Champions League Round of 16 Preview and Tips

This coming week sees the second batch of four Champions League Round of 16 First Leg ties being played. This stage of the competition is spread over five weeks of action, with four of the eight games in each leg played one week, the remaining four the following week, with a one week break in between the two sets of games.

This allows the Europa league to play through two rounds of matches to ensure that from the quarterfinal stages, both tournaments are at the same stage in the competition.

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Last week’s matches were a mixed bag of results especially for the English teams in action as we will explore below.

Champions League Round of 16 First Leg Results- Week One

  • Manchester United 0-2 Paris St Germain (Kimpembe 53, Mbappe 60)
  • AS Roma 2-1 FC Porto (Zainolo 70,76), (Lopez 79)
  • Tottenham 3-0 Borussia Dortmund (Son 47, Vertonghen 83, Llorente 86)
  • Ajax 1-2 Real Madrid (Ziyech 75), (Benzema 60, Asensio 87)

As you can see it was a great week for PSG, who went to Old Trafford and came away with a very convincing 2-0 win over Manchester United, and Tottenham, who thumped Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund 3-0 at Wembley thanks to a superb second half display. AS Roma were winners over FC Porto in a tie that is still very open heading into the second leg, while Real Madrid will be happy to be taking a 2-1 lead into the home leg after a tough game away to Ajax.

The main talking point at the evening however came from the Ajax – Real Madrid game where an Ajax goal was ruled out using VAR in what seemed to be a very tough call for the home side, with the decision neither being obvious nor particularly clear. Real Madrid fans will argue the correct decision was made, but there’s no doubt that without VAR intervening, the goal would have stood.

Champions League Round of 16 First Leg – Week Two

The final four games in the Round of 16 first leg phase take place across Tuesday and Wednesday this week with each game kicking off at 8pm in the evening. We have previewed each of the games below and given you our view on how we see each game going, together with any other bets we feel may be worth a flutter on for the four matches.

Tuesday 19th February

Liverpool v Bayern Munich

This could well be one of the best matches of the round with last season’s beaten finalists lining up against a team that seemingly makes the quarterfinal stage of this tournament every year without fail. The Reds are a better team than last season and have home advantage and there’s no doubt that Bayern, who were 3-2 winners at Augsburg at the weekend, are dangerous going forward but also have defensive issues too.

I see this game as being a close one and history suggests a draw is the most likely result, which would suit Bayern more than Liverpool, but I feel the home side, with that Anfield atmosphere roaring them on, will be ready to give that Bayern back line some major problems and if that is the case, I fancy them to take a narrow lead into what should be a cracking second leg in three weeks time at the Allianz Arena.

Full Time Score Tip – Liverpool to win – 21/20

Correct Score Tip – Liverpool 2-1 Bayern Munich – 15/2

Anytime Goalscorer Tip – Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – 8/5

Lyon v Barcelona

These two teams have been amongst the most entertaining in the Champions League this season, with Lyon involved in some fantastic and high-scoring games throughout the group stage, as have Barcelona and that all points to the defensive side of the game not being the main priority for either side in Tuesday nights clash at the Groupama Stadium.

I can see Lyon scoring at least once, if not twice in this game but the problem is I have no confidence that they can keep Barcelona’s outstanding attack, led as always by the brilliant Lionel Messi, out at the other end. Indeed, I can see Barcelona’s counter-attacking skills leading them to a narrow victory on the night which should put them in a very solid position for the second leg at the Nou Camp.

Full Time Score Tip – Barcelona to win – 4/5

Correct Score Tip – Lyon 2-3 Barcelona – 18/1

Anytime Goalscorer Tip – Nabil Fekir (Lyon) – 15/8

Wednesday 20th February

Atletico Madrid v Juventus

Of all the ties in this round of the competition, this one strikes me as being the most difficult one to call, not just in terms of which team will progress, but also how the two games between the teams will go. Both have some outstanding attacking talent available to them but also both teams are built on rock-solid defensive foundations that have been the cornerstone of their success for many years.

As such, this is a game that I think will go right down to the wire in the second leg and I would not be surprised if extra time or even penalties are needed in Turin to decide the winner. As for this game, I can see both teams scoring but only the one goal and as such, a score draw is likely the best option to back here.

Full Time Score Tip – Draw – 21/10

Correct Score Tip – Atletico Madrid 1-1 Juventus – 9/2

Anytime Goalscorer Tip – Antoine Griezmann (Atletico) – 6/4

Schalke 04 v Manchester City

It’s fair to say that of the 16 teams remaining in the competition, Schalke 04 were widely viewed as being the weakest of them all and it was Manchester City, arguably one of the strongest teams left in the tournament, that drew the German side who are struggling in the Bundesliga near the foot of the table.

City haven’t reached their best form in this tournament as yet this season and that will perhaps embolden Schalke but I think now City are flying and as such, I am expecting them to not only progress from this tie but to win both legs relatively comfortably, starting with a comparatively straightforward victory on Wednesday night.

Full Time Score Tip – Man City to win – 2/7

Correct Score Tip – Schalke 04 0-3 Manchester City – 13/2

Anytime Goalscorer Tip – Raheem Sterling (Man City) – 11/10

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