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Champions League round of 16 betting preview

After a 32-team group stage, the top two teams from each group have progressed to the round of 16 knockout stage. With some exciting matchups of Europe’s heavyweights, who will make it through to the quarter-final stage?  Read on for some betting insight.

The Champions League is Europe’s elite soccer competition and after a highly competitive group stage, we have reached the knockout stages featuring eight games played over two legs to determine who will progress to the quarter-finals.

Below is a table of the 16 remaining teams in Pinnacle’s outright Champions League betting:

Live Champions League Outright odds

Team Odds*
Manchester City 4.50
Barcelona 5.25
Juventus 6.25
Paris Saint Germain 7.50
Liverpool 8.00
Bayern Munich 13.50
Real Madrid 13.50
Atletico Madrid 21.00
Borussia Dortmund 26.00
Manchester United 31.00
Tottenham Hotspur 31.00
Ajax 66.00
Lyon 66.00
Porto 76.00
Roma 86.00
Schalke 04 251.000

Manchester United vs. Paris Saint Germain

Date: 12/02/2019

First leg venue – Old Trafford

Time: 19:00 UTC

Key players – David De Gea, Paul Pogba, Neymar, Kylian M’bappe

This will be the very first competitive meeting between the two sides in what is sure to be a compelling contest over two legs.

There appears to be rejuvenated optimism heading into the clash against the French champions, with United’s key players David De Gea and Paul Pogba thoroughly impressing in recent weeks but it will be considered an upset if they were to overcome the Parisians over two legs.

PSG are currently unbeaten in Ligue 1 and are customarily dominating via the wealth of attacking options they have at their disposal. Neymar and Kylian M’bappe have both scored over 20 goals each in all competitions. The seven-time Ligue 1 champions also scored the most goals in the group stage, averaging 2.83 goals a game.

Heading into the first leg away from home, Manchester United will have to be at their best defensively to stifle the attacking talents of PSG, as the threat of away goals moving the game out of reach of the Red Devils. The odds highly suggest there will be goals in this fixture, with bettors able to get Over 2.5 goals at 1.699* in the first leg.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Borussia Dortmund

Date: 13/02/2019

First leg venue – Wembley Stadium

Time: 19:00 UTC

Key players – Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho

After narrowly making it into the last 16 of the Champions League, Tottenham come up against Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund for the fifth time in the last three seasons (P4, W2, L2).

The fitness of talisman Harry Kane could have a massive impact on this fixture. He has once again been crucial for Tottenham, scoring 20 goals and providing six assists.

Should Kane fail in his fitness bid for the first leg, expect Heung-min Son to deputise through the centre, with the winger impressively contributing 12 goals and nine assists in all competitions.

Dortmund have had the best defence in Champions League so far, conceding just two goals in the group stage, and with their free scoring form in the Bundesliga, the Germans will be confident of securing a positive result at Wembley Stadium.

The last four games between the two teams averaged 3.25 goals a game and betters can currently get over 3 goals in the first leg at 2.210*.

Liverpool vs. Bayern Munich

Date: 19/02/2019

First leg venue – Anfield

Time: 19:00 UTC

Key players – Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Joshua Kimmich, Robert Lewandowski

Champions League top scorer Robert Lewandowski (eight goals) and company come up against last year’s runners-up Liverpool in what is sure to be a fascinating encounter over two legs.

Bayern come into the fixture as underdogs, but have the favourable advantage of playing away from home first. They are third top scorers in the Champions League with 15 goals from their six group games and will come into the game believing they can score away from home.

Intriguingly, all 15 of Bayern’s goals and all nine of Liverpool’s goals in the group stage came from inside the area, highlighting both team’s desire to work the ball into the box to create chances rather than shooting from distance.

Liverpool have been tremendous domestically but only just made it through a tough Champions League group ahead of Napoli on goals scored.

The Reds relied on their home form to get them out of the group stage, winning all three games, but it’s been away from home where they struggled, losing the other three games.

The onus will be on Liverpool to secure a positive result at home and they will be hoping to keep a clean sheet, especially given their struggles away from home in the competition.

Atletico Madrid vs. Juventus

Date: 20/02

First leg venue – Estadio Metropolitano

Time: 19:00 UTC

Key players – Jan Oblak, Antoine Griezmann Paulo Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo

Games in the past between these two sides have been cagey affairs, with the previous two games in the 2014/15 group stage resulting in a win for Atletico and a draw, with just one goal in both games.

Atletico have a very positive record against Italian teams in Europe, as they are currently nine games unbeaten (W7, D2). However, Juve’s new talisman Ronaldo has a positive record of his own against Atleti, scoring in 22 of the 31 games against them whilst playing for Real Madrid.

