PREVIEW: This Week in the Champions League

In this week’s Champions League fixtures, we have 4 games; Atlético Madrid against Bayer Leverkusen, Monaco host Arsenal, Man City visit Barcelona’s Nou Camp and Borussia Dortmund play Juventus.

Atletico face the challenge of being a goal down in this all important Champions League tie. Atlético will have to be favourites to win the tie as they will have to come out against a well-organised German side who can counter after soaking up endless waves of pressure. It’s unlikely that the game will end up past the 90 minutes as both teams are expected to score. However that’s not to say that Bayer Leverkusen are certain to qualify, let’s not forget, this team could have done a league and Europe double in a matter of days last year. They are a weaker side but you don’t lose the drive, determination and desire overnight. This could be close than most expect, and I expect it to be a cracker of a game.

Next we look at the shock of the round last time out, Arsenal visit Monaco. Arsenal will have to learn from their mistakes this weak and will have to be proactive in their approach. This game will be won and lost with Arsenal’s midfield. If they can have a spring in their step and exploit the holes created by the likes of Welbeck’s and Ramsey’s movement they can do well here, however it will be no walk in the park as the midfield of Monaco showed last time they are no pushovers, however I expect a frustrating game for the gooners and although they may win on the day, I can’t see them going through to the next round.

On Wednesday, the real stars come out. Manchester City visit Barcelona. With Barcelona bringing a lead back with them, City face a massive uphill battle. Toure has a role to play against his former side as the midfield will be the battleground. City’s other stars will have to shine, Silva and Aguero will have to be a different duo to those that played Burnley at the weekend. On that performance, City do not have a chance. However, I doubt that side will turn up against the Catalans but I can’t see City scoring more than one goal, meaning Barcelona will qualify.

Finally Dortmund play Juve. In Germany, Dortmund have been massively disappointing this year. Juve have been flying high in Italy, and I really cannot see past Juve qualifying for the last 16. The old lady are well regimented at the back, can grind out a result and can be deadly with Tevez on the counter attack. Juve’s midfielders have absolutely everything. Pace, power, precision. Although Dortmund are good on the counter, they’re going to have to set up to dominate the game, a battle they’re likely to lose. Therefore, I’d have to say Dortmund get dumped out.

Betting Boys & Gambling Girls

4 Fold
Atletico v Bayer – DRAW (1-1)
Monaco v Arsenal – Away (0-2)
Barcelona v Man City – DRAW (1-1)
Dortmund v Juventus – DRAW (0-0)

Atletico v Bayer – under 10.5 corners
Barcelona v Man City – Toure Anytime Goalscorer
Monaco v Arsenal – Over 6 cards

BTTS – Barcelona v Man City
under 1.5 goals – Dortmund v Juventus

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