Champions League Round of 16 Preview And Tips

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This week across Europe, the three big UEFA club competitions get back underway with most interest on the four Champions League Round of 16 ties taking place on the 15th and 16th February (Kick off 8pm UK Time).

There are just four games taking place this week, with the other four first leg ties taking place next week. There is then a week’s break before the teams contest the second leg ties over the next two weeks in early March.

The reason the fixtures are split in this way is because the Europa League and Europa Conference League have an extra set of games to play this season, the Playoff games, which will decide which eight teams progress into their Round of 16 ties, which will be played in early March.

This means that all four competitions will then be at the same stage when we reach the quarterfinal stage of each tournament.

However, this opening week of games in the Round of 16 is intriguing as we have at least of the five big favourites to win the Champions League competing in those games, as well as a number of true European giants clashing in what should be some cracking ties.

As always, you can enjoy betting on these games with bet365 Sport, with extensive Live In Play betting available on the site in addition to the wide range of pre-match markets available in the run up to the games.

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Let’s now preview each of the big games this week in the Champions League and give you our tips for each.

Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg Ties

All games kick off at 8pm and the second leg of these ties will be played in three weeks time. All odds shown were correct at the time of writing but may have changed in the meantime and were available at bet365 Sport.

Tuesday 15th February

  • Paris St Germain v Real Madrid

These two teams are very much amongst those in the discussion for potential winners of the trophy. PSG have targeted the Champions League for many years now with no success, whereas Real Madrid have won the trophy more than any other team.

What is different between the two teams though is that PSG have been built to win this trophy this season. Adding the likes of Lionel Messi to a squad already packed with world class talent including Neymar and Kylian Mbappe was a clear indication that PSG want this trophy more than any other.

Real are in a slightly different position as they are a team that is in the process of rebuilding but they are a team where expectations are so high that winning the Spanish League and doing well in the Champions League is expected by the Madrid faithful.

Karim Benzema has taken over a lead role in the team but I do feel their defence is lacking some quality players in central areas and that could be a problem, especially in this away leg in Paris.

With away goals now no longer part of the rules for the competition, scoring isn’t so important for away teams, but I think Real will have a lot to do when the home leg between these two is played in a couple of week’s time.

Correct Score Tip – Paris St Germain 2-0 Real Madrid – 10/1

  • Sporting Lisbon v Manchester City

Manchester City remain the bookmakers favourites to win the Champions League this season and the consensus after the draw was made was that they got one of the easier draws available against Sporting Lisbon.

The Portuguese side are second in the table domestically, behind FC Porto, who lost twice to Liverpool in the group stages, so it would be a surprise if City cannot get the job done here against a team that do not have the resources of some of the other teams in this competition.

That’s not to say Lisbon don’t have talent. They do have the likes of Pablo Sarabia, Seb Coates, Nuno Santos and Ibrahim Slimani, but they don’t really match the quality of what Manchester City can put out on the field.

Having been thrashed at home by Ajax in the group stages I think Sporting are in for another difficult evening here as I am expecting City to come away with a very solid win ahead of what should be a comfortable home leg in three week’s time.

Correct Score Tip – Sporting Lisbon 1-3 Manchester City – 10/1

Wednesday 16th February

  • Red Bull Salzburg v Bayern Munich

These teams have met in the Champions League relatively recently, but Salzburg’s team has changed a great deal since their 3-1 and 6-2 defeats to the German side. Bayern’s team has remained largely intact but the feeling of invincibility has waned somewhat since.

Bayern lost at the weekend to Vfl Bochum in the Bundesliga, but they have been perfect in the Champions League, scoring 22 goals in the process, the most in the competitions Group Stages of any team.

Certainly, Salzburg will be ready to put up a fight, but this is one of the youngest teams in the tournament and you can only feel that they are going to struggle against a team as talented and experienced as Bayern, who of course won this trophy just a couple of years ago.

So, I think Salzburg will score a goal here, but I would be hugely surprised if Munich’s powerhouse team don’t just overpower the Austrian side and land another big win. They may not get six goals on the road as they did a couple of years ago, but I think 4 is a good number to bet on.

Correct Score Tip – Red Bull Salzburg 1-4 Bayern Munich – 14/1

  • Inter Milan v Liverpool

These two teams have only met four times and Liverpool have won three of those, including the most recent two games. The Reds also won all six of their group games to earn top spot in a tough group and their performances in this competition have been excellent so far this season.

Inter finished second behind Real Madrid in their group but they are top of Serie A, however I do feel that this Inter team is nowhere near as strong as other teams that have represented the club over the last few years.

They are still a dangerous team and I think Liverpool probably won’t keep a clean sheet in the game, but in truth that didn’t matter a great deal in the Group Stage as their attack has scored plenty of goals throughout the tournament and with so many players back to full fitness, I fancy the visitors to take a win here.

I can’t see Liverpool scoring lots of goals but I think they will do just enough to claim a 2-1 win on the night.

Correct Score Tip – Inter Milan 1-2 Liverpool – 8/1

Check back here next week when we will look at the next set of four First Leg games coming up on the 22nd and 23rd February.

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