Champions League predictions, odds: expert picks for Real Madrid vs PSG and Liverpool, Bayern Munich
The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg kicks off on Tuesday, with four teams securing their place in the quarter-finals this week. Liverpool and Manchester City are on course for the quarter-finals, while the mouth-watering encounter between PSG and Real Madrid will be played at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday. Liverpool, Bayern Munich, PSG and Manchester City enter this second leg as favorites to move on, but as always with the UCL, anything can happen. Here’s what to know and our picks for matches:
Here are our staff’s picks for the four big matchups:
Tuesday Broadcast Schedule
Wednesday Broadcast Schedule
Liverpool v Inter Milan
Dated: Tuesday March 8 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | TV: SCS | Direct: Paramount+
Odds: Liverpool -170; Draw +325; Inter +440 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Liverpool v Inter Milan
A game to watch: Ivan Perisic vs. Trent Alexander Arnold. It was the key duel of the first leg at San Siro. Although Liverpool won the game, Perisic proved to be the most dangerous player for the Nerazzurri as they focused on the attack on the left side of the pitch. Simone Inzaghi’s side won’t have much of a chance to change the fate of this tie, but it will likely come down to Perisic if that happens. The defensive performance of Trent Alexander-Arnold will tell us a lot about the end result of the game.
Most likely to score a goal: Mohammad Salah. It is very likely that we will see another goal from Salah. At San Siro he scored the first goal of the game, and this time around he may have even more space for counter-attacks as Inter Milan will try to put the pressure on and score early . He can certainly benefit from Simone Inzaghi’s aggressive approach and do what he does best: find free spaces and score.
Choice man of the match: Alisson. Inter Milan will probably have chances and the Brazilian goalkeeper must be ready not to concede. His role will be crucial in determining the second leg of this round of 16 at Anfield.
Match forecast: Liverpool 2, Inter Milan 1. Liverpool will handle the initial pressure from Inter Milan perfectly as the guests don’t have much chance of overturning the odds in the second leg.
Bayern Munich v Red Bull Salzburg
Dated: Tuesday March 8 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Direct: Paramount+
Odds: Bavaria -490; Draw +600; Salzburg +1200 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Bayern Munich vs Salzburg
A game to watch: Brenden Aaronson vs. Joshua Kimmich. Assuming both teams line up in relatively similar fashion in the first leg, aside from their respective injuries, Brenden Aaronson vs. Joshua Kimmich should be influential enough to shape the game. The USMNT star took on an attacking midfield role in the first leg while the Germany international sat in front of the Bayern defense and given their recent wobbles, it’s a pretty crucial role. The Austrians have nothing to lose here and Aaronson will be crucial in terms of creating chances, so keep an eye out for this one. –Jonathan Johnson
Most likely to score: Robert Lewandowski. Unfortunately for Sven Ulreich, the likely absence of Manuel Neuer means Robert Lewandowski takes this one. Although the Polish superstar hasn’t been his prolific habit in front of goal lately, he’s still the most likely to find the back of the net and prove the difference between the two teams. –Jonathan Johnson
Choice of man of the match: Thomas Muller. He usually comes out on top in these games and his recent return to action has been a boost for Julian Nagelsmann. Assuming Bayern advance, as expected, it’s likely the German international will have played an important role. –Jonathan Johnson
Match prediction: Bayern Munich 1, Salzburg 0. While the temptation is there to say the hosts will win by landslide, that hasn’t been the case lately. Matthias Jaissle’s men have made life difficult for the Bundesliga giants in Austria and they will do it again here. –Jonathan Johnson
Real Madrid v Paris Saint Germain
Dated: Wednesday March 9 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | TV: SCS | Direct: Paramount+
Odds: Real Madrid +145; Draw +260; PSG +175 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Atlético Madrid v Manchester United
A game to watch: PSG attack against Marcelo. Kylian Mbappe’s fitness will now be key, but PSG will feel they can take on Real on either side after Dani Carvajal’s torrid night in Paris recently and Marcelo’s deterioration in recent years. Ferland Mendy’s suspension could make the right side PSG’s priority with Achraf Hakimi likely to push behind Angel Di Maria, making for a very tough pairing to come up against when you’re a 33-year-old full-back of any description. –Jonathan Johnson
Most likely to score: Karim Benzema. It seems inevitable that Benzema will score at some point in this tie and his fitness has been a major factor in Real’s first leg struggles. If he gets the chance here, he’s unlikely to waste it and could be Carlo Ancelotti’s best hope for progress. –Jonathan Johnson
Choice man of the match: Neymar. We have the impression that we owe us our dose of the Brazilian in this edition of the Champions League and it would be a shame if this season completely overtakes him. Whether it’s a goal, an assist or his craftiness and creativity, he’ll want to leave his mark on this one. –Jonathan Johnson
Match prediction: Real Madrid 1, PSG 1. This one should be tighter than the Paris stage but visitors should have just enough to squeeze through. With the final now in the French capital, there’s no better motivation for these players not to finish the job – Mbappe or no Mbappe. –Jonathan Johnson
Manchester City v Sporting CP
Dated: Wednesday March 9 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Direct: Paramount+
Odds: Manchester City -700; Draw +675; Sports +1900 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Manchester City v Sporting CP
A game to watch: Matheus Reis versus Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian is as close to a sure-fire starter as City have on their star-studded front line and he certainly hasn’t hurt his case in recent weeks, with a brace against Manchester United taking him past the 20 mark goals for the first season of his career. Sporting didn’t have an answer for him in Lisbon, where Mahrez created four chances and scored, and Reis will be put to the test at the Etihad. -James Benge
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Most likely to keep a clean sheet: Ederson. My colleagues really erred in giving me the clean sheet option here. City have kept five clean sheets in their last seven games and are certain to dominate possession, shots and territory. This Sporting side, deprived of so many key players, will do well even to test the Brazilian in the Etihad goal. -James Benge
Choice Man of the Match: Jack Grealish. City’s record signing has shown signs of heading in the right direction in a difficult first season. He was devastating against United and could be even more effective on Wednesday if he starts. If Raheem Sterling takes his place, he wouldn’t be a bad bet for the Man of the Match award either. -James Benge
Match prediction: Manchester City 2, Sporting 0. I would expect the hosts to crush any semblance of sporting resistance early on and then run through this game with an eye on the weekend trip to Crystal Palace. -James Benge