Atletico Madrid v Chelsea 1-0
Under 2.5 goals
LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid welcome Chelsea to the Spanish capital as they continue their charge for domestic glory.
Over the last decade, Atletico have missed out on both the domestic championship and Champions League on several occasions, and this is another season where opportunity has presented itself at their door. That said, they are in the middle of a patchy run of form having won only once in four games.
Still undefeated, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is likely to approach this cautiously. The Blues’ have been solid at the back since his arrival and I think this will be another match where he will be desperate to give nothing away.
With that in mind, I don’t see many goals on the horizon. However, I think Atletico may just have enough to nick it on their own patch.
Lazio v Bayern Munich 0-2
Bayern to win
European champions Bayern Munich travel to Rome to face Lazio in search of their 17th win in 18 UEFA Champions League matches.
However, undefeated in their last six UEFA Champions League matches, Lazio will be no push-overs. The Italians have been particularly strong at home having won seven matches in a row at the Stadio Olimpico in all competitions.
This has the look of a great knockout tie and whilst I think Lazio can cause Bayern problems, I expect the visitors to just have enough to take a lead back to the Allianz Arena. It’s 2-0 Bayern for me.
Atalanta v Real Madrid 1-2
Real Madrid to win & btts
After racking up four wins in a row, Real Madrid are starting to resemble the Los Blancos’ we’ve all become accustomed to. Messrs Modric, Kroos and Casemiro have all come alive and despite being on the brink of exiting this tournament in the group stages, they now must be considered as outright contenders.
However, first they must overcome a tricky knockout tie against Atalanta. The Serie A side are known for their attacking flair and come into this in good form.
The Italians have lost just one of their last 11 home games, winning eight. What’s more, they have scored at least three goals in nine of those matches.
Usually first leg ties can be cagey, but I don’t think this will be the case here. If Atalanta go for it, I think they’ll leave themselves open at the back. If that materialises, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Real Madrid take full advantage and travel back to the Spanish capital with a win.
Borussia Monchengladbach v Manchester City 0-2
Man City to win -1 goal
Borussia Monchengladbach earned themselves plaudits in the group stages and rightfully so. However, the Bundesliga side have lost two of their last three matches. That’s not the type of form you want with Manchester City on the horizon.
City are really gathering momentum. There is no denying the UEFA Champions League is a priority not just for Pep, but for the club owners.
This season may represent their best chance of landing it, and with that in mind, I think they will be well up for this.
I’m expecting another strong City performance and think they’ll take a win back to the Etihad.