Champions League action resumes on Tuesday and if last week’s first-leg showdowns are anything to go by then we should be in for another two nights of explosive football courtesy of Europe’s elite.
The week’s action starts with two great matches in Spain and Germany. Whilst one tie looks pretty much done and dusted, the other could prove to be the most exciting showdown of the lot.
Bring it on!
Barcelona V PSG. 7:45PM. ITV 1
After claiming a 3-1 away win in Paris last week, Luis Enrique’s men already have one foot firmly planted in the semi-final. However, Barcelona will have to keep their composure in order to complete the job against a potentially dangerous PSG.
The return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will give Laurent Blanc’s a renewed sense of purpose but there is little chance of them overturning this colossal deficit against one of the world’s best outfits.
Barca have won five on the spin at home, scoring 15 in the process and it’s hard to see the talented trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar not add to the three goals from last week. PSG already need three, which is gigantean task in itself, but there’s a massive probability that they would need more to progress.
You can never say it’s over until it’s over, but the fat lady is certainly warming her vocals. Barca should cruise into the last four.
Barcelona V PSG Betting Tips
Predictably, Barcelona are the heavy favourite for victory at the Camp Nou and are priced just 4/11 with Bet365. PSG are an outside bet at 7/1 whilst the draw can be backed at 9/2.
There is a sense of inevitability about the match outcome and nobody is expecting anything other than a routine victory for the Catalonian giants. As far as the betting is concerned, we’re forecasting an early goal for Barca’s star man.
It has been a landmark week for Messi already as the No.10 hit 400 goals for Barcelona. However, he hasn’t scored in three Champions League matches; his last ironically coming against PSG at home in the group phase. We can see him getting amongst the European goals again here.
Bayern Munich V Porto. 7:45PM. Sky Sports 1
Pep Guardiola’s Bayern have been left with a minor mountain to climb after last week’s shock first-leg loss in Portugal and the injury plagued Bavarians could be facing premature elimination as they take on Porto at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern are trailing 3-1 but still have 90 minutes to turn things around and could quite easily claim the 2-0 win needed to progress. However, Lopetegui’s visitors will be in buoyant mood as they head to Germany with a first-leg advantage that even they wouldn’t have dreamed about.
Porto are by no means a poor side but it was still a shock to see them beat Bayern by a two-goal margin, irrespective of the injuries. It has been 11 years since Jose Mourinho led them to a shock Champions League triumph, could the Portuguese club be set for another in 2015?
When the draw was made, many thought this was the easiest quarter-final to predict. As we head into the second-leg, though, it could be the most exciting prospect of the lot. It should be an absolute classic.
Bayern Munich V Porto Betting Tips
The ball is well and truly in Bayern’s court and, despite the extensive absentee list, the bookies tend to think they’ll make a much better account of themselves this time around. This is reflected by Bet365’s odds of 3/10 for a Munich win. Porto are backed at 9/1, whilst the draw is available at 17/4.
This is a truly difficult contest to call. Ordinarily you would have to fancy the Bavarians to turn things around, especially after they hit seven past Shakhtar following a disappointing first-leg stalemate in the previous. However, the injuries really do throw a spanner into the works.
The absence of Arjen Robben in particular will decrease Bayern’s attacking threat and that could give Porto a massive opportunity. Perhaps more crucially, though, the added pressure could lead to more mistakes like the ones committed last week. If errors do occur, you’d have to fancy the visitors to complete their heroic giantkilling.
Porto to qualify @ Evens with BetVictor