Previewing This Week’s Best Champions League and Europa League Matches
The Champions League serves up a number of intriguing fixtures this week including Manchester United’s trip to Spain to face an in-form Sevilla side. The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium is never an easy place to go to and the hosts come off the back of consecutive wins against Girona and Las Palmas. Jose Mourinho’s side got back to winning ways against Huddersfield as Romelu Lukaku’s brace secured them a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. The former Everton striker is the favourite in the first goalscorer market and is 5/1 with Paddy Power to bag the opener here once again.
Elsewhere, Roma could be in for a stern examination at the hands of Shakhtar Donetsk. Travelling to Ukraine in this competition is always an adventure and the home side are likely to make it difficult for their Serie A visitors.
Chelsea vs Barcelona is one of the most hotly anticipated ties of the round and Antonio Conte must ensure his side don’t afford the Catalan side too much time on the ball. The Blues are outsiders for this tie at 13/5 but they’ll need to take something back to the Nou Camp in order to give themselves a fighting chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
The bookmakers are expecting a hugely one-sided affair when Bayern Munich host Besiktas on February 20th at the Allianz Arena. The biggest price available on the Bundesliga side is 1/5.
Zenit vs Celtic is Set Up Nicely for Second Leg
One of the standout fixtures in the Europa League this week is Celtic’s trip to St.Petersburg. Mikael Lustig is confident that his side can surprise the Russian Premier League outfit as Brendan Rodgers’ men aim to defend a precious 1-0 lead. The SPL leaders are around 9/2 to pull off a huge shock and they showed a real togetherness during the first leg but this will be much tougher for them. Roberto Mancini’s side didn’t have many clear-cut opportunities at Celtic Park and they will have to be significantly better if they want to progress in the Europa League. Elsewhere, Arsenal host Ostersunds whilst Atalanta vs Borussia Dortmund looks set to produce another thrilling 90 minutes.