Finally! The UEFA Champions League and Europa League are back. The Champions League Round of 16 begins on Tuesday, while the Europa League Round of 32 begins on Thursday. Make sure to place all your soccer bets at our online sportsbook.
Here’s a quick analysis of the best matches, including the latest player and team news, injury reports, sports betting lines, and predictions (all odds are as of writing).
Barcelona vs PSG (Tuesday, February 16)
It won’t be the same without Neymar and Angel Di Maria, both injured, but PSG still have plenty of weapons to play against Barcelona, including Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi, Moise Kean and Julian Draxler.
PSG have a 2-0-1 record on the road during the current UEFA Champions League edition. They scored 13 goals during the Group Stage and allowed just six; also, Mauricio Pochettino (manager) already took one team to the Champions League Grand Finale (Tottenham).
Barcelona have won seven of their last eight games (all competitions), and Lionel Messi has regained the joy of playing (15 goals in La Liga). Barcelona have a 2-0-1 record when playing at home in the Champions League.
They finished the Group Stage with 16 goals for (second best in the tournament) and five against. No Ronald Araujo, Sergi Roberto, Philippe Coutinho and Ansu Fati due to injury.
PSG lead the Champions League all-time series against Barca 3-3-1.
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Barcelona to win 2-1
RB Leipzig vs Liverpool (Tuesday, February 15)
|RB Leipzig||+½||+205||3||1 ½|
Liverpool are in a must win situation after losing their last three English Premier League games. Right now, winning the Champions League looks more feasible, and Jurgen Klopp (manager) knows he really needs this victory.
Diogo Jota is the team’s top scorer (Champions League), but he’s injured. Nevertheless, the “Reds” will have Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
Liverpool scored 10 goals during the Group Stage and allowed just three. The “Reds” have a 2-1-0 record when playing on the road.
RB Leipzig is fighting toe to toe with Bayern Munich over the Bundesliga, which means they can beat any team. Emil Forsberg is out due to injury, while Benjamin Henrichs is questionable.
Curiously enough, RB Leipzig finished the Group Stage with a -1 goal differential (11 goals for, 12 against), but they haven’t lost when playing at home (3-0-0).
This is going to be the first RB Leipzig-Liverpool continental matchup ever.
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Draw 1-1
Sevilla vs Borussia Dortmund (Wednesday, February 17)
|Sevilla||pk-140||+135||2 ½||1 ½|
|Borussia Dortmund||pk+120||+210||2 ½||1|
Sevilla finished the Group Stage with a 4-1-1 record. Their only loss was at home against Chelsea (0-4). They scored nine goals (second worst among the teams who advanced) and allowed eight.
This team is used to winning the UEFA Europa League, but the Champions League level is very different.
All Jesus Navas, Marcos Acuna and Lucas Ocampos will be out due to injury
Borussia Dortmund are not going to win the Bundesliga, which is why they should be fully focused on winning the Champions League.
They finished the Group Stage with a 2-0-1 record when playing on the road. Overall, they scored 12 goals and allowed five.
As expected, Erling Haaland is the team’s (and league’s) top scorer with six goals.
Roman Burki (goalkeeper), Dan-Axel Zagadou, Lukasz Piszczek and Thorgan Hazard are out due to injury.
This is going to be the first time that Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund clash in an official continental competition.
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Borussia Dortmund to win 2-0
Porto vs Juventus (Wednesday, February 16)
|Porto||+ ½||+335||2 ½||½|
|Juventus||– ½||-105||2 ½||1 ½|
Porto finished the Group Stage with a 4-1-1 record; their only loss was against Manchester City (3-1). They also finished with a 2-1-0 record when playing at home.
They scored 10 goals and allowed just three.
Nanu is the only injured player in Porto’s squad, which means they’ll have no excuses.
Juventus finished the Group Stage above Barcelona. The Italian side finished first in Group G with 15 points (5-0-1); they finished with a 3-0-0 record when playing on the road, including a huge 3-0 victory against Barca.
Alvaro Morata is the team’s top scorer with six goals, but don’t forget about Cristiano Ronaldo.
Arthur and Juan Cuadrado are out due to injury, while Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala are questionable.
Juventus have never lost against Porto. They have a 3-1-0 record and they have scored six goals (allowed just one).
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Juventus to win 1-0
Real Sociedad vs Manchester United (Thursday, February 18)
|Real Sociedad||+½||+220||2 ½||1|
|Manchester United||-½||+120||2 ½||1 ½|
Both Real Sociedad and Manchester United are very good teams. Manchester United should have been in the Champions League Round of 16, but they lost a crucial game against RB Leipzig.
Real Sociedad finished the Europa League Group Stage with a 2-3-1 record; they scored five goals and allowed four.
Winning the Europa League is more feasible than winning La Liga (no chance in hell), that’s why Real Sociedad should fully focused on the continental competition.
Manchester United finished the Champions League Group Stage with a 3-0-3 record. They scored 15 goals (more than any other team who got eliminated) and allowed 10.
Bruno Fernandes is having a sensational season, and the “Red Devils” have too much offensive power in Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.
Sevilla and Manchester United collided in the 2013-14 Champions League season. Manchester United won 1-0 at Old Trafford; later they drew 0-0 at Anoeta.
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Manchester United to win 2-1
Lille vs Ajax (Thursday, February 18)
|Ajax||pk-120||+150||2 ½||1 ½|
Lille finished the Group Stage in second place (Group H) behind AC Milan. The French side ended with a 3-2-1 record, while scoring 14 goals and allowing eight.
Right now, Lille are leading the Ligue 1 above PSG, proving that they can fight against any European powerhouse such as Ajax.
Individually, Yusuf Yazici has been sensational; he’s the team’s top scorer in the Europa League with six goals.
Xeka and Benjamin Andre are out due to suspension.
Ajax also come from the Champions League Group Stage. They finished with a 2-1-3 record, while scoring and allowing seven goals.
They also are in first place domestically (Eredivisie) with an impressive 17-2-2 record. They have won their last eight games (all competitions) in a row.
Lille and Ajax have never played each other in a continental competition.
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Draw 1-1
Benfica vs Arsenal (Thursday, February 18)
|Benfica||pkEv||+175||2 ½||1 ½|
|Arsenal||pk-130||+145||2 ½||1 ½|
Both teams played the Europa League Group Stage.
Benfica finished behind Rangers in Group D thanks to a 3-3-0 record. They scored 18 goals (five more than Rangers) and allowed nine.
Luis Miguel Fernandes is among the tournament’s top scorers with six goals.
Arsenal could be playing the Champions League, but they are in a rebuilding process.
They finished the Group Stage unbeaten (6-0-0), while scoring 20 goals (second best, one goal behind Bayer Leverkusen) and allowing just five.
The “Gunners” offensive power is too much; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe. Recently signed Martin Odegaard (from Real Madrid) is ready to go.
Arsenal and Benfica haven’t met since the 1991-92 season (Champions League). Back then, Benfica beat Arsenal 3-1 on the road and drew 1-1 at home.