BENFICA vs BORUSSIA DORTMUND
First leg affairs tend to be tight-knit affairs and I can see this one being low scoring. Neither side will want to make a mistake in the last-16 and Benfica will be wary of Dortmund’s huge threat on the counter.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is back after his Africa Cup of Nations duties and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Gabon striker bag a goal in this one. He has struggled in recent months but tends to produce his best form on the big stage...
The visitors will come with a gameplan and a goalless draw would suit Dortmund ahead of the return leg. For Benfica, a clean sheet is almost as important as snatching a one-goal win; away goals could decide who reaches the next round.
TIP: Under 2.5 goals @ 19/20
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN vs BARCELONA
PSG are a decent outfit but Barcelona should have too much class over two legs. In recent years, the visitors have prospered in Parc des Princes and I fancy Luis Enrique’s side to get the job done again this time around.
With Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in the starting line-up, Barca have enough talent to blow their French opponents away. Former Sevilla manager Unai Emery has faced Barca on numerous occasions during his career but this will be a first as PSG boss.
For me, Barcelona will exploit PSG’s deficiencies at the back and the visitors will be quietly confident of securing a much-needed away win on Tuesday night. I’m not writing the hosts out of the tie completely but Barcelona to win by 2 goals or fewer is my tip here...
TIP: Barcelona to win by 2 goals or less @ 31/20
BAYERN MUNICH vs ARSENAL
Bayern aren’t the dominant force that they once were and Arsene Wenger’s men should have no fear when they head to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday. The visitors have won in Munich recently and could take inspiration from that victory here.
Alexis Sanchez has found his feet in front of goal in recent times and the Chile star will be central to Arsenal’s chances of glory in this tie. Bayern’s star-studded side will be difficult to beat over two legs but the Gunners have enough talent to score at the very least...
Wenger knows that his record in the Champions League is poor but Arsenal could shock the world if he gets the game plan right. Munich will probably come out on top but 5/9 for the Gunners to find the net is too good to pass on.
TIP: Arsenal to score at least once @ 5/9
REAL MADRID vs NAPOLI
Madrid will be there or thereabouts at the business end of the competition; they always find a way to get to the latter stages of the tournament. Zinedine Zidane’s men are clear at the top of La Liga and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Los Blancos challenge on both fronts.
Napoli are a solid, organised outfit and the Italian side will be tough to break down if everything goes to plan. Everybody thought that they would struggle when Gonzalo Higuain left the club but they have proved the doubters wrong on more than one occasion.
Unfortunately for them, Real could be too strong at the Bernabeu and I fancy the defending champions to secure a convincing win. It won’t necessarily be full of goals but Real will be dominant on home soil and I’ll be backing Zidane’s men for the win.
TIP: Real Madrid to win @ 4/7
This four-fold returns £123.35 from a £10 stake – check out more Champions League odds here...