Wednesday, Feb. 13 Games scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET
Ajax vs. Real Madrid
Ajax were hugely impressive in the group stages, comfortably qualifiying ahead of Benfica and managing two draws with Bayern Munich. This is one of the most talented crops of Ajax players in recent years and, on the face of it, this is the perfect opportunity for them to get a hugely important Champions League win against one of the worst Real Madrid teams in well over a decade.
However Ajax’s recent league form has been a disaster. Having won 15 of their first 17 matches, they conceded an incredible 10 goals in their first two league games after the Eredivisie’s winter break - a chaotic 4-4 draw at home to heerenveen and a 6-2 pasting away to their biggest rivals, Feyenoord.
Their last result was a shock 1-0 defeat to Heracles, and even though they are just six points behind PSV Eindhoven, their title hopes are probably now up in smoke.
Much has been made of Real Madrid’s tumultuous season, but they have won their last five league games, most recently a 3-1 win at Atletico. While winning La Liga is beyond them, they seem to be back on track. Ajax’s defence simply is not good enough to contain a Real side who have scored ten goals in their last three matches, and it could get ugly for the home side at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
Prediction: Ajax 1-4 Real Madrid
Tip: Real Madrid to win 3-1 (12-1), 4-1 (22/1) and 5-1 (50/1)
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Borussia Dortmund
Tottenham Hotspur qualified for the knockout rounds by the skin of their teeth, but injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli could mean they struggle to shake off their “bottlers” tag in what looks like a very tight tie against Borussia Dortmund.
Dortmund are leaders of the Bundesliga and are 4/6 to win the tie, with Tottenham 11/10 outsiders. However two recent draws have checked their progress. They are five points clear of Bayern Munich.
Tottenham are somehow still just about in the Premier LEague title race, thanks to a series of narrow wins without major stars. However they were very lucky to beat Leicester City 3-1 at the weekend, and it surely is only a matter of time before their run of good luck comes to an end.
They have been conceding far more chances than they usually do, and a clinical team like Borussia Dortmund could be the side to punish them. Spurs are blessed with excellent finishers, and proved their credentials in Europe last year by getting the better of Dortmund and Real Madrid before succumbing to the experience of Juventus. But this tie may be one step too far.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
Tip: Borussia Dortmund at 21/10
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