Champions League Betting: Tricky night for United and Chelsea

Trap game for Mourinho
On guard Mourinho
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How many English teams will still be standing when the quarter-final draw is made, wonders James Horncastle...

"Bayern already have their bags packed for the quarter-finals and it's a wonder why a louder conversation isn't being had about their chances of lifting the Champions League trophy for a sixth time after winning 16 of their last 17 games in all competitions."

Jekyll and Hyde Sevilla

Man Utd v Sevilla
Tuesday, 19:45 GMT
Live on BT Sport

It's difficult to know what to make of Sevilla. In the league, things have deteriorated since Vincenzo Montella replaced Eduardo Berizzo.

Saturday's defeat to Valencia at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan meant the Andalucians kissed goodbye to next year's Champions League. They are now in serious jeopardy of missing out on Europe altogether.

Sevilla have shipped five goals five times this season and yet they remain extremely dangerous in cup competitions. The Rojiblancos are in the final of the Copa del Rey after knocking out Atletico Madrid and Leganes, and would be going to Old Trafford with a first leg lead were it not for the heroics of David de Gea.

A Jekyll and Hyde team if ever there was one, the question is: which personality will turn up in Manchester on Tuesday? United have strung together a series of impressive results, inflicting defeat on Chelsea and Liverpool before the Stretford End in back-to-back home games. The Reds have lost only once at Old Trafford all season and that was to Pep's Manchester City.

It's hard to see United losing then. But Sevilla don't need to win. A score draw will be enough after the 0-0 at the Pizjuan three weeks ago. For an anarchic team like Montella's pulling that off is hardly beyond the realm of possibility. Sevilla are [3.05] to qualify.

Pitmen strike gold

AS Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk
Tuesday, 19:45 GMT
Live on BT Sport

No tie is as delicately poised as the one in the Eternal City on Tuesday night. The Exchange has Roma and Shakhtar trading at almost identical prices to qualify. Both were in action on Friday and head into the second leg full of confidence after recording 3-0 wins in the league.

Roma appear to have put their goalscoring problems behind them. The Giallorossi have found the back of the net seven times in their last two outings, impressively rifling four past Napoli 10 days ago in a big upset at the San Paolo.

Beating Torino 3-0 without the suspended Edin Dzeko also made a few waves. In truth though the scoreline doesn't tell the whole story. Roma's first two goals arrived because the Granata failed to reorganise at the back after failing to clear their lines after a corner and a free-kick. Walter Mazzarri's side then had to chase the game which played into Roma's hands.

Up until that point Roma struggled to threaten, let alone break down a compact Torino unit quite happy to defend deep and pick its moments on the counter. This season Roma have been better on the road than at home because opponents tend to be braver and more foolish in front of their own fans.

The Lupi have won only two of their last seven games at the Olimpico and while Friday's game was a step in the right direction it did leave you thinking they still have some issues in this regard.

Shakhtar aren't the kind of team to park the bus and that could well end up suiting Roma. But the Ukrainians will be encouraged by their second half display three weeks ago not to mention the video of Atalanta, Samp and AC Milan's wins at the Olimpico in 2018. Paulo Fonseca's side are 2.46 on Double Chance.

Black Eagles swansong

Besiktas v Bayern Munich
Wednesday, 19:45 GMT
Live on BT Sport

Bayern already have their bags packed for the quarter-finals and it's a wonder why a louder conversation isn't being had about their chances of lifting the Champions League trophy for a sixth time after winning 16 of their last 17 games in all competitions. The Germans are fourth favourites @ [6.2] even though Jupp Heynckes looks to have turned the clock back to 2013.

Five-nil up from the first leg, Bayern can afford to take it easy in Istanbul and it wouldn't be at all surprising if they rotated heavily on Wednesday night. Fixtures against RB Leipzig and Dortmund are up next in the Bundesliga and while the Bavarians enjoy a 20-point lead at the top of the table, there's nothing quite like asserting your authority against last year's runner up and doing the same in Der Klassiker.

The risk is Bayern get complacent and take Besiktas lightly. The Turkish champions are unbeaten at the Vodafone Arena since losing to Konyaspor in the Super Cup in August. Senol Gunes' side have won nine of their last 10 games here and comfortably dispatched with Leipzig at the end of September.

Besiktas will want to go out on a high after impressing in the group stage and atone for what happened at the Allianz Arena three weeks ago. The Exchange has them priced @ [5.4] for the win.

Conte's last stand

Barcelona v Chelsea
Wednesday, 19:45 GMT
Live on BT Sport

Antonio Conte's game plan almost came off at the Bridge three weeks ago. Chelsea were unlucky not to win. Willian rattled the woodwork and Barça punished one of the few mistakes they made. Conte will likely go with the same lithe and agile front three at the Camp Nou and hope his side are more clinical than they were in the first leg.

Andres Iniesta is unlikely to be fit in time, which makes you think Chelsea might be able to exert a little bit more control on the game than in their last meeting. The English champions did a fine job of slowing Barça down in west London, putting the brakes on them by being aggressive and taking away the space. Lionel Messi hardly had chance to turn and run at the Chelsea backline.

Speaking of the Argentine, he was granted compassionate leave at the weekend after the birth of his son Ciro. In his absence the €250m Barcelona invested in Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Paulinho paid its first dividend. It was the first time the three have all started together this season and the signs ere encouraging.

In Malaga, Dembele set up a delightful goal for Coutinho and it's just a shame he's unavailable on Wednesday night. Effervescent against Atletico 10 days ago, the Brazilian has settled in no time at all following his move from Liverpool.

This Barcelona side may be more functional than other Blaugrana vintages. But it remains formidable. Conte can level the playing field with his tactical acumen. The game plan will require a lot of sacrifice and buy-in is essential. Chelsea will have to be mistake free. By all means take Messi down. Just do it as far away from the box as possible. Remarkably The Flea has scored a free-kick in each of his last three appearances in La Liga. The difficulty rating is high. Chelsea are [4.7] to Qualify.

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