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Champions League Predictions | Round of 16

Posted: Jan 13, 2023Last updated: Jan 13, 2023

The World Cup is in the rearview mirror, and domestic leagues around Europe are back in action. The condensed schedule is impacting teams across the continent as injuries are starting to pile up and squad depth, as well as fitness levels, become paramount this time of the year.

Liverpool acquired Dutch striker Cody Gakpo, and Chelsea signed the Portuguese star João Félix on loan from Atlético Madrid.

The Round of 16 is loaded with heavyweight matchups, so let’s dive in on the best bets and predictions for the next stage of the Champions League.

Champions League Round of 16 Predictions

PSG vs Bayern Munich: PSG Advances

This is the headliner in the Round of 16. The German giants are against the Parisians in a Round of 16 showdown. In recent years, PSG have been eliminated from the tournament in a disappointing fashion despite the talent they have on their team.

The Parisians lost out on the top spot in their group to Benfica but did comfortably qualify for the Round of 16 with 14 points. On the other hand, Bayern won all six of their group-stage matches despite having both Barcelona and Inter Milan in their group.

The injury bug has struck Bayern Munich as they will be without defender Lucas Hernandez and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for the remainder of the season. They are still without Sadio Mané, and there is no timetable for his return at the moment.

Neuer is the biggest blow to the team as he has been a stalwart in the net for the side and is the leader of the team.

Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé, and Achraf Hakimi are coming off of great World Cups and will look to continue this momentum in the Champions League. All three players played the maximum number of games at the World Cup, so fatigue may play a factor.

PSG has too much talent on their team, and the injuries to Bayern Munich have me backing the Parisians to advance to the Quarterfinals.

Tottenham vs AC Milan: Tottenham Advances

This is an interesting matchup because it features two teams that usually underperform in this tournament. AC Milan finished second in their group behind Chelsea, and Tottenham barely made it out of their group, leaving it to a VAR decision against Sporting Lisbon on the last matchday.

The London side is slowly getting healthy, with Dejan Kulesevski set to return to action, as well as Yves Bissouma. The Brazilian striker Richarlison is still dealing with a hamstring injury, and he will be one to monitor ahead of this fixture.

This is an evenly matched contest, but I give the edge to Tottenham, who have more talented players on their squad.

Club Brugge vs Benfica: Club Brugge Advances

These are two teams that had very different group stages. Brugge relied on their defense to advance, while Benfica put on an offensive showing in their six matches during the group stage.

Brugge only conceded four goals in their six matches but were lackluster on the scoring front, with only seven goals so far in the tournament. Benfica scored a blistering 16 goals in the group stage, which was tied for fourth among all clubs, along with PSG.

For comparison, they scored two more goals than Manchester City.

This will be a true offense vs defense battle, but Benfica has the quality on their side to break down the Brugge backline. Back the Portuguese side to advance to the quarterfinals and pose a threat to some of the bigger clubs in Europe in the next stage.

Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea: Chelsea Advances

Here are two clubs that are uncharacteristically underperforming in their domestic leagues this season. At the time of this writing, Dortmund sit in the sixth position in the Bundesliga table, and Chelsea are in 10th in the Premier League table.

Only 10 points separate Chelsea from the top four as well as the relegation zone.

Injuries have plagued both sides this season, with Dortmund entering the season without Sébastien Haller and Chelsea will be without American forward Christian Pulisic for two months. Reece James, James Chilwell, and N’Golo Kanté are all sidelined for the Blues, as well.

Haller could be available for Dortmund, which would be a huge boost to their squad.

The best player on the pitch in this matchup will be Jude Bellingham, who has been carrying the Dortmund team this season. This is most likely his last Champions League with the German side, with a move to England most likely in his future this summer.

At the end of the day, Chelsea are the more talented side, and their squad health will be the key factor ahead of these fixtures.

Liverpool vs Real Madrid: Real Madrid Advances

We won’t have a repeat Final from last year as Liverpool, and Real Madrid will face off in the Round of 16. Liverpool finished second behind Napoli in the group stage as Real Madrid topped their group losing only one game to RB Leipzig.

Liverpool have been a tough team to figure out this season and have been very inconsistent. Their big summer signing, Darwin Núñez, has struggled to get going but is slowly adapting to the Premier League competition.

They just signed Gakpo, and it will be interesting how he will fit with the team, most likely the first man off of the bench for the side.

This is the same time last year when Madrid went on their magical run to the Champions League title, and their squad is built for a repeat performance. They lost Casimiro to Manchester United, but Camavinga has stepped into that role brilliantly this season.

It’s tough to bet against Carlo Ancelotti‘s side in the Champions League, so I am taking Real Madrid to advance to the Quarterfinals.

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli: Napoli Advances

Frankfurt are having an impressive campaign in the UCL this season after qualifying as a result of winning the Europa League last season. They finished second in their group but faced a tough Napoli side in the next round.

Napoli has been stellar in the Serie A this season, comfortably sitting in first place in that table. They edged out Liverpool in the group stages for the top spot on goal differential, and deservedly so.

This feels like a mismatch, and Napoli should roll into the Quarterfinals, where they could upset one of the top clubs.

RB Leipzig vs Manchester City: Manchester City Advances

There will be a lot of goals scored in this tie, with City’s dominant offense and Christopher Nkunku headlining the RB Leipzig offense.

If Leipzig get into a shootout against City, then they will convincingly lose, and this tie could be lost after the first leg. Leipzig are familiar with Erling Haaland after their numerous battles in the Bundesliga.

The favorites to win the cup should easily advance to the quarterfinals.

Inter Milan vs Porto: Porto Advances

Porto have a reputation for being king killers in the Champions League, and this looks like a prime spot for them to repeat that feat. They ousted Juventus at this stage of the competition last year and now face another Italian side.

Inter Milan edged out Barcelona in the group stage to finish second behind Bayern Munich but have been underwhelming so far in the tournament. Romelu Lukaku has been battling injuries all year, and Lautaro Martínez is coming off of a poor World Cup campaign despite lifting the cup with Argentina.

This is a matchup that Porto can take advantage of and Mehdi Taremi is the key man in the front of their lineup. Back Porto to pull off the upset in this tie.

Champions League Winner Pick

PSG to win the Champions League (+700) at Caesars Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

Manchester City are overwhelming favorites at +170 but there is incredible value in betting on PSG to win the title this year. Bayern Munich is second in the odds at +600 but will face PSG in the Round of 16.

Messi, Mbappé, and Neymar are in tremendous form this season, and their dynamic offense can beat anyone in the World. They have one of the best keepers in the World, as well, with Donnarumma.

This is great value on PSG, and after they beat Bayern in the Round of 16, this number will decline.

Author

Ani Sridhar

Ani Sridhar is an NBA and soccer betting analyst at The Gameday as well as a producer at SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Residing in NY, but originally from Washington D.C and a University of Maryland alum, Ani is a long-time (and occasionally suffering) fan of all the Washington sports teams. He loves TV and movies, so just holler if you ever need someone to join your bar trivia team.

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