The second legs of the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final in March will decide which eight teams progress into the quarter-finals. Arsenal host current German champions Bayern Munich, while Seria A runners-up Napoli welcome La Liga runners-up Real Madrid. This betting preview will provide prospective punters with all the tips for the worthwhile wagers and which strategy is worth following after the first leg results!
Arsenal’s season went from bad to worse when they visited the Allianz Arena in February. In a textbook game of two halves, Dutch winger Arjen Robben opened up the scoring with a cracking shot into the top corner. Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez then brought Arsenal back into the game, missing a penalty but capitalising on the rebound.
Lady Luck was not on Arsenal’s side as Laurent Koscielny, arguably their best defender, limped off the pitch during the first minutes of the second half. The deflated visitors could only watch as the onslaught of goals came thick and fast.
Lewandowski scored first, followed by midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who struck two goals in ten minutes. Bayern toyed with the Gunners for the rest of the game, until Muller’s 88th minute goal sealed their fate.
Despite the devastating first leg game, online betting sites such as bet365 are still offering reasonable odds of 21/10 that Arsenal could win the second match. Bayern are still favourites with odds of 6/5 and the secure 1/100 odds of them qualifying is not worth it.
If you think Arsenal might be able to make up the goal difference at the Emirates and progress to the quarter-finals, then there are enticing odds of 25/1 to try. Judging the game by halves might prove more fruitful. If the second leg mirrors the first, with a draw followed by a Bayern win, bet365 is offering 5/1.
If you think Bayern will finish the job they started in Germany and dominate both halves, then you could get odds of up to 13/5. However, if the Munich men decide to rest up for the next game and are content with holding Arsenal to a draw in both halves, there are still decent odds of 11/2. Given all the goals of the first leg game, the bookies might be expecting more of the same.
But a wager that there will be more than 2.5 goals is offering 8/15, while under that same value would net better odds of 7/5. With all that's at stake for Arsenal, punters would expect both teams to score, which offers odds of only 4/9. However, if one or both sides go without a goal, then the odds improve to 13/8.
Although only coming second in last year’s domestic season, Real Madrid went on to become the Champions League winners for a record-breaking eleventh time. The current champions look set to continue into another final, having won 3-1 during the first leg game versus Napoli.
The Italian visitors struck quickly, with Insigne bagging a goal eight minutes into the game. Real reformed and an equaliser came in the form of Benzama, who tucked in Carvajal’s cross.
The visitors were swiftly reminded of whose house they were playing in when Real pummelled two more goals by them in the second half, in a similar fashion to the Arsenal versus Bayern Munich match.
Given that their game was played the day after Valentine’s Day, there was definitely no love lost as Toni Kroos showed who exactly was in charge with his goal. His Brazilian teammate Casemiro managed a stunning volley five minutes later, giving the home side an emphatic win.
Napoli will have the home advantage next time when Real visit the Stadio San Paolo, which they must capitalise on with a goal difference of two goals or more into order to qualify for the quarter-finals.
bet365 firmly believes Real will qualify, with odds of 1/8, while Napoli offers 5/1. However, the winner of the second leg game looks a little murkier, with similar odds on both sides. Real are currently attracting 11/8 to win, while Napoli are slightly behind them with 9/5.
If you think Napoli can snatch a win at home and be ahead during both halves, there are solid odds of 10/3, while Napoli going ahead by the first whistle, only to draw by the last, has better odds of 12/1. If Napoli were to lead in the first half, only to be overtaken by Real, punters could net 20/1.
So if you think you can tell which way the second leg games will swing, why not visit bet365 for all your football betting? If you join today, the British bookmaker is offering a 100% First Deposit Bonus up to £200!