Champions League Preview – Round of 16 Betting Insights
Liverpool suffered a surprise setback last night as their long unbeaten run came to a limp end in their 1-0 Round of 16 first-leg defeat at Atlético Madrid.
With Anfield usually a fortress for the Reds, it’s no surprise the Premier League leaders are still at 5/1 in the Champions League outright betting despite last night’s defeat. However, an early exit for the holders would throw this competition wide open. Could that potentially open the door for another English club to capitalise?
Tonight’s it the turn of Tottenham Hotspur to keep the Premier League flag flying as last season’s finalists host Bundesliga’s unknown quantity RB Leipzig, while Champions League first-timers Atalanta will be looking to make the most of home advantage against Valencia.
Champions League Round of 16 – Betting Preview
ATALANTA VS VALENCIA
Atalanta will arguably be as surprised as every neutral watching to still be standing in this competition after a dramatic final round of games saw them advance at the expense of Shakhtar Donetsk despite losing all of their first three group games.
That astonishing escape act has also rubbed off on their league form with Gian Piero Gasperini’s side losing just once in Serie A since sealing their place in the knockout stages.
Their opponents Valencia come into this game out-of-sorts after slipping up in both the Copa Del Rey and league in recent weeks. However, they topped a tight-looking Group H before Christmas – one which saw last season’s semi-finalists Ajax eliminated in the process.
This could be a close-run game, but with Atalanta finally showing signs of adapting to playing their home European games at the San Siro towards the end of the group stages, back the Serie A outfit to hold the upper hand heading into the second leg.
Atalanta to win from behind @ 83/10
Mario Pašalić to score at any time @ 13/5
A sending off @ 69/25
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR VS RB LEIPZIG
Jose Mourinho will surely be wrapping up his squad in cotton wool for the rest of the season after the Spurs manager was dealt a hammer blow earlier this week with the news key man Son Heung-min could be out for the season after breaking his arm.
Nevertheless, there are still few managers better at setting up a side tactically to thrive in a two-leg tussle. Mourinho will surely look to use his latest injury crisis to create a siege mentality at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but Spurs won’t find life easy against a Leipzig side currently going toe-to-toe with Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.
The highly-rated Julian Nagelsmann is enjoying a fine debut season at Leipzig after guiding Die Roten Bullen to the Champions League knockout stages for the first time in the club’s short history. His side have the firepower to trouble Spurs after setting a new Bundesliga record earlier this season after scoring three goals or more in nine top flight games in a row.
Spurs’ extra know-how after reaching last year’s final could be the differential in this first leg – but Leipzig could make life uncomfortable by snatching a precious away goal to take to Germany.
Tottenham Hotspur to win and both teams to score @ 69/20
Steven Bergwijn to score the last goal @ 7/1
Tottenham Hotspur to have the most yellow cards @ 177/100
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.
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