Champions League Last 16: Basel-Man City & Juve-Tottenham Previews

Martin Green

Monday, February 12, 2018 7:19 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 7:19 PM UTC

The Champions League returns this week, and there are two exciting clashes between some of the tournament favorites Tuesday. Premiership leaders Man City head the futures betting for this tournament and have a comfortable game against Swiss team Basel in the last 16. The clash between Italian champions Juventus and a Harry Kane-inspired Tottenham looks like a ferociously competitive game.

Basel v Man City

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Basel’s entire squad cost less than what Man City just spent on their new centre-back, Aymeric Laporte, which illustrates the huge gulf in class between these two teams. Man City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners have invested an absolute fortune in the club since taking it over, and they are hell-bent on winning the Champions League. Manager Pep Guardiola tasted success in this competition while at Barcelona, and he has the players to pull off another win here. Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero are in sensational form for the Citizens, and they are running away with the Premiership title.

They are just -1200 with Bovada to beat Basel over the two legs of this last-16 tie and qualify for the quarter-finals. Man City has already beaten the likes of Napoli, Man Utd and Chelsea on the road this season, and it should be able to beat Basel comfortably. The Swiss team currently trails Young Boys in its domestic league, which is vastly inferior to the Premiership in terms of quality, and has done well just to make it this far. It has a pretty strong home record, but that counts for little when Man City’s expensively assembled team rolls into town. Guardiola will want to put out a strong statement of intent to Man City’s European rivals by delivering a convincing victory in this game.

Free Soccer Pick: Man City On GLBest Line Offered: Bovada

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Marcello Lippi has warned Juventus that #thfc are a similar team to Barcelona ahead of their Champions League match. pic.twitter.com/0JvejlJkXg

— Hotspur Related (@HotspurRelated) February 9, 2018
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Juventus v Tottenham

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Max Allegri’s team is in absolutely sensational form in Italy, where it has won 14 games in a row and conceded only one goal in the process. However, Juventus are still a point behind league leaders Napoli, so Allegri has not been able to rest key players ahead of this game. The same is true of Tottenham, which is locked in a battle with Chelsea and Liverpool to secure a top-four finish in the Premiership. Spurs warmed up for this crucial Champions League clash by securing a resounding victory over fierce local rivals Arsenal over the weekend.

This game pits the Europe’s strongest defense at present against its most in-form striker. Harry Kane is closing in on a third consecutive Golden Boot for Spurs, and his winner against Arsenal was his eighth goal in seven games. He has already scored six goals in this season’s Champions League, one every seven minutes, and he will give the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Medhi Benatia a torrid evening. Tottenham should be full of confidence after beating holders Real Madrid and finishing top of their Champions League group to set up this tie.

Juventus finished second behind Barcelona in their group, but are still the favourites to qualify from this tie, and that is largely down to superior experience. Juventus finished runner-up in this competition last year, losing to Real Madrid in the final, and also reached the final three years ago. They have a strong record in this tournament, and Juventus are -136 favorite to advance to the next round with Pinnacle, while Tottenham are the +123 outsiders. In this first-leg tie, the odds are weighted even more in Juventus’ favour, as they are -110 on the moneyline to win the game and Tottenham is out at +330.

That may tempt some to back Tottenham as they are in excellent form, but opposing Juventus at their home stadium is risky business. It might be better to stay away from the outrights, and go for 'under' 2.5 goals at around -133 with SBR's top-rated sportsbooks. This first leg is likely to be a tight, tense affair, as two teams with strong defenses sound one another out. Kane looks interesting to score at any time (+150 with William Hill), but he will be up against a better defense than any he has faced thus far this season, so backing total goals might be a better option.

Free Soccer Pick: UnderBest Line Offered: Bookmaker

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