The Champions League returns this week with four mouthwatering Round of 16 ties featuring three Premier League teams. Ahead of the games BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen makes his predictions…
Basel v Manchester City
Basel have never gone further in the competition than the Round of 16 and I expect Man City to have one foot in the quarter-final after their midweek tie at St Jacob Park.
City have only won one of their six away games in the Champions League knock-out stages and are yet to keep a clean sheet in those half a dozen ties, but they are likely to have too much class and goals for the Swiss side.
Man City won 5-1 at the weekend, with Sergio Aguero scoring four (Getty)Basel will take heart from the fact they have won four of their last five home Champions League games against English sides, but City are slowly coming to terms with the competition and, having reached the semi-final last term, will be looking to improve on that record this spring.
Prediction: Basel 1-4 Manchester City
Juventus v Tottenham
Harry Kane warmed up for the tie with a goal in the North London derby (Getty)Juve are unbeaten in their last 22 home Champions League games and kept nine clean sheets in their last 14 Champions League games in the Juventus Stadium. Spurs, however, are one of only four teams unbeaten in the Group Stages and I feel they can score in Turin.
Harry Kane has been directly involved in over half of Spurs’ goals in the competition with six goals and two assists from the team’s 15 goals. This really is an evenly balanced tie and I expect to see both sides find the back of the net in what promises to be a fascinating game.
Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Tottenham
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Porto v Liverpool
Mo Salah’s brilliant form continued at the weekend with a goal and an assist against Southampton (Getty)Liverpool are back where they belong in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since the 2008/09 season. The Reds are unbeaten in four previous ties against the Portuguese champions and I think they will make it five on Wednesday.
Liverpool scored 23 goals in their six group games but I expect Porto to play a cagey game in the hope of taking a clean sheet back to Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s side are a confident selection to qualify for the last eight, but it would not surprise me if they had to settle for a draw in the first leg midweek.
Prediction: Porto 1-1 Liverpool
Real Madrid v PSG
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick at the weekend (Getty)Real Madrid have reached the semi-finals in the last seven seasons and last year they became the first side to lift the Trophy since 2010 who had not finished top of their group in qualifying for the knockout stages.
This is, arguably, the most eagerly anticipated matchup of the last 16 but I expect the Whites to take a lead back to Paris given the French side have lost four of their last six games on the road in the Champions League.
I note Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick at the weekend and this Madrid side know how to peak at the right time – I expect to see a home win.
Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 PSG
Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.
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