Champions League preview: Barcelona search for another miracle and Leicester’s fairy tale set to end

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Champions League preview: Barcelona search for another miracle and Leicester’s fairy tale set to end

Jack Rathborn

 

Barcelona wrote a special chapter into their history with the incredible comeback at the Camp Nou in the last round vs PSG.

Juventus appears to be a step too far, yet the intrigue remains as to whether Lionel Messi and co. can produce another unforgettable night of Champions League football.

Leicester will roll the dice once again at the King Power, still with nothing to lose, though the consensus is that Diego Simeone’s Atletico have too much experience and savviness to be overwhelmed by the type of atmosphere the Foxes faithful conjured up against Sevilla.

Then there’s the small matter of Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich again, while Monaco will look to finish off Borussia Dortmund and find themselves one step away from Cardiff. Let’s take a look at how each second leg will unfold.

Leicester vs Atletico Madrid

atletico

A solitary goal separates the sides, yet Los Colchoneros feel like they are entirely satisfied with the way this tie has played out so far.

Atleti are unbeaten in nine and have seven wins in that time – the routine victory over Osasuna provides optimum confidence for Yannick Carrasco after his fine double and the Belgian gives them another dimension in attack.

Leicester meanwhile were pegged back by in-form Palace in a 2-2 draw and while Craig Shakespeare will demand a fast start and tempo, it’s tough to envisage the Spanish side not composing themselves and eventually letting their superior quality take over.

Back it: Atletico to beat Leicester at 23/20 with Boyle Sports.

 Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich 

ronaldo

Javi Martinez’s ill discipline has spoiled a fascinating tie between two European juggernauts; that and Robert Lewandowski’s unfortunate injury.

Gareth Bale misses the second leg, yet Zinedine Zidane has Isco in scintillating form and with a point to prove as he positions himself for contract negotiations.

Carlo Ancelotti is buoyed by Lewa’s return though and will relish the added space to hurt Los Merengues, with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery having some joy before Martinez’s reckless challenge on Ronaldo.

Real are rightly favourites both on the night and widely expected to progress, yet the dynamic of the tie – Real’s lack of urgency to win outright on the night and Bayern’s necessity to score – opens up every eventuality and makes the draw good value.

BTTS is too short at 4/11, so the draw at 14/5 appeals, back it here.

Monaco vs Borussia Dortmund

monaco bvb

Last week’s event overshadowed this first leg and made it almost irrelevant in the minds of anybody initially keen to watch the game.

Thomas Tuchel has made it clear how irritated he was that the game was played so soon after the incident, yet Monaco took advantage of a shell-shocked BVB and are now in complete control.

The ‘win either half’ prop paid off for us in the first leg and with Leonardo Jardim’s side still likely to push on in search of goals, it’s worth staying with that bet.

Back it: Monaco to win either half at 5/6 with Ladbrokes.

Barcelona vs Juventus

Juventus-Paulo-Dybala-celebrates-scoring-their-first-goal

The final game previewed and despite Juventus’ significant lead in the tie, it brings great excitement.

Barcelona are short at 1/2 to win the game and the Old Lady will be able to afford a 2-0 defeat, even if they don’t grab an away goal, to progress.

If the Blaugrana are to stand any chance then it is likely to require a fast start – just like against PSG. That’s why Luis Enrique’s side at half-time/full-time stands out.

Back it: Barcelona/Barcelona half-time/full-time at 6/5 with Ladbrokes