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.
WEDNESDAY 26TH FEBRUARY 2014
GALATASARAY vs. CHELSEA (19:45 GMT)
A Chelsea legend he may be, but Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba will be will be aiming to knock his former side out of the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Having scored 157 goals in 341 appearances for the Blues, the Ivorian is regarded high by the Chelsea fans, having clinched European glory in this competition with his final touch as a player in the 2011-12 final against Bayern Munich. On Wednesday, when Chelsea arrive to the Türk Telekom Arena, this will be the first time he has met his former club since leaving in the summer of 2012.
As well as Drogba, Galatasaray head coach Roberto Mancini has previous history with the Blues, however, he was the manager sitting in the opposition dugout. During his tenure at Manchester City, the Italian was victorious in six of the nine matches in all competitions against Chelsea.
However, Mancini will look to avoid a repeat of Chelsea’s only ever previous visit to Istanbul, which saw the Blues leave with a 5-0 victory in 1999 thanks to a Tore Andre Flo double with further goals from Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Wise and Gabriele Ambrosetti.
Forgetting the past and heading into this tie, Galatasaray secured a morale boosting 1-0 win over Beşiktaş in the derby on Saturday and will be full of confidence when Jose Mourinho’s side arrive.
We all know Chelsea’s strengths but inside the cauldron that is the Türk Telekom Arena, the atmosphere will push Jose Mourinho to keep his side remain defensive. The draw is a favourable outcome and the Blues coach will be set-up to take his side home to Stamford Bridge to finish the job in three weeks time. Bet Victor offer a strong 5/2 for this market – take advantage of our great deal with them, a £25 free bet by joining at this link.
SCHALKE vs. REAL MADRID (19:45 GMT)
Also on Wednesday, a resilient Schalke host Real Madrid at the Veltins Arena where the home side are in the middle of some great form.
Jens Keller’s men, so far unbeaten in 2014, do not look as easy as a tie for Carlo Ancelotti’s men when the last 16 draw was first made. On reflection,it is the performances from the backline that kept this streak intact.
Impressive goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand has only been beaten twice since the Bundesliga re-emerged after its winter break, and this is possibly due to the fact he is so well protected by the strong central defensive pairing of Felipe Santana and Joel Matip.
Even so, Schalke’s defence has yet to come under the scrutiny posed by Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and co. The daunting task does not get any easier for Die Königsblauen as first choice full-backs Atsuto Uchida and Denis Agogo are both out injured.
Without leaving second gear, Real served Elche with a 3-0 defeat without Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Luka Modric and the aforementioned Ronaldo, who was serving a suspension. The win extended their unbeaten streak to 26 games in all competitions and sent Madrid to the top of Spanish league for the first time in 20 months.
While Schalke’s defence continue to impress, since late November, Los Blancos can boast a fantastic 17 clean sheets and conceded just once in last seven away matches. So this fact, combining with Schalke’s weakened full-back situation, leads us into TWO best bets.
For the safer option Bet Victor are offering 15/8 for Real Madrid to win but keep a clean sheet but I have also opted for a massive 8/1 correct score shout at Betfair for you adventurous gamblers.
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