The first four teams for the Champions League quarter-finals will be known this week, with two being confirmed on Tuesday and two on Wednesday. We head into the second legs this week with two ties seemingly over already, and two that look finely balanced which should provide us with some exciting action.
Of the games remaining, the pick of the ties is certainly Tottenham’s tie with Juventus, which is level at 2-2 after the first leg. Spurs found themselves 2-0 down in the first game, but battled back and showed great character to set up what is sure to be a great second game between them.
Elsewhere, fellow British clubs Liverpool and Manchester City hold strong leads going into their second legs and with both of them playing at home, it would be a huge shock to see either overturned.
Paris Saint Germain have a tough task at home to Real Madrid, but they will still have hope they can overturn their deficit, especially if they can get on the scoresheet early. They are missing Neymar which is a huge blow for them, and they are 3-1 down, but a quick goal for PSG would set that tie up brilliantly. Madrid are vulnerable at the back and it will be interesting to see how they cope with the pressure they are sure to face from the French club on Tuesday.
Liverpool vs Porto – Liverpool win
PSG vs Real Madrid – Draw
Tottenham vs Juventus – Tottenham win
Manchester City vs Basel – Manchester City win
Liverpool vs Porto – Tuesday, 19:45 BT Sport 3
With a 5-0 aggregate lead going into this one, anything other than seeing Liverpool in the last eight will be a huge surprise. In Portugal, during the first leg, they played some great football, and their attacking players were far superior to the Porto defence. I expect we will see many changes made by Liverpool, to aid their push for a top-four spot in the Premier League, but the team they put out should still have enough to beat Porto.
The Portuguese team are coming to England with nothing to play for, they know their time in the Champions League is over. They also have important games coming up domestically, so may also play a slightly weaker team for this one. There appears to only be one winner here both on the night and on aggregate and that is Liverpool, who will be one of many English clubs making the next round.
PSG vs Real Madrid – Tuesday, 19:45 BT Sport 2
Real Madrid holds the lead after a fascinating first leg tie in Spain, they now take their 3-1 score line with them to France. The first leg was a thrilling end to end tie, with both teams have many chances to score, and highlighting the defensive issues that both of them have. One key going into this game is that Neymar will not play for PSG due to injury, which is a huge blow for them. Just when they need their star to help them out of a hole, he is unavailable.
However, they have many other attacking options in the team, and certainly enough to trouble this Madrid defence. An early goal for PSG would bring both this game and the crowd to life, giving them a real opportunity to make the next round. However, I can also see Real Madrid being able to score a goal on the break, and that is going to be a bridge too far for PSG, who look likely to be eliminated at this stage. They are sure to make a go of it, but a draw looks likely on the night, giving Real Madrid a place in the last eight.
Tottenham vs Juventus – Wednesday, 19:45 BT Sport 2
This is certainly the most evenly balanced of all the ties which come to a finish this weekend, and one that should be a great game. The teams are tied at 2-2 after the first leg, in a game which was certainly a game of two halves. Tottenham were very poor during the first half in Italy, and they didn’t appear to have an answer to the Juventus attacking threat. They went 2-0 down early and looked down and out from that point.
However, the second half saw them battle back and pull the game back level at 2-2, and to be honest had there been another 15 minutes to play, Tottenham would have won that game. Both teams will fancy their chances based on what they did at their best in the first game, but both know they can’t afford any lapse in concentration like we saw in that game too. With the home advantage, and a chance to make the last eight, I am siding with Tottenham, who can give the English fans another home team to cheer on in the next round.
Manchester City vs Basel – Wednesday, 19:45 BT Sport 3
Manchester City have a 4-0 lead going into this game and just like the Liverpool game, this appears to be all over. I also expect to see two weakened teams going at it here, with both of these having important domestic business to attend to. Having said that, even a weakened Manchester City team should have more than enough to beat Basel here, and the Swiss team could be in danger of receiving another big defeat from City.
City’s attacking style was far too much for Basel to cope with in the first leg, and with such an impressive squad of players to choose from, City can make numerous changes and still put out a team that would win this one comfortably. This looks set to be another uncomfortably European night for Basel, with an easy Manchester City win looking likely.
When looking at the four games that are taking place this weekend, the one bet that looks like it will be hugely popular with punters is the English treble. That is Liverpool (4/7), Manchester City (1/6) and Tottenham (6/5) all to win their games. There are five English clubs left in the competition at this stage, and it would not be a surprise to see all three playing this week make it through to the last eight.
Those looking for value may think Juventus are worth a bet at 5/2 in what should be a close game at Wembley, while I like the odds on a draw between PSG and Real Madrid. This is priced up at 16/5 and represents very good value. Both teams have the ability to score goals, but the likelihood is that PSG will push too hard, and Madrid can hit them on the counter-attack. Both of them should score, and I like the look of the draw in this one, which means Madrid will progress to the last eight.
Liverpool vs Porto – Any team to win a corner 25/1 with Ladbrokes
This is a great offer from Ladbrokes for this week’s games, so if you are looking at opening a new betting account, be sure to check this out. They are offering odds of 25/1 on any team to have a corner in the game between Liverpool and Porto on Tuesday. This is a huge price, it is almost certain we will see a corner in the game, and something to look into if you are looking at opening a new online betting account to place this week’s bets on.
PSG vs Real Madrid – Double winnings as a free bet if your team wins both halves with Coral
Coral have a great offer on for the PSG vs Real Madrid game this week, and this is open to anyone, new or existing customers. They are offering double winning, with the additional amount as a free bet on bets for either PSG or Real Madrid to win the game. You will receive double winnings if your chosen team wins both halves of the game. If you are thinking of backing either team in the game, this gives you a chance to win double, so it makes sense to bet with Coral.
Double Delight & Hat-Trick Heaven on First Goal Scorer bets with Betfred
If you are looking to place a bet on a player to score first then it makes sense to go to Betfred. Their double delight/hat-trick heaven promotion is running on the following two Champions League games this week:
Juventus vs Tottenham
PSG vs Real Madrid
Place a bet on a player to score first in these games and if he does, you will have a winning bet. However, if the player goes on and scores again, you will be paid out at double the odds. Should your player get a third, you will be paid at treble the odds, giving you great value if this lands. It makes sense to place these bets with Betfred if it is something you are doing this week.