Champions League Round of 16 First Leg Preview And Tips

This week, we see action resume in the two big European competitions. We start off on Tuesday and Wednesday with the first four games in the Champions League Round of 16 First Leg ties, with the second set of these games involving four different teams taking place next week.

Then on Thursday, we will see the Europa League Round of 32 first leg ties played across Europe, with the second leg of those ties played next week. Obviously, there are a lot more games to enjoy in the Europa League (16 in all) but the quality of games is certainly higher in the more prestigious Champions League tournament.

In this article, we are going to preview the four ties this week and take a look at how we think each of the ties will stand heading into the second leg, which will take place on the 9th and 10th March.

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Let’s now take a look ahead to the games this week in the Champions League, where we will play through four of the eight Champions League Round of 16 first leg fixtures, with the remaining four games in this section of the round taking place next week.

Champions League Fixtures

Tuesday 16th February

Red Bull Leipzig v Liverpool

Due to the restrictions on travel to Germany, this game will be played at a neutral venue at the Puskas Arena in Hungary. That’s a little unfortunate for Red Bull Leipzig who now get to face the 2019 Champions League Champions somewhere different to their home patch.

Not that this will concern Julian Nagelsmann too much. The Reds have not been in particularly good form of late and have suffered a number of defeats, particularly at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp will know that his team is going to have to step things up markedly from their level of performances so far.

Leipzig lie second in the Bundesliga with 41 points from 20 games, seven adrift of Bayern Munich who are top of the table. They have the best defensive record in the German league, conceding just 17 goals and they are certain to give Liverpool a real test. It is worth noting that they have beaten Manchester United and Paris St Germain in this competition this season.

With Liverpool’s makeshift back line, that could be a worry against a very decent Leipzig attack, but having the game on Neutral ground may well help the Reds considerably here and I think they will still be in this contest when we head back to Anfield in three week’s time.

Our Tip – Red Bull Leipzig 1-1 Liverpool – 13/2

Barcelona v Paris St Germain

There’s no doubt that this new Barcelona team does not have the quality that some of the other Barcelona sides of the past have had. Ronald Koeman’s team lie third in La Liga but have lost four of their 21 league games, although they have won five of their last six games.

Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann are their main attacking threats but defensively the team has changed a great deal over the last few years, and it is in this part of the team that they have struggled in the main.

PSG are third in Ligue 1 which is an unusual position for them, but they are just three places off the top of the table. They have scored the most (55) and conceded the fewest (14) goals in the French League as well as topping their Champions League group to earn this shot at a Barcelona side that they have history within this competition.

With Neymar likely to miss out through injury, PSG will be hoping Mbappe is fit and ready to go against the Spanish aces. This should be a cracking game and one that I think will see both teams still with an interest in the tie when they meet up again in Paris for the second leg.

Our Tip – Barcelona 2-1 Paris St Germain – 8/1

Wednesday 17th February

Sevilla v Borussia Dortmund

Fresh from beating Barcelona 2-0 in the Copa del Rey, Sevilla won’t be too fazed about taking on Borussia Dortmund at home. The Spanish side have an excellent home record and they lie fourth in the La Liga table, just a point behind Barcelona above them and nine off the pacesetters Atletico Madrid.

Defender Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos are rated one of the best defensive pairings in Europe, while on loan striker Ciro Immobile and ex-Barcelona midfield Ivan Rakitic are a genuine threat against any team. Immobile spent last season on loan at tonight’s opponents.

Dortmund lie 6th in the Bundesliga and they have lost eight games already this season. That’s very disappointing for a team many expected to be chasing Bayern Munich for the title. Erling Haaland is their main threat in attack, but it is defensively they have struggled conceding 29 goals this season, although they did finish top of Group F.

I have to admit that I am not convinced by Dortmund. For all the talent they have, they are very poor at times and I think Sevilla, while not as talented are a much better all round team and I think they will take a lead into the second leg in Germany.

Our Tip – Sevilla 2-0 Borussia Dortmund – 11/1

FC Porto v Juventus

Porto lie second in the Portuguese league eight points behind Sporting Lisbon and they face a very tough task against a Juventus side who are third in Serie A, seven points behind Milan but with a game in hand.

Porto do have some experience in their team, namely in ex-Real Madrid defender Pepe and striker Marega and they are a threat at home. However, I think when you view the two teams in terms of quality, the Italian side look to have much the better of things.

Juventus though are not in the best of form at the moment and they have found goals tough to come by at times. Cristiano Ronaldo though has a love affair with this competition and the fact he is fit and ready to play, assuming he comes through the weekend game for Juventus, is a huge plus for them.

This will be close and I don’t see too many goals, but I think Juventus will grab the tie by the horns here and take a narrow lead into the second leg in Italy.

Our Tip – FC Porto 0-1 Juventus – 11/2

*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 11.05am on Thursday 11th February,

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