The UEFA Champions League enters into the knockout phase, as Europe’s top 16 sides fight it out for a place in the quarters!
The actions gets underway at Camp Nou, where PSG look for redemption against the side who has knocked them out of the comp across their last three meetings.
Elsewhere, Liverpool hope to stop the rot when they face last year’s semi finalists RB Leipzig, while Ronaldo & co take on his hometown rivals in Porto and Sevilla looks to extend their winning streak to 10 matches when they host Dortmund.
We’ve previewed the first leg of UCL Round of 16 fixtures and provided our best betting plays along the way!
PSG head back to the site of their club’s most humiliating defeat when they take on Barcelona at Camp Nou on Wednesday morning (AEST).
The Parisians have been knocked out by Barca on the last three occasions the pair have met in the UCL, most recently blowing a four goal advantage going down 6-5 on aggregate!
The Spanish giants look to have put a rocky start to the season behind them, coinciding with Messi’s return to world beating form.
PSG will no doubt be haunted by their last Camp Nou fixture and I’m backing their anguish to be compounded with another defeat here.
RB Leipzig and Liverpool are set to meet for the first time as both sides travel to a neutral, non locked down territory, Budapest.
Leipzig are enjoying a purple patch at the moment, winning their last four matches across all competitions, whilst sitting second behind Bayern in the Bundesliga.
Alternatively, Liverpool are in disastrous form, losing three straight fixtures in the PL for the first time since 2014, seeing them drop down to 6th place on their domestic table.
It appears that the bookies have priced this fixture based on reputation rather than form, though I’ll be siding with the latter and jumping on the German side at huge overs.
Porto face the uphill battle of containing Cristiano Ronald in a Champions League fixture.
The Portuguese star returns to his home nation with an impressive record of 62 goals across 66 appearances in the UCL knockout stages!
Juventus is labouring behind both Milan sides in an extremely competitive Serie A season, though Ronaldo continues to find the back of the net, scoring 16 goals from 18 league starts.
UCL goals and Ronaldo go hand in hand, as such I’ll be backing the European Goat to score against his former arch rivals.
The last fixture of the week sees an in form Sevilla outfit play host to an out of sorts Borussia Dortmund.
Sevilla are out to claim their tenth win on the trot across all competitions, amazingly conceding just once across the streak!
Alternatively, Dortmund have won just twice across their last seven fixtures, failing to keep a single clean sheet.
With all the form on their side, i’ll be backing the home team to take a lead into the return fixture.
Lazio cruised through Group F undefeated, unfortunately four draws meant they didn’t top the pool, resulting in a nightmare draw with Bayern Munich in the Round of 16!
The German giants have looked uncharacteristically vulnerable of late, dropping points in their last two Bundesliga fixtures.
Domestic form aside, Bayern have been untouchable across the last two UCL seasons, becoming the only team in history to win every fixture on their way to the title in 2019/20!
Munich averaged a competition high of three goals per game during the Group Stage and I’m expecting them to blow Lazio out of the water here.
La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid are set to ‘host’ an inform Chelsea outfit at the National Arena in Romania!
Atletico have been in sensational knick in Spain this season, losing just twice across their previous 23 domestic fixtures, while conceding only 16 goals across the trip.
Following an inconsistent first half of the season, Chelsea have found their grove under new manager Thomas Tuchel.
The Blues remain undefeated under Tuchel’s tutelage, though Atleti will prove a far tougher opponent to crack than the hacks they’ve been coming up against in the PL.
Atletico are paying slight overs here and I’m more than happy to take them at the current price!
Borussia Monchengladbach have their work cut out for them as they take on a City side who are attempting to secure their 19th straight victory!
Alternatively, Monchengladbach have managed just seven wins across the same trip and are currently sitting in eighth position on the Bundesliga table.
The Sky Blues have only conceded seven goals across their last 25 competitive fixtures and I’m expecting them to keep another clean sheet at the expense of the German battlers in this one.
Real Madrid celebrate their 24th consecutive appearance in the UCL knockout stages with a trip to Atalanta.
The Spanish giants have won their last five UCL fixtures against Italian outfits, with a dominant 12-1 aggregate.
Of all the sides in the round of 16, Atalanta are the only one yet to taste victory at home (2D,1L).
After a disastrous start to their season, Real are starting to gather some serious momentum, closing in on Atletico on top of the La Liga table.
Madrid have been here and done it before, I’m backing their experience to trump Atalanta’s raw enthusiasm in what should be a thrilling contest,