Get Our Top Tips for the Champions League Round of 16 This Week
This week sees the return of the Champions League as eight teams out of the 16 qualifiers are in action in the Round of 16 first leg games. Four games are played this week, with four more the week after, then we have a week’s break before the second leg of the games are played, on the opposite nights, in the two weeks after.
By staggering these games over a five-week period, it allows the Europa League to play through two knockout rounds so that the both tournaments are at the same stage from the quarterfinals onwards. In action this week we have two huge games on Tuesday as Liverpool travel to Atletico Madrid, while Dortmund face Paris St Germain. Wednesday’s games see Valencia visit Atalanta, while Tottenham host Red Bull Leipzig.
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Let’s now give you a preview of the four Round of 16 first leg ties that are coming up this week, which sees the two teams that contested last year’s final in Madrid in action.
Champions League Round of 16 First Legs
All games are 8pm Kick Off UK Time. All odds shown are correct with bet365 Sport as of 11am on Tuesday 18th February 2020.
Tuesday 18th February
Atletico Madrid v Liverpool
Atletico have had some welcome news that Diego Costa is back in training but with several other key men out injured, they will have a tough task taking on a Liverpool side that have been in superb form of late in the Premier League and who are the reigning World and European Champions. Atletico have a good home record in Europe, but they are beatable there and I can see Liverpool being able to do precisely that, although I can’t see many goals being scored.
Our Prediction – Atletico Madrid 0-1 Liverpool (5/1)
Atletico have struggled to match their efforts of previous seasons this season, but that is not surprising given the number of players they have seen leave the club and also the injuries that they have endured of late. Liverpool though have been simply stunning in the Premier League this season and despite losing in Napoli, still topped their group. The Reds are looking extremely tough to beat at the moment and I can see them nicking the win here. I’d also consider backing Roberto Firmino, the scorer of many important away goals for Liverpool, at 5/2 to score anytime in this game.
Borussia Dortmund v Paris St Germain
Dortmund’s form of late has been entertaining to say the least with a huge number of goals scored and an almost equal number of goals conceded. Paris St Germain are stronger defensively but I feel they are more susceptible away from home in Europe and I can see them shipping a couple of goals here. If you want to watch a game on the night that has plenty of action and could see lots of goals, then this is the game to view.
Our Prediction – Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Paris St Germain (9/1)
Given the record of both these teams of late, especially Dortmund, this is a game which looks like it will see plenty of goals. Dortmund have been scoring them for fun of late, but they have also been shipping them with worrying regularity too, and against a side as talented as Paris St Germain, that will be a concern. I can see Dortmund going into the second leg level though which will set up an intriguing game in the return leg in Paris. If you fancy a longer odds bet, then back Dortmund ace Erling Braut Haland to score first and the game to finish 2-2 in a scorecast as this pays out at 40/1 with bet365 Sport.
Wednesday 19th February
Atalanta v Valencia
Most of the teams hoping to make the quarterfinals will be hoping that they get the winner of this tie but I feel that both of these teams have something to cause even the top teams plenty of worry. Valencia are very good on the road, while Atalanta have come back from the dead in their group to qualify as a runner up to Manchester City. This game won’t be a formality for either side and could be a very closely fought contest.
Our Predicton – Atalanta 1-1 Valencia (13/2)
Atalanta came from nowhere to get into the Knockout Stage of the competition, but I think things will get even tougher for them here. Valencia are very experienced at this level now and they are a tough side to beat, especially on the road where they have beaten both Ajax and Chelsea this season. Atalanta are in good form and they won’t make it easy here but I can’t quite see either team having enough to claim the win outright. My other tip here is to back the draw and both teams to score which is an enticing 4/1 at bet365.
Tottenham Hotspur v Red Bull Leipzig
Tottenham have found a bit more consistent form under Jose Mourinho of late and that will stand them in good stead as they attempt to move into the quarterfinals of this competition for the second year in a row. Leipzig’s win at the weekend was a boost, but this is a big game for them and I can’t quite see them getting a positive result here, but they should be in the tie when it comes to the second leg in three week’s time.
Our Prediction – Tottenham 2-1 Red Bull Leipzig (17/2)
Red Bull Leipzig got back to winning ways at the weekend just in time for this game, but I feel that they are starting to slip away in terms of their form and as such, Spurs could be playing them at the right time. Even without Harry Kane, Spurs have still been scoring goals, thanks to the form of the likes of Son and Lucas Moura. I expect those two to be prominent again here as I am backing the home side to take a narrow lead into the second leg in Germany. As a secondary bet, Son to score at any time for Spurs is a 6/5 shot.