Tips & Predictions

Champions League Round of 16 preview

The wait is finally over, the Champions League returns! With the winners of the group stages confirmed, all the attention turns to the final round of 16 as the knockout stages commence.

We preview three of the main fixtures below.

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FC Copenhagen v Man City – Tuesday 20:00

Reigning champions Manchester City face off against the Danish league champions FC Copenhagen in the opening leg of the round of 16 at the Parken Stadium. Man City certainly have the edge, despite the lack of home advantage, considering they have had a decent run of games in the build up to this fixture, whereas FC Copenhagen haven’t played a competitive game since defeating Galatasaray in their final group game two months ago.

City have stepped their game up in the Premier League and now sit just two points behind Liverpool with a game in hand and Pep Guardiola will be searching for as much silverware as he can get his hands on this season. The current champions are 1/5 to dismiss the Danish team, with the latter underdogs at 11/1.

With Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne back in the first team following injury, they have a star-studded outfit who will look to create a fair margin to make the return leg back at home a smooth ride. Haaland is 8/13 to hit the back of the net with Julian Alvarez a keen second at 13/8. For the home team, Roony Bardghji is 9/2 to get on the scoresheet in front of Diogo Goncalves at 24/5.

RB Leipzig v Real Madrid – Tuesday 20:00

Champions League veterans Real Madrid are looking to reclaim their status as the top team in Europe having dominated the competition for the last decade. With the addition of English talent Jude Bellingham who has been tearing things up in La Liga this season, Los Blancos are in fine form and will seek a win in Leipzig despite his absence in the first leg.

Having met twice in Champions League history, both teams have come away victorious once, and RB Leipzig are not to dismissed ahead of this fixture. They currently sit fifth in the Bundesliga and are chasing down Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart for a place in the top four. Real Madrid are currently 11/10 to get a victory away from home in the first leg, with the hosts only at 2/1.

Vinicius Jnr. (8/5) and Joselu (17/10) are favourites the score in the opening leg for Los Blancos as they hunt for an easy route into the quarterfinals, taking the pressure off in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabéu. Lois Openda is sitting joint fifth in the Champions League top scorers charts at the moment and is 6/4 to find the back of the net for RB Leipzig for the fifth time this campaign, with Benjamin Sesko the next best bet at 12/5.

Lazio v Bayern Munich – Wednesday 20:00

Lazio will host Bayern Munich at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to kick off proceedings in their two-legged battle for the quarterfinals. Despite the home advantage, Lazio are 19/5 to win the first leg, which one can only imagine is down to their poor season in the Serie A in comparison to their league campaign last year, which saw them take the silver medal behind Napoli. Bayern on the other hand are odds-on favourites at 8/13.

Bayern comfortably walked out top of their group on 16 points, dropping just two points in their draw against FC Copenhagen. Lazio ended up second in their group on 10 points and have everything to prove in this fixture against the current runners-up in the Bundesliga. However, Bayern have recently suffered a huge 3-0 loss against Bayer Leverkusen which one can only imagine is a massive knock to the confidence ahead of this all-important European clash, which may leave the door ajar for the Roman giants.

Harry Kane has been all goals this season in the Bundesliga and is 3/4 to hit the back of the nets against Lazio, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Mathys Tel in behind at 9/5. For Maurizio Sarri’s side, familiar face Ciro Immobile leads the running to etch his name on the scoresheet at 23/10, with forward Taty Castellanos next in line at 16/5.

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