After a breathtaking round of second legs last week, the last 16 of the Champions League concludes this week with four more big games, three of which are finely poised. So, will the prospect of a place in the quarter-finals inspire a torrent of goals in Europe’s most prestigious club competition?
Starting with Premier League leaders Manchester City, the Blues are back at the Etihad after their last-gasp 3-2 victory over Schalke last month. Following a five-goal thriller in Germany, this game could throw up another exciting encounter.
It’s tempting to go with both teams to score on the face of it, but City were careless in the first leg and they’ve only conceded one goal in their four matches since. That late winner in the first leg will have been hugely dispiriting for Schalke, who are down in 14th in the Bundesliga. They’ve only scored 27 goals in 25 league games this season, so we’re going against both teams scoring at 4/6.
We’re also back the same bet in Tuesday’s other match, which sees Atletico Madrid travel to Turin to take on runaway Serie A leaders Juventus. Atleti bring a 2-0 lead into this game at the Allianz Stadium, after a superb performance on home soil. Both sides are usually miserly at the back, while recent history in this fixture guides us away from both teams scoring.
As well as their meeting a few weeks back failing to see both sides hit the back of the net, their two fixtures in 2014 only produced one goal, with Atletico keeping two clean sheets. You can bet against both teams scoring at 7/10.
Both of Wednesday’s fixtures finished goalless in the first leg, so there’s everything to play for this week. Starting with last season’s beaten finalists, Liverpool face a tough trip to Germany to face Bayern Munich. The Bavarians had a difficult start to the season, but are back in form and are top of the Bundesliga on goal difference after winning their last five matches.
Their Premier League opponents, meanwhile, have been struggling for goals away from home recently. After drawing 0-0 with Bayern last month, the Reds have failed to score away at Manchester United and Everton. They have scored nine times in their last two home games though, and have one of the most fearsome strike forces in Europe. We’re backing both teams to score in this game, at 8/13.
Neither Barcelona or Lyon could break the deadlock in their meeting at the Groupama Stadium last month, which was something of a surprise after their previous meeting produced seven goals. Lyon have to go for it at the Nou Camp, but Barcelona have scored in each of their last 29 home games in all competitions, excluding the recent Supercopa de Catalunya.
Barca conceded in 18 of those 29 fixtures, with both teams to score on Wednesday worth a look at 17/20. If you fancy rolling all of those BTTS bets together into a four-fold accumulator, then you’ll get odds of 7.46/1.