The Champions League quarter-finals are here. With four Premier League teams left in the competition, there is a good chance that an English club could lift Europe’s elite club trophy for the first time since Chelsea triumphed in 2011/12.
If nothing else, one thing is for sure: at least one top flight club will carry English hopes in the semi-finals. Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur will do battle to reach the final four, with the first leg taking place at the new Spurs stadium on Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are also in action. There are no easy ties at this stage but most fans would’ve taken a quarter-final double header with FC Porto. Jurgen Klopp’s men can get off to a strong start under the famous Anfield floodlights.
That’s enough chitchat for now – it is time to take a closer look at Tuesday’s games. With three Premier League clubs involved, there will be plenty of interest from English supporters and it should be an exhilarating night of Champions League action.
LIVERPOOL vs FC Porto
Liverpool put five goals past Porto on Valentine’s Day last year and another dominant effort from Klopp’s side looks likely. Anfield has hosted so many memorable Champions League encounters over the years and the stage is set perfectly for Liverpool to put on a show.
With the Reds expected to dominate, the 6/5 for eight or more home corners is worth considering. Liverpool will come flying out of the blocks in the early exchanges and we may see the hosts pile the pressure on in the first half. It could be very one-sided indeed.
Like Liverpool, Porto are involved in a neck-and-neck domestic title race. Sergio Conceicao’s men are level on points with Benfica and winning the Portuguese crown may be the priority. Porto are 70/1 rank outsiders to win the Champions League and a quarter-final exit could be on the cards.
Tiquinho has been in fantastic form this season, notching 13 goals in 22 league games. The Porto striker is a general 16/5 chance to get his name on the scoresheet on Tuesday night and punters fancying Porto to spring a shock should consider this price.
Klopp will want to get this tie won at the first time of asking and Liverpool could run riot in front of an expect Anfield crowd. 5/4 for the hosts to score three or more goals is a decent price given their offensive prowess – this could get ugly for Porto.
TIP: Over 2.5 Liverpool goals @ 5/4
PREDICTED SCORE: Liverpool 3-0 Porto (Priced at 13/2 with 888sport)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR vs MANCHESTER CITY
Tottenham will head into this fixture relatively fresh after a rare weekend off. The opening of the new stadium was a roaring success, with Spurs succeeding on and off the pitch. Fans will be hoping for another positive result in their new surroundings here…
Spurs play some scintillating football at times and Mauricio Pochettino’s men will fancy their chances against anyone on a going day. EVENS for Tottenham to avoid defeat on Tuesday is a decent pick; the Champions League tends to bring out the best in Spurs.
City were some way below their best against Brighton on Saturday but Guardiola’s men did just about enough to reach the FA Cup final. The Blues looked tired for large parts although you could argue that City were attempting to conserve energy.
The 4/6 for over 1.5 away goals carries plenty of appeal - you don't need a betting calculator to realise that. City have scored 13 goals in their last five matches against Tottenham and Pep's men will want to take control of this tie ahead of the second leg in Manchester.
This fixture is synonymous with goals and I fancy over 2.5 goals at 8/13. There is a viable argument that Champions League fixtures are usually cagey but these two teams will play the right way and that should make for an open and exciting contest.
TIP: Over 2.5 goals @ 8/13
PREDICTED SCORE: Tottenham 1-2 Man City (Priced at 7/1 with 888sport)
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*