The Champions League returns to our television screens on Tuesday night and a few of the last-16 ties are evenly poised ahead of the second leg. Wednesday's double header is just as intriguing.
Surely not even Tottenham Hotspur, up 3-0 after the first leg, can mess up against Borussia Dortmund? Spurs fans will be wary of yet another collapse…
In Tuesday’s other fixture, Real Madrid will take on Ajax. The La Liga giants have struggled to inspire confidence in recent weeks – losing their last three matches at Santiago Bernabeu. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see wholesale changes come the end of the campaign.
Without further ado, let’s get down to business. According to the latest 888sport Champions League betting, Tuesday’s tasty double is priced at around 9/2. Scroll down for my thoughts on what could be a huge night of European football.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND vs Tottenham Hotspur
Borussia Dortmund’s poor run is similar to that of Liverpool’s. Sitting at the top of the table a month or so ago, Dortmund are now level on points with Bayern Munich.
In terms of quality, the hosts have the tools to put Tottenham to the sword but 15/2 for Dortmund to advance to the next round is far too short.
Spurs, now 16/1 in the Champions League winner odds, are in the driving seat ahead of the second leg but the visitors have gone through a rough patch since that 3-0 win at Wembley.
An early goal for Dortmund could see the floodgates open and Mauricio Pochettino will be urging his side to focus on their own game rather than trying to sit back and defend.
I fancy Dortmund to win on the night but 49/50 is a little short. With that in mind, opting for the Bundesliga outfit to win with both teams scoring (12/5) could be the way to go.
One Spurs goal should kill the tie off but a fast start for the hosts will give them hope. This one is far from over and fans will be expecting an entertaining contest on Tuesday night.
TIP: Borussia Dortmund to win and both teams to score @ 12/5
PREDICTED SCORE: Dortmund 2-1 Tottenham (Priced at 7/1 with 888sport)
REAL MADRID vs Ajax
Real Madrid have lost five of their last 10 home games in all competitions. Los Blancos were once regarded as the pinnacle of world football but Santiago Solari’s men are faltering and punters may find it difficult to back the 13-time European champions.
The hosts have failed to cope in Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence and Solari is under pressure in the Bernabeu hotseat. Exiting Europe’s elite club competition at this stage could signal the end of his tenure.
Ajax are still very much in the Eredivisie title race. PSV Eindhoven are five points clear at the summit but Ajax have a game in hand and it would be foolish to back against Erik Ten Hag’s side.
The Dutch outfit have scored 13 goals in their last three games and that, along with Real’s defensive frailties, brings the 7/25 for over 0.5 away goals into play. Some might even fancy 31/20 for over 1.5 Ajax goals.
However, I’ve got to side with Real. Solari will be demanding an instant response after back-to-back El Clasico defeats and 13/20 could turn out to be a big price.
The La Liga giants cannot afford to fall short here. Solari’s job is on the line and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the defending Champions League winners scrape a result.
TIP: Real Madrid to win @ 13/20
PREDICTED SCORE: Real Madrid 2-1 Ajax (Priced at 7/1 with 888sport)
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*