UEFA Champions League: Round of 16 Preview

Round of 16 Preview

Our football pundit previews the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matches which take place on Tuesday 20 February and Wednesday 21 February 2018.

The business end of the UEFA Champions League continues with the final four fixtures of the round taking place this week. There’s some interesting encounters to look forward to, with the clash between Chelsea and Barcelona being the most eye-catching. The side I tipped for glory at the start of the campaign, Bayern Munich, host Besiktas, while Shakhtar Donetsk and Roma battle it out.

Also, Jose Mourinho will manage his first knockout game in the Champions League for Man United, and that comes against tricky opposition in the form of Sevilla. While the joy of football is priority on most of our minds, there’s still some enticing odds on offer, meaning there is money to be made!
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Tuesday 20 February

Chelsea 26/10
Draw 24/10
Barcelona 19/20
Chelsea and Barcelona go head-to-head in the pick of this week’s action. The last time these sides met in this stage of the competition, the Blues came out 5-4 winners on aggregate, back in the 2004/05 season. Overall, Chelsea and Barcelona have played each other 12 times, with the Catalans winning three times, while the hosts have won four.

Lionel Messi, who is arguably the greatest player to ever live, hasn’t scored in eight meeting against the Blues, but he’ll surely fancy his chances this time around, with Antonio Conte’s men winning just one of their last four home games in the Champions League. Barcelona are undefeated in their domestic league and in Europe’s elite competition this season. My money is on Barcelona to Win/Draw and Both Teams to Score at 11/10.

Bayern Munich 2/13
Draw 6/1
Besiktas 14/1
After becoming the first Turkish side to win their UEFA Champions League group, Besiktas will look to upset the applecart once again when they travel to take on Bayern Munich. Of course, that will be a difficult task, especially under Jupp Heynckes, who has won all four Champions League games managing Bayern this season, including an impressive 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain.

Besiktas are unbeaten in seven European matches, winning four, although they will definitely find it much tougher without Cenk Tosun, who completed a move to Everton in January. Robert Lewandowski has scored in 11 consecutive home games in the German Bundesliga and is tipped to continue his scoring form in the Champions League. Back Bayern on the (-1) Handicap at 9/20!

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Wednesday 21 February

Sevilla 19/10
Draw 43/20
Manchester United 29/20
Spanish giants, Sevilla, lock horns with Manchester United on Wednesday night. It’s the 2016 Europa League champions against the 2017 champions. Both teams showed that this is the competition that they belong in and they’ll be setting their sights on the next round of the tournament.

This will be the clubs’ first meeting in any UEFA competition, however, Jose Mourinho holds a special record of his own against Sevilla. The Man United boss has beaten Los Rojiblancos on seven different occasions from his time at Real Madrid, while he has only lost just once. Alexis Sanchez is available to play for the Red Devils after completing his move from Arsenal, and he will certainly hold key to United’s chances. My money is on the away win here.

Shakhtar Donetsk 27/20
Draw 9/4
Roma 39/20
The action concludes with Shakhtar Donetsk and Roma battling it out in Ukraine. These sides last met in the Champions League, back in the 2010/11 season where Shakhtar won both legs to knock Roma out. Funny enough, that was the Ukrainian giants’ only win in the Last 16. Shakhtar have always made their home ground a fortress, losing just one of their last 13 matches.

Roma were brilliant in the group stages, and it seemed that Edin Dzeko hadn’t aged a bit since the days we used to see him regularly in the English Premier League. They’re a great side to watch on their day and they cannot be ruled out from progressing here. For me, Both Teams to Score is the best bet here at 15/20.

QUAD @ 13/1
Barca Win/Draw & BTTS 11/10
Bayern Munich (-1) Handicap 9/20
Man United Win 14/10
Shakhtar vs Roma BTTS 15/20

Jesse Nagel

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