THE UEFA Champions League returns from hiatus this week with the first wave of knockout ties.
Three of the five competing Premier League teams are in action, including outright title favourites Manchester City.
Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool face tricky away trips, while Real Madrid and Paris-Saint Germain will lock horns in the undisputed match of the round.
Let’s check out the odds at Mybet.com and see where all the value is.
Champions League accumulator tips
- Man City to beat Basel – -285.71
- Juventus to beat Spurs – +100
- Liverpool to beat Porto – +135
- PSG to beat Real Madrid – +165
They say there is no such thing as an easy bet at this stage of the UCL campaign.
That is definitely true for three of the four legs on the card this week.
No matter who you back, a winning ticket will deliver a very generous return indeed.
Basel vs. Manchester City
Tuesday, February 14 – 7:45pm GMT – St. Jakob-Park, Basel
Basel – +750
Draw – +400
Man City – -285.71
Man City have dropped only six points in 27 EPL games this season. The only thing more impressive than their points tally of 72 is their goal differential – 79 for, 20 against. Sergio Aguero scored four times at the weekend in a 5-1 demolition of a (usually) competent Leicester City side.
Man of the Match, @ManCity’s Sergio Aguero
7 shots, 4 on target, 4 goals
21 PL goals this season
8th PL hat-trick & 1st player to score 4+ goals in PL on 3 occasions pic.twitter.com/hkM2unMJJS
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) February 10, 2018
It seems almost unfair that Basel, whom many regard as the weakest team in the last 16, should have to deal with such electric opposition. They have some form against the giants of Manchester, however, having edged out United in the penultimate round of group games back in November.
Don’t think too hard about this one. Pep Guardiola could put out a second XI and still take a four-goal advantage into the home leg.
Juventus vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Tuesday, February 14 – 8:45pm CET – Juventus Stadium, Turin
Juve – +100
Draw – +225
Spurs – +320
Once again, mighty Juventus are ploughing a lone furrow for Italian football on Europe’s big stage. Sadly, the Old Lady could be missing as many as four of her first-team favourites for Tuesday’s clash with Spurs. Andrea Barzagli, Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa are all sidelined, while gun striker Paolo Dybala is also in doubt.
Tottenham were one of the stories of the group phase, claiming big results against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund to finish top of their section. Much of the London club’s fortunes this season have hung on the form and fitness of Harry Kane, who settled a derby win over Arsenal last weekend with his 23rd goal of the EPL campaign.
Juve’s absentees and Spurs’ big-game credentials make this an interesting matchup, but the home side should have enough firepower to get a result on their own patch.
Porto vs. Liverpool
Wednesday, February 15 – 7:45pm GMT – Estadio do Dragao, Porto
Porto – +200
Draw – +250
Liverpool – +135
Porto so often reach this stage of the tournament without making a huge dint in the overall outcome. In nine UCL campaigns since 2007, the Portuguese heavyweights have made it to the quarter-finals only twice. Their form is hard to fault, however, as the blue and white have yet to drop a single game in the Primeira Liga this season.
Most Away goals in Europe’s top 5 leagues 2017/18:
➖ LIVERPOOL – 34
➖ Juventus – 31
➖ Lyon – 31
➖ Lazio – 30
➖ PSG – 30
— LFCVine (@LFCVine) February 11, 2018
Where do we start with Liverpool? For better or worse, there is no more entertaining team in Europe right now. What the Reds lack in defensive discipline, they make up for with a phenomenal attack led by Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Even Philippe Coutinho’s departure for Barcelona has not slowed them down.
One thing is for certain: there will be goals. We are backing the visitors to score more of them on this occasion.
Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Wednesday, February 15 – 7:45pm GMT – Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid
Madrid – +145
Draw – +280
PSG – +165
By their own interstellar standards, Real Madrid are having a very ordinary year. Los Galacticos finished below Spurs in the group stage and now sit fourth on the Primera Division table, some 17 points adrift of Clasico rivals Barcelona. With 24 goals in all comps, Cristiano Ronaldo is the only Madrid player to have reached double figures this season.
It is a very different story for PSG. The French moneybags are romping to yet another Ligue Un title and look better poised than ever to transfer their stunning domestic form to Europe’s top comp. Edinson Cavani and Neymar have banged home 54 goals between them this term, while teenage prodigy Kylian Mbappe has 13.
Madrid have struggled against upper-class opposition all season. PSG could not have asked for a better opportunity to announce themselves as genuine title contenders.
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