Champions League Round of 16 Preview

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Por Jonathan Willis
BETCRIS Champions League Second Leg Matches Odds

The second leg of the Champions League’s Round of 16 will kick off next week with spots in the Quarterfinals on the line. The first week will feature two extremely competitive matches and two matches where the outcome has already been decided. Both Manchester City and Liverpool went on the road and thrashed their opponents in the first leg of the Round of 16, and each team is 99 percent of the way to the Quarterfinals.

Fellow Premier League side Tottenham is in good shape against Juventus, but a loss would likely send them out. Meanwhile, the clash between Real Madrid and PSG is sure to be full of fireworks after Madrid won the first tilt 3-1.

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Liverpool vs. Porto

Date and Time: March 6, 2018, 2:45 p.m. ET

Location: Anfield, Liverpool, England

US Television Coverage: FS2

Betting Line: Liverpool -1 and -1.5, O/U 2.5 and 3

Jurgen Klopp has Liverpool on the precipice of a Quarterfinals appearance after the Reds dismantled Porto 5-0 in Portugal a few weeks ago. Liverpool’s offense is hitting on all cylinders right now, with Mo Salah looking like the best playmaker in England.

Porto is not a team built for goal-scoring outbursts, so this team is going to have to throw everything into the attack. More likely than not, Liverpool will get some great opportunities to counter with Porto leaving the bare minimum in the back.

Paris St. Germain vs. Real Madrid

Date and Time: March 6, 2018, 2:45 p.m. ET

Location: Parc des Princes, Paris, France

US Television Coverage: FS1

Betting Line: Paris St. Germain PK and -0.5, O/U 3.5

The loss of Neymar really stings, but PSG has so much attacking talent that they are one of the few teams in the world that can overcome it. Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria, and Edinson Cavani still make up an extremely potent attack and Real Madrid has had some trouble in the back this year.

Real Madrid is not going to take its foot off the gas pedal. This is the only title they can still win and they know manager Zinedine Zidane’s job is on the line. There is a great chance that this is the highest scoring game of the weekend.

Manchester City vs. FC Basel

Date and Time: March 7, 2018, 2:45 p.m. ET

Location: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England

US Television Coverage: FS2

Betting Line: Manchester City -2 and -2.5, O/U 3 and 3.5

The dream is still alive for Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s club has the rare opportunity to win four trophies this season. The Sky Blues defeated Arsenal to win the Carabao Cup over the weekend, have a commanding league in the Premier League, and are in good shape in both the FA Cup and the Champions League.

For FC Basel, they know they have a monumental task ahead of them. The Swiss side has never gotten to the Champions League Quarterfinals, and they are extremely unlikely to do so this time around. Basel’s top striker is Ricky van Wolfswinkel and it’s hard to imagine him being able to light up this defense.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Juventus

Date and Time: March 7, 2018, 2:45 p.m. ET

Location: Wembley Stadium, London, England

US Television Coverage: FS1

Betting Line: Tottenham PK and -0.5, O/U 2.5

This is the game of the week without question. Juventus looked set to run away in the first leg of this matchup, but the club’s typically unbreakable back line cracked and allowed Tottenham to get a 2-2 draw after Juventus took an early 2-0 lead. This is the last chance for Gianluigi Buffon to get a Champions League title, the last thing he needs to add to his mantle.

Tottenham surprisingly dominated the possession in the first leg of this meeting, and Hotspur will look to do the same thing this time around. Harry Kane displayed world class talent the last time he faced Juventus, and the England national is looking to send Tottenham through to the Quarterfinals for just the third time in the club’s history.

Champions League Free Picks

Liverpool won’t let up on the attack and will likely be able to notch a few goals against Basel in the return leg. Meanwhile, I’m going to call for the upset and say that PSG not only beats Real Madrid next week, but beats them and advances to the Quarterfinals.

On the second day of action, Manchester City will be content with just advancing, making Basel worth a play on the goal line. In the other match, I will call for the draw with both keepers coming up big.

Champions League Picks: PSG and FC Basel

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