Champions League Promises to Deliver
With the international break upon us, it’s time to look ahead to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League. There were some soccer betting surprises in the round of 16, namely Villareal’s triumph over Juventus and Benfica sneaking past Ajax.
Manchester City have never won the UCL, but they’re favored to win this competition going into the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, is anyone fancying Benfica at 200-to-1? The Portuguese side have already taken down a European powerhouse in Ajax, and they look to do it again vs. Liverpool. Benfica may have a small chance of advancing. There will almost certainly be more twists and turns in the last eight, and we’ll take a look at the best bets from those matches.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and Champions League odds . We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Benfica vs Liverpool Prediction
Benfica’s Darwin Nunez started out slowly after he became the Lisbon club’s record signing in 2020. However, he’s repaid their faith, and then some. The Uruguayan has scored 26 goals in 33 matches this season, with none bigger than the one to beat Ajax. He’s allegedly wanted by Liverpool and Arsenal, and a good showing in the two-leg tie would raise his profile even further.
It won’t be easy for Nunez and Benfica, facing one of the best defenses in all of soccer. Liverpool’s one-year-plus home winning streak was recently ended by Inter in the round of 16, losing, 1-0. The Reds still qualified on the back of a 2-0 road win in the first leg. They’ve also only conceded three goals in their last 10 matches in all competitions, remaining one of the best soccer picks this season.
Liverpool are a completely different proposition for Benfica, as Jurgen Klopp’s men are both more battle-tested and more dangerous than Ajax. Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip have been massive in the heart of defense, and I’d take Benfica under a half-goal in the first leg.
Pick: Benfica Under ½-Goal (+115)
Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid Prediction
This is Manchester City’s competition to lose, and Pep Guardiola’s men appear hungry for the title. They smashed Sporting in the first leg of the round of 16, 5-0, then cruised in the second leg to advance. At their best, City look like they’re going to score with every attacking move and we think playing at home in the first leg will be a huge advantage for them.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid advanced vs. Manchester United at Old Trafford, but have been inconsistent this season. Even with attackers like Joao Felix, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez, something’s just been amiss here, especially in their defense.
With nine games remaining in La Liga, they’ve already given up 11 more goals than they did in their title-winning season last year. Expect goals in the first leg and take over 2½ at -130
Pick: Manchester City vs Atletico Over 2½ Goals (-130)
Villarreal vs Bayern Munich Prediction
Unai Emery appears to be a magician in cup competitions, winning four Europa Leagues. His Villarreal also just defeated Juventus on the road, 3-0, in the second leg of their round of 16 as +340 online gambling underdogs. Can they continue the run vs. powerhouse Bayern Munich?
Bayern responded to a 1-1 draw vs. RB Salzburg by destroying them, 7-1, in the second leg. The Bavarians are arguably the most lethal attacking team out there. Containing Robert Lewandowski is nearly impossible, and Villarreal have the unenviable task of trying. However, the Yellow Submarine have conceded fewer than two goals in each of their last 11 matches.
For all of their dominance, Bayern have been prone to hiccups this season, and it’s certainly possible they struggle on the road in the first leg. Go under three goals in a match that could be a tactical battle.
Pick: Villareal vs Bayern Munich Under 3 Goals (-115)
Chelsea vs Real Madrid Prediction
Last, but certainly not least, Chelsea take on Real Madrid. Amazingly, defending UCL champs Chelsea have never lost to Real Madrid in five previous meetings, including a win in last season’s semifinals.
Even with Chelsea’s historical advantage for betting online Real Madrid are listed as the favorites to advance at -130. That makes sense, given their incredible second leg performance vs. PSG in which Karim Benzema had a hat trick. In their next big game, Real Madrid fell, 4-0, at home to Barcelona in El Clasico, appearing vulnerable at times this season.
Chelsea have made the final of every cup competition they’ve been in under Thomas Tuchel and we think they have a great shot to defy the oddsmakers here. Take them to advance at even odds.