Last Updated Jan 19, 2022, 01:20 PM
2020-21 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - ROUND OF 16
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND OF 16 PREVIEW AND PREDICTIONS
The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 will kick off this week as teams begin the first legs of their matchups.
ROUND OF 16 BETTING FIXTURES
- First Legs: Feb. 16, 17, 23, 34
- Second Legs: Mar. 9, 10, 16, 17
- Leipzig vs. Liverpool (Tuesday, Feb. 16)
- Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain (Tuesday, Feb. 16)
- FC Porto vs. Juventus (Wednesday, Feb. 17)
- Sevilla vs. Borussia Dortmund (Wednesday, Feb. 17)
- Lazio vs. Bayern Munich (Tuesday, Feb. 23)
- Atlético vs. Chelsea (Tuesday, Feb. 23)
- Mönchengladbach vs. Manchester City (Wednesday, Feb. 24)
- Atalanta vs. Real Madrid (Wednesday, Feb. 24)
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND OF 16 PREVIEW
The 2020/21 Champions League group stages threatened quite a few shocks, particularly the prospect of Real Madrid finishing fourth in their group, but at the competition’s halfway mark all the traditional big guns have made it through. The draw for the last 16 represents the continued dominance of the big five leagues.
Last year, all 16 teams represented came from England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France. This year only FC Porto buck the trend.
Future Odds per BetMGM - Subject to Change
ODDS TO WIN 2020-21 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE (5/29/2021)
|Team||Odds - American||Odds - Fractional|
No team has ever retained the Champions League in its modern format, but Bayern Munich continue to lead the betting as a 3/1 co-favorite per BetMGM.
They are worthy favourites having coasted through a relatively tricky group that included runaway La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid, whom they thrashed at home and drew with away (in a game where they had already qualified). Bayern Munich have all the tools to win it again.
Their squad is deep, and they are likely to wrap up the Bundesliga with some games to spare allowing them to focus more on this competition than some of their rivals. They are able to blow away good opponents, as shown by that 4-0 win over Atléti and their stunning 8-2 win over Barcelona in last year’s semifinals, as well as their mauling of Chelsea in the last 16.
Robert Lewandowski is in the form of his life with 20 goals in 17 games. Their draw for the last 16 was relatively kind against an enterprising but leaky Lazio side. They are the best team in Europe at the moment.
Next in the betting come Manchester City at 3/1 and Liverpool at 6/1. Both are strong favourites to progress to the quarterfinals in matchups with German sides:
City play Borussia Mönchengladbach while Liverpool face RB Leipzig.
Man City have the advantage of a bigger squad than Liverpool, and bookmakers consistently rank them as the slightly better team when the two go head to head.
However, Liverpool have made two of the last three finals and at the prices make more appeal. They are currently the favourites to win the Premier League, and if by February they have opened up a good lead they may be worth a small bet in the hope that they can save their big players for European matches.
City, it must be stressed, have an awful record in the Champions League knockouts, having made just one semi-final in 2014-15. They have not been at their best this year and should probably be avoided.
Juventus are next at 10/1, partly thanks to a relatively kind draw against FC Porto in the last 16, but they are another team who look a bit past their best.
Paris Saint-Germain are a much better bet at 11/1. They face Barcelona in arguably the tie of the round, but Barcelona’s collapse at home to Juventus, surrendering top spot in the group in the process, should alarm their backers. Even at 16/1 they should be avoided.
There are two ties in particular where the underdog looks the better value. The first is Atlético Madrid vs. Chelsea, arguably the tightest-looking draw.
Atlético lead La Liga with 32 points from 13 games and, most importantly, just five goals conceded. Amazingly Atléti have not lost a two-legged Champions League knockout tie to a team not containing Cristiano Ronaldo since Diego Simeone took charge of the club.
This Chelsea side has promise, but they might not be tactically disciplined enough to negotiate such a tricky tie. If they fail to score in Madrid in the first leg, the Spanish side will be confident of qualification.
Atlético are 6/5 to win this tie and are always worth an each-way bet to win the tournament at 12/1.
The next is Atalanta (50/1) against Real Madrid (14/1). At longer odds Atalanta are surely worth backing at 11/4.
They came within seconds of knocking out PSG last year, while Real Madrid have been poor in the Champions League for the last three years. They squeezed through their group despite losing twice to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Last year they were comfortably eliminated by Man City and the year before were beaten by Ajax.
Atalanta secured their qualification by beating Ajax 1-0 on the final matchday. They also won 2-0 at Liverpool. Both were performances that suggest a growing maturity on the big stage.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FUTURE BETS
- Bayern Munich at 3/1
- Paris Saint-Germain at 11/1
- Atlético Madrid at 12/1
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND OF 16 BETS
- Paris Saint-Germain to qualify at 7/10
- Atlético Madrid to qualify at 6/5
- Atalanta to qualify at 11/4
KNOCKOUT ROUND PREDICTIONS
Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Winner: Paris Saint-Germain
RB Leipzig vs. Liverpool
FC Porto vs. Juventus
Sevilla vs. Borussia Dortmund
Winner: Borussia Dortmund
Atlético Madrid vs. Chelsea
Winner: Atlético Madrid
Lazio vs. Bayern Munich
Winner: Bayern Munich
Atalanta vs. Real Madrid
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Manchester City
Winner: Manchester City