Draxler and de Jong to get shots off
Barcelona vs PSG
Same Game Multi: Over 3.5 goals, Julian Draxler 1+ shots on target, Frenkie de Jong 1+ shots on target @ 23.57
Games between Barcelona and PSG rarely disappoint. Five of their last six meetings have seen over 3.5 goals while their last eight contests have produced 32 goals, an average of four per match.
Among the chances for PSG should be Julian Draxler, who has three goals in six Ligue 1 starts this season including one last time out. More of the attacking burden should fall on him given the absences of Neymar and Angel Di Maria.
While all eyes will be on Lionel Messi, Frenkie de Jong could be the value play for Barcelona if he returns to the midfield. A tactical tweak allowing him more attacking freedom has returned six goals in 16 appearances since mid-December.
Goals on the cards in Budapest
RB Leipzig vs Liverpool
Same Game Multi: Over 2.5 goals, Amadou Haidara 1+ shots on target, Curtis Jones 1+ shots on target at 10/1 (#OddsOnThat boost)
Leipzig’s meeting with Liverpool in Budapest comes with the sides in contrasting form. Liverpool sit 17th in the Premier League form charts for the last ten games while Leipzig are 4th in the Bundesliga over the same period.
It’s a game that should bring goals with all five of Liverpool’s last five away seeing over 3.5. Amadou Haidara may not be high up in the Leipzig scoring charts but he is seeing opportunities, particularly in this competition, with an average of one shot on target per game in the group stages.
For Liverpool, Curtis Jones is likely to get the nod in midfield and he is another high-shot player so far with 1.16 shots on target per game across four UCL appearances. With Sadio Mane sitting on an average of 1.22, Jones’ inclusion increases the price significantly and he is someone who has been contributing in attack.
Juventus to take a first leg lead
Porto vs Juventus
Same Game Multi: Juventus to win, Under 3.5 goals and Alvaro Morata to score anytime @ 5.58
While Porto have lost only one of their last 25 in all competitions, this game represents a big step up to what they have faced during that run.
It was a long time ago that they kept five straight clean sheets to close out the group stage, and he Portuguese side have stalled domestically of late, not looking like the side that finished behind Manchester City.
Juventus are still a work in progress under Andrea Pirlo, and while they come into this game on the back of a defeat against Napoli, they were the better team based on expected goals (xG: NAP 1.04 – 2.47 JUV).
While the boast their Champions League record goalscorer in their ranks, his strike partner Alvaro Morata is currently the joint-top scorer in this season’s competition, with the Spaniard averaging 0.53 xG per avg match.
Juve should prove too strong in this game and take a first leg lead back to Turin, though don’t expect to many goals, as the Italians are more measured than prolific under Pirlo. The attention will be on Cristiano Ronaldo as he returns to Portugal, but I like Morata’s chances of stealing his thunder by notching here.
Papu to help Sevilla get a result
Sevilla vs Dortmund
Same Game Multi: Sevilla or Draw, Sevilla over 0.5 goals, Under 3.5 goals and Papu Gomez 1+ shot on target @ 3.28
Sevilla are the team in form heading into this first leg, with Julen Lopetegui’s well-drilled outfit putting in some excellent recent performances, especially at home. They most recently beat Barcelona in the Copa del Rey and are on a five match winning streak in the league at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.
They cruised through their group, and the Europa League champions are in a much better place now after a slow start to the campaign. Sevilla know what it takes to win in European competitions, and have a defence that ranks in the top 10 across Europe’s top five leagues, according to expected goals.
Dortmund are in disarray, winning just one of six league games, looking extremely vulnerable defensively of late. They have announced the appointment of Marco Rose as their new manager, but he won’t take over until the end of the season, meaning they are still set to play without an identity here.
They undoubtedly have talent in their ranks, but as a team, Sevilla are much more organised, and know exactly what their game plan is. The Spaniards are fancied to avoid defeat and score at least once, though on the whole this should be a low-scoring affair given the defence of the hosts.
Papu Gomez will be important here, as Sevilla are without Lucas Ocampos, a key component of their attack. The former Atalanta star is likely to be their driving force, so adding him to have 1+ shot on target to the same game multi boosts the price.