The 2018/19 Champions League last-16 draw is set. All four Premier League clubs know their fate and supporters can start to plan their European trips.
The last-16 round of games marks a significant point in the football calendar; this is the business end of the campaign.
Some of England’s biggest clubs will be happy with their pairings, others not so much. But that is the beauty of the draw.
The 2018/19 last-16 draw has managed to throw up a couple of mouth-watering ties and neutrals will be eagerly anticipating the first leg in February.
Without further ado, let’s get down to the last-16 clashes. Premier League football followers will be keeping a close eye on teams across the continent ahead of all four double headers.
MANCHESTER UNITED vs PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
United’s resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues but the Red Devils are likely to fall short in this double header. Defensively, the Premier League side can be found wanting and PSG could run riot over two legs.
The first leg in Manchester will be telling. United HAVE to pick up a positive result at Old Trafford to stand any chance of advancing to the quarter-finals. 7/10 for the Red Devils to avoid defeat could be the way to go.
Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Edison Cavani will fancy their chances against the United back four. One of the best attacking units in world football, PSG will be confident of getting the job done over two legs.
Even if United manage to win at Old Trafford, PSG are very strong in front of their own fans. The Ligue 1 champions are 3/10 to advance to the next round and plenty of punters will be expecting a comfortable aggregate victory.
TIP: Man United to win OR draw the first leg @ 7/10
TO GO THROUGH: Paris Saint-Germain
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR vs BORUSSIA DORTMUND
Tottenham did exceptionally well to reach the last-16 and Spurs fans will be confident of another big Champions League night. Mauricio Pochettino will have his side raring to go ahead of the first leg at Wembley Stadium.
The Premier League side know that victory is an absolute must on February 13th. Taking the 13/5 for Spurs to win and both teams to score may prove prudent – this has all the makings of a high-scoring affair.
As with United, I still fancy Dortmund to progress over two legs. The Bundesliga leaders are juggling their domestic commitments but Lucien Favre’s side have the strength in depth to compete on multiple fronts.
A much closer contest to call, both teams are priced at 22/25 to advance to the last eight. It could go down to the wire but Dortmund’s consistency just edges it for me – Spurs could fall short once again.
TIP: Spurs to win and both teams to score in first leg @ 13/5
TO GO THROUGH: Borussia Dortmund
LIVERPOOL vs BAYERN MUNICH
Liverpool are out of both domestic cup competitions but Jurgen Klopp will be going all out in the Champions League. The Reds have a rich history in European football and another huge night under the Anfield floodlights beckons.
4/5 for Liverpool to advance to the next round is an excellent price but the 10/11 for Klopp’s men to win the first leg is even better. Liverpool have been sublime at Anfield this season and another positive performance awaits.
But this Bayern side is beatable. In fact, the Bavarians have struggled to inspire confidence for large parts of 2018/19 and Liverpool fans will be confident of success. The German giants aren’t the side that they were five years ago.
Bayern are still strong though and they will push Liverpool to their limits. Take the 11/20 for both teams to score in the first leg at Anfield. Both teams may end up scoring in both games but Liverpool should edge through to the quarter-finals.
TIP: Liverpool to win @ 10/11
TO GO THROUGH: Liverpool
SCHALKE 04 vs MANCHESTER CITY
Last but not least, we have Schalke and Manchester City. The German side have struggled to inspire confidence in the Bundesliga this season and a heavy defeat awaits if City go all out in the first leg.
Schalke will create opportunities on home soil though and that makes both teams to score a viable selection. Given Man City’s recent woes at the back, 7/10 is a solid price for a goal at both ends on February 20th.
Pep’s side is back to full strength after a few injury issues and that can only mean positive things from a City perspective. The Blues are still in contention for all four major trophies in 2018/19 but this is the top priority.
Winning the Champions League is Guardiola’s main objective this campaign and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see City run riot. Over 2.5 away goals in the first leg at 7/5 is worth a punt given Schalke’s struggles in 2018/19.
TIP: Over 2.5 Man City goals in first leg @ 7/5
TO GO THROUGH: Manchester City
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*