Champions League & Europa League Match Previews, Tips & Predictions

The Champions League & Europa League matches are coming thick and fast with the second lot of first leg matches taking place this week. After some massive results and shocks last week, we’re here to bring you our tips to make sure you make the best possible choices for your bets this week. 

Bayer Leverkusen vs Atletico Madrid

Both of these clubs are coming into this match with some indifferent form and are not in the positions they would want to be in the league. Leverkusen are languishing in 8th place in the Bundesliga and have recently lost their best player, Hakan Calhanoglu due to a Fifa suspension. They still have the likes of Javier Hernandez who has recently found his goalscoring boots again and he will be needed for the Visit of a defensively resolute Atletico side.

Atletico have been knocked out of the Copa Del Rey and have only won 3 of the last 6 games. They are out of the title picture in La Liga and that leaves the Champions League as their only realistic competition that they can win. With the impending elimination of Barcelona, the competition is open to a few teams including Atletico. Diego Simeone will set up to be difficult to break down and use Antoine Grizemann on the counter attack. They haven’t been able to keep as many clean sheets in recent games so I can see them conceding but also scoring. I would go for a 1-1 draw but safer bets would be Both teams to score or Under 2.5 goals.

Man City vs Monaco

This will be a very interesting match this game week. Pep Guardiola teams are built to dominate possession and play teams off the park while being resolute in defence. Unfortunately for Man City, their defence has not been up to par this season and they have recently lost Gabriel Jesus to injury as he was looking like the final piece in the Guardiola attacking jigsaw. While he does have Sergio Aguero to rely on, he does not offer the same energy as Jesus.

This Monaco side has scored the most goals in Europe’s top 5 leagues averaging 2.8 goals per game. They have exciting players and none more so than Bernardo Silva He is attracting attention from the top sides in Europe and he has already shown his ability against Spurs earlier in the season. Manchester City could be in for a shock at the Etihad with Monaco scoring at least one goal. It’s too hard to call the final result but Monaco to score over 1.5 goals is a solid bet. This game will be full of goals.

Porto vs Juventus

With Barca’s impending exit, Juventus have become our front runners to win the Champions League this season. They have a stacked team and a dependable goalscorer in Gonzalo Higuain with supporting acts of Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic. They are the runaway leaders in Serie A and can focus all their attentions to finally winning the Champions League.

Porto won’t be a pushover as they come into this match with some good form having won 6 out of their last 6 games. They will need to rely heavily on their star forward, Andre Silva, who has scored 13 goals this season but it will likely not be enough to beat Juventus home or away. Juventus will win this match and with their defence, it is very likely that they will keep a clean sheet. Juventus to win to nil would be the best bet for this match.

Sevilla vs Leicester

Leicester City players and fans would have been dreaming about this match a few months ago but a lot of things have changed since. Leicester are facing a relegation battle and would much rather focus on staying in the league rather than Champions League glory. They are woefully out of form and were beaten by 10 man Millwall over the weekend.

Sevilla are a team on form and find themselves in the La Liga title race. They very much rely on being a good unit as there is no standout player in their squad but a collection of equally talented players that do their part. Former Premier League stars such as Samir Nasri, Stevan Jovetic & Steven Nzonzi are part of this impressive team Sevilla have put together. This will be one of the more straightforward ties this midweek with a comfortable Sevilla win. Sevilla to win and over 2.5 goals looks like the most likely outcome of this match.

Saint Etienne (0) vs Manchester United (3)

Is this tie over? Most likely, but Saint Etienne showed more than enough at Old Trafford to show this won’t be an easy game for United. The Saint Etienne crowd is raucous and United will be stepping into a cauldron that will not be for the faint-hearted. With an EFL cup final on the weekend squad rotation will be important however United are luckily enough to be able to play experienced players such as Juan Mata, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Daley Blind to help United through this game.

Saint Etienne were unlucky not to score at Old Trafford and they are good value to score a goal but also likely enough to concede as well. I can see the French side winning this game 2-1 but a safe bet would be for the home side to score over 1.5 goals with United still having enough to go through to the next round of the competition.

Spurs (0) vs Gent (1)

Spurs find themselves in a manageable position but a precarious one. They are only a goal down against Gent but now play the return leg in a stadium where they have struggled so far this season. Off the back of an FA Cup victory over Fulham they will need to recover and go again on Thursday. Spurs would normally be backed to win this match easily but their form has been patchy of late. Despite this, Spurs will definitely have enough quality to score two goals against this Gent side. Their defence has normally been very solid this season and they should be able to keep a clean sheet and qualify for the next round but it will be on a knife-edge.

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