightest of advantages to take back to England.

They will need every imaginable advantage when they kick off in North London however with a poor record in the country over the last few years likely to weigh on them ahead of this fixture.

Since 2010, they have managed just two draws and four defeats in England, however working in their favour is the fact that one of those draws did come against Tottenham at the old White Hart Lane in 2011.

Tottenham continues to struggle for consistency with Antonio Conte stuck watching on the sidelines, as the club fell to its second straight defeat on the weekend.

It’s tough to have any faith in them as favourites, even with Milan’s poor record in Europe.

Knowing a draw is enough for them, it would not be at all surprising to see the visitors close the game down and be happy with spoils being shared on the night.

Back the Draw @ $3.40

FC PortovsInter Milan
Wednesday 15 March, 7:00am, Estadio do Dragao
Porto 0 (0) – Inter 0 (1)

FIRST LEG: Inter Milan Won 1-0

Inter Milan travel to Portugal in the box seat with a one goal head start over FC Porto in this second leg of the round of 16.

Porto were excellent in the first leg but an 78th minute red card all but sealed their fate allowing a Romelu Lukaku late winner winning the game for Milan.

I’m expecting another low scoring contest and the best chance for Porto is to keep their opposition scoreless through 90 minutes.

There is value for Porto to progress through to the next round in front of their home fans.

FC Porto to Qualify @ $3.50

Manchester CityvsRB Leipzig
Wednesday 15 March, 7:00am, Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 7 (8) – RB Leipzig 0 (1)

FIRST LEG: 1-1 Draw

Manchester City are very much alive in the English Premier League title race but their focus shifts to Europe on Wednesday morning.

They head into the second leg of the Round of 16 with the scores locked at 1-1 and wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a low scoring contest in the north of England.

There will be no hiding from the goal scoring prowess of Erling Haaland and I expect him to get plenty of opportunities to secure Manchester City a pathway into the Quarter Finals.

SGM – Haaland to have 2+ shots on target AND under 3.5 goals @ $2.87

NapolivsFrankfurt
Thursday 16 March, 7:00am, Stadio Diego Armando Maradona
Napoli 3 (5) – Frankfurt 0 (0)

FIRST LEG: Napoli Won 2-0

Frankfurt have failed to win in their last four matches in all competitions and they are certainly up against it in this contest.

They didn’t help their cause in the first leg with a red card in 58th minute and Napoli put two goals in the net either side.

Back at home, it’s hard to see Napoli butchering this but the market has this just about right and I have struggled to find any value.

NO BET

Real MadridvsLiverpool
Thursday 16 March, 7:00am, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid 1 (6) – Liverpool 0 (2)

FIRST LEG: Real Madrid Won 5-2

A demolition job in the first leg by the 14 time Champions League winners means this becomes a bit of a dead rubber as Liverpool attempt the impossible heading to the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid will be looking to close this game down for as long as they can making it even less likely for Liverpool to qualify.

Liverpool will create chances but ultimately I’m predicting a low scoring affair with some value available in that market.

Mohamed Salah to have 1+ shot on goal AND under 3.5 goals @ $2.33


2021/2022

The race for Paris begins with the world’s premiere club competition, the UEFA Champions League, commencing its knockout stage for another season.

16 teams still hold dreams of lifting that prestigious trophy and the draw has served up some excellent ties to kick things off.

A highly competitive field will be thinned out after the second legs are completed with PSG taking on Real Madrid, Liverpool drawn against Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid facing Manchester United the three headline contests.

We’re going to preview every match right through to the Final in May so read on and find our best bets for the Champions League Round of 16

First Legs

PSGvsReal Madrid
Wednesday 16 February, 7:00am, Parc des Princes
PSG 1 – Real Madrid 0

The current league leaders in France and Spain have been drawn against one another and both will feel like this is their year in Europe as well.

This first leg will be an interesting battle to set up the second leg with PSG under much more pressure to pick up the win before heading to Spain next month.

While we will likely miss seeing Sergio Ramos take on his former club, seeing Lionel Messi, the man who tormented them for many years in Barcelona colours will surely add to the spectacle.

Here I’ll back the story bet and take Messi to get another goal against Real, something he has had little trouble with in the past.

Back Lionel Messi Anytime Goalscorer @ $2.40

Sporting C.P.vsManchester City
Wednesday 16 February, 7:00am, Estadio Jose Alvalade
Sporting CP 0 – Manchester City 5

For the first time in 13 years, Sporting C.P. are into the knockout stage of the Champions League, their reward is to face the runaway Premier League leaders who are on a mission to destroy every opponent.

Even with a few first team members missing this fixture for various reasons, expect City to try and put this tie to bed before they head back to Manchester.

No need to overthink this, City should take care of business easily.

Back Manchester City to Win -1 Goal @ $1.91

Inter MilanvsLiverpool
Thursday 17 February, 7:00am, San Siro
Inter Milan 0 – Liverpool 2

This is the first time these sides have faced off in Europe since the Reds 3-0 aggregate in in the 2008 Round of 16.

Having survived a busy and draining January, Liverpool is starting to generate some serious momentum ahead of this mouth-watering tie.

With Jurgen Klopp’s men bringing a six match winning streak and nine game unbeaten run into this, they are well placed against a battle tested Inter side.

Liverpool should find a way to advance over 180 (or 210) minutes but Inter are a strong side and should be able to hold on for a draw to give them something to chase at Anfield.

Back the Draw @ $3.60

RB SalzburgvsBayern Munich
Thursday 17 February, 7:00am, Red Bull Arena
RB Salzburg 1 – Bayern Munich 1

With the Austrian title just about in the bag, RB Salzburg can now turn their attention to trying to pull off one of the all time Champions League upsets against Bayern.

Few are giving them a chance and rightly so, at least on paper this one could be over by halftime on Thursday morning.

When they met in the group stage last season, Bayern crushed them 6-2 in Austria before a much more respectable 3-1 scoreline at the Allianz Arena.

After losing to Bochum in stunning fashion on the weekend, take Bayern to bounce back.

Back Bayern Munich HT/FT @ $2.00

ChelseavsLille
Wednesday 23 February, 7:00am, Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 2 – Lille 0

Champions League football returns to Stamford Bridge as the reigning European and recently crowned Club World Cup champions host French side Lille.

They were drawn together in the same group in the 2019/2020 tournament with Chelsea winning at home and away by a score of 2-1.

In their current league campaign, Lille finds itself in the midst of a rough campaign, currently stuck in 11th place in Ligue 1 and scoring at an alarmingly low rate of 32 goals in 25 matches.

Chelsea’s attack is not exactly in the most lethal form at the moment but they should have no trouble taking on an opponent that does not seem up to it this season.

Their history in England is not great either with two wins from 12 matches in all European competitions since 2010.

