By News Team
23rd February 2021
Last week we saw brilliance from Kylian Mbappe at the Camp Nou followed by a superb Erling Haaland performance in Seville, but what will this week bring?
We take a look at the standout fixtures from this week’s Champions League action…
Can Chelsea cause an upset in Bucharest?
Tuesday evening sees Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea travel to Bucharest to take on Diego Simeone’s high-flying Atletico Madrid in a tasty Champions League round of 16 tie. The overall head-to-head record between Atletico and Chelsea in European competition is perfectly balanced, with both sides boasting two wins, and three draws, while both having also scored 11 goals each.
In the group stages this season, Atletico only found the back of the net seven times, making them the lowest scorers out of the remaining 16 sides left in the competition. However, substance over style has always been the way for Atletico and the La Liga leaders head into this fixture as the 17/10 favourites. That said, Simeone’s side will know that they are set for a tough tie considering Chelsea’s good form under Tuchel of late.
Chelsea were actually the first side to book their place in the round of 16 after an impressive group stage campaign and were one of only four teams to win all three of their away games in this season’s group stages, while they also scored more goals on the road than any other team with 10. The Blues were also only trailing in a game for a grand total of four minutes in the group stages which yet again is the least out of any side left in the competition. That was all under previous boss Frank Lampard, however. How will Chelsea fare under Tuchel this week? They’re 15/8 for the victory.
Man City to cruise past Monchengladbach?
On Wednesday evening, Borussia Monchengladbach take on Manchester City for the seventh time in European competition. Both sides have never faced another opponent in Europe more times so are we set to see another feisty affair?
As a result of reaching the last 16, Monchengladbach have ended a 43-year wait to make the knockout stages of the Champions League. Monchengladbach have one of the worst home records in the Champions League with the German outfit only winning two of their nine home games in the competition, although they have scored in every one of those nine fixtures. You can get both teams to score on Wednesday evening at 4/5.
City, meanwhile, have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the eighth consecutive season, which makes this the longest current run for an English club in the competition. If Pep Guardiola’s side manage to eliminate Monchengladbach, they would have reached the quarter-finals for the fourth consecutive season also. Winning the Champions League still eludes them, though, so it will be interesting to see how far they can go this year. City are currently priced as 1/3 favourites to defeat Monchengladbach whilst you can get the German side to win at 8/1.
Real to feel Atalanta’s power?
In past years, you would expect Real Madrid to cruise into the quarter-finals, but this Atalanta side are set to be a tough nut to crack for Zinedine Zidane’s men on Wednesday night.
Atalanta’s only previous meeting with a Spanish side in European competition was in last season’s round of 16 when they faced Valencia and came out 8-4 winners on aggregate. After getting through to this year’s last 16, Atalanta became the first side since Sevilla in 2010 to reach the knockout stages in both of their first two seasons competing in the competition. Despite this relative inexperience, surprisingly the Italian side are currently 11/8 favourites to defeat Madrid, but can they produce what would be a huge result on Wednesday?
After making it through to the last 16, Madrid have now reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 24th consecutive season, the longest such run in the history of the competition. Although Madrid head into this fixture as 15/8 underdogs, their current away record against Italian sides makes them good value for money. Madrid have won each of their last five Champions League away games against Italian opposition whilst also only conceding one goal on the road in the process.