Guides

Champions League Round Of 16 – 2nd Leg Previews


This week we restart with the Round of 16 games in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League across Europe, and in the Champions League, we are now going into the second leg of the eight Round of 16 ties.

There’s a real mix of ties to look at this week in Europe’s premiere club competition, some ties see one team in an almost unassailable position, while in others, things are still very much up for grabs for both teams.

With a place in the quarter final draw at stake, which will see teams drawn entirely at random with no seedings, this is the stage of the tournament where things can get very interesting for the teams that can make it through.

There is still plenty of British interest in the competition too with Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea all holding leads from their first leg games, while Manchester United earned a draw away to Atletico Madrid in their clash in Spain.

Let’s now take a look at the games this week, with odds provided by bet365 Sport. The odds shown were correct at time of writing but may have changed in the meantime.

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Champions League Round of 16 – Second Leg Ties

Tuesday 8th March

  • Bayern Munich (1) v (1) Red Bull Salzburg

Salsburg did well to almost beat Bayern in the first leg in Austria, the Germans requiring a very late equaliser from Kingsley Coman to avoid a rare defeat. However, with Bayern at home in the second leg, it is hard to see the Austrians progressing from this tie.

Bayern do have a number of players injured for the game, but such is the strength in depth of their squad that they can bring in top class replacements all over the field. Salzburg, who do tend to score goals, will feel if they can get a goal they could put Bayern under pressure, but in truth I see the German side being runaway winners here.

Correct Score Tip – Bayern Munich 4-1 Red Bull Salzburg – 12/1

  • Liverpool (2) v (0) Inter Milan

Liverpool did superbly well to come through a tricky tie in the San Siro with a 2-0 victory. They withstood some decent Inter pressure, especially early in the second half before two well-taken goals from Firmino and Salah put the six-times Champions League winners into a very strong position heading into the second leg.

Inter’s form until the weekend had been pretty poor but a 5-0 win over Salernitana gave them a big boost before this game. It’s not out of the question that Inter could win this game, but Liverpool have been playing so well that I think they have the experience and quality to navigate this fixture and pick up the win.

Correct Score Tip – Liverpool 2-1 Inter Milan – 15/2

Wednesday 9th March

  • Manchester City (5) v (0) Sporting Lisbon

Manchester City ran riot in the first leg of this tie. The 5-0 scoreline doesn’t really tell the whole story as City were 5-0 up after 58 minutes and had also seen two goals disallowed by VAR by that time. In truth, Lisbon were somewhat fortunate that City didn’t add a few more goals to their tally in that one-sided first leg.

So as you would expect, I am not too confident that Lisbon are going to do much in this second leg as they are already out of the competition in all but name. They’ll want to avoid a heavy defeat but City don’t know how to take it easy against teams and I think they could run up a fair few goals in another convincing win.

Correct Score Tip – Manchester City 4-0 Sporting Lisbon – 8/1

  • Real Madrid (0) v (1) Paris St Germain

A last gasp Kylian Mbappe goal gave Paris a narrow lead from the first leg, but Real will be confident that they can turn that around, although Carlo Ancelotti’s team are going to have to be far more attack minded than they were in the first leg when they managed just three shots in the game, all off target.

Paris certainly had the better of the chances but found Real’s massed ranks of defence hard to crack. However, with Real needing to score, I can see the French side being able to capitalise on that on the break and with some of their best performances in Europe coming away from home in recent years, I think PSG may surprise a few and land a narrow win here.

Correct Score Tip – Real Madrid 1-2 Paris St Germain – 9/1

Tuesday 15th March

  • Ajax (2) v (2) Benfica

I have to be honest and say that I was quite surprised Ajax didn’t win the first leg of this tie. Benfica put up a much more stern resistance than I expected and the Portuguese side head into the away leg knowing any win would see them through, while even a draw could take things to penalties.

Ajax though won all six of their games in the group stage and while that record was ended in the first leg of this game, I think the Dutch side have more than enough quality to get the job done at home and move into the quarter finals of the tournament, although this is a game that could see a fair few goals.

Correct Score Tip – Ajax 3-1 Benfica – 10/1

  • Manchester United (1) v (1) Atletico Madrid

United produced a solid performance away to Atletico in Madrid and Anthony Elanga’s strike gave them a draw and sets up the second leg of this tie very nicely, especially with away goals no longer counting double in this competition.

However, you can’t overlook the fact that United have struggled for form this season and in recent European ties, they have often performed better away from home than at home. That gives Atletico a chance in my book and I think that we may need extra time or even penalties to decide the winner here.

Correct Score Tip – Man Utd 1-1 Atletico Madrid – 5/1

Wednesday 16th March

  • Juventus (1) v (1) Villarreal

The Italian side earned a draw away to Villarreal in the first leg and they will be favourites to progress here now that the second leg will be played in Turin. However, they’ll be wary of a Villarreal side who are very dangerous on the counterattack.

In terms of the quality of both teams and squads, Juventus clearly have the edge, but they have not been at their best this season and Villarreal won’t make this easy for them. However, I think quality will tell late on and Juventus may grab a goal or two late in the game to secure their passage into the next round.

Correct Score Tip – Juventus 2-0 Villarreal – 7/1

  • Lille (0) v (2) Chelsea

Chelsea took a two-goal lead from the first leg to northern France for the second leg of this tie and in truth, that should be more than enough for the English side to secure a relatively safe passage into the quarter finals of the competition.

Lille are the French champions and did top their group, but the reigning holders are a class above the teams they faced in the group stages and I think they will have to come out battling here and that will mean Chelsea can hit them on the counter, which makes me think another Chelsea win, perhaps with Lille grabbing a consolation, is most likely.

Correct Score Tip – Lille 1-2 Chelsea – 15/2

That concludes the Champions League games this week but join me next week when we’ll take a closer look at the second leg of the Europa League Round of 16 ties which will take place a week on Thursday.