Take Chelsea to win this one and score a few goals to build a solid advantage heading into the second leg.

Back Chelsea to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.00

VillarealvsJuventus
Wednesday 23 February, 7:00am, Estadio de la Cerámica
Villareal 1 – Juventus 1

The first leg of this tie is possibly the toughest one to pick on recent form, with a strong case to be made for both teams and the market expecting a close contest too.

Villareal is unbeaten in its last four matches and has conceded just one goal in that run, which came in a  4-1 demolition of Granada.

Juventus on the other hand is on a seven match unbeaten run in all competitions but have been held to draws by Atalanta and Torino.

Playing at home with the crowd behind them, I like Villareal’s ability to stifle Juventus and keep this tie close heading into the second leg.

Back the Draw @ $3.10

BenficavsAjax
Thursday 24 February, 7:00am, Estadio da Luz
Benfica 2 – Ajax 2

Benfica will be hoping that the occasion can spur them on to victory in the first leg of this tie to give them something to defend in Amsterdam in a few weeks.

Installed as pretty hefty outsiders for this match, it’s tough to back them against the Ajax buzzsaw.

Erik ten Haag has build an impressive side this season and has them primed for a deep run in this tournament.

Take Ajax to run away with It.

Back Ajax to Win @ $1.80

Atletico MadridvsManchester United
Thursday 24 February, 7:00am, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano
Atletico Madrid 1 – Manchester United 1

Both clubs are no strangers to the knockout phase of the Champions League and will not have been that happy to draw one another in this stage of the tournament.

Atletico is bringing some inconsistent form into this tie trading wins and losses over its last six matches while United just had their best day in attack since September, putting four past Leeds.

United’s record in away games this season is not encouraging with only seven wins away from Old Trafford all season.

I like the look of Atletico at this price to get a lead and hold onto it before heading back to Old Trafford.

Back Atletico to Win @ $2.40

Second Legs

Bayern MunichvsRB Salzburg
Wednesday 9 March, 7:00am, Allianz Arena
LiverpoolvsInter Milan
Wednesday 9 March, 7:00am, Anfield
Manchester CityvsSporting Lisbon
Thursday 10 March, 7:00am, Etihad Stadium
Real MadridvsPSG
Thursday 10 March, 7:00am, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
AjaxvsBenfica
Wednesday 16 March, 7:00am, Johan Cruyff ArenA
Manchester UnitedvsAtletico Madrid
Wednesday 16 March, 7:00am, Old Trafford
JuventusvsVillareal
Thursday 17 March, 7:00am, Allianz Stadium
LillevsChelsea
Thursday 17 March, 7:00am, Stade Pierre-Mauroy

2021

First Legs

Football’s premier club competition resumes in 2021 with the Champions League Knockout Phase kicking off this week.

The first legs kick off with a huge clash between Spanish giants Barcelona and last season’s finalists Paris Saint Germain.

Elsewhere Liverpool will try and arrest a concerning domestic slide by chasing their second Champions League title in three years while defending champions Bayern Munich have been drawn against Lazio.

Every team knows they are seven matches away from being crowned champions of Europe, read on to see who we are backing here.

FC BarcelonavsPSG
Wednesday 17 February, 7:00am, Camp Nou
Barcelona 1 – PSG 4

Last time these sides met in the Champions League, fans were treated to one of the all time classic two legged ties.

PSG took a 4-0 lead to Spain after a commanding first leg performance, only for the Catalan club to engineer one of the best comebacks in football history, winning the second leg 6-1 and the tie 6-5 on aggregate.

This year, Barcelona hosts the first leg, and they will be full of confidence after hammering Alaves 5-1 on the weekend.

PSG comes into this fixture on a four match domestic winning streak and they have the backline to frustrate the likes of Lionel Messi and company, with three clean sheets in those matches.

It certainly looks like Barca have figured things out after a rough run to start the season and I’ll back them at even money odds to take an advantage back to France.

Back Barcelona to Win @ $2.00

RB LeipzigvsLiverpool
Wednesday 17 February, 7:00am, Puskas Arena (Budapest)
RB Leipzig 0 – Liverpool 2

Originally scheduled for Leipzig’s home arena, this tie has been moved to Hungary due to Germany’s COVID restrictions.

Given the empty stands across Europe, the venue change probably won’t impact the match itself with every stadium lacking any sort of atmosphere.

Perhaps Liverpool will be glad to get out of England for a few days as their domestic form continues to trouble fans and punters alike.

With Jurgen Klopp missing almost an entire starting XI of players (mostly defenders) and a three match losing streak, it’s tough to have any confidence in them as favourites here.

Leipzig will come into this match with a few key players out including Emil Forsberg, but as outsiders they are well worth a punt at this price.

Back RB Leipzig to Win @ $3.00

FC PortovsJuventus
Thursday 18 February, 7:00am, Estadio do Dragao
Porto 2 – Juventus 1

Porto takes on Italian giants Juventus after an impressive showing in Group C, being the only club to take points off Manchester City as they finished runners up.

Their history against Juventus is not exactly encouraging with three defeats in their four Champions League meetings, including a 3-0 aggregate loss in the 2017 knockout phase.

Juventus will be very motivated heading into this fixture after suffering a huge blow to their Serie A title hopes on the weekend with a loss to Napoli.

Porto comes into this tie on the back of four consecutive draws and I like their chances of at least putting a scare into an opponent that has failed to live up to expectations on occasion.

For the visitors, getting an away goal is easily the most important part of this match and if they can at least take a score draw back to Turin, they will back themselves to put a huge score on Porto next month.

Back Both Teams to Score @ $1.95

SevillavsBorussia Dortmund
Thursday 18 February, 7:00am, Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan
Sevilla 2 – Dortmund 3

On paper you might think that this tie is destined to be over and done with after the first leg however Sevilla is tough to back against in their current form.

Across all Spanish competitions, they have won their last eight matches and kept seven consecutive clean sheets heading into this tie.

That includes a 2-0 Copa Del Rey victory over Barcelona a week ago so it’s not like they have cruised against sides better suited to the local leagues.

Dortmund’s form in 90 minutes is a massive cause for concern, winning just once in normal time over their last seven matches.

Scoring has not been an issue for the Germans, with both teams to score hitting in their last nine fixtures however Sevilla’s backline may prove tough to crack as two contrasting styles collide here.

Sevilla to win and keep a clean sheet is an appealing prospect at $4.20 however their outright price is more than enough value here.

Back Sevilla to Win @ $2.35

Atletico MadridvsChelsea
Wednesday 24 February, 7:00am, Arena Nationala (Bucharest)
Atletico Madrid 0 – Chelsea 1

Neither side will be overly interested in losing this tie in the first leg and this could easily be the cagiest clash of the entire Round of 16.

