Ray McLachlan | Mon 19/02/2018 - 15:23 EST

Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Odds, Predictions

Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Odds, Predictions

Bet On The UEFA Champions League - Round of 16

The first week of Champions League fixtures in the Round of 16 certainly didn't fail to disappoint, and the second set of matches should be just as exciting. The other eight of the sixteen teams will be in action midweek, and we will be covering every single match so you don't miss a betting opportunity. Keep in mind that all odds listed in this preview are single-game head to head prices for the first leg of each tie. The second legs of these matchups will be played on Tuesday, March 13th and Wednesday, March 14th.

Chelsea vs Barcelona

Tuesday, February 20th at 2:45 PM (ET)

My Team's Next MatchChelsea

This match is certainly up there with Tottenham vs Juventus and Real Madrid vs PSG in terms of marketability, and it will be a sight to see Eden Hazard and Lionel Messi on the same pitch. The English Champions against the Spanish Champions-elect. It's going to be a cracker.

Recent Form and Key Statistics

Chelsea's failure to defeat Roma both home and away ended up costing the London club top spot in Group C, and that could prove to be the difference as they now face a sensational Barcelona team who are yet to be defeated in the Champions League or La Liga this season. Chelsea's worrying defensive displays saw them concede three goals on both occasions against the Italians.

Their woes at the back have also become apparent domestically, and their recent league losses to Bournemouth and Watford have seen them allow seven goals in their last three matches. The Blues have only won two of their last six in the English Premier League, and will go into this first leg match barely holding on to fourth place, although to be fair they sit just one win behind Manchester United in second.

Chelsea will be aiming to reach the quarter finals for the first time since 2013/14. They are winless in their last six knockout matches (three draws, three losses), and will be desperately relying on Eden Hazard to perform well. The Belgian has scored three goals and made two assists in his last five Champions League fixtures.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are flying high in all competitions. They lead La Liga by seven points and cruised through Group D with minimal fuss. They conceded just one goal in the group stage, which is the equal-lowest tally by any team in the competition's history. By finishing top of their group for the eleventh consecutive season, Barcelona achieved the longest ever run of its kind in the Champions League.

Their only criticism is perhaps that they are not scoring too many in the competition. They are well below the average goals for amongst the Round of 16 participants and have scored just once in their last five away matches.

Head To Head History

Barcelona vs Chelsea is the fifth-most common fixture in Champions League history. The pair have locked horns on thirteen prior occasions, however, their last meeting was back in April 2012 - Chelsea won that tie 3-2 on aggregate.

Chelsea certainly hold the upper hand in recent history - they have not lost any of the last seven matches against the Catalans club (two wins, five draws). Barcelona do have the better record in knockout ties though; the Blues have been eliminated by the Spanish club in three out of the five ties played.

Barcelona have only won one match at Stamford Bridge, and have never managed a clean sheet at the venue. The sole win came back in 2006, and they have lost four of the six in total.

Fascinating Fact

Barcelona ace Lionel Messi has never scored a goal against Chelsea, having played 655 minutes against the club. He has not failed to score in that many minutes against any other team. Luis Suarez meanwhile has not scored in 791 minutes of play in the Champions League, which is his longest ever drought. 

The Odds

  • Chelsea +265
  • Draw +258
  • Barcelona -103

Prediction

All the form points to a Barcelona win, yet they have failed on several occasions at Stamford Bridge. Does Antonio Conte have something up his sleeve that may counter the indifferent form seen by the Blues over the last month?

The key battle will be between Hazard and Messi. If Hazard puts on a clinic, Chelsea can beat anyone, while Messi will almost certainly need to break his goal drought to give Barcelona a chance.

We are going with a draw in this clash, and expect Barcelona's winless run to continue. This will be a result they will be happy with, with a more than likely win to occur in the second leg. Go for Barcelona (-103).

FC Bayern Munich vs Besiktas

Tuesday, February 20th at 2:45 PM (ET)

My Team's Next MatchBayern Munich

Tuesday's other match looks likely to be fairly one-sided. Manchester City's crushing win over FC Basel certainly shows what the top-tier teams can do to those from Europe's minor leagues, and Bayern will head into this one as the clear favourite. Mind you, Besiktas did top their group and perhaps will put up more fight than the Swiss champions.

Recent Form and Key Statistics

Bayern Munich won their last four Champions League matches, which is the longest active streak by any team in the competition. They were almost flawless in the group stage - their only blemish came against a rampant, record-breaking PSG side. Their five wins saw them finish second to the Parisians on goal difference, although they managed to avoid the other big clubs in the Round of 16 draw.

Munich have been almost unbeatable at Allianz Stadium for a long time. In the Champions League, the Bavarians have won 19 of their last 20 matches - the sole exception came in last season's quarter final where they lost 2-1 to eventual champions Real Madrid. They have scored three goals in each of their three matches in this campaign.

Robert Lewandowski has established himself as one of the best strikers in world football over the last few years, and his record of seventeen goals in his last sixteen appearances is impressive, to say the least. Of all players to have featured in the last twenty knockout games, he has the second highest goals-per-game rate (0.68) behind five-time Champions League Golden Boot winner Cristiano Ronaldo (0.79).

Besiktas will travel to Munich with plenty of confidence considering they are one of four teams in the Champions League to remain undefeated this season, and the only team to have won all three of their away fixtures. In fact, manager Senol Gunes has only lost two of his 18 games in charge in the competition. The Turkish side only conceded five goals in the group stage, placing them above most of their Round of 16 counterparts.

Head To Head History

Bayern Munich and Besiktas have only come up against each other twice, back in the group stage of the 1997/98 Champions League. Munich won both games 2-0.

