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Champions League Tips: 13th & 14th February
by the Cheeky Punter
This week sees the return of the Champions League after a hiatus over the Christmas and New Year period. The Round of 16 is spread out over five long weeks (chiefly so that the Europa League can play through two rounds, so that by the quarter final stage, both competitions are at the same point).
That’s good news for the TV viewer as you get to watch more of the Round of 16 games than any other, but it does mean that you don’t have much scope when it comes to your tips each week as you only have the four games each week to pick from.
Not to worry, after a great Saturday which saw me post a healthy profit I’m on a high and confident that I can add to the profit this week with this set of Champions League tips.
Here are my UEFA Champions League tips for this week…
UCL Football Tips: Tuesday 13th Feb
February 13, 2018
February 13, 2018
Man City finished top of Group F, losing only the last game to Shakhtar when they had already qualified.
FC Basel finished second in Group A behind Manchester United with 12 points from their six games.
This will be the first time the teams have met in any competition.
Manchester City could have Gabriel Jesus back from injury after he made a quicker than expected recovery, although it is likely he would only start from the bench if selected.
Manchester City warmed up for this tricky trip to Switzerland with a thumping 5-1 home win over Leicester City in the Premier League at the weekend and it is hard to see them having too much trouble in despatching FC Basel over the two legs.
That said, Basel has been the graveyard for some big name English teams in the past and they did beat Manchester United on their home ground earlier in this year's competition, and with City not winning any of their last three away Premier League games, that may be a worry for City fans.
However, with Gabriel Jesus close to a return to fitness and Sergio Aguero bagging four goals on Saturday, the City attack is looking as sharp as ever, even without the injured Leroy Sane and they will pose FC Basel plenty of problems on the counter attack in particular.
This won't be a walkover for City I don't think, unless they play astonishingly well, but I do think that they will win the game, however Basel are no pushovers and I can see them finding the net at least once but I don't think that in the end, it will make much difference to City winning the game.
Man City To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns £28.80
Juventus finished second in Group D behind Barcelona with 11 points collected from their six games played.
Tottenham won Group H picking up 16 points from their six games, defeating Dortmund & Real Madrid.
Since their 0-0 draw against Barcelona in their final Champions League game, Juventus have won 14 and drawn one of their 15 games conceding just one goal in that period.
The teams met in a friendly back in August 2017 and Tottenham recorded a 2-0 win in that fixture. They have never met competitively prior to this game.
Going to Juventus is always a big ask for any team, but Spurs have already earned a point against Real Madrid in the Bernebeu and also beaten the current holders at Wembley. Coming into this game on the back of picking up seven points from games with Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal, Spurs will be very confident heading to Turin.
However, they face a Juventus team that has been in superb form of late winning 14 of their last 15 games and conceding an incredible one goal over that period. That is some defensive performance to sustain over a period of around three months.
That said, Juventus' defence is somewhat ageing and they won't have faced an attack as good as Tottenham's that often. That said, they did hold Barcelona when the two teams met in Turin I this competition and I can see them doing likewise to Spurs here.
I don't see many goals in this one and any that are scored, I think are more likely to go in favour of the home team. Dybala could be fit for this one and if he is, I think he could be the difference maker and hand Juventus a narrow 1-0 lead to take into the second leg.
Juventus To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns £45.00
FC Porto's fine end to their Champions League Group saw them pip Red Bull Leipzig into 2nd place in Group G with 10 points behind winners Besiktas.
Liverpool finished top of Group E with 12 points, scoring 23 goals and conceding six. Twice they recorded 7-0 wins during the Group Stage this year.
FC Porto have won 11 of their last fourteen games, two matches were drawn and one match was abandoned with the outcome still yet to be decided.
The teams have met four times previously, two matches have been drawn (both held in Portugal) and Liverpool have won both matches at Anfield.
This is going to be a tough game for Liverpool, even if Jurgen Klopp's team hit top form. Porto have not lost at home domestically this season, but have been beaten in the Champions League at home and defensively they are very strong, conceding just 10 goals in their 20 league games.
Klopp's Liverpool have been blowing hot and cold over the last few weeks, a brilliant win over Manchester City was followed by an abject display losing to Swansea and another poor display in their FA Cup defeat to West Brom. A win at Huddersfield and a draw at home to Spurs, albeit in controversial fashion, means the Reds are hardly an example of consistency at the moment.
I can see Porto causing Liverpool's defence problems and I think it is a given the home side will find the net, but I also think Porto's defence won't have encountered an attack as dangerous as Liverpool's and away from home at times this season, Liverpool's forward line has been sensational.
The Reds form is such that I can't back them to win this one, but while I think Porto will score, I also feel that Liverpool will find the net too and the most likely outcome here is a draw, which will suit Liverpool more heading into the second leg at Anfield in three weeks' time.
Draw - £10 returns £35.00
February 14, 2018
February 14, 2018
Real Madrid finished 2nd in Group H on 13 points. They are the current holders of the trophy having won it twice in the past two years.
Paris St Germain topped Group B with 15 points and scored a record 25 goals in the group stage, a Champions League record.
The teams have met a total of six times (excluding friendlies) in European competition, with their being two wins, two draws and two losses for each team.
The teams also met in a pre-season friendly in July 2016 when Paris St Germain won 3-1 in Ohio, the United States.
This is a game which is good enough grace the final but which now will mean one of Europe's biggest sides will be eliminated at the first phase of the knockout stage. Real Madrid's season has been poor by their standards in domestic terms and even their Champions League performances have been below par in the main, heaping pressure on manager Zinedine Zidane.
They face a PSG side that is running away with Ligue One in France and who have been superb at times in Europe this season, albeit they did lose 3-1 away to Bayern Munich in their final group game, a result which will certainly give the current holders of the trophy hope of knocking their French opponents out.
PSG's attack is built around Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani and while it is not been a happy trio of players at times, they are a genuine threat to any side and Real's defensive issues this season have been clear to see. Sergio Ramos and co will need to be at their best to keep PSG out.
That said, Ronaldo is still the tournament's leading goalscorer and while I can see PSG grabbing a crucial away goal, I think Ronaldo will also find the net and send both teams to Paris on the back of a score draw.
The Cheeky Punter is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.