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Champions League Tips: 12th & 13th March
by David Lenton
I’ve never known a Champions League round like last week.
Tottenham won in Dortmund, United made the mother of all comebacks against PSG and Ajax annihilated the current holders, Real Madrid, by a 4-1 scoreline.
Even among all that madness we managed to do quite well thanks to the Porto result and hot off the tails of that pick I’m hoping we can bag some winners this time around.
Champions League Tips: Tuesday 12th March
March 12, 2019
March 12, 2019
Juve have dropped just six points in Serie A all season, they are unbeaten in the league but have been beaten in cup competitions.
Atletico are second in La Liga, 7 points behind Barca but well clear of Real. They have lost only once in the competition.
Goals from Uruguayan defensive duo Jon Giminez and Diego Godin gave Atletico a crucial lead from the first leg.
The teams have met three times previously in European competition, Juventus are yet to win a game with one draw and two wins for Atletico in those games.
Although Atletico Madrid have a two-goal lead heading into the second leg of the game, this could well be a very delicately poised tie when you consider the form Juventus have shown at home over the course of the season means Atletico fans will still be wary of what could happen in Turin.
Juventus have lost just three games this season, two in the Champions League and one in the Coppa Italia, they remain unbeaten in Serie A, but like a few teams in this competition, their European form isn’t as impressive as their league form, chiefly in terms of performances.
The home fans will be demanding a big performance and with Cristiano Ronaldo in the team, the home side will feel that they have a chance if they can get the first goal. As such, while I expect Juventus to dominate, I don’t think they’ll go for the jugular early in this game.
However, as the game wears on, I can see Atletico looking likely to grab a goal on the break and even if Juventus can win the game, I feel that an away goal for Atletico would make progress almost impossible for Juventus.
Juventus to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £42.00
Man City are top of the league & have been in great form of late, but have been less convincing in the Champions League this season.
Schalke 04 remain in the bottom half of the Bundesliga but their performance in Europe have been markedly better than their domestic form.
City will be without Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho for this tie as both are suspended.
The teams have met four times previously, City winning three of those games, with Schalke 04 winning just the one.
After a dramatic first leg which saw VAR play a prominent role, Manchester City have a man dismissed and then stage a late comeback with 10 men to clinch a first leg victory, the second leg is going to have to be something special to match up to the action of the first.
City will go into the game without Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho, both of whom are suspended with Fernandinho also injured. They will also be without the injured Kevin de Bruyne too and those two key absences will give Schalke fans hope that they can cause a huge upset.
The German sides performances in Europe haven’t been stellar, but they have been better than their domestic league performances where they sit in the bottom half of the Bundesliga. In truth, City should win this game very easily but I fancy Schalke to score a goal and put City under a little pressure.
Even so, City should do more than enough to win the game and even if Schalke score, I can’t see it making any difference to the final outcome.
Man City to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £27.50
Barcelona are unbeaten in Europe this season and they are also well clear at the top of La Liga seven points ahead of Atletico Madrid.
Lyon lie third in Ligue 1 & have been one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the tournament scoring and conceding plenty.
Since the draw in the first leg, Barcelona have won all of their last four games, while Lyon have won two, drawn one and lost one of their four matches.
The two teams have met seven times previously, Barcelona winning four of those games and the other three finishing in a draw. Lyon have never beaten Barcelona.
The most surprising thing about the first leg between these two freescoring teams was that it ended goalless in the Groupama Stadium. Barcelona fans may feel that this was a decent result but Lyon have shown already this season they are very capable on the road against any team.
Lyon’s ability to counter attack will be something that the Barcelona defence, which can be shaky at times, will be worried about. Similarly though, the Lyon defence will be well aware of the brilliance of Barcelona’s attack, who if they fire, can put any team to the sword comfortably.
The bookmakers have this as a very straightforward home win and while I have backed Barcelona to win, I have a feeling this game may well be a little more uncomfortable for them than the bookies expect and I can see Lyon scoring a goal.
That said, I can see Barcelona being well capable of scoring at least two, if not three and as such, I can see them making it through at the expense of the French side.
Barcelona to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £27.00
Bayern Munich’s 6-0 win over Wolfsburg at the weekend has moved them to the top of the Bundesliga.
Liverpool are second in the Premier League chasing Man City but well clear of Tottenham in third.
The teams last met in the Champions League back in 1981, a 0-0 draw at Anfield was followed by a 1-1 draw in Munich, with Liverpool winning on away goals.
Kimmich and Muller will be suspended for Bayern, while Virgil Van Dijk will return in defence for Liverpool after being suspended for the first leg.
Two of Europe’s biggest clubs have not met that often and it is Liverpool that hold a slight advantage in the head to heads, even though Bayern will feel that after the first leg, they hold a slender advantage in the tie.
Bayern’s form is excellent at the moment and they have successfully came through a tricky opening group and having also clawed back Dortmund’s nine-point lead in the Bundesliga. Should they win the game, then Bayern would reach their eighth successive quarterfinals in the Champions League.
Liverpool’s recent history in Europe is less impressive though they did reach the final last season. More of a worry is the fact that the Reds have lost all of their last four away games in this competition (five if you include the final against Real Madrid last year).
However, Liverpool may feel a 1-1 draw would be enough, but such is the form Bayern are in at the moment, that I feel even if the Reds do score, as I think they will, Bayern will do enough to eliminate them and move into the quarterfinals.
Bayern Munich to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £40.00
David 'the Cheeky Punter' Lenton is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has also worked for a number of top bookmakers including Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. With such a long time spent dedicated to the gambling industry no one is better placed when it comes to advising punters. Follow on Twitter @thecheekypunter