Champions League Betting Preview

 

Juventus – Tottenham

Two excellent defensive sides meet on Tuesday evening and with this being the first leg of a European knockout tie, we expect a cagey encounter

Tottenham Hotspur head to Italy to face Juventus in the Champions League after an excellent weekend win in the north London derby. Their opponents are likely to provide sterner opposition than Arsenal did on Saturday, with the Italian champions boasting a stunning home record.

Indeed, Lazio are on the only team in all competitions to have won a game at the Allianz Stadium since August 2015 and Spurs know they are in for a serious test on Tuesday. Given their vastly superior European experience and their exceptional home record, Juve are rightly clear favourites.

Spurs, however, have shown themselves to be capable of competing with the continent’s best and are very capable of keeping things tight on Tuesday evening. The hosts will also be desperate to keep a clean sheet and avoid conceding an away goal meaning there is every chance of a low-scoring game on Tuesday evening.

Possible Lineups

Team News:

The hosts will be without a number of key players as Andrea Barzagli, Juan Cuadrado, Douglas Costa and Blaise Mautuidi are all set to miss the visit of the north Londoners.

Paulo Dybala is also a doubt for the game with a hamstring problem.

Spurs are without centre-back Toby Aldeweireld, who has not travelled to Turin.

Stats:

Juventus are undefeated in 19 of their last 21 matches (UEFA Champions League).
Tottenham have won 6 of their last 7 matches (UEFA Champions League).
Tottenham have been winning at both half time and full timein 5 of their last 7 matches (UEFA Champions League).
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 7 of Tottenham‘s last 8 games (UEFA Champions League).
Tottenham have scored at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 matches (UEFA Champions League).
There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Juventus‘s last 3games (UEFA Champions League).

 

Prediction:

Under 2.5 goals is priced at , although for slightly higher odds, opposing both teams to score at is appealing.

Both of these teams boast extremely strong defensive units and there is every chance that one of them will keep a clean sheet.

Furthermore, this selection paid out in four of Juve’s six games in the group stages of the tournament.

Juventus extended their fine run of form with a solid 2-0 win at Fiorentina on Friday night and are brimming with confidence as they welcome Tottenham to Turin. The Italian side have conceded just one goal in their last 16 matches, though Tottenham will look to break their defensive resolve.

Spurs secured a morale boosting 1-0 win over north London rivals Arsenal in Saturday’s early kick off, though their away form leaves little to the imagination. They’ve failed to win in three on the road and have won only two of their last eight matches away from home.

A single goal could decide this one and considering their solid defence, Juventus may edge the first leg.

 

Basel – Manchester City

With Guardiola’s men in irresistible form, Al Hain-Cole expetcs them to prove far too strong for a Swiss side that has lost two of its key players

Manchester City are aiming to take control of their Champions League last 16 clash against Basel when they travel to St-Jakob Park for Tuesday’s first leg.

Boasting a surely unassailable lead at the top of the Premier League, Pep Guardiola’s men must be determined to prove their quality at the very highest European level.

Despite their long injury list and talk of fatigue taking its toll on a depleted squad, Guardiola’s men were still able to easily thrash Leicester City 5-1 in Sunday’s Premier League clash.

That performance should have set off loud alarm bells for Basel, who have lost two of their best players since the group stages and went down 1-0 to Lugano in their most recent home game.

Possible Lineups

Team News:

Raphael Wicky lost the services of Manuel Akanji and Renato Steffen after both moved to Germany in the January transfer window, while Luca Zuffi is doubtful for this clash due to injury.

Leroy Sane remains sidelined for the Citizens, who will also be missing Benjamin Mendy, Gabriel Jesus and Fabian Delph. David Silva is also a doubt.

Stats:

  • This will be the first competitive meeting between Basel and Manchester City.
  • Basel have also won four of their last five Champions League games (L1), as many wins as in their previous 22 games in the competition (D6 L12).
  • Manchester City have won only one of their six away games in the Champions League knockout stages (D1 L4), it was against Dynamo Kiev in February 2016 (3-1). They’ve also never kept a clean sheet in those six games.
  • Basel have averaged 39 per cent possession in this season’s Champions League, the lowest ratio among the 16 teams left in the competition.
  • Raheem Sterling has scored four goals in five Champions League appearances this season, already his most prolific campaign to date.
  • Pep Guardiola has won the Champions League on two occasions as a manager (2009 & 2011, both with Barcelona). A third trophy would equal Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley’s record. He’s also reached the semi-finals in seven of his eight previous seasons as manager but hasn’t made the final since 2011.

