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Champions League Tips: 13th & 14th March
by the Cheeky Punter
Last week’s Champions League betting tips didn’t go to plan but we recovered the situation at the weekend posting a profit thanks to Man Utd and Leicester city.
I think the form book will return to normal given this week’s selection of games in the UCL which don’t have the likelihood of being quite so volatile as last time around.
Indeed, all bar one match sees the teams very much with plenty to play for and a place in the quarterfinals a realistic prospect for both. That should produce some close matches and some real excitement, similar to what we had at Wembley in the week when Spurs capitulated somewhat in the face of a dogged Juventus team.
So, after a blank last week, and a rare one at that, I am hoping to get back to winning ways by landing at least a couple of the following tips for Tuesday and Wednesday night’s matches.
UEFA Champions League Tips: Tuesday 13th March
March 13, 2018
March 13, 2018
United were top of Group A in the Champions League with 15 points from their 6 games. Scoring 12 goals and conceding just 3 in those 6 games.
Sevilla finished second on Group E behind Liverpool with 9 points from their 6 matches. They scored 12 goals but also conceded 12 in those games.
The only previous competitive meeting between the teams was the 0-0 draw the teams played out in Seville three weeks ago.
United have only won two of their last 12 matches against Spanish clubs in European competition, drawing five and losing the other five.
After David De Gea's heroics in Spain ensured that Manchester United headed into this game all-square, the tide has turned in favour of the home team here. United have a formidable home record in Europe and also this season, only losing once in front of their home fans (ahead of their game with Liverpool at the weekend).
Sevilla though, have not travelled particularly well in Europe. They were ousted on the road from this tournament by Leicester City last season and shipped five goals away to Spartak Moscow in the group stage, as well as only securing a draw against Maribor Branik.
They did manage a draw with Liverpool at Anfield but that was largely down to Liverpool missing a penalty and some woeful defending by the home side who should have won the home leg (and the away) with relative ease.
United will not make the same defensive mistakes as Liverpool and I cannot see any way Sevilla could earn a score draw here against a United defence that has been miserly at home this season. As such, I think this has the look of a relatively comfortable 2-0 win for the home side here.
AS Roma finished top of Group C due to a better head to head record than Chelsea, securing 11 points and scoring 9 goals, conceding six.
Shakhtar Donetsk qualified in second spot in Group F behind Manchester City with 12 points from 6 games, scoring 9 goals and conceding 9.
One of Roma's three defeats at this stage of the competition came against Shakhtar back in 2010/11. Real Madrid and Arsenal have also beaten them at the Round of 16 stage.
Shakhtar have played 10 times in Italy in their history, losing seven games, drawing two and winning just once.
AS Roma have been one of the most frustratingly inconsistent sides in Europe this season. Capable of playing some brilliant football, as they did when defeating Chelsea in the group stage or when they recently beat Serie A leaders Napoli away from home, but they are also capable of maddeningly poor performances too.
Shakhtar capitalised on one of those to earn a deserved win in the first leg in the Ukraine but that away goal may well be Roma's lifeline. If they can secure a 1-0 win, then that will be enough to win on away goals, however, defensively is where Roma have had their issues this season and it is hard to see them keeping a clean sheet.
In truth, if I was to put money on this game, I would back this being a 2-1 win for AS Roma but that would then send the game into extra time and as to who would win it from there, I have absolutely no idea to be honest. I'd plump for Roma to go through, but not with great conviction.
That said, I think the sensible bet here is on a Roma win, even if it just means they still need extra time to try and get the job done.
Roma To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns £32.00
Champions League Predictions: Wednesday 14th March
March 14, 2018
March 14, 2018
Besiktas qualified for the Round of 16 by winning Group G ahead of FC Porto with 14 points from their 6 games total - scoring 11 goals and conceding 5.
Bayern earned one more point (15) than Besiktas but were 2nd in Group B behind PSG on h2h record with the French side - scoring 13 goals, conceding 6.
Besiktas are unbeaten in their last 12 European matches in Istanbul, winning five of those games and drawing seven.
Bayern Munich are in a great run of form and have won all of their last seven away games in all competitions.
Last week, all the teams that had secured big wins in the first leg didn't really turn up in their home match. Liverpool were lacklustre against an equally ineffective FC Porto side, while Manchester City were well below par when losing 2-1 at home to FC Basel.
So will Bayern Munich follow the trend against a Besiktas side that have an excellent home record in European competition over the last 12 games? Well, I could make a case for a draw here but something tells me that Bayern Munich are far too professional to do that.
With the Bundesliga all but sewn up already, Bayern are not likely to risk any players at risk of suspension here, but I can still see them putting out a very strong team, capable of hitting Besiktas on the counter attack and causing the Turkish side plenty of problems. It's worth remembering, at this stage of the competition last season, they beat Arsenal 5-1 both home and away to progress.
I do think Besiktas will find a goal, they have tended to do so for their home fans in almost all of their recent matches in Europe, but I also fancy Bayern to grab at least two in return to secure a win and an easy place in the quarterfinals.
Bayern Munich To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns £27.00
The 1-1 draw between the teams at Stamford Bridge was the 6th draw in the last nine matches between the two teams stretching back to 2006.
Messi's strike against Chelsea in the last match at Stamford Bridge was the first time he had scored against Chelsea in his ninth game against them.
Chelsea finished second in Group C on head to head performance against Roma to earn a place in the Round of 16. Scoring 16 goals, conceding 8 and netting 11 points.
Barcelona landed 14 points in Group D to top their group, they conceded just one goal in qualifying for the Round of 16 and scored 9 in their six games.
I can't help feeling that in this tie, Chelsea have blown their chance of causing a big upset when that mistake in defence handed Lionel Messi the equaliser that Barcelona scarcely deserved on the night. Willian hit both posts and scored a goal for Chelsea and had the Londoners won 2 or even 3-0, Barcelona could have had no complaints.
However those misses, plus that Messi goal, now hand Barcelona a massive advantage for the return match in the Nou Camp and given their performances at home this season, it is hard to make a case for a Chelsea side who were so awful away at Manchester City, doing anything here.
The one difference here is that Chelsea have to win, or draw 2-2 or better, to stay in the tournament while 1-1 forces extra time. I concede, at their best, Chelsea could snatch a 1-1 draw, but with the form Messi and Suarez are in at the moment, I am not so sure that this leaky Chelsea defence can keep them out.
Coutinho being cup tied won't help Barcelona but I think even without him they have enough talent to win this one either 2-1 or 3-1.
Barcelona To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns £31.00
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.