The UEFA Champions League is back in action this week as all the remaining Round of 16 matches head into their second leg. Porto FC, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, and PSG all move onto the next round after finishing up their home-and-home series last week. Attention now turns to the remaining eight teams who will play their second leg matches on Tuesday and Wednesday.
All odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Manchester City v. Borussia Mönchengladbach, Tue, Mar 16, 4 p.m., TUDN & Paramount+
Manchester City: -400
Borussia Mönchengladbach: +1200
Man City is set up for a relatively easy win as they play their home leg of the tie with Borussia Mönchengladbach. Unfortunately for City, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in Germany, the game has been moved to Budapest where Man City will still be designated the home side. The good news is they head into the second leg with a comfortable 2-0 lead after goals from Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus cemented the win in the first leg. In even more good news, the first leg was also played at Puskas Arena in Budapest, so City already know they can handle business there. For Gladbach to even have a shot, they’ll have to come out swinging and score at least two goals before City can find the net to be back on even keel. With how dominant City’s attack is with the likes of Jesus, Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Sergi Aguero, and a seemingly never-ending list of household names, it would nearly take a miracle for Gladbach to get through on this one.
Real Madrid v. Atalanta, Tue, Mar 16, 4 p.m., TUDN & Paramount+
Real Madrid: +100
Atalanta shot themselves in the foot in the first leg when Remo Freuler picked up a red card in the 17th minute, forcing the hosts to go toe-to-toe with one of the best clubs in the world with only 10 men for the majority of the match. They did well — really well — until the dying minutes of the game when Ferland Mendy found the back of the net in the 86th minute to give Madrid a little bit of breathing room with an away goal heading into the second leg. They logged a staggering 19 shots overall compared to Atalanta’s two, and controlled 69% of possession throughout the last match. Now, without Freuler in leg two, they’ll have to either win outright or get a multi-goal draw on Real Madrid’s home turf to have a shot at going through to the next round. It’s not impossible for the Serie A side, but Madrid are the unsurprisingly easy favorites in this one.
Bayern Munich v. Lazio, Wed, Mar 17, 4 p.m., TUDN & Paramount+
Bayern Munich: -275
It’s all but said and done for the Bundesliga giants as they head into the second leg with a massive 4-1 aggregate score after the first match. What’s even worse for Lazio — those are four away goals banked by Bayern, so the Italian side has a giant mountain to climb if they even want a distant shot at taking down the reigning UEFA Champions League title holders. Bayern scored three unanswered goals in the first half at Stadio Olimpico, with Robert Lewandowski kicking things off in the ninth minute while Jamal Musiala added one in the 24th, and speedster Leroy Sane added the third goal just before half time in the 42nd minute. Lazio made things worse for themselves as Francesco Acerbi put in an own goal in the 47th minute early in the second half which just added insult to injury for the struggling Serie A side. Joaquin Correa was able to pull one back in the 49th minute, but it wasn’t enough as they failed to find any goals beyond that. While unlikely, Bayern could lose up to 3-0 and still advance to the next round on away goals. Of course that most likely won’t happen as they’ll look to first batten down the hatches on defense, and we can expect some promising attacking play from the usual suspects.
Chelsea v. Atlético Madrid, Wed, Mar 17, 4 p.m., TUDN & Paramount+
Atlético Madrid: +255
The first leg of this series was a tight affair as Chelsea barely edged out Atletico Madrid on the road with a 1-0 score line. Olivier Giroud’s 68th minute magnificent bicycle kick goal let the Blues breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they’ll be returning home to close out the series at Stamford Bridge with a big away goal. That doesn’t mean it’s all buttoned up for Chelsea, as they’ll have to stave off Atletico’s attack who will be dead set on coming out looking for an early goal at all costs. Chelsea was able to control 64% of possession in the first leg while outshooting the La Liga side 11-6 overall, and 5-0 in shots on target. The Blues are unbeaten across all competitions since Thomas Tuchel took over in January after club legend Frank Lampard was sacked, and they’ve been climbing the Premier League table ever since. Currently in fourth place and poised to advance to the next round in UCL, things are looking mighty bright in Chelsea’s immediate future.