Tipster Will Burns takes a look at the upcoming fixtures in the Champions League Last 16 first-legs below. Good luck if your having a punt, and please click on one of our sponsors to have a bet to help us pay the bills. All Will’s tips are over EVENS so you can get yourself some value in the markets.
TUESDAY 25TH FEBRUARY 2014
ZENIT ST. PETERSBURG vs. BORUSSIA DORTMUND (17:00 GMT)
Due to Bayern Munich virtually wrapping up the Bundesliga already this season, Jurgen Klopp will be focusing on going one better this year in the Champions League, after his Dortmund side were last season’s beaten finalists.
Before setting off to Russia for Tuesday’s last 16 first-leg with Zenit St-Petersburg, Dortmund took an uncharacteristic hiding at the weekend, losing 3-0 away to Hamburg. Klopp had to substitute star striker Robert Lewandowski midway through the game due to severe head cold the Polish international was suffering, but he has been declared fit for Tuesday night.
While looking at the best bet for this game, quite a few stats really stuck out for me. Zenit’s last four home games in the Champions League have been draws and Dortmund have only kept one clean sheet in their last ten games in the competition.
Last season’s runners-up have won just three of their last 13 away Champions League matches with four draws out of nine games on the way. While most tipsters are heading towards a Dortmund win I think when it comes to the best bet in this one, I am looking at the goals market.
Twice in the past fortnight, Dortmund have scored over 3.5 goals. Eintracht Frankfurt were on the wrong end of 4-0 pasting at the Westfalenstadion on the 15th, while the weekend previous Klopp’s men handed out a 5-1 beating away to Werder Bremen. Zenit are still awaiting the Russian Premier League to restart on the 9th of March and I think they might be a little rusty. However, with the attacking line-up of Hulk, Danny and Alexander Kerzhakov, the Russians have enough quality to notch one or two themselves in front of their hostile fans.
BetVictor are offering a massive 9/5 for Over 3.5 Goals and this is my best bet for this game.
BURNS’ BEST BET: Over 3.5 Goals (9/5 – BetVictor)
OLYMPIAKOS vs. MANCHESTER UNITED (19:45 GMT)
Although they are currently suffering a poor domestic campaign, David Moyes’ Manchester United have plenty to shout about in Europe so far this season.
With four group wins and two draws, the Red Devils are one of just three teams to be undefeated in the Champions League this season, along with the two Madrid sides, Atletico and Real. Their last away game in the competition has been the highlight of Moyes’ time in power so far, a five goal mauling of Bayer Leverkusen.
The next trip is Tuesday’s game in Greece against Olympiakos and the draw for the Round of 16 appeared kind to United. However, since the 2003/04 season, Olympiakos have won eight of the last ten Superleague championships, leading to an unprecedented dominance of the Greek top flight. In the current season, the club have won 24 of their 26 league matches and are yet to lose a match and sit top of the division by twenty points.
The Greeks have only lost twice outside their domestic campaign this term, both times at the hands of Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain. Although the impressive record, their two top scorers this season will be not be present on Tuesday night. Kostas Mitroglou, scorer of 14 goals, was sold to Fulham in the transfer window and Argentine star Javier Saviola, has scored 11 times is out with a thigh injury. Nigerian forward Michael Olaitan, a scorer of eight goals in 15 appearances this term, is expected to lead the attack in the absence of the Argentina international.
With all this in their favour surely Manchester United cannot be under pressure in red-hot atmosphere of the Karaiskakis Stadium? Although first legs can be cautious, I can see the visitors making their mark and quieten down the Greek crowd. Look for the Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie partnership to blossom further and at a fantastic 5/4 at Bet Victor, it’s a price worth throwing some money on. Take advantage of our great deal with them, a £25 free bet by joining at this link.
BURNS’ BEST BET: Manchester United to win (5/4 – BetVictor)
Join us tomorrow for two more tips for Wednesday night’s games with Galatasaray vs. Chelsea and Schalke vs. Real Madrid
Click on Will’s name above to follow him on Twitter