Prediction:

Bound to be fully motivated as they look to put one foot in the quarter-finals, odds of seem generous on an in-form City winning by at least two goals for their third away game in for in this season’s competition.

  • This is Basel’s third appearance in the Champions League round of 16. In the 2011/12 campaign they beat Bayern Munich 1-0 in the home leg before being trounced 7-0 in Germany.
  • Basel have already beaten one Manchester side this season, overcoming Manchester United 1-0 at home in December during the group stage.
  • However, Manchester City are firm favourites and Pep Guardiola will want to put the game to bed in Switzerland on Tuesday. Away from home, they have only won two of their last five in all competitions but it would be a real shock if they didn’t beat Basel here.

Real Madrid – PSG

Real Madrid clinched unprecedented back to back Champions League trophies last season as they continued their utter dominance of Europe, but this season there are cracks starting to show in their star studded squad.

In fact, despite it only being February, the Champions League looks like their only realistic chance of winning silverware this season. They were shockingly knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Leganes in January, and they currently lie 3rd in La Liga with a huge 16 point deficit on Barcelona at the top.

It’s hard to remember a time when Real Madrid were so poor throughout the season to be honest. They do still show glimpses of their former dominance, such as their 5-2 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday and a 7-1 thrashing of Deportivo in January, but apart from that they seem to be struggling far too often.

That win against Real Sociedad on Saturday makes it four wins, three draws, and two defeats in their last nine competitive games, and the fact they finished behind Tottenham in their Champions League group shows that their downturn in form isn’t limited to domestic football. Even at the Bernabeu they look increasingly fragile. They have lost three of their last six home games in all competitions, winning just twice and being on the end of a humiliating 3-0 loss in El Classico during that run. PSG will definitely fancy their chances against Los Blancos on Wednesday.

PSG have been in sensational form this season and have won 14 of their last 15 competitive games. They won five of their six group games in the Champions League, including a 3-0 win over PSG, and scored a total of 20 goals in these six matches.

Away from home they have lost three times this season in total, drawing twice and winning all of the other 16 games. Considering Real Madrid have lost three of their last six at home, backing a PSG Draw No Bet looks a great choice here, along with a 2-1 correct score predictions.

Possible Lineups

Team News:

Daniel Carvajal is suspended for the first leg, giving Zinedine Zidane a real problem at right-back up against Neymar. Nacho is expected to deputise rather than Achraf Hakimi. Casemiro was rested at the weekend and will return to the starting XI on Wednedsay, while the same is also true of Gareth Bale.

Edinson Cavani didn’t feature for Paris Saint-Germain at the weekend but it would be a real surprise if injury forces him out of the first leg in Madrid. Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti and Layvin Kurzawa are expected to return for the away side at the Bernabeu after sitting out at the weekend. Dani Alves and Thomas Meunier compete for a starting spot at right-back, while Angel di Maria will have to settle for a place on the bench. Giovani Lo Celso has played well in midfield and it would be a surprise if Unai Emery dropped him in favour of Thiago Motta or Lassana Diarra.

Stats:

  • Kylian Mbappe has scored in 83% of his Champions League knockout appearances, scoring an average of 0.83 goals per game in the Champions League in total.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 1.5 goals per game on average in the Champions League this season.
  • Real Madrid have lost 50% of their last six home games in all competitions, winning just 33% of the time.
  • PSG have won 76% of their away games this season, losing just 14% of them.
  • There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 18 of Real Madrid‘s last 19 games (UEFA Champions League)
  • There have been over 2.5 goals scored in PSG‘s last 13games (UEFA Champions League)

Predictions:

