The UEFA Champions League continues this Wednesday and Thursday morning, with the first leg of the quarter finals getting underway.
On Wednesday morning, Manchester City host Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, while Liverpool head to Benfica for their first leg match.
On Thursday morning, Villarreal welcome German heavyweights Bayern Munich, and defending champions Chelsea meet Real Madrid in what shapes up to be the tie of the round. We look at our best Champions League bets for each game below.
Remember, the EPL, Champions League and A-League are in full swing to be sure to head to our Soccer Tips page for regular updates and betting tips.
Champions League Quarter Finals Betting Tips (Leg 1)
Benfica vs Liverpool
Liverpool head to Benfica as they continue their unlikely run towards a historic quadruple. Benfica have been somewhat of an omen team for the Reds in the past. The sides have met twice in the quarter finals before, with Liverpool winning both and then going on to lift the trophy.
In the round of 16, the Reds dumped Inter Milan out of the tournament 2-1 on aggregate while Benfica edged out Ajax 3-2 to progress to the last eight.
Benfica may have gone down 3-2 to Sporting Braga in their last match but they continued their run of scoring in every game since the turn of the year. While they come into this clash as large underdogs, they will be hoping that on the back of their attack they can put some pressure on the Reds.
What is most impressive about Liverpool at the moment is they are not playing their best football but are still racking up wins. On the weekend they disposed of Watford 2-0, continuing their push to reclaim the Premier League title.
Stylistically Benfica look to have all sorts of problems here. Their defence isn’t strong and they aren’t used to sitting back in their box and absorbing pressure, something that you must do to beat the Reds.
Benfica will be up for what is a colossal tie in front of their home fans but it still won’t be enough. The Reds will target the veteran pair of Vertonghen and Otamendi and I expect Liverpool to net three or more here.
Liverpool over 2.5 Goals
Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid
Having already knocked out one Manchester-based outfit this season, Atletico Madrid travel to the Etihad to try to knock out another.
Manchester City now has a fight on their hands in the league but haven’t faced any trouble in the Champions League this season, easing past Sporting Lisbon 5-0 on aggregate in the last 16. Atletico Madrid knocked out Manchester United 2-1 on aggregate to progress but were more dominant than the aggregate score suggests.
This is such an important game for Manchester City to win. If Atletico were to upset the reigning Premier League champions, they will have all sorts of problems in the return leg as Atletico are one of if not the best at protecting a lead in the world.
The distraction of a monumental clash with Liverpool's in a week cannot distract City from the task at hand here either. Atletico will be resilient but I am backing Manchester City to scrape past them in an entertaining but low scoring affair.
Man City win & under 2.5 Goals
Villarreal vs Bayern Munich
Having just caused the upset of the round of 16, Villarreal now welcome an even harder test in Bayern Munich.
After drawing the first leg 1-1, Villarreal dispatched Juventus in style to progress to the last eight. However, their form in the league has left much to be desired losing their last two league matches.
Despite their recent poor form in the league, Villarreal are currently nine games unbeaten at home and will be looking to extend that to ten when they welcome Bayern Munich.
At this point there isn’t much that needs to be said about Bayern. They are the complete package with a dangerous attack that can rack up multiple goals in a short space of time and have a defense that is historically solid.
While I don’t see Villarreal being able to cause another boilover against the German giants, I do believe they will put up a real show at home. I am backing Villarreal with the 1.5 goal head start as I don’t see them being blown away at home in a game with everything to play for.
Chelsea vs Real Madrid
In what is a rematch of the 2020-21 Champions League semi-final, Chelsea and Real Madrid will now face off in this year’s quarter finals.
Thomas Tuchel's side eased past Ligue 1 champions Lille 4-1 on aggregate to book their spot in the quarters, while Carlo Ancelotti's men produced an incredible comeback against PSG to progress.
Chelsea’s form has been very up and down of late, most recently being thumped 4-1 by Watford, showing they are incapable of playing a back four.
I still am not that impressed with Real this season as they often lack a killer instinct and have been shakier at the back than they should be. Real Madrid knocking out PSG was impressive but it was more a PSG capitulation than anything.
A full-strength hungry Chelsea side will be too much for Real Madrid and I wouldn’t be surprised if the London side run away with this tie in the first leg.