Fascinating Fact

80% of the goals conceded by the Turkish side have come in the first half (four out of five). This is the highest ratio by any team during the group stages.

The Odds

  • Bayern Munich -762
  • Draw +741
  • Besiktas +1700

Prediction

You simply can't back against a side that has won nineteen of their last twenty Champions League fixtures at home. Besiktas' undefeated run is all but a certainty to be ended as Munich should run away with this one. Try increasing your odds by selecting Lewandowski to score as the odds on Bayern are simply too low to be profitable. 

Go for Bayern Munich (-762).

Sevilla vs Manchester United

Wednesday, February 21st at 2:45 PM (ET)

My Team's Next MatchSevilla

Manchester United are another English side who will be the heavy favourite when they travel abroad in the Round of 16. Sevilla did well to make it this far, although were aided by a charitable Liverpool in the group stage and weren't overly impressive. United boast the better players, but you just never know what kind of performance to expect from the Red Devils these days.

Recent Form and Key Statistics

Sevilla enter the Round of 16 with the worst for and against out of any of their contemporaries. They conceded twelve goals in their six games, and although were potent in front of goal, this is a worrying statistic which will need to be addressed against a strong Manchester United. They are also the only team remaining to have won just two matches in the tournament to date.

The Spanish club has reached the knockout stages in four of their last five attempts, although have never progressed further than the Round of 16. They have also never kept a clean sheet in six attempts in the second round. 

On a positive note, Sevilla have won 72% of their home games in the Champions League (13 of 18), which is the third best record behind La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona. They have also managed to win two of their three home knockout matches despite being unable to keep a clean sheet.

Manchester United enter the Round of 16 in reasonably good form. They won five of their six group stage matches, falling only to FC Basel. The Red Devils conceded just three goals in the opening round, a trait that miserly coach Jose Mourinho is well known for.

Interestingly, Manchester United have not managed to score more than one goal against Spanish opponents in their last fourteen Champions League encounters (seven goals total). They haven't had too many issues in front of goal, scoring seven in the group stage, although are prone to dominating games without success (as seen in their 1-0 defeat to FC Basel and their recent Premier League loss to Newcastle United by the same scoreline).

Head To Head History

This will be the first competitive fixture between the two clubs.

Fascinating Fact

Sevilla frontman Wissam Ben Yedder has scored 50% of Sevilla's goals in this season's competition (six of twelve). Out of the remaining teams in the tournament, only Cristiano Ronaldo has a higher percentage of his team's strikes.

The Odds

  • Sevilla +198
  • Draw +228
  • Manchester United +138

Prediction

Despite most signs pointing to a Manchester United win, we're not overly convinced and believe both sides will be playing to avoid defeat. United are still working out their best attacking style and formation, and Alexis Sanchez certainly hasn't hit the ground running yet. Spanish opposition seems to cause the English side problems, and Sevilla are incredibly resilient at home.

This is a match we feel could end all square. Go for the draw (+228).

Shakhtar Donetsk vs AS Roma

Wednesday, February 21st at 2:45 PM (ET)

My Team's Next MatchRoma

The final match of the Round of 16 is between Ukrainian frontrunners Shakhtar and Italians AS Roma, who are currently finding it difficult to keep pace with Napoli and Juventus at the top of Serie A. This is a matchup that could certainly produce a surprise, especially considering the head to head record between the sides.

Recent Form and Key Statistics

The Ukrainian outfit's claim to fame this season would have to be their 2-1 victory over Manchester City, which they achieved in the final matchday of the group stage. Only two teams have accomplished this feat in all competitions in 2017/18, so they will enter the knockout phase with plenty of confidence. Their domestic form has also been impressive, and they currently sit atop the Tukish Super Lig.

Shakhtar have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League in four of their last seven attempts, and their best performance was in 2010/11 when they progressed to the quarter-finals - Roma was also their opponent on that occasion. In fact, Roma are the only side the Ukrainians have defeated in the knockout stage of the competition.

Donetsk won all three of their home matches in the group stage, and have scored at least two goals in each of their last five Champions League outings in the Ukraine. Interestingly, none of the club's last thirteen fixtures in the competition have been draws (five wins, eight losses).

Roma have incredibly not managed a clean sheet in any of their last 24 road Champions League matches. They have only managed one win in their last twelve matches in the competition. While Roma have progressed to the knockout stage on six of their last seven attempts, they last made the quarter finals in 2007/08, and have lost seven of their last eight second round matches.

Their competition form so far has been good though - they topped their group ahead of Chelsea, and also beat the Londoners 3-0 at home. A recent form slump in Serie A (six games without a win) looks to be resolved, and they will travel with the belief required to obtain at least a point.

Head To Head History

Shakhtar have won three of the four meetings between the two clubs. The two clashes in the knockout stages of this competition came in 2010/11, and both were won by the Ukrainians on the way to a 6-2 aggregate victory. These are the only two victories achieved by Shakhtar in the Round of 16 in eight attempts.

Fascinating Fact

Roma picked up the lowest number of yellow cards in the competition's group stage (just four), and have committed the fewest fouls (47).

The Odds

  • Shakhtar +139
  • Draw +227
  • AS Roma +199

Prediction

Roma have performed well in this season's Champions League, but their awful away record and poor head to head record with Shakhtar is a major concern. The Ukrainian side's home form has also been very impressive, so it is a surprise to see such good odds available for the home side. The bookies are also offering low odds for the draw, meaning that they feel that this is a good bet.

We disagree and believe Shakhtar will win the first leg, setting up an intriguing return fixture. Go for Shakhtar Donetsk (+139).

Category : Soccer

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