Soccer fans can look forward to some mouth-watering Champions League clashes after the last 16 draw pitted some real European heavyweights against one another. Premiership leader Liverpool will take on German champion Bayern Munich on February 19 in what promises to be the most intriguing tie of the round. PSG was drawn against Manchester United in another monumental clash on February 12, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus club faces a tricky meeting with stubborn Atletico Madrid on February 20. Elsewhere, the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona were handed comfortable draws and they are expected to progress to the quarterfinals with ease.
Man City is the clear favorite to win the competition after they were paired with struggling German outfit Schalke on February 20. You can find odds of +300 on Pep Guardiola’s men, and the Premiership champions will take some stopping once star player Kevin De Bruyne gets back into his groove. The Champions League last 16 draw really pitted England and Germany against one another as Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund faces in-form Tottenham on February 13. Dortmund is priced at -125 with to qualify for the last 16, while Tottenham is -105.
Barcelona is the +450 second favorite with Bet365 to win the tournament after they were paired with Lyon in the last 16 draw on February 19. Lionel Messi and company have not been past the quarterfinal stage for the last three seasons, but they possess the quality to vanquish anyone in this competition. The odds on perennial Serie A champion Juventus winning the Champions League have drifted considerably and they are now +650 with various sportsbooks. Atletico Madrid is an extremely strong side with a great track record in Europe, and that tie could go either way. The two best defenses in Europe will face one another, and “under” 2.5 goals is sure to be a popular bet.
Manchester United fans have been plunged into despair after their struggling team was drawn against PSG in the last 16. The French champions boast a strike force containing Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani, and they are expected to make short work of Man United’s struggling defense. PSG is now the fourth favorite to win the tournament at +700 with Bet365, while Man United has gone all the way out to +5000. It seems outrageous when you consider Man United has the largest wage bill in the world, and they spend extravagant sums in the transfer market, but their form is positively miserable at present. PSG is just -500 to qualify at Man United’s expense in the last 16 of this tournament.
Real Madrid has won the Champions League for the last three seasons on the bounce, but they are expected to struggle this time around. They lost manager Zinedine Zidane and star player Ronaldo in the summer, and they have underwhelmed this season. However, they will be pleased with their draw against Ajax on February 13 and they look well priced at -109 to win the first leg away in Amsterdam. The final tie sees Roma taking on Porto on February 12 and neither side looks particularly impressive, but underdog Roma should still prevail and the +100 on them to qualify with Bet365 looks really tempting.
There are some truly exciting two-legged ties to look forward to, but Liverpool vs. Bayern Munich stands out above the rest. The Reds were magnificent last season as they surged into the Champions League final on the back of the attacking brilliance of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Since then they have improved tremendously at the back and they top the Premiership, with the division’s meanest defense. Bayern Munich is European royalty, but they are struggling to adapt to life under new manager Niko Kovac. They trail Borussia Dortmund by nine points in the Bundesliga and their star is waning somewhat. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was a constant thorn in Bayern’s side during his time at Dortmund, and he will relish the opportunity to dump them out of the Champions League. Liverpool to qualify at -109 with Bet365 looks like a great option.