Champions League Preview
February 15, 2017
Our love affair with the Champions League continues tonight with some games that are sure to satisy all your needs.
We have previewed the remaining 6 titanic clashes that are guaranteed to make you go weak at the knees and given it our own Saint Valentine’s twist.
For all the games be sure to check out our free bet offers from the best bookmakers around
Wednesday 15th February
Another classic for the purists in what is a repeat of the last-16 ties of 2013 and 2014. Arsenal may feel aggrieved to be drawn against the five-time winners having won their group for the first time since the 2011-12 season, but it was almost inevitable fate would intervene and pit them against one of Europe’s heavyweights.
Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti remains the only manager to have lifted the famous trophy on three separate occasions and he will want to give club legend Philipp Lahm the perfect send-off.
In recent years, this competition has been a source of heartbreak for both sides – in particular the Germans who have endured three consecutive semi-final failures.
The Spanish side’s incredible 40-game unbeaten run came to end in dramatic circumstances last month, but they still remain on course for a 33rd La Liga title and are second favourites for the Champions League crown.
Like Real, Napoli are also on a superb run of form having not tasted defeat for 12 matches. Their last game saw them notch up a 7-1 win at Bologna – their biggest ever top-flight away win.
Maurizio Sarri’s side will be looking to keep the scoreline as close as possible ahead of the second leg and then capitalise on home advantage
However, with the likes of Ronaldo (95 Champions League goals) in their starting line-up – the Galacticos are capable of scoring at any given time. Don’t count on their being any clean sheets in this blockbuster.
Tuesday 21st February
Roger Schmidt’s troops negotiated their way out of a tricky group with a hard-fought 1-0 at Wembley against Spurs proving to be crucial.
Despite only winning twice, the German side managed to avoid defeat over their six matches, but they face a real step up in class against Diego Simeone’s men.
Los Colchoneros have reached the final twice in the last three years and the fervent support at the Vicente Calderon stadium makes them extremely difficult to beat.
Bayer must take a lead into the Spanish capital if they are to have any chance of pulling off an upset.
City finally ended their hoodoo against Barcelona following five consecutive defeats to the Catalan giants with a thrilling 3-1 victory in November.
Despite finishing second in their group with one game to spare, Pep Guardiola’s men have struggled to set hearts racing with the Sky Blues picking up just one other maximum haul alongside that famous win at the Etihad.
They cannot afford to take Ligue 1 leaders Monaco lightly who deservedly qualified as group winners of Group E and did the double over Tottenham in the process. Former Manchester United loanee Radamel Falcao remains a significant goal threat and he will spearhead the free-scoring attack of this resurgent force.
Can City rediscover the air of invincibility they carried in the early games following Guardiola’s arrival?
Wednesday 22nd February
The Old Lady waltzed through Group H to keep alive their dream of winning their first European Cup since the 1995-96 season.
They remain on course for a sixth straight Serie A title having won their last five matches, but they face a Porto side equally enriched by a terrific run of form.
Nuno Santo’s side have claimed maximum points from their last four games and will be hoping to cause an upset here which could be the catalyst for a repeat of their remarkable triumph in 2004 when they were managed by a certain Jose Mourinho.
The romantics’ choice. Adored by ever neutral, the Premier League champions may be engulfed in a relegation battle after a tumultuous domestic campaign, but their run in this competition has been nothing short of sensational.
Four wins in their first five matches saw them top the group ahead of Porto and their reward is a two-legged tie against Sevilla – the first ever competitive bout between the two clubs.
Triple Europa League winners Los Rojiblancos are blessed with fantastic European pedigree and have even put together a credible challenge for the La Liga title this season.
They will be heavy favourites to continue on their quest to lift a European trophy for the fourth consecutive season. Has the Leicester fairy-tale got one more chapter left?