Diego Simeone’s side leads the league in Spain, but needed a bit of good fortune to advance to the Round of 16.

Normally the foundation of their success, Atletico’s backline has been breached far too often for their manager’s liking however the resurgence of Luis Suarez is helping keep them afloat.

Both sides are likely to opt for caution here and will probably be happy to head back to London with the tie level.

Back the Draw @ $3.05

SS LaziovsBayern Munich
Wednesday 24 February, 7:00am, Stadio Olimpico
Lazio 1 – Bayern 4

Champions of Europe and now champions of the world, Bayern gets set to defend their continental title with a trip to Italy.

Lazio will provide little more than a minor speedbump for the German juggernauts and it’s hard to see them offering up too much resistance.

This one will come down to how much of an advantage Bayern want to take into the second leg and if they can put four or five by Lazio here, it should make the second leg a formality.

Back Bayern Munich Halftime/Fulltime @ $2.45

AtalantavsReal Madrid
Thursday 25 February, 7:00am, Stadio di Bergamo
Atalanta 0 – Real Madrid 1

The feel good story of last season’s Champions League Atalanta have received a horrendous draw for their first knockout tie.

Real Madrid will need to be on their game from the get go to avoid being caught out by Atalanta’s lethal forward line.

Look for the home side to dictate the pace of this fixture early on and try to score an early goal.

That should see the tie open up and turn into an attacking showcase with a few goals.

Back Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals @ $1.70

Borussia MonchengladbachvsManchester City
Thursday 25 February, 7:00am, Puskas Arena (Budapest)
Monchengladbach 0 – Manchester City 2

City’s form heading into the Round of 16 cannot be faulted.

They have been dominating opponents dating back to the conclusion of the Group Stage and are marching towards another Premier League title.

One of the key figures in their recent run of victories is midfielder Ilkay Gundogan who has helped offset the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, who won the midfielder of the season award in the 2019/2020 edition.

What cannot be ignored though is the string of clean sheets that City have been keeping, and it has been a winning formula in our Premier League previews.

Why change a winning strategy?

Back Manchester City to Win to Nil @ $2.50

Second Legs

Europe’s premiere club football competition continues with the second legs of the Champions League Round of 16.

Four of the eight ties are separated by a solitary goal and if the first legs are anything to go by, there will be drama aplenty unfolding across the continent.

Can Chelsea hang on against Atletico Madrid?

Will Porto stun Juventus again?

Is there any hope for Barcelona against PSG?

We are previewing every match below so read on and find out who we are backing!

JuventusvsFC Porto
Wednesday 10 March, 7:00am, Allianz Stadium
Juventus 3 (4) – FC Porto 2 (4) A.E.T

FIRST LEG: Porto Won 2-1

Porto’s home leg could not have gone better for them, securing a 2-1 advantage to take back to Turin.

They conceded 60% of possession but goals in the first minute of both halves was good enough to see off a determined Juventus side.

Even so, the Serie A giants bring plenty of confidence and momentum into the second leg and I’ll be backing them to overturn this deficit.

To win the tie outright Juventus has to defeat Porto by two goals and there is plenty of firepower to call upon.

Leading the charge will be Cristiano Ronaldo, a player who specialises in these kinds of situations.

I’ll add him into a same game multi as Juventus advances to the Quarter Finals.

SGM: Juventus -1 Goal and Cristiano Ronaldo Anytime Goalscorer @ $2.93

BVB DortmundvsSevilla
Wednesday 10 March, 7:00am, Signal Iduna Park
Dortmund 3 (5) – Sevilla 2 (4)

FIRST LEG: Dortmund Won 3-2

It’s fair to say that the first leg got out of hand for a defensively oriented Sevilla side.

That ended a run of seven consecutive clean sheets and has started a downward spiral for the La Liga club.

Since that match, they defeated Osasuna 2-0 and proceeded to lose their next three domestic matches, including blowing a 2-0 aggregate lead in the Copa Del Rey and losing 2-1 to relegation threatened Elche on the weekend.

An angry Dortmund side is not who you would want to face next, especially one coming off a disappointing loss in Der Klassiker against Bayern Munich.

Their star Norwegian striker Erling Haaland dominated the first leg and assuming he is fit and firing for this one, I cannot see anything other than another Dortmund win.

Back Erling Haaland to Score and Dortmund to Win @ $2.40

LiverpoolvsRB Leipzig
Thursday 11 March, 7:00am, Puskas Arena (Budapest)
Liverpool 2 (4) – RB Leipzig 0 (0)

FIRST LEG: Liverpool Won 2-0

Moving this leg away from Anfield might actually be the best thing that could have happened to Liverpool since they apparently cannot win there.

Over the weekend their domestic losing streak at their former fortress was extended to six matches, not an ideal trend when you are trying to defend a 2-0 aggregate lead.

For all of their Premier League struggles, Liverpool at least had the confidence and fortitude to put together a strong showing in the first leg, but you cannot shake the feeling that they are still quite vulnerable.

It’s not as though Leipzig were out of the first leg either, having 12 shots but only forcing a pair of saves from Alisson.

Since dropping the first leg, their domestic results have been very encouraging as well, with four consecutive wins and outscoring their opponents 11-2 in that time.

You could almost talk yourself into backing Leipzig to turn around the deficit at the healthy price of $7 but there is value to be had on the “visitors” in the 90 minute result market.

Back RB Leipzig to Win (90 Minutes) @ $2.90

PSGvsFC Barcelona
Thursday 11 March, 7:00am, Parc des Princes
PSG 1 (5) – Barcelona 1 (2)

FIRST LEG: PSG Won 4-1

We have seen something sort of resembling this story before, four years ago in fact.

PSG blitzed Barcelona in the first leg 4-0, only for the Catalan giants to turn around that deficit with a remarkable 6-1 win in the second leg, in one of the all time Champions League ties.

Barca has a comeback in them, having turned around a 2-0 deficit to Sevilla in the second leg of the Copa Del Rey Semi Final just last week.

They will need to channel that sort of spirit again and we all know about PSG’s history of Champions League collapses.

While the second leg is being played at the Parc des Princes you cannot rule out Lionel Messi and company doing what is unthinkable to most people.

Overturning a 4-1 deficit might be asking just a bit too much of this Barcelona team but I’ll happily take them at their head to head price to at least make it interesting.

Back Barcelona to Win (90 Minutes) @ $3.05

Manchester CityvsBorussia Monchengladbach
Wednesday 17 March, 7:00am, Puskas Arena (Budapest)
Manchester City 2 (4) – Monchengladbach 0 (0)

FIRST LEG: Manchester City Won 2-0

England, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, New Zealand or Madagascar, it does not matter what country they are in, Manchester City is a very good side.

