Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
The Champions League quarter-finals continue on Wednesday as Europe’s elite club competition serves up another two fascinating prospects.
All four participants will have high aspirations of reaching the semi-final and beyond. Three of them have lifted the crown at least once in the past 11 years, whilst the other is one of the game’s richest clubs.
It should be another absorbing night of action.
PSG V Barcelona Live. 7:45PM. Sky Sports 1
European giants PSG and Barcelona have already met twice in this year’s competition during an incredible Group F campaign which saw each club win its respective home match.
Ahead of this one, though, the major news is of course the absence of PSG’s star man, and former Bareclona striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic who misses out through suspension following that dubious sending off against Chelsea.
The Zlatan effect could be huge on this contest. However, it is actually Edinson Cavani who leads the way in terms of PSG Champions League goals and the Uruguayan will be eager to become the main man by increasing his individual haul of six. Even if he does, Laurent Blanc’s men could be in for a long night.
Luis Enrique’s side are a much better outfit than the one that lost 3-2 here back in September and the in-form talents of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez should pose a huge threat.
PSG V Barcelona Betting
Despite conceding home advantage in this important first-leg, it is Barcelona who are odds-on favourites at 4/5 with Bet365. Meanwhile, the draw is priced 27/10 whilst a home win can be backed at 10/3.
From a betting perspective, Luis Suarez as the first goalscorer stands out as terrific value at 11/2. The record signing was inspirational in the previous round against Manchester City and has really found his feet over the past couple of months.
Whilst Messi is obviously still No.1, the former Liverpool star has become a genuine threat. If he occupies the central berth of Barca’s lethal three-pronged attack then we’d certainly fancy his chance of making the net ripple.
Luis Suarez to score first is 11/2 with Bet365
Porto V Bayern Munich Live. 7:45PM. Sky Sports 1
The fourth and final first-leg match sees Champions League favourites Bayern Munich head to Portugal, where they will expect a tough test against a well-oiled Porto.
However, Pep Guardiola’s men will be expected to qualify with ease, starting with victory at the Estadio Do Dragao. The Bundesliga giants have raced away with the domestic title once again and boast star quality all over the pitch. Meanwhile, the summer addition of Robert Lewandowski has proven to be a great piece of business and the Polish striker certainly adds another dimension.
Bayern are without the injured Arjen Robben, though, which will afford some degree of confidence to a home side but it is worth noting Porto are struggling with some omissions of their own in the form of Jackson Martinez and Cristian Tello. Those absentees could have a massive impact on proceedings.
Lopetegui’s side have won 10 straight home matches in all competitions and would love to make that 11 her, although this is a massive step up in class compared to the standard they face domestically. They’ll certainly put up a fight, but most would still expect the visitors to prevail.
Porto V Bayern Munich Betting
Bayern are naturally huge favourites to qualify and are even odds-on in this away leg, priced at 5/6 with Bet365. Meanwhile, the hosts can be backed at 15/4 whilst the draw is 11/4.
Porto need to attack as it seems imperative that they take an advantage to the Allianz Arena if they are to progress. Unfortunately, the absence of key attacking men could really hurt their chances and Guardiola’s men will be eager to put things right after failing to score any goals in Donetsk during their last away game.
Even with their injuries, the Bavarians should have enough quality to secure a first-leg advantage in style.
Bayern Munich -1 Asian handicap @ 57/40 with Bet365