The greatest club competition reaches its business end with just 16 teams left fighting for the prestigious UEFA Champions League trophy. It should be a cracking encounter when Thomas Tuchel faces his former employers when Paris Saint-Germain travel to Dortmund on Tuesday, while world champions, Liverpool, face Atletico Madrid on the same day. Wednesday night’s action sees the dark horses of the tournament square up as Atalanta host Valencia, while Tottenham will be looking to go the distance again with RB Leipzig being their first big hurdle.
Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Tuesday 18 February
Paris Saint-Germain 5/4
It doesn’t get more fascinating than a Dortmund-PSG tie. Both teams have one of the deadliest attacks across Europe and will come out guns blazing to outscore one another. The Parisians have been knocked out of the competition at this stage in the last three seasons, although the club have given warning signs to their rivals that they may be ready to compete right to the very end this term, topping Group A by five points and getting four points off Real Madrid, including their 3-0 hammering in Paris.
Like PSG, Dortmund were also beaten at this stage of the tournament last season and have not reached the quarter-finals since 2016/17. Both clubs have a plethora of attacking talent in their squad with Dortmund boasting Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho in their ranks, while the French giants have Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. My money is on Over 3.5 Goals at 11/10.
Atletico Madrid 22/10
Given Atletico Madrid’s form this season, they would have probably been pitted as underdogs against most teams currently in the tournament. Against Liverpool, Diego Simeone’s men face a massive mountain to climb, and with the second leg being at Anfield, they’ll need to do more than just stay in the tie in the first leg – they simply have to win.
Liverpool have been outstanding this season and are the only unbeaten team domestically across Europe’s top five leagues. Atletico Madrid won just three of their six group ties, finishing as runners-up in Group D – six points behind Juventus. The Wanda Metropolitano Stadium is also the ground where Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League last June. Under 2.5 Goals looks to be the most sensible bet here at 7/10.
Wednesday 19 February
It’s fair to assume that attentions will be elsewhere when Atalanta and Valencia lock horns in the Round of 16. The pair have punched above their weight to be where they are at the moment with not many expecting these two sides to make it out of their respective groups. Atalanta have been the neutral’s favourite this term. They’re into the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, sit fourth in the Italian Serie A, score plenty of goals – netting 61 in their league – and play an exciting brand of football to match that.
Valencia have the European experience needed to manage both ties against the hosts in order to achieve qualification. Their best performances have been in the UEFA Champions League, where the Bats won at Ajax and Chelsea. Put your money on a valuable away win at 3/1.
RB Leipzig 39/20
RB Leipzig seem to be this season’s ‘Ajax’ as the German side look to upset their way into the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League. Well, if they’re the new Ajax, Spurs would fancy their chances after being the side to knock the Dutch giants out the competition last year.
Spurs lost both home and away against fellow Germans, Bayern Munich, this campaign – but new boss, Jose Mourinho, was pictured in attendance last weekend as Leipzig and Bayern Munich played to a goalless draw at the Allianz Arena, so perhaps the Portuguese tactician spotted a weakness in Leipzig’s game. Mourinho is known as a big-game manager, so he should have a rabbit to pull out of the hat when these two sides meet. I’m backing Spurs to Win & Both Teams to Score at 26/10.
Tuesday DOUBLE @ 5/2
Dortmund vs PSG Over 3.5 Goals 11/10
Atl. Madrid vs Liverpool Under 2.5 Goals 7/10
Wednesday DOUBLE @ 13/1
Valencia Win 3/1
Tottenham Win & BTTS 26/10