UEFA Champions League Tips - Best bets for the Round of 16 games

Schalke 04 and Manchester City

The UEFA Champions League knockout stages continue with some huge Round of 16 clashes and we've got you covered with the best bets. 

Liverpool have made two appearances in major European finals under Jurgen Klopp, but can they stay on course for a third? And will Manchester City move a step closer to finally fulfilling their Champions League dream?

Juventus v Atletico Madrid

Juventus have dominated the Italian scene for several years now, but European success has eluded them in this time and the they were hoping that last summer’s sensational capture of Cristiano Ronaldo would perhaps bridge the gap between them and those teams that have dominated the Champions League trophy. That has not worked out so far though and they go into Tuesday night’s last-16 second leg with a huge job on their hands after falling to a 2-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid a couple of weeks back. ‘The Old Lady’ know they have to win 2-0 just to force extra time, and if Atletico find the back of the net they are going to have to win by a three-goal cushion in order to render Madrid’s away goal powerless. So can Juventus pull this off? We have already seen Manchester United overcome a two-goal deficit to send Paris St Germain crashing out of the competition a week ago, so this two-legged tie is hardly done and dusted. And if anything, Juventus are in a better position than United because this match is taking place on their home soil and they have been almost flawless in front of the home fans this season, with the exception of the surprise group stage defeat to United. Atletico have been rock solid on their travels domestically this season, avoiding defeat pretty routinely, but they have not fared that well on their travels in this competition with only one win coming on the road in the group stage and that was against a horribly out-of-form Monaco side. They were held to a goalless draw in Brugge and suffered a 4-0 humbling in Dortmund, so when you factor in those results with Juve’s excellent track record for shutting out teams, especially at home, backing the hosts to win to nil is a very tempting bet.

Manchester City v Schalke

Manchester City made hard work of the first leg of this tie, but when they boarded the plane to leave Germany they did it in an excellent position to qualify for the quarter-finals. Sergio Aguero gave them a dream start when he opened the scoring inside 20 minutes, but they were left shell-shocked when Nabil Bentaleb struck twice before half-time and looked to be heading to defeat when the score remained 2-1 to Schalke with just over five minutes to go. However, Leroy Sane levelled matters before Raheem Sterling completed the comeback in the closing moments, and that means City have a one goal lead and three away goals to their name as they prepare to entertain Schalke in the second leg. Pep Guardiola’s side have suffered some disappointing results at the Etihad Stadium this season – namely losing to the likes of Crystal Palace and Lyon – but on the whole they have been outstanding when stepping out in front of their own fans and they have now gone six games without loss in Europe, winning five of them and out-scoring the opposition 18-6. Schalke, meanwhile, have struggled mightily on their travels this season and they go into this match in miserable form having rarely won a game this year while suffering some heavy defeats in recent weeks. City do not need to get reckless to get the job done here, but I do expect them to run out comfortable winners to book their place in the last-eight in style.

Bayern Munich v Liverpool

It is winner-takes all at the Allianz Arena after these two teams played out a goalless draw in the first leg at Anfield, and depending on how you view this tie you could make a case for either of them having a slight upper-hand here. Liverpool may not have found the back of the net at home, but they did not give up an away goal and we have already seen that conceding on your own patch can be disastrous – just ask Paris St Germain who bowed out on away goals. But on the flip side, if you are Bayern Munich you would be pleased to be heading into the second leg on your own turf on level terms. So who will make the decisive breakthrough and book a place in the quarter-finals? Liverpool go into this match on the back of a vital 4-2 win over Burnley in the Premier League, and although they have not lost in their last 11 in all competitions it would not be unfair to say that their form has dipped during this crucial part of the season. The Reds have recorded only three wins in their last eight competitive fixtures and that is not the form you want to be in when facing a resurgent Bayern side. The German outfit have exploded into life over the past couple of months and an outstanding run of form that has seen them win 14 of their last 17 games in all competitions has resulted in them storming to the top of the Bundesliga table and moving to within one game of the last-eight in the Champions League. Niko Kovac’s side go into this match on the back of two brilliant showings that saw them destroy top-seven sides Borussia Monchengladbach and Wolfsburg by 5-1 and 6-0 scorelines respectively, and while Liverpool certainly have the potential to cause all sorts of problems for Bayern and possibly win this game, I cannot ignore the shape Bayern Munich are in right now. They have breathed new life into their season over the past couple of months and I fancy them to keep their resurgence going with a win here. And if Bayern’s form is not enough persuasion, how about the fact that Liverpool have lost their last five away matches in the Champions League and have won just one of their last six away from home in all competitions. 

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UEFA Champions League Tips - Best bets for the Round of 16 games

The UEFA Champions League knockout stages continue with some huge Round of 16 clashes and we've got you covered with the best bets.

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