The UEFA Champions League last 16 draw took place on December 14 and it produced some David vs. Goliath ties, along with some games that are so mouth-wateringly matched that they’re simply too close to call outright.
The Champions League, like all sports, was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the tournament had to be shortened. This meant that the last 16 ties were played over one leg instead of the usual two. In 2021 –should everything go to plan – these games will revert back to the traditional two-legged ties, which sees the top-seeded teams play at home in the second match.
Although the matches are still some time away, we thought we’d take an early look at the Champions League odds and make early predictions for the first four matches taking place. Keep in mind that the winners of each match are determined over two legs – one game at home and one away for each team.
Champions League last 16 predictions
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Manchester City: 02/24/21
Mönchengladbach was the surprise package in a tight group that consisted of Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid. This is a team that isn’t to be underestimated, having put in a whole heap of goals on the way to qualification.
That being said, Marco Rose’s team was swept aside with relative ease by Real Madrid in the last game of the group stages, and this could give Man City some confidence going into this tie. The German outfit are eighth in the Bundesliga at the time of writing and there are rumours that Rose is soon to be snapped up by a bigger team like Borussia Dortmund.
Pep Guardiola’s team have been inconsistent at best in the Premier League this season, but they seem to be thriving in Europe’s top competition. It’s hard to see Man City losing this tie unless they have an absolute horror show.
The betting odds for this game are putting City through for a comfortable victory, given their European experience and the pedigree of the players managed by one of the world’s best.
Lazio vs. Bayern Munich: 02/23/21
It’s never going to be easy going up against the defending European Champions and that’s exactly what Lazio are up against. Bayern have been a little hit and miss in the Bundesliga this season, but they picked up 16 points in 6 games in the group stages, and look to be as strong as they were in the competition last season.
Lazio were the best they’ve been in years, and were able to sustain a real Serie A title challenge last season. Simone Inzaghi’s team have been a little off the pace since then, though, and are struggling for consistency.
We expect Lazio will undoubtedly put up a fight to move forward in the competition, but at the end of the day, Hans-Dieter Flick’s team is going to be too much to handle. A team stocked with talent like Lewandowski, Alphonso Davies, and Thomas Müller (to name just a few) is enough to strike fear into even the strongest opponents.
Online sports betting fans can probably feel comfortable putting their money on a Bayern Munich win.
Atlético Madrid v Chelsea: 02/23/21
This tie is much more complicated when it comes to calling a winner. Diego Simeone’s team are currently at the front of a tense battle for La Liga’s top spot and Frank Lampard’s young, but talented team are undoubtedly a tough opponent.
This Chelsea team is certainly inexperienced when compared with Los Rojiblancos; however, they do have new signings in Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, and Thiago Silva who know all about Europe’s top competition.
The Blues’ form has faltered slightly in the Premier League, so they’re going to have to really come to the party to get anything against Simeone’s well-drilled Atlético. Don’t forget that the infamous Luis Suárez is now leading the line too.
Lampard’s new signings are going to have to start showing why so much money was spent on them in what is set to be one of the closest matches in the last 16 round. This tie is going to be won or lost over very fine margins.
As is, the betting odds are slightly favoring Atlético to take this one.
RB Leipzig v Liverpool: 02/16/21
This is another exciting tie between two free-playing, highly dynamic teams. On paper and pedigree, Liverpool look the best team, but RB Leipzig have shown time and again what they are capable of.
Julian Nagelsmann is probably the epitome of Klopp in his youth, and the German coach will do everything in his power to claim the bragging rights over his fellow countryman. Liverpool, of course, are flying high at the moment despite their injury list, and currently top the Premier League.
Leipzig know what they have to do to win this tie and go through to the next round, and they’ll be prepared for the fight. Ultimately, the thrilling system that Leipzig are known for is probably going to be their undoing against the Reds and Liverpool’s depth and quality will be enough to see them make it to the next round. The betting odds on this one back the Reds for a win.
Keep up with all the Champions League betting, odds and previews
That’s a wrap for our first early predictions for the first four games in the Champions League last 16; check in next week for part 2! At BetMGM sportsbook casino, we have up-to-the-minute betting options and soccer betting odds from the world’s biggest competitions and leagues. Register today and get into the thick of the globe’s best online sports betting action.