The Champions League last 16 continues this week with the first lot of second legs, and Real Madrid will be confident of booking their place in the quarter-finals. The holders have a 3-1 lead from the first leg against Paris Saint-Germain, but it’s still all to play for in Paris as two of Europe’s top teams go head to head in a mouthwatering contest.
The first leg certainly lived up to its billing. In an end-to-end game, PSG took the lead shortly after the half-hour mark but a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo helped Real to come from behind and put themselves in the driving seat in the tie.
Los Blancos are not having a vintage season on the domestic front, sitting in 3rd place and a long way off leaders Barcelona. A defeat at Espanyol last week only increased the pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane. But in Champions play they’ve delivered when it’s mattered, and they’re 1/4 with a number of football betting sites to make it through to the quarter-finals and continue their bid for a third consecutive title.
PSG know all about comebacks at this stage of the competition as they were the victims of one of the biggest last year. After beating Barcelona 4-0 at home in the first leg, they were thrashed 6-1 in Spain. The Parisians don’t travel well in the Champions League but it’s a very different story on home soil. The French giants have lost just one of their last 27 home matches in the competition, winning the last four.
Even more impressive is the fact they’ve won every single one of their games at the Parc des Princes this season. For this reason, they’re considered slight favourites to win on the night at odds of 11/10 with Paddy Power. The bookies are less confident that PSG can overturn their two-goal deficit though, with the Irish-based bookmaker also offering odds of 7/2 on the hosts to complete a comeback.
Unai Emery’s side have been hit by the news that star striker Neymar will be out for at least six weeks after suffering an injury in a recent league game, which certainly doesn’t help their chances. That makes Unibet offering odds of 23/10 on Real to win on the night more appealing, while a draw is listed at odds 3/1.
With Neymar out, there’ll be even more onus on Cavani to score. He is their leading marksman, finding the back of the net 32 times in 37 appearances this year. 6 of those have come in the Champions League, while 20 have been at home. He’s 19/5 with Unibet in the first goalscorer betting.
As for Madrid, there’s no question who their star is. Cristiano Ronaldo was their hero again in the 1st leg and the Portugal captain has now scored an incredible 20 goals in his last 12 Champions League appearances. Ladbrokes have him at a pretty appealing 27/5 for first or last goalscorer, and 5/4 to score anytime.
Whoever scores them, there’s likely to be no shortage of goals in this match given the illustrious attacking talent that’s on show. Real have scored three or more goals in seven of their last ten Champions League matches, while PSG have registered 19 in their last four home games in the competition alone.
Emery’s side have also been scoring for fun in Paris this season and even without Neymar, they still boast a star-studded attack that includes the likes of Cavani, Kylian Mbappé and Julian Draxler. The Ligue 1 leaders need to go on the attack if they’re to progress, which could create another open and end-to-end match with lots of chances.
The bookies are clearly expecting goals too, with the best odds on more than 2.5 being 4/11. Over 3.5 can be backed at 5/6 with Sun Bets, while Betfair’s odds of 21/10 on over 4.5 are tempting. Coral, meanwhile, is offering odds of 2/5 on there being goals in both halves. One thing’s for sure – it won’t be dull. So, no matter where you choose to put your money, you’re in for an entertaining match.