Champions League Round of 16: Who Should I Tip in a Soccer Parlay?

Champions League Round of 16

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The Champions League is back for the knockout rounds, with 16 teams competing for a place in the quarter-finals.

We have run through all eight ties and picked out which team we think will go through – consider combining some of our choices into a parlay. The action gets underway on Tuesday 16 February.

Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain

First leg: Tuesday 16 February, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Second leg: Wednesday 10 March, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Barcelona looks to have found form at the right time, as they prepare to meet PSG for the first time since 2017. The Ligue 1 giants will be out to avenge their extraordinary 6-1 defeat by Barcelona four years ago when the Catalan club overturned a four-goal deficit from the first leg to go through.

PSG are a better team today than they were in 2017. Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi, and Neymar are three of the best attackers in European soccer. Mauricio Pochettino is still relatively new in the job and this is a big test of his managerial acumen, but PSG should be considered the favorites to go through.

Surprisingly, the bookmakers disagree – but that is good news for bettors. Barcelona may have Lionel Messi on their side, and the Argentine has the ability to bend any match to his will, but PSG are the stronger team and their superior all-round quality should shine through over two legs.

Tip:

PSG to go through at -134 with DraftKings Sportsbook

RB Leipzig vs Liverpool

First leg: Tuesday 16 February, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Second leg: Wednesday 10 March, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Liverpool have experienced some major difficulties of late. A defensive injury crisis has forced them to use midfield duo Fabinho and Jordan Henderson at center-back. That has left them weaker in the middle of the pitch. Upfront, their attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino has not been as sharp as usual.

All of this has combined to leave Liverpool in a precarious position in the Premier League title race. To put it bluntly, the Reds are highly unlikely to retain the championship crown they collected last season. As such, it might be time for Jurgen Klopp to turn his attention to the Champions League.

RB Leipzig are tough opponents. Julian Nagelsmann is one of the brightest young managers in European soccer, and his team is extremely well-coached. Liverpool has more experience at this level, though, and that should see them through.

Tip:

Liverpool to go through at -360 with DraftKings Sportsbook

Porto vs Juventus

First leg: Wednesday 17 February, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Second leg: Tuesday 9 March, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Juventus have had one or two teething problems under Andrea Pirlo this term. That was always likely. Pirlo had never managed a senior team before, so he was not going to be an instant success. There have, however, been signs in recent weeks that Juve are starting to get their act together.

With Cristiano Ronaldo up front, Juventus are more than capable of going all the way in the Champions League. Ronaldo, now 36, will be desperate for success in this competition. He is looking to become only the second player to win the Champions League with three different clubs after Clarence Seedorf did so with Ajax, Real Madrid, and AC Milan.

Porto are clear underdogs, although the fact that the first leg is in Portugal gives them a chance to establish a lead. Ultimately, though, Cristiano and co. should come through this two-legged tie relatively unscathed.

Tip:

Juventus to go through at -500 with DraftKings Sportsbook

Sevilla vs Borussia Dortmund

First leg: Tuesday 16 February, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Second leg: Tuesday 9 March, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Borussia Dortmund were expected to challenge for the Bundesliga title at the start of the season, but that ambition will go unrealized. BVB are sixth in the standings at the time of writing. As things stand they face a battle to qualify for next year’s edition of the Champions League.

Sevilla are also part of a similar race in La Liga, although that is in line with their pre-season expectations. Moreover, the current Europa League holders are on course to achieve their goal of a top-four finish.

Dortmund might have more individual firepower, but soccer is a team sport and Sevilla look like the better collective. They are also available at attractive odds, so back the Spanish side to knock out their German counterparts.

Tip:

Sevilla to go through at +116 with DraftKings Sportsbook

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Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea

First leg: Tuesday 23 February, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Second leg: Wednesday 17 March, 5 pm EDT, CBS All Access

Of all eight Champions League last-16 ties, this is considered the tightest. DraftKings Sportsbook offers -105 on Atletico Madrid advancing to the quarter-finals and -118 on Chelsea winning the two-legged contest on aggregate.

Atletico are enjoying an excellent season in La Liga. With Real Madrid and Barcelona faltering, Diego Simeone’s side have a comfortable lead at the top of the table. They are DraftKings Sportsbook’s favorites to win the title, which would be their first since 2014.

Atletico will not knowingly sacrifice the Champions League in order to prioritize La Liga. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a team managed by Simeone ever approaching a match with anything short of maximum intensity. Even so, a last-16 exit would be nowhere near as disappointing if it came in a campaign when they also won La Liga.

Chelsea look rejuvenated under Thomas Tuchel. Their form is much improved and they have showcased much greater defensive solidity so far. This tie will be close, but Chelsea could just edge it if Atletico have half an eye elsewhere.

Tip:

Chelsea to go through at -118 with DraftKings Sportsbook

Lazio vs Bayern Munich

First leg: Tuesday 23 February, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Second leg: Wednesday 17 March, 5 pm EDT, CBS All Access

Bayern Munich are the reigning European champions and they will not give up the trophy without a fight. Hansi Flick’s side are on course to win the Bundesliga title with a degree of comfort, which should give them the chance to turn their full attention to the Champions League later in the competition.

Lazio should not be written off. Simeone Inzaghi is an underrated manager and they have been on an excellent run in Serie A. Even so, it is hard to envisage them containing Bayern’s array of attacking stars. Keeping Robert Lewandowski quiet will be hard enough, never mind Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry.

Bayern’s performances have not always been as impressive as their results this campaign, but they are still one of the best teams in Europe. Flick’s side should beat Lazio both home and away.

Tip:

Bayern Munich to go through at -835 with DraftKings Sportsbook

Atalanta vs Real Madrid

First leg: Wednesday 24 February, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Second leg: Tuesday 16 March, 4 pm EDT, CBS All Access

Real Madrid are a soccer powerhouse. No club has won more Champions Leagues than their 13. In fact, no one has even come close to matching that record: AC Milan are second on the list with seven. Atalanta, by contrast, are in the knockout stage of this competition for only the second time.

Yet soccer matches are not decided by pedigree. Real Madrid might be the more famous name, but they have been poor for much of this season. In recent seasons Madrid’s players have been able to raise their game for the big occasion, but a smarter, better coached Atalanta collective could cause a shock in this last-16 tie.

Beating Madrid would probably be the greatest result in Atalanta’s history. It is certainly not beyond them.

Tip:

Atalanta to go through at +235 with DraftKings Sportsbook

Borussia Monchengladbach vs Manchester City

First leg: Wednesday 24 February, 3 pm EST, CBS All Access

Second leg: Second leg: Tuesday 16 March, 5 pm EDT, CBS All Access

Manchester City were written off earlier in the season, with many arguing that they were not good enough to win the Premier League title.

They have been in brilliant form over the last couple of months, though, and are playing with the type of pragmatism and between attack and defense that could make them favorites to win the Champions League in this era of the pandemic.

Gladbach are a good team and the first leg, in particular, could prove challenging for City. But with Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero likely to be back for the return fixture at the Etihad Stadium (if not before), Pep Guardiola’s side should prove too strong for their German opposition. Back City to advance for the quarter-finals for the fourth season on the bounce.

Tip:

Manchester City to go through at +235 with DraftKings Sportsbook

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts.



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