  • The Champions League represents the last opportunity for Real Madrid to salvage their season. Out of contention in the league and already eliminated in the Copa del Rey, Zinedine Zidane needs to win an unprecedented third successive European title to have any hope of remaining Madrid boss beyond the end of the season.
  • Unai Emery will also be judged on his performances in Europe this season. PSG are expected to complete a clean sweep of all domestic trophies in France but the season will still be deemed a disappointment if they do not go far in the Champions League. Neymar could really announce himself as the world’s best player with an inspired performance over these two legs.
  • The form shown by both teams this season makes PSG the clear favourites on paper. However, they have struggled to make the transition from a side that dominates domestically to a giant of European football. Madrid, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last 18 Champions League home matches since tasting defeat to Schalke in March 2015.
  • We’re also opting for a couple of anytime goalscorer predictions. Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t had the best of seasons but still has 11 La Liga goals to his name, in addition to a huge nine in the Champions League. The Portuguese star is a Champions League specialist and is way out in front of the top scorer charts with 114 goals, so he looks a great choice.
  • We’re also backing Kylian Mbappe to find the net. The youngster has ten goals in his 12 Champions League appearances and scored in five of his six knockout stage appearances with Monaco last season.

 

Porto – Liverpool

Porto were drawn in what many thought would be a wide open Champions League group this season, with the teams alongside them all being of a similar quality.

Three of all points came in the final group game, with a 5-2 win over Monaco at home seeing them put in one of their best performances of the competition. They also beat the French side 3-0 away from home, and took a 3-1 win away from a home match with RB Leipzig. They will definitely feel like they have a chance against Liverpool.

Porto haven’t lost a single competitive match since the group stages ended either, winning 12 of their 14 matches and taking themselves to 2nd in the Primeira Liga, just a point behind leaders Benfica. However, during this time they haven’t faced a side of Liverpool’s quality, and this will be a huge test for them.

The visitors are in fine form at the moment as well, beating Southampton at the weekend to make it seven wins from their last ten competitive matches. They have endured difficult defeats to Swansea and West Brom recently, but they tend to pick it up when complacency isn’t an issue.

These high scoring games are typical of Liverpool’s season so far, and a huge ten of their last 12 competitive games have seen at least three goals. Their last 12 games away from home have yielded the same amount of high scoring games, and considering five of Porto’s six Champions League group games saw at least three goals, backing Over 2.5 Goals here looks a great bet.

Possible Lineups

 

Team News:
Felipe is suspended, while Ivan Marcano is a doubt, though should be fit to start alongside Diego Reyes at the heart of the FC Porto defence. Vincent Aboubakar, Danilo Pereira and Andre Andre will all be assessed ahead of kick off. FC Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao may start his side in a 4-4-2 formation here.

Emre Can is suspended for Liverpool, with Jordan Henderson in line to replace the German in what could be Jurgen Klopp’s only change to the side that started the 2-0 win at Southampton. Joe Gomez is a doubt for the visitors, while Nathaniel Clyne is unlikely to feature as he steps up his recovery from injury.

Stats:

Liverpool have scored at least 3 goals in their last 4 matches (UEFA Champions League).
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 7 of Liverpool‘s last 8 games (UEFA Champions League).
Liverpool are undefeated in their last 10 matches (UEFA Champions League).
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 5 of Porto‘s last 6 games (UEFA Champions League).
Porto have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 3 home matches against Liverpool in all competitions.

 

Predictions:

  • FC Porto maintained their fine form with a 4-0 win at Chaves over the weekend and have dropped points on just four occasions this season. They won only three of their Champions League matches, however, though two of those three came at home.
  • Liverpool have won two of their last three matches and came through the group stage of the Champions League relatively unscathed winning three of six matches and drawing the other three. They landed a 1-1 draw with Porto the last time they faced their Portuguese counterparts in Porto in the Champions League back in 2007.
  • This is a tough one to call. Porto have won their last eight at home, but Liverpool are impressive on their day. Indeed, the Reds could edge it.
  • We expect Liverpool’s current form to carry them through, especially after winning seven of their last ten on the road. Porto have scored in all of their Champions League games this season though, so we’re also going for a Liverpool Win and Both Teams to Score alongside a 2-1 correct score predictions.
  • We’re also opting for Roberto Firmino to score anytime. He has netted in three of his last four games for Liverpool and has already scored six Champions League goals this season, so he looks a great choice.