Juventus v Atletico Madrid
The first of our Mar 12-13 Champions League betting tips is for Juventus v Atletico Madrid. Champions League football returns this midweek with the second leg matches of the Round of 16 going ahead on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7.45pm live on BT Sport. It’s a midweek delight for sports fans with the Cheltenham Festival in the afternoon followed by the cream of the continent from planet football in the evening. Juventus go looking to overturn a 2-0 deficit after being put in their place over in Spain, but recent history shows we can take nothing for granted in this tournament and the Italians will rate their chances.
Juve warmed up for this one with an impressive 4-1 win over Udinese at home in the Serie A on Friday night and as well as an extra day of rest than usual, they will also have benefited from the massive confidence boost hat came from hammering a strong opponent. Kean scored a double and that was added to by Can and Matuidi, more than enough to see off the visitors who responded through Lasagna when already four goals behind. An utterly convincing performance and Juventus are favourites to win on Tuesday, priced 8/11 with Coral. You won’t find better than that quote.
Madrid Have the Advantage
Atletico Madrid were expected to struggle in their first match with European super powers Juventus, despite holding home advantage, but they moved into a strong lead thanks to a cracking performance. Flexing their muscles on Spanish soil to prove they are a force to be reckoned with at this level, Madrid stormed into the lead when Gimenez struck a 78th minute opener. They were made to wait for the goal but that seemed to relax them a little and they soon doubled that advantage, Godin striking a second less than five minutes later. A double dunt and it left Juventus looking shell-shocked.
The Spaniards were made to wait until Saturday for their weekend league match, but they too got the desired result when beating Leganes 1-0 at home, the winning goal coming from Saul early in the second-half. It was a trickier test than followers had hoped ahead of this one, but a number of players were given the day off, keeping fresh for this all-important midweek trip. Bookies have the away day scored out at 19/4, top price with Bet365, a draw chalked up on the betting board at 14/5 with the same firm. Take no in the both teams to score market for an added leg to your midweek accumulators at 7/10 (Coral).
Manchester City v FC Schalke
Man City went on the attack in the first leg as they aimed to bury this tie at the earliest opportunity but they failed to secure a big advantage, although The Cityzens did win the match courtesy of a 3-2 final score in what was a thriller from the first whistle. An away win, three goals scored and they are now back in England, City are in the driving seat but must sure up their defence if they are to protect the one goal lead and get themselves through to the next phase. There’s still plenty of football to be played in this one and if the Premier League champions believe they have already done the hard bit, they’re in for a rude awakening.
The hosts claimed another English top-flight win at the weekend when dealing out a 3-1 beating to Watford at this venue on Saturday afternoon, all without breaking a sweat. Sterling fired home a hat-trick that day with each of the three goals coming in quick succession, no more than 13 minutes between first and last. Deulofeu hit a consolation but it did nothing to change the pattern of the game and City were deserving of the league points as they keep up the pressure on main rivals Liverpool. Another victory over Schalke is 2/13 at Coral, although a draw would do at 15/2.
Schalke Must Take their Chances
Schalke arrive at the Etihad knowing exactly what they must do to get through this leg and that’s exactly what City did to them in the first-leg – be fearless and take the chances that come their way. They handled themselves well enough going forward last time and got on the scoresheet through Bentaleb who rocketed home from the penalty spot on 38 and 45 minutes, taking full advantage of the referee’s generosity. They only have themselves to blame for defeat, however, as they couldn’t hold on against 10 men after Otamendi was sent off.
The visitors were last spotted in competitive action when losing to Werder Bremen on Friday, leaking four goals on their travels, ending on the wrong side of a 4-2 scoreline. A double from Embolo was no match for the victors who won thanks to Rashica’s brace, as well as Kruse and Harnik. That sort of defending will plunge them into deep trouble and you can back both teams to score in this match at 23/20 (Coral), a better bet than taking the away win at a heavyweight 23/1 with Unibet. That’s big, but their form means it’s not quite big enough.
Barcelona v Lyon
Moving on to Wednesday and Barcelona look to finish the job at home after holding on for a goalless draw in France last time. The first leg rated as a bit of a disappointment as neutrals had hoped for a free-scoring game between two of the most exciting sides left in the competition, but it failed to live up to expectations. What we got was a rather more tactical affair with Barca showing their game management to take a draw back to Spain, stopping their opponents finding the net in the process. Not what armchair fans wanted, but it put Barcelona in the box seat for qualification.
The hosts hammered Rayo Vallecano in La Liga on Saturday and that was a match that didn’t give them too many problems with their opponents struggling for points. The league leaders and champions in-waiting grabbed the result thanks to goals from Pique, Messi and Suarez, although they did fall behind to a Gomez opener early in the contest. There will be fresh legs in the home dressing room and bookies have them picked to win. If you agree you will have to get on with the 1/4 at Unibet. A price for your accas, it would seem.
Missed a Trick
Lyon missed a trick when failing to score at home and not only do they need to beat Barcelona if they want to go through – or at least grab a scoring draw – they’ll have to do it on the road and that’s no mean feat for any side in world football. While having to score they will also have to be mindful of Barca’s relentless attack, keeping things tight and taking the sting out of the match at every opportunity. Then, when the chance presents itself, they will have to bury it to stay alive.
The Ligue 1 outfit fought out an energy-sapping 2-2 draw with Strasbourg on Saturday in the French premier league, Dembele hitting both goals to match a pair of Ajorque strikes which hit the net less than a minute apart. Lyon were 2-0 up in that one but soon found themselves taking home a point due to a lapse in concentration. Do that against Barcelona and it’s obvious what will happen. The away day is not for us, even at 12/1 (Ladbrokes).
Bayern Munich v Liverpool
The last of our Mar 12-13 Champions League betting tips is for Bayern Munich v Liverpool Bayern got a goalless draw at Anfield on 19 February and you would imagine that is enough to send them through. Liverpool are a side with attacking flair, however, and that makes this one a little more interesting. It could become a straight shoot-out for a place in the next round. Neutrals certainly hope so. Taking no in the both teams to score market will earn you a shot at 6/5 with Bet365, while you’ll get 23/20 with the same bookie if you back Munich. That’s top price and it also makes them favourite in the match betting.
Keep Calm and Defend
Liverpool were fancied to make home advantage count that day and go to Germany with a lead to protect but they couldn’t find a way past a well-organised side and if they do bow out at this stage The Reds will blame their exit on that alone. Liverpool must remain calm and know they also kept their opponents out. It’ll be a case of more of the same in defence, while being lethal in the final third and punishing any mistakes on the counter. Liverpool are a delight to watch at times on the break and we’re backing them to upset the odds at 5/2. That’s best price at Bet365, the draw marked up at 27/10 at the same shop.