Key Matchups And Tips For This Week’s Big UEFA Games

It is another busy week in the UEFA competitions across Europe with the next batch of UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg ties to be completed, along with the second leg of the Europa League’s Round of 32 clashes being played to a close.

Last week saw a generally positive set of results for British teams across Europe. Liverpool earned a 2-0 win against Red Bull Leipzig in the Champions League, while Tottenham, Rangers and Manchester United all recorded excellent wins on the road in the Europa League. Arsenal and Leicester also landed decent results, both picking up draws away from home in the same competition.

All those Europa League teams will be in action once again this week, joined by Manchester City and Chelsea in the Champions League and of course, with plenty of interest in all these games plus others not involving British teams, there’s likely to be a fair bit of money bet on these games.

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Let’s now take a look ahead to the big games coming up this week across Europe’s top competitions, as well as our tips for each one. Kick off time is 8pm unless otherwise stated.

UEFA Champions League

Tuesday 23rd February

  • Atletico Madrid v Chelsea

Chelsea have happy memories of a win at the Wanda Metropolitano a few season’s back and their good form under Thomas Tuchel will give them some belief here. Atletico lead La Liga at the moment and with Luis Suarez in great form, he will likely be Chelsea’s biggest threat. This will be close but I just see Atletico edging this one and taking a narrow lead into the second leg. Tip – Atletico to win (31/20)

  • Lazio v Bayern Munich

Last season, this would have been an easy Bayern win tip. At the moment though, Bayern have been struggling for form domestically. The problem is, Lazio have lost two of the last four and I am not sure they have the quality to cause Bayern too many problems. This won’t be an easy win for the Germans, but they should land the victory. Tip – Bayern Munich to win (4/6).

Wednesday 24th February

  • Atalanta v Real Madrid

For me, this is the game where there could be an upset this week. Real have won their last four in La Liga, but they have looked far from a tp Champions League side this season. Atalanta are young and showed at Anfield that they can beat the big teams. They score plenty of goals too and I am backing this exciting young side to take a lead into the second leg in Spain. Tip – Atalanta to win (6/4).

  • Borussia Monchengladbach v Manchester City

Borussia’s last win in the Bundesliga was back on the 22nd January and that is not ideal preparation for facing a Manchester City side that has gone 17 games unbeaten, winning all of them, in all competitions. City look the dominant force in the Premier League at the moment. It’s now the time for Pep Guardiola’s team to extend that into Europe starting with a win here. Tip – Manchester City to win (4/11).

UEFA Europa League

Thursday 25th February

  • Tottenham (4) v (1) Wolfsberger AC (5pm)

Spurs strolled to a 4-1 away leg win in Austria in the first leg. Bale, Son, Moura and Vinicius grabbing a goal each in a comfortable win for the English side. Wolfsberger have won more Europa League away games than they have lost (four to three) but this looks to be a very difficult task against a Spurs side with home advantage and so much quality. Tip – Tottenham to win (1/4).

  • Arsenal (1) v (1) Benfica (5.55pm)

Arsenal will be happy with a goal and a draw from the first leg in Portugal, but that is by no means the job done. Benfica have beaten Arsenal in London before in European competition and they are more than capable of doing so again. That said, I feel with home advantage, the Gunners should just about have the edge and may just sneak the win in what will likely be another tight game. Tip – Arsenal to win (evens).

  • Rangers (4) v (3) Antwerp (5.55pm)

This was a fantastic game in Belgium in the first leg and I don’t think this tie is anywhere near over. Rangers have the advantage, but Antwerp showed that they are more than capable of matching the Scottish league leaders over 90 minutes. I expect a nervy 90 minutes here and perhaps a draw this time, with Rangers just about doing enough to progress. Tip – Draw (16/5).

  • Leicester (0) v (0) Slavia Prague

After drawing 0-0 in the Czech Republic, the Foxes are the bookies favourites to win the second leg at the King Power Stadium, but this is the game where I feel an upset could be on the cards. Leicester’s home form isn’t great, and Slavia have proven to be tough competitors in Europe over the last few years, especially on the road. I have a sneaky feeling this one could end all square with Slavia perhaps sneaking through on away goals. Tip – Draw (29/10).

  • Manchester United (4) v (0) Real Sociedad

A comfortable and comprehensive win for United in Spain has made this second leg something of a formality for the Red Devils. Sociedad will want to prove that they are not as poor a side as the first leg score suggests and I expect a tighter game at Old Trafford here, but even so, United should still have more than enough quality to land another win here. Tip – Man Utd to win (4/5)

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