While you would not assume the tie is completely in the bag with a 2-0 aggregate lead, you would not back City to blow it from here.

Gladbach has only defeated Manchester City once in European competition and that came all the way back in 1979 and the market is not giving them much hope of making this tie interesting.

Making matters even more difficult for the “visitors” here is the fact City have not conceded a Champions League goal since their opening Group Stage match when Porto put one past Ederson.

City then responded with three goals of their own and have not conceded since then.

With that in mind, it’s probably time to take the same play as the first leg.

Back Manchester City to Win to Nil @ $1.95

Real MadridvsAtalanta
Wednesday 17 March, 7:00am, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid 3 (4) – Atalanta 1 (1)

FIRST LEG: Real Madrid Won 1-0

Real’s victory in the first leg was far from convincing with Atalanta reduced to 10 men after just 17 minutes and they did not score the winner until the 86th.

Assuming Atalanta can keep a full compliment of players on the pitch they have the firepower to cause plenty of headaches for Real here.

The winner if this tie will probably need to find a way to reach three goals on aggregate and Real have not been able to keep a clean sheet in their last three outings.

I’ll back the strikers to rule this match as that price seems way too high.

Back Over 2.5 Goals @ $1.70

ChelseavsAtletico Madrid
Thursday 18 March, 7:00am, Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 2 (3) – Atletico Madrid 0 (0)

FIRST LEG: Chelsea Won 1-0

It’s all set up for Chelsea to advance to the Champions League Quarter Finals, all they need to do is avoid defeat against Atletico Madrid.

The La Liga leaders have form overturning a first leg deficit in England, just 12 months ago they went to Anfield and eliminated Liverpool in this same round.

It is going to be an awfully tough task however, with Chelsea riding a five match clean sheet streak that began with the first leg.

Not to mention, they would be happy to play out a 0-0 draw as that would be enough to send them to the next round, and if they happen to concede once, they still have the safety net of extra time.

Atletico’s form is a major concern however with just three wins from their last nine matches and that is enough to scare me off backing them to qualify.

I can’t see the teams being split over 90 minutes so I’ll back the draw and Chelsea to advance.

Back the Draw (90 Minutes) @ $3.05

Bayern MunichvsSS Lazio
Thursday 18 March, 7:00am, Allianz Arena
Bayern Munich 2 (6) – Lazio 1 (2)

FIRST LEG: Bayern Munich Won 4-1

The defending European champions will advance from this tie and there’s no need to overthink that.

Chances are they will win this match and record a massive margin of victory over the two legs as well.

This is the toughest match to find a decent value play on considering we all know how Bayern is going to brutalise their Serie A opponents.

Bayern’s German winger Serge Gnabry is looking for his first Champions League goal of the current campaign and is coming off scoring in the Bundesliga over the weekend.

I’ll back him to score his tenth of the season on all competitions as Bayern cruises to the Quarter Finals.

Back Serge Gnabry to Score and Bayern Munich to Win @ $2.88


2020

First Legs

Last season brought us one of the more memorable Champions League knockout phases with every round featuring high drama, nail biting finishes, upsets galore and utter chaos.

It’s a lot to live up to for the 2019/2020 Champions League knockout stages to live up to but the Round of 16 draw has served up some enticing matchups right off the bat.

Manchester City and Liverpool are the two shortest priced teams in our outright Champions League winner market and the latter has a very tough first up assignment with Atletico Madrid.

We have five new teams into the knockout stages with plenty of potential for Cinderella stories similar to what we saw from Ajax last season.

The good news is we’re previewing every Champions League knockout match starting with the first legs here.

Borussia DortmundvsPSG
Wednesday 19 February, 7:00am, BVB Stadion Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund 2 – PSG 1

It’s a story as old as time… or at least recent memory as PSG cruises through its domestic campaigns while setting their sights on the ultimate prize… the UEFA Champions League.

Since their run of French dominance started in the 2012-2013 season, they have never failed to make it to the knockout stages of the Champions League, but that is where their troubles have begun.

Four straight quarter final exits preceded the current run of three straight Round of 16 defeats, with Manchester United the latest club to end their hopes of continental glory.

This Dortmund side will pose a unique challenge for PSG with plenty of young, up and coming talent ready to take on some of football’s biggest names.

Of course it’s not like Dortmund is entirely short of name players themselves with the likes of Marco Reus ready to return the club to the Champions League Final for the first time since 2013.

They will also be boosted by the addition of 19 year old striking sensation Erling Braut Haaland who scored a measly eight goals in the group stage for Red Bull Salzburg before his January transfer.

With Dortmund starting off their campaign at home, I like them to scrap their way into a narrow lead to take back to Paris and put all the pressure on their big budget opponents.

Back Dortmund to Win @ $2.90

Atletico MadridvsLiverpool
Wednesday 19 February, 7:00am, Estadio Metropolitano
Atletico Madrid 1 – Liverpool 0

Nobody in England has been able to stop Liverpool this season, but you have to like Atletico’s chances to spring an upset in this tie.

Diego Simeone’s side remains one for football’s purists with defence their primary focus as they look to frustrate opponents and for all intents and purposes batter them into the submission.

Jurgen Klopp will know his side has to win this game on Atletico’s terms and this first leg is all about survival, it won’t be the worst thing in the world if they have to take a 1-0 deficit back to Anfield next month.

It’s not the most aggressive bet but when you consider the Atletico form line, there’s not a whole lot of goals in any of these matches.

Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $1.67

AtalantavsValencia
Thursday 20 February, 7:00am, Stadio San Siro
Atalanta 4 – Valencia 1

If you are looking for a side that will be looking to replicate Ajax’s run last season, these are two of the top contenders in the Champions League knockout stage.

Valencia is back in the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 2013 where they were eliminated in the Round of 16 by PSG.

Atalanta on the other hand is the little battler (at least in this tournament) playing their Champions League fixtures in the San Siro because their stadium is being renovated to meet minimum UEFA standards and in this competition for the first time in their history.

In terms of progression, I do like Valencia outright but on this night, I just can’t bring myself to split the two teams.

Back the Draw @ $3.60

TottenhamvsRB Leipzig
Thursday 20 February, 7:00am, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Tottenham 0 – RB Leipzig 1

It’s fair to say that last year’s Champions League run doesn’t mean a whole lot for Tottenham this time around considering how much things have changed at the club.

All things considered though, they would be pretty happy to have drawn Leipzig in this round considering some of the other opponents they could have received after finishing second in Group B.

Even with Harry Kane injured and some largely uneven form, Spurs still appear to have the overall quality to see off their German opponents at home here.

It won’t come easy though and they will need to find a way to score two if not three goals which could lead to a very entertaining second leg… at least we hope so anyway.

