Massive week in the Champions League coming up as the Round of 16 wraps up. Four teams are already through to the quarter finals and four more will fight their way in this Wednesday and Thursday morning. We take a look at the key games of the week and give our tips here.
Manchester United vs Sevilla (Wednesday 6.45am AEDT)
Sevilla and Manchester United played out a 0-0 draw in Spain a few weeks ago and will now head to Old Trafford for leg two of the matchup Wednesday morning. Whoever wins will advance to the quarter finals here, while Sevilla have the added comfort of being able to play out a scored draw to advance.
Manchester United have lost just one of their last nine home Champions League games against Spanish sides, with five wins and three draws in that record. They have also been great at home in the Premier League throughout the season so far. They have a great 12-2-1 record through their 15 games at Old Trafford so far in the EPL.
Sevilla currently sit 5th in the La Liga table with a 14-3-11 record but are 11 points outside of the top four. Tough game to call here. It’s hard to look past Manchester United’s record at home but if Sevilla somehow manage to score first it’ll be hard for Manchester to recover, we like the Spanish side to advance.
Besiktas vs Bayern Munich (Thursday 4am AEDT)
Bayern Munich will take a massive 5-0 lead into the second leg against Besiktas in Turkey. Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller slotted two goals a piece in Bayern’s first leg win to set up an unassailable lead heading into leg two. The German giants will likely rest some of their key players for this match, knowing that they will likely only need to score one goal, if that, to guarantee passage to the quarters.
Besiktas have never beaten Bayern Munich in the Champions League, losing all tree of their games by an aggregate of 9-0 while Bayern are currently on a five-game winning streak in all Champions League games.
Short price of $1.53 for the German side here, and even away from home with such a large lead it’s hard to see them giving up any points here. We think they keep their foot on the throttle here and earn another comfortable victory.
Barcelona vs Chelsea (Thursday 6.45am AEDT)
The game of the week sees Barcelona hosting Chelsea after the first leg ended in a thrilling 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea took a 1-0 lead in the game but allowed a frustrating 75th minute goal to Lionel Messi on an error to give Barca a crucial away goal.
This will be the 14th meeting between the two sides in the Champions League, with six of the last 13 ending in draws. A 0-0 draw here would see Barcelona advance, while any scored draw besides 1-1 will send Chelsea to the quarters. A 1-1 draw would result in extra time and penalties.
Really tough game to call here, if there’s one side in the world that has any claim to ‘having the wood’ over Barcelona in recent times, it’s Chelsea. Star forward Lionel Messi scored his first ever goal against the Blues in their first leg matchup, while it was Chelsea that sent Barcelona packing in the 2012 UCL semi-finals. Chelsea will be throwing all of their eggs into this basket here after a tough few weeks in the EPL lately, we think they are a massive chance to cause an upset given their record against Barca.
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