Champions League Preview – Wednesday 19th February
On Wednesday, the Champions League round of 16 continues and this time it’s the turn of reigning champs Bayern Munich to stake their claim for a place in the quarter-finals with a trip to Arsenal.
Meanwhile, the evening’s other game comes from the San Siro as AC Milan host high-flying La Liga side Atletico Madrid. Another two great games in store, it should be interesting to say the least.
Arsenal V Bayern Munich
The main act comes from the Emirates as Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal look for revenge over the German champions who eliminated them at the quarter-final stage last season.
Having made amends for the recent 5-1 humiliation at Anfield on Sunday by beating Liverpool in the FA Cup, spirits will be high for the Gunners. Despite losing being eliminated by the eventual winners last year, they did claim victory in Munich and will feel that if they can install a first-leg advantage then there is a great chance for them to progress.
However, Bayern do look irresistible right now.
Incredibly, the German team seem to have improved since Pep Guardiola took charge and the Club World Cup winners will be hopeful of surpassing last season’s haul of an unprecedented treble. They are running away with domestic honours and have won every competitive game since the 3-2 defeat by Manchester City in the group stage, impressively keeping a clean sheet in each of their last four matches.
Arsenal are still a little inconsistent and have suffered heavy defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City. However, they have been very strong at the Emirates and could cause a surprise.
Bet inplay on the Champions League tonight – Collect £200 in free bets at Bet365
The key for this one could be depth of squad; Bayern have at least two quality players in each position where as Arsenal do not. With Walcott and Ramsey missing, the Gunners are already somewhat stretched and if Giroud has a quiet day at the office then it may be an uphill battle for the north Londoners.
Both clubs are fighting for silverware on several fronts and this is a key clash within their respective seasons. It should be a classic.
Arsenal V Bayern Munich Betting
As good as Arsenal have been, it’s hard to argue with the bookies decision to make Bayern favourites. The holders are 3/4 with Bet 365, with the hosts priced 4/1 and the draw at 3s.
The bet I like the look of is Bayern win to nil at 21/10 (Bet 365). The Germans have a formidable defensive record and this challenge could be a step too far for Arsenal.
AC Milan V Atletico Madrid
At the San Siro, seven time European Cup winners AC Milan host Spanish side Atletico Madrid.
Only Real Madrid have a better European record than Rossoneri but now it is the other side from the Spanish capital who are favourites to eliminate the 2007 winners. When you look at their respective domestic form it isn’t hard to see why.
In Italy, AC Milan sit 31 points behind leaders Juventus and are in serious danger of missing out on Europe altogether next season. Their poor form has led to a change in management and star striker Mario Balotelli’s constant links to a summer exit sum up the dour situation currently surrounding the Italian giants.
Conversely, Diego Simeone’s Atletico are putting serious pressure on Real and Barcelona. Despite having considerably less resources, they sit level on 60 points with the el Clasico pair. They might not have lifted the Champions League trophy but Europa League wins in 2010 and 2012 stand the Madrid side in good stead and they are more than capable of challenging for Europe’s top prize this campaign.
AC Milan do have the players to threaten Atletico, but the Spanish side are rightfully clear favourites and if the likes of Diego Costa are at optimum performance then there is only one outcome for this one.
AC Milan V Atletico Madrid Betting
Despite their illustrious history, Milan are night favoured for this one and even with home advantage are priced 11/4; Atletico are 6/5 and the draw is 23/10. (Bet 365)
Atletico’s achievements have largely been down to the goal-scoring exploits of Diego Costa, who has filled the boots vacated by Falcao superbly. With a World Cup spot in his sights, the Champions League provides a wonderful chance to prove his credentials to Brazil coach ‘Big Phil’ Scolari.
Diego Costa is 4/1 to score first with BetFred, and this match is part of the DD/HH promotion