Wednesday’s Champions League action serves up two mouth-watering round of 16 first leg encounters and, while there’s no English team to support on the night, we should be in for some cracking drama.
Real Madrid head to the Italian capital while the competition’s rank outsiders are host to German side Wolfsburg. Prepare yourselves for some intense action, and hopefully some midweek profit.
AS Roma V Real Madrid
Wednesday 17th February. 7:45PM. BT Sport Europe
Serie A side Roma did extremely well to sneak through Group E, but the Italians know that they’re in for a truly difficult task as they welcome the giants of Real Madrid to Rome.
The hosts can take confidence from the 1-1 draw they registered at the Stadio Olimpico against Barcelona earlier this season, as well as their recent domestic form. Nevertheless, they’ll be considered huge underdogs against the European Cup’s most successful side, espeically as they have the pressure of knowing that they need to take a lead to Madrid if they are going to reach the last eight.
Both clubs have changed manager this season, but it’s Zinedine Zidane who is more likely to claim a vital win in his Champions League managerial debut. Star man Cristiano Ronaldo notched a record-breaking 11 goals in the group phase, and the Madristas will be looking to the competition’s all-time leading scorer for further inspiration.
Will Roma resist the attacking flair of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and co? Or will the visitors establish the lead that most fans will expect to see? Whatever happens, you wouldn’t wanna miss it for the world.
AS Roma V Real Madrid Betting
Despite boasting home advantage, Roma are considerable underdogs and can be backed at 16/5 to claim a first leg win with Bet365. Meanwhile, Real Madrid are available at 4/5 with the draw being priced 14/5.
Roma are in an awkward position and will need to score in order to keep their hopes of a quarter-final place alive, and we do think Luciano Spalletti’s will find the target.
Nevertheless, Real Madrid’s attacking power should see them bring a lead back to the Bernabeu.
BTTS & Real Madrid Win @ 12/5 with William Hill
Gent V Wolfsburg
Wednesday 17th February. 7:45PM. BT Sport 2
After topping a difficult group including PSV and Manchester United, Dieter Hecking’s Wolfsburg have been rewarded with a fortunate draw against Belgian side Gent. The Bundesliga side will now be fully focused on reaching the quarter-finals and could make a huge signal of intent with a win at the Ghelamco Arena.
The visitors certainly boast enough quality to cause problems for the hosts. If they can get the ball to the likes of Bas Dost and Julian Draxler, the Germans should have no problem progressing over the two legs, especially if they score some away goals here.
Gent won’t be expected to do anything spectacular in the knockout phase, but Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s will want to enjoy the ride. While defeating Wolfsburg won’t be easy, the hosts could have faced tougher opposition too.
Neither side will be fancied to reach the very latter stages, but both will feel this is a great opportunity to reach the last eight. It should be exciting to say the least.
Gent V Wolfsburg Betting
Whilst Wolfsburg should progress over two legs, there is a real sense that this first clash could go either way. Those sentiments are reflected perfectly in the betting odds as Bet365 make the German’s 13/10 favourites while Gent are available at 2/1. The draw can be backed at 12/5.
This fixture might not involve the biggest clubs in this competition, but that doesn’t stop it from potentially being the most exciting.
Both teams will feel this is a great chance to progress and will want to take full advantage with a positive result in this crucial first leg. Attack could be the theme of the day in both camps. If we get an early goal, we could be in for some truly intense action.
Over 2.5 match goals @ Evens with Bet365