Bayern Munich’s defense of the Champions League is going according to plan following their 4-1 win at Lazio in the first leg of the Round of 16. The German side is expected to finish the job off and book their place in the quarterfinals. But, who might join them? Manchester City is well-placed with a 2-0 lead to defend in Budapest while Chelsea and Real Madrid hold slender advantages in their home second legs vs. Atletico and Atalanta, respectively.
Here are some bets that I think are worth considering on DraftKings Sportsbook for the midweek slate of Champions League games.
Manchester City vs. Borussia Monchengladbach
Manchester City is in pole position to book their place in the Champions League quarterfinals at the expense of Bundesliga’s Borussia Monchengladbach. Holding a 2-0 advantage from the first leg, City also moved closer to their third Premier League title in four seasons with a comfortable 3-0 win at Fulham on Saturday while the German side was beaten 3-1 at Augsburg the previous evening. Monchengladbach is without a win in its last eight, currently riding a six-game losing streak. Sergio Aguero is back to scoring goals for City, but it’s John Stones who has been grabbing headlines lately with five goals in his last 13 games. Stones’ last UCL goal came in November 2017, and the form he is in right now suggests he could end that drought soon. The City defender’s role on the team is to keep clean sheets, and a shutout in this tie would be the his 20th this season.
Real Madrid vs. Atalanta
The next couple of weeks could define Real Madrid’s season and either ease the heat on Zinedine Zidane’s club or crank it up. The defending La Liga champions are in danger of ending the season without a trophy, which is not accepted in the Spanish capital. Atalanta, who trail 1-0 following the first leg, have little to lose in the Bernabeu Stadium, and that makes them a dangerous opponent. In Luis Muriel, Atalanta has a real threat in front of goal. The Colombian needs one more goal to reach 20 for the season, and he has to like his chances to score against a Madrid team that has conceded a goal in each of the three games played since the first leg. Karim Benzema missed the first leg because of injury. But, with three goals in his last two games, he will be a player Atalanta has to watch closely.
Chelsea vs. Atletico Madrid
Both Chelsea and Atletico were involved in goalless draws on Saturday, but it wasn’t for lack of opportunities. The two sides each managed 15 attempts at goal vs. Leeds United and Getafe, respectively, but a combination of good goalkeeping and the frame of the woodwork prevented Chelsea and Atletico from scoring. Goals have been very scarce in Atletico’s journey to this stage of the competition with a total of 16 goals netted in seven games. Chelsea has one of the best defensive records in this season's tournament with just two goals conceded in their seven matches, and their 0-0 tie at Leeds was their fifth consecutive game in which they held their opponents scoreless.
Bayern Munich vs. Lazio
The Champions League has been dominated by Bayern Munich in recent years, to the point that their unbeaten run was extended to 18 matches following their 4-1 win vs. Lazio in Rome in the first leg. Of those 18 games, 17 were won by the Bavarian side, who have one foot in this season’s quarterfinals. Lazio has a mountain to climb if they are to be the first team to beat the German champions in the Champions League since Liverpool in March 2019. Bayern boss Hansi Flick has the luxury of resting his star players, like Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, to keep them in reserve if they are needed later in the game. Lazio’s loss in the first leg was the first of a three-game losing streak, which ended on Friday when they won a five-goal thriller at home vs. relegation-threatened Crotone. This may well be another high-scoring game with most of the goals going the way of the Germans.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is CharliePMullan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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