Champions League round of 16 preview – Feb 14th

Wednesdays results 3-1 (1 pending)

The group stages in this year Champions League gave us various high scoring affairs. A record 306 goals were scored in the opening round of this year’s competition. PSG and their vicious attack led the way with 25 goals in their opening six matches. Liverpool was quite impressive and netted 23 goals of their own. These two clubs did their part in helping break the overall group stage goal record, but the other 30 teams also did their part. An average of 3.2 goals were scored in each game, and in Wednesday’s matchup’s we saw the same trend continue. Both games had three goals at halftime and over bettors were drinking top shelf at the intermission.

Will this trend continue, or will the sportsbooks catchup in a much-needed moment with the tournaments marquee matchup on the horizon……

Real Madrid Vs. Paris Saint-Germain
The match up the footy aficionadi fantasizes about, a clash of European titans, two of the most expensive clubs in the world led by finalist in the Balón de Oro award. The Merengue, come into this tie on a somewhat of a slump. With the La Liga title at a distant 17 points, this is the last big piece of silverware they will have a chance to add to their trophy case this season. With the Pressure on Zinedine Zidane to save his job, winning an unprecedented third straight Champions League title might be the only feat to keep his position. The game features two sets of three-headed monsters, BBC (Bale, Benzema, Cristiano) and MCN (Mbappe, Cavani, Neymar). The only difference is one is more frightening than the other, as Neymar and company have ripped off 74 goals in all competitions this season, thats 36 more than the tandem from Madrid. That sounds like a disaster facing a Merengue defense that has allowed 22 goals in 21 matches at the Bernabeu, last season they only allowed the opposition to score 21 times in 28 games at home. The pressure will be on both teams, but I think PSG will thrive in this situation. How can you come back from last years debacle vs. Barcelona? You take one of their stars in Neymar, and you cut the head of the Defending champion and Spanish giants Real Madrid. How else can you bounce back from the 4-0 choke job from last year? Having the final game at home will play pivotal in relieving some of the pressure. An early away goal in this match will be just the formula to blow the doors open on an offensively minded match. Look for end to end action as Madrid have nothing else to play for so they will be aggressive from the whistle.

There is too much uncertainty with this Madrid team, but I do think they will put up their best efforts and have success doing so with the match being wide open. Three of PSG’s losses this season were as visitors to Strasbourg, Lyon, and Bayern Munich.
PSG learned from last years loss, and the additions of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé will be the deciding factor in knocking out the champions.

Over 3 -137
PSG to advance

Porto Vs. Liverpool

Liverpool comes into this game with a dangerous attack. In the last ten games, they have scored 25 goals, thats two more than what they scored in the group stage. Historically, the Reds have performed well vs. Portuguese opposition where they hold a record of 9-6-5.

Porto finished second place in their group, beating out Monaco and Leipzig for the final qualifying spot. They collected 6 points from their home matches while scoring nine goals. The only problem is they also conceded six scores to the opposition on home turf. Porto has only lost one game in the last 19 matches.

The way to beat Liverpool is to attack the back line and not allow the Reds to keep you backed up in your own final third. Porto needs a positive result at home, and to accomplish that they know they will have to score, possibly multiple times. Liverpool has scored at least three goals in their last four matches, and they are undefeated in their last 10 Champions League games. Even further, in 10 of their last 12 games as visitors, the total has also gone over 2.5 goals. Porto’s approach in the group stages was to press higher up the field and allow the opponent to have less of the ball in their territory. The only problem is it left a massive amount of open field allowing opponents to counter-attack successfully.

Over 80% of The Reds last 12 competitive matches have seen the total go over 2.5 goals.
The home side has seen three or more goals in over 80% of their games in this competition, scoring in every game.

Over 2.5 Goals -126

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