The Champions League continues this week with another eye-catching round of fixtures. But, which sides will be able to take the advantage from the first leg and put themselves in with the best possible chance of making it to the next round of the competition?
Chelsea vs Bayern Munich
Frank Lampard will be hoping that his Chelsea side can make it back-to-back wins when they welcome Bayern Munich to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening. The Blues have history against Bayern, after beating the German side in the 2012 Champions League final.
Lampard played in that fixture, but Chelsea’s hopes of progression in this year’s competition will hinge on whether they can keep the Bayern attack at bay. Bayern have already enjoyed success against English opposition this season, as they beat Tottenham Hotspur twice in the group stages. Bayern are just hitting their groove at this point of the season and will come into the game having beat Paderborn 3-2 in their last fixture.
Chelsea’s defensive record doesn’t give them much hope, but they will have to ensure that they aren’t beaten in this clash. However, Bayern will be far too strong, and gamblers will place their bets on the Bavarian giants.
Napoli vs Barcelona
Barcelona will be many people’s picks to win this competition as they have the best footballer on the planet within their ranks. Lionel Messi has enjoyed another stellar season this campaign, and Napoli will already be apprehensive at the prospect of coming up against the Argentinean as he scored four in Barcelona’s last outing.
Napoli’s results have improved over recent weeks as they have won four in their last five. They now have a chance of achieving a European finish this season, which would have looked incredibly unlikely heading into January. Their Champions League form in the group stage would also give them optimism, as they managed to beat Liverpool in their opening game.
Home advantage will be a crucial factor for this fixture, as Napoli are a tough nut to crack at the San Paolo Stadium. Barcelona would be happy with a draw in this opening leg, and bettors may feel that could be the most likely result.
Real Madrid vs Manchester City
All the talk in the build-up for this match will be centred around the two-year European ban that has been handed to Manchester City. City could become the first team to win the Champions League, and not have the chance to defend their title. Pep Guardiola was brought to the Etihad to deliver this trophy, but they have failed on all the seasons that he has been in charge to this point.
The Citizens remained unbeaten through the group stages of the competition and will go into the game in Spain off the back of a hard-fought 1-0 win against Leicester City. City’s chances of progressing will be increased should they get a favourable result on the road in this fixture.
This Real Madrid side has already been written off by many experts, as they have claimed that they don’t have the same cutting edge as the team that won three European Cups in four years. They could only manage second place in their group, while they will go into the game against City having lost for the second time this season in the league.
That defeat against Levante means that Real haven’t won in two now and have surrendered their place at the top of La Liga. Bettors will feel that City will have all the tools at their disposal to inflict more misery.
Olympique Lyonnais vs Juventus
Juventus will be expected to produce in the Champions League this season, after holding such dominance on the Serie A. Maurizio Sarri will likely be judged by his performance in this competition this season, but with the form that Cristiano Ronaldo is currently in; they will have an excellent chance.
Ronaldo has already scored 21 goals in 21 games this season, and he will be hopeful of getting on the scoresheet against Lyon. Juventus have won their last two games, and have also won three in their last four. Lyon will have to play out of their skins to stop Juventus taking the win from this fixture.
The French side have been disappointing over recent weeks as they have won just once in their past five. They have also lost twice during this run of games. They were victorious on their last outing in the league, as they got the three points against Metz, but that won't be encouraging bettors to be placing their wagers on anything other than a Juventus win.