UCL Tips: Round Of 16

UEFA Champions League odds

A day of upsets was followed by a day of dominance last week as 3 of the first 4 ties look all but done after the 1st leg. This weeks round of 16 matches look much closer matchups on paper and with several sides on extended unbeaten runs we should see some great battles. The Wolf cannot see a repeat of PSG’s 4-0 win over Barca or Bayern’s 5-1 thumping of Arsenal.

UCL Round of 16 Previews

Wednesday

Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid – (Wed 6:45am)
Bayer Leverkusen were one of only four team to go undefeated through the groups stage (Real Madrid, Dortmund and Juventus) which included a win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Defensively they were solid to say the least, conceding just 4 goals but there was a standout and it happens to be the team that they are facing. Atletico have been the benchmark defensively across all of Europe over the last 3 years and it has bee the key to their success. Under the tutelage of Diego Simeone they have become the most feared team in this competition – especially in the home and away knockout format. They knocked out Barcelona and Bayern Munich last season before succumbing to bitter rivals Real Madrid in a penalty shootout in the final. This year looks like being no different. They conceded just two goals in the group stage, topped a group that featured Bayern Munich and are undefeated in their last 8 La Liga matches. Atletico are the kings of frustrating their opponents and any side that can restrict Bayern Munich to just 1 goal over 180 minutes of football MUST be respected. There have been less than 3 goals in 6 of their last 7 UCL matches and the same can be said about 7 of Leverkusen’s last 8. Wolfy cannot see Leverkusen finding the back of the net and we could be in for a dour goalless draw.
Best: Under 2.5 goals ($1.50)
Value: Under 1.5 goals ($2.75)

Man City v Monaco – (Wed 6:45am)
It has taken time but Pep Guardiola and Man City have slowly found their feet. They have climbed to second in the EPL and are just 8 points off Chelsea. Their performance away to Huddersfield in the FA Cup though was miserable. They rested several key players but with Aguero, Navas, Nolito, Zabaleta and Kolarov all in the lineup a 0-0 draw is unacceptable. It also means an additional fixture which is the last thing they want with such a busy schedule ahead. They now face a Monaco side full of confidence. They are 3 points clear of PSG on the Ligue 1 ladder and did the double over Tottenham in the group stage. They knocked out Arsenal at this stage of the competition last season and have registered wins over Liverpool and Chelsea in the past. You can rub out their loss to Leverkusen on the final matchday as they had already locked in top spot. Fabinho and Silva have been brilliant for them in midfield while Falcao is in fine form up front. the same cannot be said about City who have had their troubles settling on a striker. An out of form Aguero was seemingly dropped for young gun Gabriel Jesus but just as the Brazilian looked to lock down the starting role he went down injured. Now we see Pep play Aguero on the weekend rather than rest him which could mean Ihenacho gets the nod. The Wolf has his concerns as a result and says the English side have come up shorter than he expected.
Best: Asian Handicap Monaco +1 ($1.88)
Value: 1st Half Result Draw ($2.25)

Thursday

Porto v Juventus – (Thur 6:45am)
Since last lifting this trophy in 1997 Juventus have finished runners-up on four occasions, most recently two years ago in a 3-1 loss to Barcelona. They are tough to beat on any day but in the knockout format of this competition they are almost unbeatable. They had Bayern on the ropes last year before losing in extra time and 4 of their last 5 losses in the UCL have been by a 1-0 scoreline. Porto may have plenty of talent with Pereira, and Andre Silva but The Wolf says they will not have enough to break down Bonucci and Chiellini at the back. As they always do, Juventus have again built a world class squad that includes Higuiain, Mandzukic, Khedira and Cuadrado – all unwanted by some of the biggest clubs in Europe. The Wolf says to keep and eye out for Lichtesteiner on the right who runs the flank tirelessly. Allegri will set his side up very compact for the away leg and the focus will be on maintaining a clean sheet. The Wolf will be shocked if we see more than one goal from either team!
Best: Both Teams To Score – No ($1.66)
Value: Under 2.5 & Draw ($3.50)

Sevilla v Leicester – (Thur 6:45am)
Leicester have more than just fallen from grace and their performance in the Champions League has been the only saving grace this season. They have lost 6 of their last 8 across all competitions, were knocked out of the FA Cup by Millwall over the weekend and are 1 point away from relegation – all of this after causing the biggest upset in sporting history. They have lost their last 5 in the EPL and have failed to find the back of the net in their last 6 league outings. Sevilla on the other hand are 3rd in La Liga and are just 3 points off leaders Real Madrid. They are also the 3 time defending champs of the Europa League which highlights their superiority in European experience. They love this format and will look to expose the Foxes in the centre of the park. Kante on his own was more effective than Drinkwater and Ndidi combined! Mahrez and Vardy have been non existent and it comes as no surprise to see Sevilla come up this short in the market. Leicester’s exit from this competition could signal the end of Ranieri.
Best: Under 2.5 goals ($1.95)
Value: Teams To Score – Sevilla Only ($2.05)