SGM: Tottenham to Win and Both Teams to Score @ $3.80

NapolivsBarcelona
Wednesday 26 February, 7:00am, Stadio San Paolo
Napoli 1 – Barcelona 1

The last time Barcelona didn’t get out of the Round of 16 was in the 2006-2007 edition of the Champions League and despite a “depleted” (& we use that term loosely) strike force.

While Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele are both unavailable for this fixture, the Catalan giants still have the likes of World Cup Winner Antoine Griezmann, breakthrough youngster Ansu Fati and six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi on hand so it’s not as if they have been left short of top quality options up front.

That being said Napoli will go into this game knowing they have to get something from this leg to have any hope going to the Nou Camp in a few weeks and they have the players to trouble Barcelona.

A brief glance at their attacking talent shows they have plenty of goalscoring options with the likes of Dries Mertens and Fernando Llorente both proven at the top level.

Even with Barcelona having a rough season (by their standards) I think they should take a slender lead back home and be able to grind out the tie, they just have better difference makers and at over even money, the price is over where it should be.

Back Barcelona to Win @ $2.15

ChelseavsBayern Munich
Wednesday 26 February, 7:00am, Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 0 – Bayern Munich 3

It will take a Chelsea performance for the ages if they are going to be able to get anything out of this fixture, Bayern is every chance of killing off the tie with a big win in London.

The last time these sides met in the Champions League was that memorable 2012 final where Chelsea won on penalties and the last time they met over two legs was in April 2005 when the Blues won 6-5 on aggregate.

I just can’t see Chelsea having the attacking nous to get by what should be a very strong Bayern backline which should give them plenty of chances to get after a Chelsea defence that has struggled to keep clean sheets conceding 36 goals in just 26 Premier League matches (at the time of writing).

Not to mention Bayern went through the Group Stage scoring a ridiculous 24 goals in their six matches including seven away to Spurs and another six against Red Star Belgrade.

When they are on they are hard to stop and with a domestic title race still to worry about at home, the more they can kill off the tie here the better so don’t be surprised if they go for a big scoreline.

Back Bayern to Win @ $1.80

Real MadridvsManchester City
Thursday 27 February, 7:00am, Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
Real Madrid 1 – Manchester City 2

This is the tie that we have been itching for since the Round of 16 draw was done, and the events of the last fortnight have made it even more appealing.

For Pep Guardiola, this might be his last chance to win the Champions League with City given the questions over his future and the whole two-year European ban thing City have hanging over their head as well.

From a footballing perspective this will be the most appealing tie of the round with two talent laden squads ready to face off.

We know City’s domestic form has been sketchy all season and I’m fully expecting Real Madrid to pounce on them early as they try and take a decent advantage back to the Etihad.

Working in their favour is that both competitive meetings between these sides at the Bernabéu have gone Real Madrid’s way and I’ll take them at a very healthy price to win outright.

Back Real Madrid to Win @ $2.60

LyonvsJuventus
Thursday 27 February, 7:00am, OL Stadium
Lyon 1 – Juventus 0

Every so often certain teams find the fixture list throwing up a less than ideal run of opponents and this trip to France represents the start of one of those tough weeks for Juventus.

In the space of seven days they have this Champions League fixture, a league match against Inter Milan followed by the second leg of a Coppa Italia match against AC Milan.

Because of that I actually give Lyon a chance to get something from this game, or at least I’ve lowered my expectations of Juventus.

This will be one for the purists as an arm wrestle seems inevitable, much like the Barcelona match though, I’ll back the difference makers on Juventus to get them home in a low scoring contest.

SGM: Juventus to Win & Under 2.5 Goals @ $3.97

Second Legs

After the warm up acts of the first legs, the Champions League Round of 16 moves onto its main events with the return fixtures set to take place over the next two weeks.

There was drama aplenty at this stage last season as Juventus and Roma pulled off massive comebacks in their ties while Ajax had the upset of all upsets against Real Madrid, winning 4-1 at the Bernabeu.

With the first legs in the books we are set for more memorable European nights across the continent with some ties delicately poised and others needing something resembling divine intervention to turn around big deficits.

Naturally all eyes will be on the Premier League-La Liga ties of Liverpool-Atletico Madrid and Manchester City-Real Madrid but there is value to be had across all Champions League betting markets.

Read on for our previews and plays for all eight second leg fixtures right here.

ValenciavsAtalanta
Wednesday 11 March, 7:00am, Camp de Mestalla
Valencia 3 – Atalanta 4

FIRST LEG: Atalanta Won 4-1

One of those sides that will be in need of some sort of miracle is Valencia after they were thoroughly outclassed by the Italian side at the San Siro last month.

You have to like Atalanta’s chances of at the very least cancelling out that away goal as they have not been kept goalless in a match since November 11 and have scored multiple goals in 14 of 18 since then (including seven in their last match against Lecce).

In short, the biggest issue facing Valencia here is the fact that they will need to find a way to score at least four goals to even have a chance to get through here.

This is one of those times where Valencia will probably just have to throw caution to the wind and go for it but it probably is worth noting that they have not scored four goals in a match since December 8 when they defeated Levante 4-2 in La Liga.

There should be plenty of goals in this match but it seems like Atalanta will look to take advantage of a Valencia side that is going to be wide open at the back so I’ll take both teams to score and over 3.5 goals for a decent value play.

Back Both Teams to Score & Over 3.5 Goals @ $2.30

LeipzigvsTottenham
Wednesday 11 March, 7:00am, RB Arena
RB Leipzig 3 – Tottenham 0

FIRST LEG: RB Leipzig Won 1-0

In isolation, Spurs aren’t in a bad position going into this match with just a one goal deficit to turn around but if you watch their last few outings there are very few reasons to feel good about their chances here.

Their first leg defeat in London kick started a five match winless run that put a huge dent in their top four hopes and ended the side’s FA Cup dreams.

It would take a managerial masterclass from Mourinho to get Spurs over the line, needing to nullify a potent and varied Leipzig attack and find a way to score twice on a side that has been breached just once in their last six matches.

There are too many things that need to go right for Tottenham to come away from this match with something, starting with keeping a clean sheet so I’ll back against them here and take Leipzig to win the match.

Back RB Leipzig to Win the Second Leg @ $1.67

LiverpoolvsAtletico Madrid
Thursday 12 March, 7:00am, Anfield
Liverpool 2 – Atletico Madrid 3 (4) (A.E.T.)

FIRST LEG: Atletico Madrid Won 1-0

The last time Liverpool played a Champions League knockout match at Anfield, they pulled off one of the comebacks for the ages, turning around a 3-0 deficit against Barcelona in last season’s semi-finals.

While they are champions of England in every sense except for officially, any side with their recent form line should have massive alarm bells ringing over them.

