We believe strongly in a regulated, safe and fair environment for gamblers. At CheekyPunter.com we pride ourselves on our independent and impartial reviews. However we do accept compensation from the bookmakers advertised on this page and this can affect brand positions. Reviews are our own personal opinion and we do not accept financial compensation to influence the ratings included.
UEFA Champions League Tips: 6th & 7th March
by the Cheeky Punter
Last time around the first set of Champions League games didn’t produce any great returns for us but the second round did, so I am hopeful that we are going to land some decent profits with this selection of four games coming up across Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
There’s some interesting matches this week, notably PSG and Real Madrid’s clash in Paris while the Spurs v Juventus game at Wembley is also balanced on a knife edge. Man City and Liverpool fans should have an enjoyable week given the big leads both these teams carry into the second legs.
Here’s my tips for this week’s Champions League action and check back on Wednesday for my selection of Europa League Round of 16 first leg tips too:
UEFA Champions League Tips: Tuesday 6th March
March 6, 2018
March 6, 2018
The teams have met five times previously in European competition, there have been two draws and Liverpool have won the remaining three games.
Jurgen Klopp has already pledged not to rest any players for the tie with Porto despite the Reds facing Manchester United away the following weekend.
Liverpool have won both the matches between the teams contested at Anfield.
Since losing 5-0 to Liverpool, Porto have played three games, scoring 13 goals and conceding just 2 in their domestic league.
The first leg of this game in Portugal resulted in a thumping win for Liverpool and in truth, the Reds should already have booked their place in the quarter finals draw following that victory in Portugal. It would take a monumental meltdown of epic proportions to see FC Porto come back from this deficit.
That is especially the case after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed that he does not intend to rest any players for this game, with the Manchester United league game in mind at the weekend. That means the attacking trio of Salah, Mane and Firmino should be together once again to cause the Porto back line plenty of problems.
Don't underestimate too the performances of James Milner in Europe this season, he has more assists (7) in the Champions League than any other player by three and he has been a solid and reliable performer for the Reds, especially away from Anfield.
I do think Porto will grab a goal here as Liverpool can be shocking defensively at times, but by the same token I expect their attack to at least grab a couple of goals to ensure they make safe passage into the quarter finals.
Liverpool To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns £31.50
PSG are without the injured Thiago Motta for this clash while left back Layvin Kurzawa is also a doubt as is, more worryingly, striker Edinson Cavani.
Real Madrid will be without the suspended Dani Carvajal, while Jesus Vallejo and Dani Ceballos are both likely to be ruled out with injuries.
Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp could return for PSG after missing the first leg with injury. Alphonse Areola may make way for the German's return.
PSG have come back from a 3-1 deficit to Real before. In the 1993 UEFA Cup, they lost 3-1 in Madrid but won 4-1 in Paris thanks to goals from Weah, Ginola, Valdo and Koumbouare.
For a long time in the first leg Paris St Germain were sitting pretty with a 1-1 scoreline, having had a few chances to improve that in their favour. Then with around 10 minutes to go, the tie changed markedly when Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo grabbed a goal apiece for Real Madrid to give the current Champions League holders a 3-1 first leg lead.
PSG will know that these leads can be overturned. They themselves fell victim to Barcelona's remarkable comeback in the tournament last year when they turned around a 4-0 first leg deficit against PSG to win the return leg 6-1 and go through 6-5 on aggregate.
The question for me in this game is not whether PSG will win, I think they will, but by what score. Real are capable of grabbing a goal or two against any side and that could be crucial here.
I do have a feeling that this tie will be the one most likely to require extra time, so I am going to hedge my bets a little here and back PSG to win and both teams to score, which gives me flexibility over the result.
PSG To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns £29.50
FC Basel's record away to English clubs is dire having won just one of 13 matches in England against English opposition in European competition.
City have several injury concerns ahead of this game with doubts over the fitness of Delph, Sane, Silva. Mendy and De Jesus could also miss out.
City's win in Switzerland was their sixth win in seven games in the tournament. They lost the other match away to Shakhtar Donetsk having already qualified for the Knockout Phase.
Luca Zuffi and Eder Balanta could both miss out for FC Basel through injury. No team has any players suspended for this game.
Is there any conceivable way Manchester City do not make it through this tie and go out of the tournament at this stage? No there isn't, barring all of City's players being struck down with Flu and City having to field an U13 side in their place, I don't think Basle stand any realistic chance of progressing and I am sure manager Raphael Wicky feels the same.
City's 4-0 lead from the first leg will be ample for the Citizens to go through and I fancy they will add a few more goals to boost that aggregate tally here, especially if Guardiola elects to go with anything like his strongest possible team.
The real problem for me here was finding a competitive bet on the City game as even City to win to nil was a less than even money selection, so instead I have gone for the Over 3.5 Goals option which means that if there are four or more goals in this game, it's a winner and I think out of all the bets available, this is the best value one at present.
Spurs were dealt a blow when Toby Alderweireld was ruled out of the game in the week. Back up keeper Vorm is their only other injury doubt.
Juventus have confirmed Juan Cuadrado, Mattia De Sciglio and Federico Bernardeschi will miss out while Gonzalo Higuain is a slight doubt with injury.
The good news for Juventus is that after missing the first leg of the match, striker Paulo Dybala should be fit for the trip to Wembley.
Serge Aurier will be suspended for Tottenham for this game, which will likely mean Kieran Trippier will deputise at right back.
After an enthralling first leg between these teams, both sides will fancy their chances of going through, although with two away goals and the home leg to come, and no deficit to pull back, you cannot help but feel that the tie has swung in the favour of Tottenham.
A word of warning for Spurs though is that Juventus are expecting to have their key striker Paulo Dybala back for this tie. The young Argentinian was superb in the competition last season against Barcelona and he is their talisman. He is more than capable of grabbing a crucial goal for the Italians.
However what sways me to back Spurs here is the way that they dominated the game in Turin. Other than the first 10 minutes, Spurs had almost all the possession, all the better chances and scored twice against a team that had conceded just one goal in their prior 16 matches before that.
That big pitch at Wembley too is going to be a problem for the ageing Juventus defence and midfield to cover and I think that could well see Spurs keeping things tight and then perhaps snatching a late goal or two to clinch the win and a place in the quarterfinal 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.