Champions League Picks
Round of 16 Champions League Predictions
By Matt Pitt
The 2016-17 UEFA Champions League has reached the Round of 16 and if matters were not already serious they certainly are so now. Who will progress and who will fall? Here are my thoughts.
The pick of the Round of 16 fixtures sees Paris St Germain take on Barcelona over two legs. Paris finished second in Group A having won and drawn three of their games, while Barcelona topped Group C after winning five and losing one of their six group games.
Paris’ are +230 to win the home leg with Barcelona at +115. Picking a winner over either leg could prove tricky and I much prefer putting my money on Barcelona to qualify regardless of the results at -350 with Bovada. Both teams have the best away record in their respective domestic leagues, but Barcelona are just too strong for the French team.
Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal
Bayern Munich against Arsenal is another exciting Round of 16 fixture. Munich have reached the semi-final stage three years in a row, while Arsenal have fallen at thhis stage in each of the past six seasons. Expect this run to continue with Munich -300 to qualify and -200 to win the home leg. I’d be willing to bet on Munch to win away at Arsenal, too, when the odds for that fixture come out.
Real Madrid vs. Napoli
Real Madrid host Napoli in the first of two legs of their Round of 16 encounter and everything points towards a Madrid victory. Earlier this season, Madrid are back to their best, while Napoli have only kept seven clean sheets in Serie A this season and average more than a goal conceded per game. I fully expect Madrid to win both legs and qualify, the latter being priced at -550.
Two other Italian teams in the competition are AS Roma and Juventus who travel to Manchester City and FC Porto respectively for the first legs of their Round of 16 encounters.
Man City vs. Monaco
Monaco have won all but two of their 11 home league games this season and have only dropped points in five of their 12 games on the road. City have only lost once on home soil domestically but have lost four on the road. Go for a City home win at -170 and them to progress to the next round at odds of -375.
Juventus vs. FC Porto
I fancy Juventus to win both home and away against an FC Porto team whose best years are behind them. Juventus are going to be favorites both home and away, yet amazingly are only -275 to qualify. That is a bet I would take every day of the week. Juventus have a rock solid defence and have the attacking talent to trouble anyone left in the Champions League.
Atletico Madrid vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Atletico Madrid, who face struggling Bayer Leverkusen, should win both home and away legs. Leverkusen are languishing in ninth place in the Bundesliga with an 8-3-9 record and have shipped 29 goals in 20 games, having kept only four clean sheets. Compare this to Atletico, who have 12 clean sheets in 22 games. Even though they have failed to beat any team in the top six of La Liga, they should dispatch Leverkusen.
Benfica vs. Borussia Dortmund & Sevilla vs. Leicester City
Benfica vs Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla vs. Leicester City wrap up the Round of 16 aggregates.
Benfica should pose no problems at all for Dortmund dispute flying high in Portugal’s top division. Even Dortmund’s reserves would be more than a match for any team in Portugal so pile on the money on Dortmund qualifying at -300.
Leicester City’s fall from grace has been spectacular to watch. From Premier League champions last season to one point above the relegation zone after 25 games this campaign, Leicester are in dire straits. While Leicester look a shadow of their former selves, they do pose a counter-attacking threat to the organised Sevilla side.
Expect Sevilla to triumph at home. Leicester do not travel well and are winless in the Premier League so far this season, but the Foxes could cause an upset on home soil. The question is, will they leave themselves with too much to do in that home leg?
Pick Sevilla to qualify at -225.More articles...