With three losses from their last five matches and the two wins coming against teams currently battling relegation (plus the likely absence of first choice keeper Allison) there is more than enough reason to think Atletico can get the job done.

For starters, despite the litany of attacking talent lining up for the Reds, Atletico can match them in terms of pure skill and have a clear edge in the “dark arts” of football.

Atletico winning this match offers some excellent value at $6.50 and should be given some serious consideration but I’ll go for the lower price on Atletico to qualify.

Back Atletico Madrid to Qualify @ $1.95

PSGvsBorussia Dortmund
Thursday 12 March, 7:00am, Parc des Princes
PSG 2 – Borussia Dortmund 0

FIRST LEG: Borussia Dortmund Won 2-1

While the Liverpool-Atletico match is going to be a proper arm wrestle, we might see some fireworks in this fixture.

PSG, facing the prospect of a fourth straight Round of 16 exit from the Champions League, the pressure will be on Thomas Tuechel to deliver the ultimate prize to the Parc de Princes.

They will need to find a way to turn around a 2-1 deficit at home against a side that seems more than capable of getting at least one away goal.

There is value to be had in this market, especially if you are expecting a high scoring encounter (Both Teams to Score and Over 3.5 Goals at just over even money jumps out) but for this one I’m just going to go for a straight up option instead.

Dortmund has the firepower to prevent PSG’s star studded attacking lineup from taking too big of a lead in this second leg and in the process qualify for the Quarter Finals.

Back Borussia Dortmund to Qualify @ $1.80

After four months away, the 2019/2020 Champions League will have one of, if not the most unique conclusion in this tournament’s history.

Starting on the morning of August 8, the four remaining Round of 16 ties will be played out in the home team’s stadiums before the tournament packs up and moves to Lisbon for a series of one-legged ties to crown a Champion of Europe.

We have been waiting since March to see how these four legs will conclude and with three still very much in the balance, there is a lot to look forward to in the Champions League Round of 16.

Second Legs – Part Two

JuventusvsLyon
Saturday 8 August, 6:00am, Juventus Stadium
Juventus 2 (2) – Lyon 1 (2) (Lyon Win on Away Goals)

FIRST LEG:  Lyon Won 1-0

You have to feel a certain level of sympathy for Lyon here, they put together a great performance in the first leg to take a 1-0 lead back to Turin.

Then came the shutdown of the Champions League and the decision to cancel the rest of the Ligue 1 season, meaning they head into this match having played one competitive fixture since March 9,

That was the Coupe de la Ligue match against PSG which they lost on penalties to PSG.

Juventus on the other hand should be noticeably sharper having played out the Serie A season to its conclusion, having 14 matches under their belt since mid June.

Having played all of those matches might leave them a bit flat towards the end of this match but it’s hard to back against a side with a rested Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese superstar was left out of Juventus’ final Serie A match with an eye on this second leg and you would back him in a spot like this one.

Back Juventus to Qualify @ $1.73

Manchester CityvsReal Madrid
Saturday 8 August, 6:00am, City of Manchester Stadium
Manchester City 2 (4) – Real Madrid 1 (2)

FIRST LEG: Manchester City Won 2-1

Hands down the marquee tie of the four to take place over the weekend, it’s probably for the best not to think about the raucous atmosphere at the Etihad that COVID has robbed us of.

Despite losing their Premier League crown to Liverpool, this is the competition that City have been focused on from day one.

City did all the hard work in the first leg to take a 2-1 lead back to the Etihad and the approaches for both sides will be very interesting to see from the outset.

The substitution of Raheem Sterling on for Bernardo Silva swung that match and the sending off of Real’s captain Sergio Ramos will be felt in this tie.

If you’re interested in backing Manchester City, there’s not a whole lot of value on offer for them to qualify, with that option currently at an insanely short $1.13.

From there you remember that this is only a one goal deficit that Real needs to overturn and a victory is not out of the question.

City might have the upper hand but the value here is on Real to qualify.

Back Real Madrid to Qualify @ $5.50

Bayern MunichvsChelsea
Sunday 9 August, 6:00am, Football Arena Munich
Bayern 4 (7) – Chelsea 1 (1)

FIRST LEG: Bayern Munich Won 3-0

Before the Champions League was put on pause, we had a very simple preview for this match that still largely holds true.

“Bayern’s performance in the first leg showed the gulf in class between the German champions-elect and the Premier League’s third or fourth best team.

It’s why even with a three goal advantage headed back to Munich, they will put in a business-like performance and ensure Chelsea is put to the sword in this contest.”

The only thing that might stop that storyline still playing out is the fact Bayern’s last properly competitive fixture came on July 5 in the German Cup Final which was a 4-2 win for the Bavarian side.

Chelsea not only lost the FA Cup Final last weekend but will be forced to go into this match without Cesar Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic and Pedro who all left the final with injuries.

It further depletes Chelsea’s playing stocks and it seems very unlikely they will be able to overturn this deficit and even win the second leg.

Back Bayern Munich HT/FT @ $2.05

BarcelonavsNapoli
Sunday 9 August, 6:00am, Camp Nou
Barcelona 3 (4) – Napoli 1 (2)

FIRST LEG: Match Drawn 1-1

If anyone was going to feel good about their chances to spring an upset in these Round of 16 ties, it would be Napoli.

They will feel hard done by only bringing a draw back to Barcelona after outplaying the Catalan club in the first leg.

It has been a rough spell for Barcelona, losing the La Liga title to Real Madrid but they have found a way to grind out results lately, picking up wins in four of their last five La Liga matches before the season ended in July.

Much like Ronaldo with Juventus, the only way they will really be able to get home is if their big name players fire here.

Thanks to Antoine Griezmann’s goal in the first leg, all they need to do is win in 90 minutes and they are through to the quarter finals.

Back Barcelona to Win (90 Minutes) @ $1.62


2019

Here we go!

The big boys of European football get ready for the knockout stages of the world’s biggest club competition as they chase one of the two spots in June’s final at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.

With the first legs in the books, some sides (Tottenham) find themselves in almost unassailable positions, taking massive leads into the return fixture, while other ties (Liverpool-Bayern) are very much in the balance.

One of the best parts of the second leg from a punting perspective is the “To Qualify” market becomes a potentially excellent value play, especially in the lower scoring matchups.

Head down to the Second Leg section for the rest of our previews and predictions for the rest of the Champions League Round of 16.

FIRST LEGS

RomavsPorto
Wednesday 13 February, 7:00am, Stadio Olimpico
Roma 2 – Porto 1

These two sides are not far removed from facing off in a qualifying tie for the Champions League.

Porto defeated Roma 4-1 on aggregate over two legs including a 3-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico in 2016 to seal that victory.

The Portuguese league leaders are bringing some strong form into this match, unbeaten in 90 minutes since October 7.

