UCL Tips: Round Of 16

UEFA Champions League odds

The Round of 16 begins and we have some absolute blockbusters! This week PSG host Barcelona while Arsenal make the dreaded to Munich despite winning their group. In the other matches defending champions Real Madrid host Napoli with Benfica looking to continue their rich vein of form when they host Dortmund.

UCL Round of 16 Previews

Wednesday

PSG v Barcelona – (Wed 6:45am)
Two familiar foes clash yet again and we are in for a treat. The sides have played each other six times since 2013 – twice in the group stage and a further two times (home and away) in the knockout stages. The Catalan club has been responsible for PSG’s early exit in 2 of the last 3 seasons and have proved a hurdle too large to overcome. The Parisians will have to make the most of the first leg at home and although they have lost just 1 in their last 23 UCL matches at home, that defeat came at the hands of Barca. The Spaniards have been struck by a rare dose of injury with Mascherano sidelined with a hamstring injury and Aleix Vidal out for the season after dislocating his ankle. Umtiti or Mathieu could both feature as a result and that gives PSG every chance of breaking through in attack. There have been at least two goals scored in each of the last between these two and The Wolf says PSG will look to attack in order to expose Barca at the back. With Thiago Silva ruled out Veratti and Motta hold the key for them as they will be responsible for shutting down the lethal Barcelona counter attack. The Wolf says this will be the most entertaining of the round of 16 matches and we could see a handful of goals!
Best: Over 2.5 goals ($1.72)
Value: Over 3.5 goals ($3.00)

Benfica v Borussia Dortmund – (Wed 6:45am)
Dortmund found themselves in the same group as defending champions Real Madrid but they were not phased. Not only did they top the group – they also set a new record for goals scored in a Champions League group stage with 21! Aubameyang and Reus have led the way with 9 goals between them but what makes them so dangerous is their free flowing style of football highlighted by their lethal counter attack! They have countless options with a midfield rotation that includes Gotze, Schurrle, Kagawa and Dembele. The flank play of Schmelzer and Durm is yet another feature that will keep Benfica at bay. One would think that the Portuguese side will look to control the tempo but The Wolf disagrees. On average Benfica have one of the youngest sides in Europe and despite losing Renato Sanches they still have an abundance of talent. The problem they have is that Dortmund are clinical when given the opportunity and they will create plenty. In recent season only top sides such as Juventus, Arsenal and Real Madrid have been able to beat Dortmund and Benfica are not in that league. The Germans to take a winning lead with them back home for the return leg.
Best: Dortmund WIN ($2.35)
Value: HT/FT – Dortmund/Dortmund ($3.40)

Thursday

Bayern Munich v Arsenal – (Thur 6:45am)
Arsenal had finished runner-up in 5 of the last 6 seasons before this campaign which has seen them exit in the first knockout round every year since 2010. Following a remarkable matchday 6 they were able to top the group this time around but there has been no reprieve. They have again drawn their nemesis Bayern Munich – the side which has sent them packing at this very stage in 3 of the last 4 seasons. The Gunners have won just 1 of their 10 meetings against Bayern and despite a return to winning form at the weekend The Wolf says the writing is on the wall for them. The Germans are undefeated since November with 10 wins and a draw. Most impressively, they have conceded just 5 goals in that stretch and we have to go back almost a year to find a visiting team that scored more than once at the Allianz Arena – Juventus in the quarter finals of this competition last year. There is no doubt that Arsenal can play football but they are struggling to have the midfield dominance in the absence of Xhaka, Ramsey and Carzola. On the flip-side Bayern have Vidal and Xabi Alonso – the best holding midfield duo in world football. Then they have countless options in attack – Lewandowski, Muller, Robben, Douglas Costa… the list goes on. Wit names like Renato Sanches on the bench you cannot really say much more. Bayern have been used to playing away in the first leg and with the roles reversed they will look to take a handy lead with them to London. The Wolf says this one will get ugly for Wenger. 
Best: Asian Handicap Bayern Munich -1 ($1.82)
Value: Bayern Munich Over 3.5 goals ($5.50)

Real Madrid v Napoli – (Thur 6:45am)
Real Madrid blew a 2 goal lead at home to Dortmund in their final group game which relegated them to a second place finish in the group. It resulted in several group winners hoping they would avoid them but Napoli were not so lucky. The 11 points tallied in the group stage by the Italians was the least by a group winner and a point less than Madrid who in fact went undefeated. Real have a formidable record in this competition having lost just the once in their last 20. Outside of Gareth Bale the Merengues will be at full strength with Ronaldo and Benzema to spearhead the attack. Casemeiro will screen the back four of Carvajal, Marcelo, Ramos and Varane with Modric to pull the strings in central midfield. Like Bayern, playing the 1st leg at home is foreign territory for the Madrid side who are used to playing a controlled game on the road before putting teams away when they return to the Bernabeu. This time they must turn it on in the opener and The Wolf expects them to do exactly that. Zizu’s side has responded when called upon in the past and this is one match where they will be completely turned on and dialed in.
Best: Real Madrid WIN ($1.57)
Value: Teams To Score – Real Madrid Only ($2.85)