Champions League round of 16 preview: Liverpool welcome Bayern Munich to Anfield

Liverpool welcome Bayern Munich to Anfield [Courtesy]
The UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg ties continue next week with two huge games to whet the appetite. On Tuesday evening (19 February) Liverpool host German champions Bayern Munich at Anfield, while the following evening sees Juventus head to the Wanda Metropolitano to lock horns with Atletico Madrid. With so much at stake, these first leg ties may well be cagey affairs, but Liverpool have the potential to break that trend.

First things first

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First up, the clash between Liverpool and Bayern Munich at Anfield. Liverpool sit second in the Premier League and are unbeaten in their last four games – last season they made it all the way to the final of the Champions League before losing 3-1 to Real Madrid, and they are at 5.00 to make it that far for a second successive season.

Bayern Munich, by way of comparison, also sit second in their domestic league. But they have made no secret of their desire to be successful in continental competition once again and they are out at 15.00 to win the Champions League this term.

And while the betting is tight in this first leg tie, it is Liverpool who come in as the favourites to earn an advantage ahead of the return encounter. You can double your money by backing the Reds to win at 2.00, while Bayern are out at 3.30 to do the same – a draw would appear to be the least likely outcome and is priced accordingly at 3.80, according to Oddsshark.

Alternatively, you can make a straightforward bet based on who will qualify over the two legs. Liverpool come in as the slight favourites to do so at 1.80, with Bayern at 1.95 to make the last eight.

We are expecting Liverpool to build up an advantage on their own turf with the crowd behind them. A 3-1 win for the Reds is priced competitively at 13.00, thereby offering more than a ten-fold return on any investment, while you can more than triple your money by backing a combo bet of a Liverpool win, coupled with both teams to score, at 3.40. Given the way Liverpool press we may see an early goal, with the English club at 7.50 to be ahead inside the first 10 minutes.

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Atletico welcome Juventus looking to snatch an important win

The following evening, Atletico Madrid welcome Juventus to the Wanda Metropolitano looking to get back to winning ways. The Spanish side have lost their last two league outings and appear to be losing form at the wrong time – they are out at 9.00 to reach the final of the Champions League, which will be held at their stadium, in May.

Juventus, in stark contrast, are the only unbeaten side remaining across Europe’s major leagues and they sit 11 points clear at the top of Serie A. Just like Bayern, they are looking for continental glory to underline their domestic dominance, and the Old Lady are at 8.00 to win the Champions League this season.

And it is indeed Juventus who come in as the very slight favourites to win this first leg tie. You can more than double your money by backing the Italians to bag an advantage at 2.62, while Atletico come in just above at 2.80 – again, a draw looks to be least likely and is priced highest of all at 3.10.

Looking at bets over the course of two legs and Juventus are clear favourites to progress. The Turin-based outfit are at just 1.40 to make the quarter-finals, while Atletico are at 2.75 to progress in the continental competition.

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But in this match we feel that Atletico could just about sneak an important victory. A narrow, 1-0 win for the Spanish side is priced at 7.00, meaning that a US$5 bet would lead to a US$35 payout, while you can quadruple your money by backing a combo bet of an Atletico win, coupled with a “No” to both teams scoring, at 4.00. Under 2.5 goals in the game comes in at 1.53.

UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg ties:

Tuesday, 19 February

(2.00) Liverpool x Bayern Munich (3.30); draw (3.80)

(4.50) Lyon x Barcelona (1.66); draw (4.20)

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Wednesday, 20 February

(2.80) Atletico Madrid x Juventus (2.62); draw (3.10)

(9.00) Schalke x Manchester City (1.28); draw (5.75)

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