Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg Preview

Friday, March 9th, 2018

By Jonathan Willis
BETCRIS Champions League Second Leg Matches

Four teams have already punched their tickets to the Champions League Quarterfinals and four more are set to join them after this week’s matches.

Only one team has essentially qualified from this group of teams. Bayern Munich crushed Besiktas 5-0 in the first leg of their tie, and it’s unlikely that Besiktas will be able to overcome that deficit.

The other three spots are up for grabs, and that should give us some of the drama we were lacking this past week.

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AS Roma vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Date and Time: March 13, 2018, 3:45 p.m. ET

Location: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy

US Television Coverage: FS2

Betting Line: AS Roma -0.5 and -1, O/U 2.5 (Over -156)

Shakhtar Donetsk needed a fantastic goal from Fred to notch a 2-1 victory in the first leg of this tie. That first game in Ukraine was a pretty even affair. Both sides had 14 shots and they were near dead even in terms of possession. That should give Roma the upper hand coming into this one.

It will be up to Daniele De Rossi to create some magic in order for Roma to advance. De Rossi has been stunned, like the rest of the nation, by the death of Davide Astori and has dedicated his performance to his memory. That should give Roma even more motivation than it already had.

Manchester United vs. Sevilla FC

Date and Time: March 13, 2018, 3:45 p.m. ET

Location: Old Trafford, Manchester, England

US Television Coverage: FS1

Betting Line: Manchester United -0.5 and -1, O/U 2 and 2.5

The first leg of this tie ended 0-0 only by some outstanding play from David de Gea. Sevilla dominated possession and fired a number of shots at him, but Manchester United’s star goalkeeper came up big and posted a clean sheet.

Manchester United are dealing with a number of injuries heading into this game and might have a hard time scoring. Ander Herrera is out and Anthony Martial may not be able to play either after being scratched in United’s most recent game. That means de Gea may have to come up big again.

Barcelona vs. Chelsea

Date and Time: March 14, 2018, 3:45 p.m. ET

Location: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

US Television Coverage: FS1

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

Chelsea were a bit unlucky when these teams met in London a few weeks ago. Willian was electric, hitting the post twice in the first half before finally finding the back of the net, but Barcelona pulled out a 1-1 draw after a turnover deep in their end gave Lionel Messi the opportunity to level.

Camp Nou is one of the toughest places to play, and Chelsea will have their backs against the wall here. They need to find a way to score as a 0-0 draw would not get them through due to away goals. Willian will be the key once again as no one else has really performed well on the offensive end for Chelsea lately.

Besiktas vs. Bayern Munich

Date and Time: March 14, 2018, 1 p.m. ET

Location: Vodafone Park, Istanbul, TurkeyUS Television Coverage: FS2

Betting Line: Bayern Munich -1, O/U 3 and 3.5

Not even the biggest Besiktas supporter thinks their club has a chance to erase a five-goal deficit and advance, but the club may be able to pick up a win at home. Bayern Munich have plenty of older veterans and will likely give some of them a breather rather than suit up for this match.

Expect to see Ricardo Quaresma and Pepe move forward a lot in order to place pressure on Bayern. Besiktas may be able to get a goal or two, but nothing more.

Champions League Free Picks

It’s hard to predict what will happen in Bayern Munich-Besiktas, so I’ll lay off of that one. However, I expect a passionate crowd to help lead Roma to a victory and a berth into the quarters for the Italian side. I like Manchester United to win and advance thanks to some more superb play from de Gea as well.

Between Chelsea and Barcelona, I think it’s fair to think Barcelona will get the victory, but I would take Chelsea on the goal line with how well Antonio Conte’s defenses perform in big games.

Champions League Picks: Roma and Manchester United

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