Roma on the other hand had an uneasy time in the group stage, winning three and losing three and will still have a 7-1 thumping from Fiorentina two weeks ago in the Coppa Italia fresh in their minds.

Even with that uneven form it is still very hard to back against Roma at home.

That squad showed last season they will show up on the biggest stage and should be able to head into the second leg with a lead.

Back Roma to Win @ $2.05

Manchester UnitedvsPSG
Wednesday 13 February, 7:00am, Old Trafford
Manchester United 0 – PSG 2

The French champions taking on perhaps the form side in England in what would be the pick of the ties most years but is just one of several now.

Under the stewardship of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United have won nine and drawn one, outscoring opponents 25-7 in that time and whatever shackles were holding the side back under Mourinho are well and truly gone.

This will be the biggest test for the Norwegian boss in his time with the club as they take on a star-studded PSG side that, even with Neymar out injured, is still an imposing opponent.

United will have to find a way to contain the likes of Kylian Mbappe and former club record signing Angel Di Maria.

PSG’s defence has kept 11 league clean sheets and two in the cup but has been breached in every Champions League match this season, so perhaps United’s best chance here is to turn this into a shootout and hope to take something back to Paris in three weeks.

Even so, PSG is just offering too much value to back against here and at that price have to be taken.

Back PSG to Win and Both Teams to Score @ 4.33

TottenhamvsDortmund
Thursday 14 February, 7:00am, Wembley Stadium
Tottenham 3 – Dortmund 0

If Tottenham want to play Champions Football in their new stadium this season, they will need to get by Dortmund in their Round of 16 clash.

That is no sure thing as two of Spurs’ key players look set to miss at least the first leg of this tie with Harry Kane and Dele Alli rehabbing from injuries.

They did survive a tough group with clashes against Barcelona and Inter Milan to just get to this point and Mauricio Pochettino can set his team up to get a result in big games like this.

A lot will fall on the shoulders of Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min to try and snatch a lead to take to Germany but that might just be a step too far.

Paco Alcacer has trailed off since his magnificent start to the season but will still be able to cause some trouble for the Spurs backline so overall this contest has the makings of a draw, which suits the German side very well.

Back the Draw @ $3.40

AjaxvsReal Madrid
Thursday 14 February, 7:00am, Johan Cruijff Arena
Ajax 1 – Real Madrid 2

The Eredivisie side have been crushing opponents on the home front this season, dropping points in just four of their 20 matches thus far and compiling a ridiculous +54 goal difference.

In Europe they have been just as free scoring, finding the back of the net in every group stage game after going through three qualifying rounds just to get to that point.

Madrid on the other hand are having a rough year… at least by their ridiculously lofty standards, but at least appear to have righted the ship in the new year.

With the talent that Madrid are putting out on the pitch, you have to feel like Ajax might get put to the sword here and a statement win for Real is on the cards.

Back Real Madrid to Win @ $1.91

LyonvsBarcelona
Wednesday 20 February, 7:00am, OL Stadium
Lyon 0 – Barcelona 0

Lyon faces Barcelona for the first time since March 2009 when the French side held out for a 1-1 draw at home before the Catalan giants crushed their opponents 5-2 at the Nou Camp.

In short, a repeat of that first leg would be fine for Lyon giving them something to take to Barcelona.

Lyon have won six of their last seven and will want to carry that form over to this one and have form against big sides, beating PSG in Ligue 1 on February 4.

Barcelona travels strongly, winning two and drawing the other group stage game away from home but are carrying some uneven form into this tie with just one win in its last five matches.

That win came on the weekend with a closer than expected 1-0 win over Valladolid however they do have the squad to flick the switch and really turn it on.

Even so, you have to like the value on offer for Lyon to pick up a result at home especially with the form they are in right now.

Back Lyon to Win/Draw Double Chance @ $2.05

LiverpoolvsBayern Munich
Wednesday 20 February, 7:00am, Anfield
Liverpool 0 – Bayern Munich 0

Since Bayern’s last outing in the Champions League (a 3-3 draw away to Ajax), Bayern has won eight of nine matches, scoring three or more in seven of those games.

That’s a big ask for a Liverpool defence to contain, especially when its leader Virgil Van Dijk will be missing from this game after picking up three yellow cards during the group stage.

The thing is, Liverpool have an attack more than capable of matching any output from Bayern here and this game has the makings of a real shootout.

The Both Teams to Score market has hit in six of Liverpool’s last eight and it would not be a surprise to see this game turn into a race to three goals to take back to Germany.

You would have to think the Reds will feel confident in their ability to keep a clean sheet in the second leg with their best defender here so back a high scoring encounter for this game as the Reds chase a win.

Back Over 3.5 Goals @ $2.45

Atletico MadridvsJuventus
Thursday 21 February, 7:00am, Estadio Metropolitano
Atletico Madrid 2 – Bayern Munich 0

One club had to draw the short straw of Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16 and that dubious honour fell to Juventus.

After battling for top spot in Group H, the Italian giants face another tough test travelling to the location of this year’s final for their first match since the 2014-2015 Group Stage.

Those two games were tense, low scoring encounters and it would not be at all surprising to see these legs play out in a similar fashion.

Both sides will bring some indifferent form into this game with some underwhelming performances, but it’s hard to look past Atletico’s unbeaten run at home in the group stage, winning every match by 2 goals.

One goal might be enough to win this tie but you have to like the value on offer for the Spanish side here.

Back Atletico to Win & Under 2.5 Goals @ $4.75

SchalkevsManchester City
Thursday 21 February, 7:00am, Arena AufSchalke
Schalke 2 – Manchester City 3

There’s a slight jump in class for Manchester City, playing at League Two side Newport in the weekend in the FA Cup before a Champions League knockout tie away to Schalke.

2019 has by and large been a great year for City so far with a number of massive wins and they would love to take the opportunity to blow this tie out of the water in the opening leg with a big away win.

This is the first time these teams have met since the 2008 Europa League Group Stage when City won 2-0 away to Schalke and a similar result is on the cards here.

Head to head there isn’t a lot of value on Manchester City so it’s worth having a deeper look into the markets to find a good value play.

In the Group Stage, City tallied 16 goals all up and they should be able to score at least 3 here to take a comfortable lead back to Manchester.

Back Manchester City to Score Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.05

SECOND LEGS

DortmundvsTottenham
Wednesday 6 March, 7:00am, BVB Stadion
Dortmund 0 – Tottenham 1

FIRST LEG: Tottenham won 3-0

With no Harry Kane and no Dele Alli, Tottenham flew to a 3-0 lead in the first leg and are in prime position to go through to the Champions League Quarter Finals for the first time since 2010/2011 (and the second time since Arsenal last did it).

