A second night of what should be some scintilating football awaits us on Wednesday evening with three games - including the rearranged Dortmund vs. Monaco clash following it's postponement yesterday after the bomb scare around the BVB coach prior to kick off. That match will have the earlier kick off time at 5.45pm, before you have the choice of Atletico vs. Leicester and Bayern vs. Real Madrid - or just watch both games on different screens. What a night of football this should be.
Whilst Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid is arguably tie of the round, this clash between German giants Dortmund and Ligue 1 table-toppers Monaco should be a belting contest! Both sides have plenty of pace in attack and there should be goals aplenty in the Westfalenstadion.
Much has been said of Monaco’s goal threat this term with over 100 goals scored this season already and they come up against a Dortmund side licking their wounds and looking to get back on track following a 1-4 hammering domestically against arch rivals Bayern Munich at the weekend.
And Thomas Tuchel’s task isn’t helped by the fact the likes of star man Marco Reus, Julian Weigl, Lukasz Piszczek and ex-Premier League pair Shinji Kagawa and Andre Schurrle are all doubtful for the last eight clash.
Monaco will be definitely without midfield enforcer Tiemoue Bakayoko for the match, whilst full back Djibril Sidibe could miss out. They are boosted, however, by the fact that striker Radamel Falcao is back having missed their win against Manchester City in the last round through injury.
What We Sayin’?
This is so tough to call. How crucial will Dortmund’s injuries be for their chances? They’ve only lost one home game in Europe under Tuchel’s reign, winning nine of their 12 games on home turf. Our best bet looks to be a BTTS in the first half pick bearing in mind how potent both sides are in front of goal at 23/10.
Remarkably, despite their pretty poor season, Leicester are the last man standing for English clubs hunting Champions League success, and they’ve been handed a tie against Atletico, who are likely to be taking this competition very seriously indeed bearing in mind they won’t be winning La Liga.
In truth, the draw could have been much worse for the Foxes, who managed to dodge the Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus bullets and despite both sides playing a similar style of football, if Craig Shakespeare’s side can get an away goal and sneak a draw or a 1-2 defeat at worst, they’ll fancy their chances of grabbing a result at the King Power Stadium for the second leg.
Atletico will hope to go one step further this time around having reached three finals but have never won the Champions League. The club from the capital are unbeaten in their last eight and will be a stern test for a Wes Morgan-less Leicester, but the task isn’t impossible.
What We Sayin’?
A BTTS pick looks to be your best bet – pun intended. The famous Atletico defence isn’t as rock solid as it once was and the pace of Jamie Vardy could cause problems for an ageing Diego Godin at the heart of the Atleti backline. Anyway, BTTS at 13/10.
What a tie this will be. Arguably, this is a clash which should be saved for the Champions League Final. Ultimately, one of these big boys is heading out of the competition at the quarter-finals stage. It’s Carlo Ancelotti vs. Zinedine Zidane and master vs. apprentice bearing in mind Zizou was Ancelotti’s assistant during the Italian’s time at Real, which will raise an, er, eyebrow – for Carlo, anyway.
Madrid are almost running away with things over in La Liga which may see them release the shackles ever so slightly in the Champions League – not that these same shackles are held firm when you have Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo in attack, but you know what we mean, right?
No team has ever won the Champions League two years in a row, and with Real triumphing back in 2016, maybe we’ll see an early exit for the Spanish giants this time around? Bayern are due another Champions League trophy having not win the competition since 2013. Bayern, however, have failed to score in their last two home meetings with Real Madrid - losing both legs.
What We Sayin’?
Crikey this is tough. Ronaldo’s had something of a barren run in Europe as he chases his 100th goal in European competitions, whilst Bayern have doubts over Robert Lewandowski. We’re behind another BTTS pick, mainly because both teams’ attacks are so great. Bale vs. Arjen Robben, Ronaldo vs. Franck Ribery and Benzema vs. Lewandowski (potentially!) BTTS and over 2.5 goals is 4/5. Alternatively, Sergio Ramos loves scoring in big games at at 8/1 to score anytime or 25/1 first or last, this has got to be worth a shilling or two!
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