European soccer leagues returned to action a few weeks ago, while the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League season continues August 7 and 8 with four remaining second legs of the Round of 16. Four teams are already in the quarterfinals, and we know a couple of matchups, as Atalanta meets PSG and RB Leipzig takes on Atletico Madrid.
The bottom half of a bracket will be determined soon, and the soccer fans cannot wait to see the best European teams in action, as well as sports bettors who love to wager on the UEFA Champions League. I’m bringing you the best bets for the Champions League Round of 16 along with the latest odds and betting tips.
Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea
The Bavarians easily outlasted Chelsea 3-0 in the first leg at Stamford Bridge back in February. They are listed as firm -225 favorites to win the second leg at home, while the Blues need a three-goal victory to force overtime or eliminate Bayern, which seems like an impossible mission at the moment.
Bayern has retained the German Bundesliga title, winning all nine games since returning to the field in June. The Bavarians have also defended the DFB Pokal, while they are undefeated in 26 straight games in all competitions, tallying a ridiculous 25 wins and a draw in that span.
On the other side, Chelsea sits at the third spot of the English Premier League standings with two rounds to go. The Blues have won three of their last four games, but they’ve dropped two of their previous three contests on the road. Also, since October 2019, the Blues have scored three goals away from home only once.
- My Pick: Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals at -138
The Blues have nothing to lose here. They will try to attack the Bavarians from the very first minute, so I expect to see an open-flow contest with a lot of scoring opportunities on both sides.
On paper, Bayern Munich is undoubtedly a better team than Chelsea. Striker Robert Lewandowski has bagged incredible 51 goals in 43 outings, while forward Thomas Muller has recorded 25 assists. Therefore, the bookies expect to see a comfortable win by the hosts.
Still, Chelsea is one of the best teams in the Premier League. The Blues possess enough firepower to score against the Bavarians. Frank Lampard is a young and inexperienced tactician, but he’s also a great motivator, so I’m looking for some goals on both sides of the pitch. Bayern conceded in four of its previous five outings at home.
Juventus vs. Lyon
Lyon upset the odds in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, beating Juventus 1-0 as a +300 home underdog. The Kids put on a strong defensive performance, allowing just one shot on target. They are certainly delighted with a clean sheet, but the Kids are still a +100 dog to reach the quarterfinals.
Juventus is a strong -230 fave to win the second leg in front of the home fans. The Old Lady is topping the Italian Serie A, seven points ahead of Atalanta, but its defense hasn’t looked good in the last few weeks. Juventus failed to keep its net intact in five straight games, allowing 11 goals in that span.
On the other side, the French Ligue 1 is still on hold and will continue in late August. Hereof, Lyon hasn’t played competitive games for a while, and that’s a huge problem ahead of their biggest clash of the season.
- My Pick: Juventus to Win and Over 1.5 Goals at -143
While Juventus’ squad is full of experienced players, Lyon is a talented but very young and inexperienced side. That’s why I expect the hosts to win the second leg and qualify for the next round. Also, I think that the lack of competitive contests will affect Lyon’s form.
On the other hand, Juventus will have to be patient, as one goal in their net could mean the end of the road. If they concede, the Italian champions will have to score three goals to eliminate Lyon.
Although Juve’s defense has been struggling recently, they will have enough time to gel things before the clash with Lyon. Juventus is well-known as a team that loves to lean on its defense, while the Old Lady should control the ball in the middle of the park.
Barcelona vs. Napoli
Napoli and Barcelona played a 1-1 draw in the first leg at San Paolo in Naples, Italy, on February 25. It was a tight clash, as we saw just 14 shots in total, while Barcelona finished the game with 10 men on the pitch after Arturo Vidal was sent off late in the second half.
Barcelona will almost certainly fail to defend the Spanish La Liga title. The reigning champs are four points behind Real Madrid with just two rounds to go, so Barca will try to compensate for the domestic loss with a triumph in the UEFA Champions League. At the moment, Barca is a -160 fave to win the second leg and a massive -278 fave to qualify for the quarterfinals.
The visitors, on the other side, hope to upset the odds at Camp Nou. The bookies listed Napoli at +200 to reach the best of eight. The Blues are sitting at the sixth spot of the Italian Serie A standings and won’t play in the Champions League next season if they failed to win it this term.
- My Pick: Both Teams to Score YES at -160
The Blues have to score here if they want to keep their chances alive. That will be a tall task, considering the fact that Barcelona hasn’t allowed its opponents to score in five of its previous six outings at home.
However, Napoli has netted in 13 of its last 15 away games, including a 1-1 draw at Liverpool. The Blues have some very dangerous players upfront like Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, Arkadiusz Milik, and Hirving Lozano. Mertens has bagged six goals in seven Champions League appearances this season.
The hosts will keep the ball in their possession for most of the time, no doubt. They will try to slow down the tempo, and the visitors won’t complain, especially in the first half. Anyway, Napoli will have to push forward in numbers at some point even if Barcelona takes the lead, as a 1-1 draw would take the game into overtime.
I know that backing both teams to score here is a very risky bet, but I believe in Napoli’s offense. Also, I’m not impressed with Barcelona since Quique Setien has taken the helm.
Manchester City vs. Real Madrid
The clash between the Citizens and Los Blancos is undoubtedly a headliner of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. The Citizens have a nice advantage after a 2-1 victory in the first leg in Spain, so they are listed as massive -833 favorites to qualify for the quarterfinals.
The bookies consider Manchester City as a -160 fave to win the second leg at home. The Citizens have won six straight home games, surrendering only one goal in the process while scoring 21 in return. They will finish at the second spot of the English Premier League, so the Citizens can start preparing for the Real Madrid clash.
On the other side, Los Blancos are one win away from the Spanish La Liga title. They’ve won nine consecutive games, allowing just three goals in the process and keeping their net intact on six occasions.
- My Pick: Both Teams to Score YES and Over 2.5 Goals at +100
Keep in mind that the stands will be empty, so the home advantage isn’t a strong factor anymore. Real Madrid is a 13-time European champion, so I cannot write off Los Blancos. On the contrary, I think they will bring the game to the Citizens and make this clash very interesting to watch.
Both teams possess tremendous offensive weapons, so I’m looking for goals on both sides of the field. The visitors have to score twice and will push forward in numbers, leaving a lot of room for deadly counter-attacks.
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