Both teams managed the same number of goals in the group stage (nine), but it’s Juve who had the superior defence, conceding two less than Atletico with four goals.

This fixture looks set to be another close encounter and bettors can get under 1.75 goals in the first leg at 2.250*.

Lyon vs. Barcelona

Date: 19/02

First leg venue – Parc Olympique Lyonnais

Time: 19:00 UTC

Key players – Nabil Fekir, Memphis Depay, Ivan Rakitic, Lionel Messi

Tournament favourites Barcelona (5.25* in the outright Champions League betting) will be confident of progressing past Lyon in the round of 16. Both teams were two of five teams to go through the group stage unbeaten along with Bayern, Porto and Ajax.

The reigning La Liga champions are unbeaten against Lyon in their last six meetings (W4, D2), scoring 16 goals in the process. Five-time Ballon D’Or winner Lionel Messi also has three goals in his last four games against Lyon.

Remarkably, Lyon progressed through to the group stage with just one win in six games, drawing the other five to finish behind group winners Manchester City (who they managed to beat away from home as their only victory).

Lyon will be looking to shut out Barcelona at home to maintain any hope of securing a positive result over the two legs. Barca know that an away goal should be enough to see out the game at the second leg where they will be even more offensive.

Ajax vs Real Madrid

Date: 13/02

First leg venue – Amsterdam ArenA

Time: 19:00 UTC

Key players – Matthijs de Ligt, Dusan Tadic, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale

This fixture has the potential to be a huge upset for the reigning European Champions Real Madrid, as both their domestic and European form has been very questionable at times this season.

Madrid were beaten home and away by CSKA Moscow and are currently 10 points off leaders Barcelona in La Liga.

Meanwhile unbeaten Ajax finished just two points behind leaders Bayern after drawing one more game than the Germans in the group stage and will head into the game against Real full of confidence.

Recent history favours Real Madrid, as they have won the last six meetings against Ajax in Europe, but this will by no means will be an easy fixture for the Spanish giants, as Bayern found out in the group stage where they failed to beat Ajax both home and away.

The Ajax team is flooded with highly rated youngsters in the form of de Ligt, de Jong, Neres, van de beek and Onana – combined with experience their European top scorer Tadic (five) and the versatile Daley Blind.

Schalke 04 vs. Manchester City

Date: 20/02

First leg venue – Veltins Arena

Time: 19:00 UTC

Key players – Matija Nastasic, Breel Embolo, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero

Of all the fixtures in the round of 16, this tie appears to be the easiest to predict, due to the disparity between the two teams and the contrasting form of both heading into this fixture. The fact that the odds suggest Manchester City have a 72% chance of a win in the first leg shows how much they are expected to dominate.

Schalke are the biggest outsider in the outright Champions League betting (251.00*) for a reason. They are currently 12th in the Bundesliga and came second behind Porto in what some might call a below average group that also featured Galatasary and Lokomotiv Moscow. They also scored just six goals in six games.

Conversely Manchester City are battling Liverpool at the top of the Premier League and comfortably won their Champions League group, scoring 16 goals in six games – only PSG scored more (17).

City should comfortably win the tie over two legs, but may face stern defending away from home, with Schalke conceding just four goals in Europe thus far. Bettors can currently get City on a -1.75 Handicap at 2.510*.

Roma vs. Porto

Date: 12/02

First leg venue – Stadio Olimpico

Time: 19:00 UTC

Key players – Kostas Manolas, Edin Dzeko, Alex Telles, Moussa Marega

This tie features two teams who are unlikely to figure much further in the competition (Roma are 86.00 and Porto 76.00 in the outright Champions League bettin). However, both teams will believe they can make it through to the last eight at least.

Porto come into the fixture unbeaten in Europe, scoring the third highest number of goals in the group stage. The Portuguese side have scored over 2.5 goals in three of the last four games and have never lost to Roma in European competition.

Last season’s semi finalists Roma finished runners-up in their group behind Real Madrid and have been inconsistent domestically thus far, although they are showing signs of improvement.

Roma have a very youthful attacking line-up with the likes of Zaniolo (19) Kluivert (19) Cengiz Under (21) Pellegrini (22) Cristante (23) and Schick (23). However, it’s the experienced Edin Dzeko who has five goals in the group stage for Roma that could prove to be the difference (he scored in five of Roma’s six knockout matches last season).

Porto are unbeaten in their last five away games whist Roma will look to last season’s landmark comeback at home against Barcelona as a source of inspiration heading into the game at the Olimpico.

Article written by Gianluca Leo


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