Feb 20, 776 days ago

Champions League last 16 preview

Champions League last 16 preview

Sixteen teams remain in this year’s Champions League and there is a familiar look to the line-up. Many of the big names are there including Spanish, Italian and English giants and as there’s no one outstanding team the competition is wide open.

Keep reading for our Champions League preview.

The favourites

Bayern Munich have lost just one league match this season and sit eight points clear at the top of the Bundesliga. Having drawn 0-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their last 16 tie the 2013 European champions are clear favourites to progress and could make their third final in four seasons.

Pep Guardiola’s side have arguably been Europe’s top side for several seasons and only Real Madrid and Milan have won Europe’s premier trophy more times. Bayern are the worthy 11/4 joint favourites to win this year’s tournament on German soil.

Real Madrid are the defending champions and are another side who sit top of their domestic league. However, their progress this season hasn’t been quite as smooth as last year and defensive injuries and suspensions have taken their toll.

A good 2-0 win at Schalke should see them into the last eight and on their day they can see off any team in the world but I worry that they may not be quite as invincible as they were last season. The 11/4 looks too short.

Spanish rivals Barcelona have been improving in recent weeks and could be an excellent bet to reach their first final since 2011. The front three of Suarez, Neymar and Messi are beginning to click and coach Luis Enrique looks to have found a system to suit his star names. They face a tricky last 16 tie against Manchester City but if they come through that unscathed then the 5/1 currently available could be a great price.

Chelsea finally became European champions in 2012 and you can’t help thinking that the one thing missing from Jose Mourinho’s CV is a Champions League trophy with the Blues. He has won the trophy before of course – with Porto and Inter – and so knows how to progress far in the tournament.

They had a good result at PSG in the last 16 and with a good draw I can see Chelsea reaching the semi-finals at least. They could even go all the way at 6/1.

Could 2015 be the year when we get a surprise winner?

Last year’s surprise package was Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone’s side came within a minute or so of winning their first European Cup. Atletico haven’t been as irresistible this campaign as they were last time around but the Spanish champions are a great side with some terrific players.

I fancy them to overcome Bayer Leverkusen over two legs and with a bit of luck they could easily emulate last season’s achievements and reach their third European Cup final.

Perennial Champions League participants Arsenal are once again in the knockout stages but Arsene Wenger’s side look set to fall short again. They are 16/1 to win the tournament and while the last 16 draw was kind to them – they should see off Monaco – I don’t think they are good enough to beat one of the top sides.

For a small side FC Basel punch way above their weight on the European stage. The Swiss side went all the way to the semi-finals of the Europa League in 2013 and, over recent years, have beaten Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.

On their day they are a match for anyone and if they can eliminate FC Porto in the last 16 – not easy after a home 1-1 draw – they could achieve great things. I think it is only a matter of time before they reach the quarters or semis in this competition and Paolo Sousa’s side are 200/1 to go all the way this year.

Champions League betting

Share "Champions League last 16 preview" via

Comments are closed.

More in Champions League Betting
Apr 6, 29 mins ago

2016/17 Champions League quarter finals preview

2016/17 Champions League quarter finals preview78 teams who entered the Champions League have been whittled down to eight, and this year’s quarter finals feature the last six finalists, the leaders of Ligue 1 and the English champions. Leicester City’s bid for an unlikely Champions League final ...

Read   Comments are off
Sep 7, 211 days ago

2016/17 Champions League preview

2016/17 Champions League preview78 clubs from 53 countries entered this season’s Champions League and after some big names were eliminated in the play-offs, 32 teams now remain in the group stages. Leicester City and FC Rostov make their debut in the competition and they ...

Read   Comments are off
Sep 12, 937 days ago

2014 Champions League Preview

2014 Champions League PreviewThe European Cup celebrates its 60th season this year and the competition had begun before this summer’s World Cup had even finished. 77 teams will participate in this season’s Champions League with just two left by the time the final ...

Read   Comments are off