The wait is over, and this week sees the first lot of Champions League last 16 ties reach their climax. A couple of the clashes seem like they’re a foregone conclusion, while it’s all to play for in some of the others. Who gets their noses in front is likely to be crucial, so which players are looking good for your Champions League first goalscorer bets this week?
Real Madrid secured a 2-1 win at Ajax a few weeks ago, but it’s all gone very wrong for Los Blancos since then. Two Clasico defeats to Barcelona in a matter of days has left the Bernabeu in disarray, but the Champions League is now Real’s only chance of silverware this season. Santi Solari’s side are, of course, aiming for an incredible fourth successive crown on Europe’s biggest stage.
Despite failing to score against Barca, Karim Benzema has been in good form lately. He netted eight goals in nine matches prior to the Clasico double-header, and has four in six for Madrid against Ajax. That includes the opener in the first leg of this tie, with the Frenchman the 9/2 favourite to break the deadlock on Tuesday.
Tottenham may have seen their Premier League title challenge disappear over the last week or so, but they’re firmly in the driving seat of their clash with Borussia Dortmund. The German side trail 3-0 coming into the second leg at the Westfalenstadion, and have seen their Bundesliga lead over Bayern Munich disappear to mere goal difference.
Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer may both be in front at 5/1 for the first goal, but Harry Kane has nine goals in his last 10 games, and could be solid value at 11/2. If you want to back another English talent, Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho is 7/1 as he aims to add to his growing standing within the European game.
On to Wednesday, and this time the Premier League representatives are in dire straits. Paris Saint-Germain are the only team to have beaten Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United since the Norwegian took over, putting in a classy performance to win 2-0 at Old Trafford last month.
Kylian Mbappe’s searing pace was a constant menace in Manchester, and will pose a major threat to United once again. With Neymar still sidelined with a metatarsal injury, the French sensation is the 3/1 favourite to break the deadlock. Romelu Lukaku is looking to build on back-to-back Premier League braces, and prove himself against the biggest opposition. The Belgian could be tempting at 10/1 to open the scoring and give United some hope at the Parc des Princes.
From Paris to Porto, the Portuguese champions play host to Serie A side Roma with the tie delicately poised. Nicolo Zaniolo’s brace gives the Italian outfit a 2-1 lead ahead of this week’s second leg, and the promising youngster is out at 12/1 to break the deadlock once again.
However, Eusebio Di Francesco’s side slumped to a 3-0 derby defeat to Lazio on Saturday. Porto may have lost their lead at the top of the Portuguese Primeira Liga table after a 2-1 home defeat to Benfica at the weekend, but Sergio Conceicao’s side have home advantage and some dangerous forwards in their ranks. Moussa Marega has five Champions League goals this season and is 11/2 to add to that with the opener this week, while Tiquinho is 4/1 for the same bet.