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

Manchester City and Olympic Lyonnais are both in action

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

Can Pep Guardiola return to Germany where he enjoyed so much success and win again, will Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool send Bayern Munich home following a defeat, and will Barcelona swat aside tough-to-beat Lyon? 

Lyon vs Barcelona

While Lyon may not be among the supposed ‘big boys’ of the competition, they are not a side that should be taken lightly, with the French outfit very capable of a surprise or two. Their group-stage campaign saw the side manage to clinch second-place in Group F after they picked up eight points. While they did finish five short of Manchester City in the end, they were able to go through their six matches unbeaten. However, it should be noted that while they did not lose once, they only won once, with five draws in this time. 

Opponents Barcelona were also able to remain unbeaten in their group-stage campaign, but they were able to win four of their six games, drawing the other two. A 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven got the Spanish side off to the perfect start before they beat Tottenham, Inter Milan and PSV once again. Their final match of the group-stage saw the side draw with Tottenham, but they were already safely through to the next round by this point, meaning they could afford to drop points. 

For the two sides, this is something of a worst-case scenario for Lyon and a best-case for Barcelona. Lyon are amongst the weakest of sides left in the competition, especially when considering they won just once in the group-stages, while Barcelona are amongst the favourites to win the entire competition, and they will look to stamp their dominance with a big away win in France. 

Lyon have been a side that have not excelled scoring wise, hitting 38 in the league whilst conceding 27, while Barcelona have continued their good scoring form, scoring 60 times in 23 league games. However, with the exception of their away trip to face Spurs, Barca saw three goals or less in trips to face Inter Milan and PSV, while there were three goals or less in their last four group-stage games. Lyon will surely look to keep this one as tight as possible, wanting to snatch a goal, something that will surely have to come against the run of play, with Barca likely to dominate possession and chances. The away side are always capable of a big win, but the odds on a victory is generous enough.



Liverpool vs Bayern Munich

What a game this is for Liverpool, with the side that will lead the Premier League if they win their game in hand over Manchester City taking on a Bayern Munich outfit in second-place in the Bundesliga. Liverpool made it to this stage of the competition by beating out Italian side Napoli in their final match, but it was too close for comfort for the Reds, who finished two points behind PSG as they were disappointing on the road, with losses to Napoli, Red Star Belgrade and PSG seeing the side sneak through via their strong home performances. 

Bayern Munich will feel quite aggrieved that they managed to go through their entire Champions League group-stage campaign with four wins and two draws, thus topping the group with 14 points, only to be drawn to play Liverpool in the Last-16. Despite this, Bayern will know that if they are to win Europe’s premier competition this season, then they will have to beat a number of world class teams, with Liverpool definitely falling into this bracket. 

In their respective leagues, both sides have looked very good. Liverpool have 20 wins from 26 matches along with a single defeat, while Bayern have 14 wins and four defeats in their 21 contests, with their poor start making way for a far more Bayern-like run of late. Impressively, Liverpool are yet to lose at home in the league, with 11 wins and two draws, while they won all three of their matches at Anfield in the group-stages. Bayern meanwhile have not been quite as good on the road, winning eight and losing three times and, worryingly for the side is the fact their last away game in the league ended in a 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen. 

Liverpool are the favourites for this one, although they are not odds-on with every bookie, while Bayern offer good value to win the match and take control of the tie. However, with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in the side, we think they will be able to overrun Bayern’s backline with their pace and precise attacking play, with the trio incredibly tough to stop. 



Schalke vs Manchester City

On league form, there is only one winner in this one. Schalke may be a big name in German football, but they are staring at a relegation battle as opposed to a fight for a top spot in the Bundesliga this season. Just six wins in 21 matches have come along with four draws and 11 losses, with their 22 points seeing the side 28 short of top of the table Borussia Dortmund. For the German side, it was a case of being the second-best side in a weak group, with Group D not one that was as crammed full of big names as others. Schalke managed three wins, two draws and one loss against the likes of Porto, Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Moscow, with matches against these three seeing Schalke as yet untested against the best sides in Europe this season. 

Manchester City meanwhile come into this following an inconsistent campaign, with the English side not as flawless as many thought they probably would be against the likes of Lyon, Shakhtar Donetsk and Hoffenheim. Indeed, a shock 2-1 home loss to Lyon in their opening match really put the cat amongst the pigeons in the group, but wins over Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk twice saw them take control of the group. 

As mentioned, the form of the two in their respective leagues has been like chalk and cheese. Schalke have just four home wins in 10 along with six defeats, and they are yet to draw a match, with their last home clash ending in a 2-0 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach, while they have just one home win in their last four, with the other three ending in defeats. City by contrast have been awesome all season, only losing four matches in the league. A 2-0 win in their last away game has helped the side to three wins in their last four away matches, while they come into this on the back of a massive 6-0 win over Chelsea. Eight wins on the road along with two draws and three defeats is a good record, and the English side will really fancy themselves to win this one and set things up nicely for the return leg at the Etihad Stadium. With this in mind, we think that City will win this one comfortably against a Schalke side in all sorts of trouble this season. 



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

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

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