Tue, Feb 20, 11:00am by Staff Writer
Following all the drama from last week’s Round of 16 matches, there are another four mouth-watering ties in the UEFA Champions League. Chelsea and Barcelona lead the way with the potential for an incredible match for fans and neutrals alike, whilst Manchester United will take on Spanish side Sevilla looking to regain their glory days in this competition.
Chelsea v Barcelona, Wednesday 21st February 2018, 6.45am (AEDT)
Chelsea have fallen at this stage of the Champions League in their two most recent appearances, after not qualifying for last season’s edition. Their current form sees them sitting fourth in the EPL but everything is not perfect for Antonio Conte’s men. Back to back losses in the league to Bournemouth and Watford ramped up the pressure on the manager, although wins over West Brom and Hull in the FA Cup have steadied the ship a little. Their defensive vulnerabilities were exposed in those losses and with Barcelona’s attack force they could be in significant danger of again being knocked out in the Round 16. They stand at 3.60 to win the first leg and $3.26 to progress.
They will come up against a Barcelona side high on confidence after not losing a game in La Liga or the Champions League so far this season. They sit atop La Liga with a seven-point lead and finished top of Group D ahead of Juventus in the Group stages. Barcelona hold the advantage historically after knocking Chelsea out of elimination games in Europe three times compared to the home side’s two. They are stand out favourites to advance over the two legs priced at $1.31 but stand at just $2.10 to win the first leg away from home.
Bet of the Match – Barcelona to Win 2-1 at $8.50
Sevilla v Manchester United, Thursday 22nd February 2018, 6.45am (AEDT)
Despite a poor result from their last league outing against Newcastle, Manchester United will be confident of progressing from this tie. A number of injury worries heading into the first leg will mean that Sevilla have their hopes boosted though. United are priced at $2.40 to win the away leg and $1.35 to reach the next Round. A 2-0 win over Huddersfield in the FA Cup means that they will make the trip to Spain buoyed after their league disappointment and on paper at least have enough in their squad to dispatch of Sevilla.
Sitting in fifth place in La Liga, however, Sevilla will be no pushover for United. They qualified for the Round of 16 from a tough E just behind Group winners Liverpool, with whom they drew twice with home and away in two high scoring encounters. They are certainly able to find the back of the net and the United defence will have to be on form to stop a surprise win at $2.88, with a win over the two legs priced at $3.05.
Bet of the Match – Draw 1-1 at $6.50
Other Week 2 ties:
Bayern Munich ($1.12) v Besiktas ($23)
Shakhtar Donetesk ($2.40) v Roma ($2.88)
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