It was the final 10 minutes of that first leg that really blew this tie wide open with goals to Jan Vertonghen and Fernando Llorente giving Spurs a massive buffer to take back to Germany.

The thing about Dortmund though, they are leading the Bundesliga for many reasons, one of which is a phenomenal attack that has plenty of scoring potential, so this lead is far from safe.

With just one League loss all season and an average of 2.48 goals per game in the league, scoring three is not out of the question, after all they have done it in their last four home games.

There is every chance Dortmund win this tie and find a way to make Tottenham nervous but a three goal deficit is just too much to pull back here so expect Dortmund to win the 90 minutes and a few goals flying in but Tottenham to advance.

Back Dortmund to Win the Second Leg & Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.70

Real MadridvsAjax
Wednesday 6 March, 7:00am, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid 1 – Ajax 4

FIRST LEG: Real Madrid won 2-1

On the back of two Classicos in the last seven days, Real Madrid will be very happy to have an aggregate lead and two away goals to defend here.

Especially since their form since the first leg in Amsterdam not being great, while their discipline has been pretty poor as well with a more red cards coming up and with captain Sergio Ramos suspended for this match

All that means is that Ajax are a decent chance of springing an upset here, which would surely rank as one of the most famous wins in recent memory for the Dutch club.

Ajax’s form since then has been superb with three massive wins in the league and a full week to prepare for this game while Madrid faces another draining La Liga match.

Every Round of 16 sees one massive side dropping out and with the value on offer for an Ajax upset, it is worth backing as Real Madrid have not looked anything like themselves lately.

Back Ajax to Qualify @ $6.50

PSGvsManchester United
Thursday 7 March, 7:00am, Parc des Princes
PSG 1 – Manchester United 3

FIRST LEG: PSG won 2-0

This tie had so much potential and then PSG went and essentially killed it off with their second goal at Old Trafford.

With the Ligue 1 title just about wrapped up, PSG can turn their attention to the elusive Champions League title knowing full well they have a chance to make a statement here.

United will be missing Paul Pogba after the French midfielders red card in the first leg which will further hamper their hopes of a comeback.

The result markets don’t offer a whole lot of value here, nor do the total markets especially as an early goal could see the sides shut things down with the result beyond a reasonable doubt.

It’s almost worth steering clear of but if you want to have a play in this game (thus giving you a reason to watch), look for Kylian Mbappe to extend his lead at the top of PSG’s goalscorer list.

Back Kylian Mbappe as an Anytime Goalscorer

PortovsRoma
Thursday 7 March, 7:00am, Estadio do Dragao
Porto 3 – Roma 1 (Extra Time)

FIRST LEG: Roma won 2-1

The first leg in Rome went about as well as it could have while still ending in defeat for Porto.

A 2-1 margin to overturn back in Portugal is certainly doable with plenty of goals coming at the Estadio do Dragao.

In the Group Stage Porto scored seven goals in its last two home games against Lokomotiv Moscow and Schalke.

Roma’s defence has been more than leaky with just one clean sheet in six Serie A matches so if Porto can find a way to score first then this tie gets very, very interesting.

From a value perspective, taking a side traditionally strong at home with an away goal in the bank and plenty of scoring potential is about as good of a play as you can get.

Back Porto to Qualify @ $2.50

JuventusvsAtletico Madrid
Wednesday 13 March, 7:00am, Allianz Stadium
Juventus 3 – Atletico Madrid 0

FIRST LEG: Atletico Madrid won 2-0

Not that it really needed another boost but there’s another test coming for Cristiano Ronaldo’s legacy here.

After joining the Italian giants to help them break their European drought they face a tough task to overturn a two goal deficit against Atletico Madrid.

Since losing the Madrid derby to Real, Atletico have now gone five games without conceding a goal, including the first leg of this tie.

If the visitors can get just one goal it makes Juventus’s task nearly impossible as they would then need to score four goals to advance.

There is no doubt there is plenty of attacking talent in the Italian side but four goals against a team that strong at the back is a massive ask.

For a value play, take Juventus to win the second leg and if you have confidence in their ability to keep a clean sheet then look for either the “Win to Nil” or “To Qualify” markets which offer a slightly higher price, but obviously takes on a higher risk.

Back Juventus to Win the Match @ $1.73

Manchester CityvsSchalke
Wednesday 13 March, 7:00am, Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 7 – Schalke 0

FIRST LEG: Manchester City won 3-2

At the moment City aren’t a lot of fun to bet on in the Premier League and in the case of this game against Schalke, there’s not a lot of joy to be found in the markets either.

The English side were given a real scare in the first leg conceding two penalties and seeing Nicolas Otamendi sent off with 20 minutes to go.

As City do though, they scored two late goals to take a lead back to the Etihad and are short priced favourites to win this match and go through to the quarter finals for the second straight season.

Schalke have not had a good run in the last five weeks, they are now winless in their last six games after losing to Werder Bremen on the weekend and have been kept scoreless on three occasions in that run.

That likely won’t happen here and City should win the match and the tie quite comfortable, the question is though, by how much?

To get any sort of value on Manchester City you have to back them at a sizeable handicap and while they could, I can’t bring myself to back them to win by three or more.

NO BETS

BarcelonavsLyon
Thursday 14 March, 7:00am, Camp Nou
Barcelona 5 – Lyon 1

FIRST LEG: Drew 0-0

A draining run for the La Liga leaders continues with a massive Champions League clash that, despite the odds, is still very much in the balance.

After the sides played out a fairly cagey draw in Lyon, the Catalan side needs a win here knowing a draw gets them to extra time at best (and only if this leg finishes 0-0).

It is highly unlikely that this game is going to be scoreless here although Lyon might have a tough time breaking down a Barcelona side that has conceded four goals in seven games since February 11.

From a value play perspective, as long as the odds for this stay above even money, it’s worth taking Barcelona to win to nil.

Back Barcelona to Win to Nil @ $2.10

Bayern MunichvsLiverpool
Thursday 14 March, 7:00am, Allianz Arena
Bayern Munich 1 – Liverpool 3

FIRST LEG: Drew 0-0

Bayern is coming into this game full of confidence, fresh off a 6-0 thrashing of Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.

Their domestic form has been nothing short of remarkable, winning six league games in a row with 11 goals in that time.

Liverpool’s form has been cause for plenty of concern with dropped points costing them their lead in the Premier League as their free flowing attack has been the definition of boom or bust.

Across all competitions Bayern has given up a grand total of one goal in its last four games so Liverpool will need to be firing in this one to have any chance of progressing.

It’s hard to look past Bayern and the rampant form they are in, although putting up another five or six here might not be realistic, instead just back them to win the game outright and book their spot in the final eight.

Back Bayern Munich to Win the Match @ $2.10