Champions League Tipsheet: Atletico have got Real Madrid's number and Porto can hold Bayern

Will Ronaldo be celebrating in the Champions League against Diego Simeone again this year? James Horncastle thinks not...
Will Ronaldo be celebrating in the Champions League against Diego Simeone again this year? James Horncastle thinks not...
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James Horncastle is back with a preview of all four quarter-final first legs in the Champions League...

Read Michael Lintorn on why he thinks Atletico Madrid can win this year's Champions League

Juventus v Monaco
Tuesday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 1

"Fiuuu" was Max Allegri's reaction to Juventus' come-from-behind win against Olympiacos in Turin last November. It soon became a cult phrase among supporters. So when the Old Lady drew Monaco in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the papers greeted the news with a collective sigh of relief. Phew. "It went well," claimed La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Don't labour under the misapprehension however that the Old Lady will make the same mistake Arsenal did and grossly underestimate her opponents from the Principality. Monaco have the best away record in Ligue 1, a full seven points better than PSG's, their nearest rival. They have also scored 12 goals in their last four road games. Teenage phenomenon Anthony Martial has found the net in six of his last seven outings and will represent Monaco's main threat. Ruthless on the counter under Leonardo Jardim back both teams to score @ 2.77/4.

Recommended Bet

Yes in Both Teams to Score Market @ 2.77/4


Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid
Tuesday, 19:45
Live on ITV

Seconds away from beating Real in the Champions League final in Lisbon last May, that extra-time defeat Atleti suffered is the exception in this rivalry since Diego Simeone came to the helm at the Calderon. The Argentine and his players appear to have a psychological edge over their more illustrious crosstown neighbours - Atleti beat Real to the Copa del Rey in 2013 then La Liga in 2014.

They haven't lost any of their six encounters this season, getting the better of them over two legs in the Spanish Super Cup and, once again, the Copa del Rey. But it the trend really about to change? Real appear fresher and over their slump. But Atleti are unbeaten in eight, have Antoine Griezmann in electric form with 21 goals in all competitions, and must be confident particularly after they sent Carlo Ancelotti and Cristiano Ronaldo home with their tails between their legs upon their last visit along the banks of the Manzanares, a brutal 4-0 defeat.

Back them to qualify @ 2.8815/8.

Recommended Bet

Atletico to Qualify @ 2.8815/8


PSG v Barcelona
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 1

The manner in which PSG qualified for the last eight promised to be transformative. To come back after going down to 10 men in the first half hour then twice falling behind to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge but still go through on away goals, was, as L'Equipe put it, Heroique.

However, it wasn't without cost.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti picked up suspensions. Then in Le Classique against Marseille, David Luiz and Thiago Motta hobbled off injured. PSG of course beat Barça 3-2 at the Parc in September, another performance that saved Laurent Blanc's job. Ibra was missing that night and they still won.

But two of the goalscorers, Luiz and Verratti, both of whom were monstrous in London last month represent big losses for the Parisiens. PSG are undefeated at home in Europe since November 2006 but it's hard to look beyond Barça who were irresistible against City. Back them to be winning at half time/full-time @ 3.185/40.

Recommended Bet

Barcelona winning at Half-Time/Full-Time @ 3.185/40


Porto v Bayern Munich
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 5

The dynamic at Bayern has changed and understandably so after injuries to their red arrows - Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. Casualties have mounted for Pep Guardiola. Without Mehdi Benatia, his rock at the back, David Alaba, one of the players of the season in Europe, and perhaps Bastian Schweinsteiger, he has had to consider a different approach: playing ugly.

There's more grind, less groove to their play. Prior to Sunday's 3-0 win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt they had scored only one goal in their last three games. Although likely to be without top scorer Jackson Martinez and speedster Cristian Tello, Porto will offer much stiffer opposition. Still the only team left undefeated in the Champions League, it wouldn't be a complete surprise if they held Bayern at home like Shakhtar did in the last round. Back The Draw @ 3.814/5.

Recommended Bet

Back The Draw @ 3.814/5

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