Four clubs will have their hopes of winning this season’s Champions League ended this week as the second legs of the Round of 16 get underway. Barcelona has the biggest challenge ahead of them, as they travel to Paris St-Germain trailing 4-1 from the first leg. Juventus’ 25-year wait to be crowned champions of Europe are hanging by a thread as they host Porto, which won the first leg, 2-1, three weeks ago. Liverpool and Dortmund both lost league games over the weekend and they will hope to bounce back in crucial ties against RB Leipzig and Sevilla, respectively. Here are some bets that I think are worth considering on DraftKings Sportsbook for the midweek slate of Champions League games.
Dortmund vs. Sevilla
Dortmund and Sevilla lost this weekend perhaps because they had one eye on this second leg. Both sides have little chance of winning their respective leagues, so it would make sense to focus their attention on winning Europe’s elite club competition. Sevilla lost, 2-1, at struggling Elche in La Liga, but Dortmund’s 4-2 loss at Bundesliga leaders Bayern may have been most costly. In-form Erling Haaland was withdrawn midway through the second half and was seen receiving treatment for an ankle injury on the sidelines. It may not be serious enough to keep Haaland out of this tie, but if he gets another knock on the ankle, it might affect his ability to add to his 29 goals in 28 games this season. Ten of those goals have come in the Champions League. Dortmund’s past eight league games have produced over 2.5 goals while Sevilla’s last five Champions League matches have seen over 2.5 total goals scored.
Juventus vs. Porto
Juventus decided to rest the UCL’s all-time leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo for their home game with Lazio and the 36-year-old watched his side pick up all three points in a comfortable 3-1 win. The win keeps the defending Serie A champions in the title race, but they have a lot of work to do if they are to win their 10th successive domestic championship. Juventus need their Portuguese star to be at his very best if they are to advance to the quarterfinals at the expense of many of his international teammates. Sergio Oliveira is one of those teammates looking to complete what would be the surprise result of the round. Porto’s defeat in the Portuguese Cup is their only loss in their past 12 contests. Ronaldo has been Juventus’ savior so many times since his arrival in Turin, and his side’s hopes of surviving in this season’s tournament rest on his shoulders.
Liverpool vs. RB Leipzig
This Champions League second leg comes at the right time for Liverpool, whose domestic season took another turn for the worse when relegation battlers Fulham became the sixth successive team to win a league game at Anfield this season. The loss leaves Liverpool eighth in the Premier League standings, four points off of a top-four spot. Their best hope of qualifying for next season’s UCL is to win this season’s tournament. Perhaps Jurgen Klopp has had one eye on making sure they get past RB Leipzig, which prepared for this contest with a comfortable 3-0 win at Freiburg on Saturday. Liverpool holds a two-goal advantage from the first leg but has just two shutouts in its past 12 league and cup games, giving the German side a chance of scoring at Anfield to give them hope of progressing.
PSG vs. Barcelona
Of the four matchups taking place this week, Barcelona has the most work to do to overturn a 4-1 deficit from the first leg. Were it any other opponent, the chances of the Spanish giants progressing would be very slim, but these two sides have history. In 2017, PSG won the first leg, 4-0, but the second leg at the Nou Camp will be remembered as one of the greatest comebacks in world football as Lionel Messi led Barca to a stunning 6-1 win. This time, however, the second leg is being played in Paris and the home side will be without Neymar, who was a Barcelona player in that incredible comeback. The French side should be looking forward to the quarterfinal draw. Kylian Mbappe helped himself to a hat trick in the first leg in a run of nine goals in his past eight games. A failure to shut down the French World Cup winner could result in another embarrassing loss. This could well be another high-scoring game.
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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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