The Champions League is finally back on Tuesday! We start the Last 16 stage with some spicy ties and there are plenty of trading opportunities. As I always highlight in the Football Course, knockout football is always great for trading because there’s plenty of strategy that works into the situation.
We have four fixtures this week:
- Copenhagen v Manchester City
- RB Leipzig v Real Madrid
- Lazio v Bayern Munich
- PSG v Real Sociedad
Plenty of high-quality action. The only negative is that the two games each night kick off at the same time. Still, two games aren’t too much to trade at the same time – it’s not like a 3pm Premier League schedule on a Saturday or the group stages.
Liquidity should be excellent though which is always nice. I’m going to run through my thoughts for each game..
Copenhagen v Manchester City 8pm Tuesday
Hard to see past a City win here, said captain obvious. A surprise that Copenhagen are even at this stage thanks in part to how bad Manchester United were in the group stage. City is 1.28 as I type, and that’s the shortest price of any side in the first leg Last 16 games. We don’t usually see prices this short at this stage, but it’s just a case of Copenhagen that probably shouldn’t have reached this stage. Anything bar a City win would be a shock.
It’s quite easy to just sack off the match odds market here unless we have a bit of drama. Perhaps Copenhagen score early and then the market might get interesting. Other than that it’s easy to pick the other game on Tuesday. My plan here will be to keep the market tab open in the background and keep an eye on the score; an early City goal could open the floodgate and some handicap/correct score betting could be interesting then. Other than Copenhagen scoring early then I don’t see myself doing too much here. It’s just a mismatch really.
RB Leipzig v Real Madrid 8pm Tuesday
With Copenhagen v Manchester City seemingly so one-sided on paper, it’s worth doing a bit of extra research on this game because it’s likely to be the sole focus point on Tuesday night. It’s an interesting dynamic here with Real Madrid away in the first leg. If this was in Madrid I’d expect Leipzig to be very negative, try to get back to Germany with a draw. I don’t see Real Madrid sitting back here though.
Real have been fantastic this season. They’ve just built a little lead at the top of La Liga too. Their average xG created is 1.97 and their average conceded is only 1.09. They’ve been stronger at home but their away figures are still solid. The average xG (expected goals) created is 1.73 and the conceded is 1.33. That’s more-or-less the same overall average created for RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga this season; that’s 1.77 versus a conceded average of 1.21. At home, Leipzig have been red-hot. Their average xG created is 1.92 and the average conceded is 1.1. They have come up short against the top sides though; and as well as that they have struggled since the winter break.
They’ve only had one win in their last six Bundesliga games. Since the winter break Dortmund have overtaken them in fourth too. There’s really no negative with Real here in my opinion; they are trading 2.36 at the time of writing. My plan here would be to watch the opening 15/20 minutes and if the signs are there start to build a position on Real. Look for the compression points, especially as the game goes on.
Goal market wise I’ve no strong opinion here. I like goals but it looks well price at 1.71 for Overs. I don’t fancy being on Unders here at any stage with these two sides either.
Lazio v Bayern Munich 8pm Wednesday
Valentine’s Day football trading? What could go wrong if you have an other half lol! Wednesday night be an evening where you can’t be glued to the screen. My advice would be to back Bayern Munich at around 1.7! They suffered a massive blow in their Bundesliga title bid at the weekend with a 3-0 loss against Bayer Leverkusen who have been nothing short of super this season. However, Lazio look a very poor outfit to me.
Lazio’s average xG created this season in Serie A is only 1.09! That puts them in the bottom four attacking-wise this season. They’ve been focusing on being solid at the back this season, that brings us to an interesting dynamic here. Lazio can’t really afford to just play for a draw here considering the second leg is in Germany.
We have a world class attacking outfit here against a side who haven’t got much to offer going forward. An early Bayern goal could see a decent opportunity. I think if Lazio start to open up and chase the game they will be hammered. I’m keen to build a position on Bayern at stalling points. I’m probably more keen to see some Correct Score/fancy handicap prices if Bayern score early. Bayern’s average xG created in the Bundesliga this season is 2.32 so while the Lazio stats would really line-up for an early Unders trade I’m not getting on that with Bayern.
PSG v Real Sociedad 8pm Wednesday
A comfortable win for Bayern is my main thought for this week, so this game might be put in the background for me. However, I noted above that I don’t fancy getting on the early Unders trade in the other game. This game could be ripe for that. PSG haven’t really been banging in goals for fun in France this season. They are multiple levels above everyone else though so it’s hard to judge them. They haven’t scored many goals between the 10th and 30th minute this season though compared to the other sections of the game. I would be keen to get on the early Unders trade if the opening minutes go well.
Real Sociedad have been exceptionally solid at the back this season in La Liga. Their average xG conceded is 1.16 which is the second best defensive record behind Real Madrid. They have conceded less than one goal per game on average in La Liga too. Obviously, there thoughts will be get a result here and get to the second leg with home advantage. I would expect them to be very cagey here, and they will have eleven men behind the ball from the start. PSG will have to work hard for the win here, and Under 2.5 goals looks an excellent starting point at 1.96. We might miss the first wave waiting for the opening ten minutes, but we can see accelerated movement between the 10th and 30th minute. Real Sociedad clearly grow into their games too; they’ve not conceded a single goal in La Liga between the 11th and 20th minute, and very few in the ten-minute blocks either side of that. Very happy with the early Unders trade here before switching full focus to the Bayern game.