We’ve had a World Cup and two months of domestic action since the last round of European competition, but the action returns this week with the knockout phase in all three competitions, beginning Tuesday & Wednesday nights with four of the eight Champions League Round of 16 first leg ties.

The other four first leg ties will be played next week, due to the fact that in the Europa League and Europa Conference League, we have the Knockout Round playoff between the eight teams that dropped out of the Champions League into the Europa League and the Europa League into the Europa Conference League, plus the teams that finished second in their qualifying groups.

The eight group winners are waiting in the Round of 16 for the winners of the playoff games in both the Europa and Europa Conference League and over the next five weeks, all the playoff and Round of 16 games will be played across four game weeks, while the Champions League Round of 16 will also be spread across four game weeks to ensure that by the quarter final stage, all competitions are at the same point.

Of course, with the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League knockout phases starting this week, the games are going to come thick and fast over the next four or five weeks or so, and you can enjoy a wealth of betting on every game in all competitions with bet365 Sport.

And don’t forget the site’s extensive In Play betting service is available on all games once they are under way too.

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So let’s take a look ahead now to the first set of Champions League Round of 16 first leg ties due to take place this week.

Champions League Round of 16 – 1st Leg Ties

Tuesday 14th February

  • AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspurs

It’s fair to say both these teams are misfiring a little at the moment, with Milan losing three of their last five and Spurs losing three of their last five, including a 4-1 thrashing at Leicester this past weekend, which was compounded by a worrying injury to midfielder Rodrigo Betancur, who is now a doubt for this game.

It is always tricky to call a game when both sides come into it in somewhat mixed form, but I have to say that Spurs away form is a huge worry for me here and it is why I am going to play it safer with this pick for what is a tricky game to call.

As such, take the odds available on any Milan win in this game, which are 13/8 with bet365 Sport.

  • Paris St Germain v Bayern Munich

When PSG dropped to second in their Champions League group, they knew that they could be drawn against a big gun and so it proved with Bayern coming out of the hat to produce a game which was good enough to be a final in this competition a few years back.

Both teams have changed a bit since then and while PSG continue to run away with the Ligue 1 title, Bayern have found things a bit tougher this season, but still top the Bundesliga by a point. However, both were very much amongst the favourites for this competition when the tournament began.

PSG will know they need a good performance at home ahead of the trip to Munich and I think that they will get it. This will be a close one though so I am backing PSG to win here at 15/8 with bet365.

Wednesday 15th February

  • Borussia Dortmund v Chelsea

With seven straight wins in all competitions, Dortmund come into this game in great form, while Chelsea find themselves struggling a little with just one win in their last eight games having drawn their last three Premier League games. Momentum, it seems, is very much with the German side here.

Of course, much will be made of Jude Bellingham’s performance for Dortmund and the Englishman is likely to be a key figure here as will all Chelsea’s big money transfer window signings although whether they will be enough to get something here I am not so sure.

I would back Dortmund to win this one and Chelsea to score a goal which is 15/4 with bet365.

  • Club Brugge v Benfica

Now managed by Scott Parker, Club Brugge were one of the surprise stars of the Knockout Phase finishing comfortably ahead of Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid to finish second behind FC Porto in Group B. Benfica though proved they are not a team to be underestimated either as they topped Group H, beating PSG to top spot.

Brugge’s recent form is not that great however, with five draws in their last six while Benfica have won four of their last five and have lost just once in the Portuguese league this season.

My tip here is to back Benfica to win and both teams to score which is 11/4 with bet365 Sport.

Europa League Knockout Phase Playoffs 1st Leg

Thursday 16th February

  • Ajax v Union Berlin
  • Barcelona v Manchester United
  • Bayer Leverkusen v AS Monaco
  • FC Salzburg v AS Roma
  • Juventus v Nantes
  • Sevilla v PSV Eindhoven
  • Shakhtar Donetsk v Rennes
  • Sporting Lisbon v Midtjylland

Already Qualified for the Round of 16 – Arsenal, Fenerbahce, Real Betis, Union Saint-Gilloise, Real Sociedad, Feyenoord, SC Freiburg, Ferencvaros

There’s no doubt that the Barcelona v Manchester United tie is the eye-catcher in the playoffs here. Both teams trying to get back to the top of their respective leagues, this game has twice been a Champions League final in the past.

Barcelona have won all their last ten games, but United have lost just once in 14 matches, to EPL leaders Arsenal. So this should be a very close contest and my top Europa League tip this week is for the two to earn a deserved draw here at 16/5 with bet365.

Europa Conference League Knockout Phase Playoffs 1st Leg

Thursday 16th February

  • AEK Larnaca v Dnipro-1
  • Bodo Glimt v Lech Poznan
  • Braga v Fiorentina
  • FK Qarabag v Gent
  • Lazio v CFR Cluj
  • Ludogorets Razgrad v Anderlecht
  • Sheriff Tiraspol v Partizan Belgrade
  • Trabzonspor v FC Basel

Already Qualified for the Round of 16 – Istanbul Basaksehir, West Ham, Villarreal, Nice, AZ Alkmaar, Djurgarden, Sivasspor, Slovan Bratislava

The third competition in Europe lacks the stars of the top two tournaments but there are some very good bets on offer here.

I particularly like the look of Braga to beat Fiorentina, with the Portuguese side 29/20 to beat the Italians at home on Thursday.

Another good bet is the in-form Gent to beat FK Qarabag, which is a 23/10 shot with bet365 Sport.

Join me again next week when we will have the second set of Champions League Round of 16 first leg ties, as well as the second leg from the playoff ties in the other two competitions.