Wednesday night’s Champions League schedule brings an end to the round of 16 first legs, and there’s plenty to get excited about ahead of what should be another intriguing evening.
Premier League side Manchester City head to the Ukrainian capital while Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid take the trip to Dutch side PSV. Both games have the potential to provide plenty of drama, and we’ll be hoping to celebrate with a couple of winning bets too.
Bring it on!
Dynamo Kiev V Manchester City
Wednesday 24th February. 7:45PM. BT Sport Europe
Manchester City haven’t enjoyed the best of time domestically, especially since Manuel Pellegrini’s imminent departure was confirmed. However, the Citizens have a fantastic chance to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history, and will be eager to take a huge step towards the last eight with a positive first leg result in Kiev.
The visitors still have a number of players on the absentee list, but Pellegrini does have a strong team to choose from, particularly after resting several stars for the weekend FA Cup clash at Chelsea. Quite frankly, if they can channel the energy that saw them navigate a difficult Group D, the Premier League side should have too much for Dynamo.
Sergey Rebrov’s side reached the kncokout stage on merit alone, and have plenty of quality in the form of Miguel Veloso, Andriy Yarmolenko and co. With the Olimpic Stadion crowd behind them, they can at least be optimistic about sealing a first leg result to keep their quarter-final dream alive.
The Citizens certainly aren’t invincible. But if they play to their strengths, then they can clinch the result they desire.
Dynamo Kiev V Manchester City Betting
Despite playing away from home in this crucial first leg, Manchester City are considered favourites at odds of 5/4. The hosts, however, shouldn’t be ruled out at 9/4. Alternatively, the draw can be backed at 23/10 – all odds courtesy of Bet365.
Manchester City will be desperate to reach the last eight and will be all too aware that away goals could play a vital role. Those sentiments, combined with their imbalance between defence and attack, should mean that the visitors go for goals.
Pellegrini’s men scored twice at Borussia Monchengladbach and three times at Sevilla in the group phase. Wth the chance to more than double our money on at least two in Kiev, we’ve got to fancy our chances.
Manchester City to score over 1.5 goals @ 23/18 with 888sport
PSV V Atletico Madrid
Wednesday 24th February. 7:45PM. BT Sport 2
PSV were marvellous as they dumped out Manchester United in the group phase and will be dreaming of going one step further in the competition against Atletico Madrid. However, Phillip Cocu’s men know that they face an enormous task, even in this first leg on Dutch soil.
The Eredivisie leaders have been impressive at the Philips Stadion this season, but this is a real step up in class and the youthful talents of Adam Maher and Davy Propper will be put to the test against the 2014 finalists. However, the hosts can be confident after winning their last three without conceding, as well as winning all three home games in the group.
Nevertheless, their Spanish opponents cannot be underestimated for a second. Simeone’s men picked up seven points from nine on the road en route to topping Group C and will be looking to the likes of Fernando Torres and Antoinne Griezmann for inspiration here.
Over two legs, the Liga side will be expected to prevail. As far as this first leg is concerned, though, anything could happen.
PSV V Atletico Madrid Betting
Unsurprisingly, Atletico are the favourites for this one. However, the first leg might not go all their own way, as is reflected by Bet365’s odds of 17/20 on an away win. The draw can be backed at 12/5 while PSV are priced 7/2 to take an advantage to Spain.
With Jackson Martinez now plying his trade in China, Atletico’s other attacking stars will need ot up their game in the knockouts and Griezmann is the most likely candidate.
The Frenchman is his side’s top scorer this term, and is more than capable of opening the scoring in Eindhoven. That’s exactly what we’re backing him to do.
Antoinne Girzmann to score first @ 4/1 with SkyBet