By News Team
25th February 2020
The Champions League resumes on Tuesday with another two cracking last 16 ties as Chelsea welcome Bayern Munich to Stamford Bridge and Barcelona make the trip to Italy to face Napoli.
Ahead of the action, we take a look at some of the key bets to keep an eye out for.
Bayern and Lewandowski to overpower Chelsea
Chelsea and Bayern meet for the first time in the Champion League since their encounter in the 2012 final, which saw the Premier League club win out on penalties in the German side’s own backyard. Plenty has changed since, but as they were back then, Bayern head into Tuesday’s last 16 clash as the favourites – Hans-Dieter Flick’s team are 10/11 to claim a first-leg victory, with Chelsea 11/4 to do the same and the draw at 14/5.
The Blues do come into this one off the back of an impressive, and crucial, Premier League victory over top-four rivals Tottenham, but the question here will be can they back that up with a performance against Bayern. Frank Lampard will be the first to admit that his side have struggled for consistency over the season, otherwise they’d be well clear in the race for the top four.
In Bayern, however, they face a side that has overcome its early-season struggles to move to the top of the Bundesliga, and one that has only lost one game in the last 11 in all competitions. And in Robert Lewandowski, Bayern have the Champions League’s joint-top scorer this season and a man who has netted a staggering 42 goals for club and country this term. Lewandowski to have over two shots on target on Tuesday night was 11/4 but has been enhanced to 7/2 and could well offer value.
The four previous matches in all competitions between Chelsea and Bayern have produced 17 goals, an average of 4.25 per game, and similar can be expected here. But the German side should ultimately have too much for the opposition, not to mention the fact they’ve eliminated English clubs in four of their five subsequent knockout ties in the competition since that 2012 final, as well as mauling Tottenham 7-2 earlier this season in the group stage. Back them at 21/10 to win at Stamford Bridge with both teams to score.
Barcelona and Messi to edge it in Naples
Tuesday night’s other clash sees Napoli welcome Barcelona to the Stadio San Paolo, with the Catalan side seeking this term to win a first Champions League in five years. Quique Setien is the man charged with that task following his appointment by Barca in January. There’s been the odd hiccup on the way with a defeat to Valencia and elimination from the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao, but Setien has steered the club back to the top of the La Liga table.
However, they are certainly not the Barcelona of old and without the injured Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele there are major questions marks as to whether they still have what it takes to win another European crown this term. It’s not a surprise then to see that they are only slight favourites here at 23/20, with Napoli at 23/10 and the draw at 5/2.
In Lionel Messi, though, they have a player that can win games by himself, as proven by his stunning four-goal haul last time out in the 5-0 thrashing of Eibar. And with Napoli struggling in Serie A, sitting 24 points back off top place in sixth, Barca should have enough about them to edge it here. Barcelona to win and both teams to score is 14/5, while Messi to score first can be backed at 16/5.