Valencia are a good price to win at home in a goal-filled game, while Kylian Mbappe as an individual and Dortmund as a side, should score in Paris, says Jamie Pacheco...
"And just as an example of their scoring potential, between mid-January and early February they scored five goals in three consecutive matches in the Bundesliga, beating Augsburg, Cologne and Union Berlin 5-2, 5-1 and 5-0 respectively, proof of their undoubted firepower."
Valencia v Atalanta
Tuesday March 10, 20:00
Valencia can hit back in goal-filled contest
The record books will show that Valencia had a truly awful day at the office a couple of week's ago. A turnaround from a 4-1 hammering at the hands of Atalanta in the first leg would be right up there with the best comebacks ever seen in the competition, alongside Liverpool in the 2005 final or Barcelona at home to PSG a few years ago.
As odds of [12.5] over on the Exchange about the Spanish outfit qualifying suggest, it's not likely at all but that's not to say that Valencia can't at least add some respectability to the tie or even cause Atalanta a bit of a scare.
Valencia had plenty of chances to score two or three goals in that first leg and better finishing would have made this a far more even contest going into the return leg.
As is so often the case, Valencia are considerably stronger at home. They've won three of their last four on home soil in the league, including a 2-0 victory over Barcelona, their only dropped points in that period being a 2-2 draw to Atletico Madrid. And with Atalanta possibly resting a couple of players out of the four who are a booking away from missing the next match, Los Che could well win this game at a considerably chunky 15/8.
The case for thinking the match should break the 2.5 goals barrier is even easier to make. That 4-1 a fortnight ago was just one match in a run of eight of Atalanta games that have had at least three goals with that sequence also including a 7-2 win at Lecce last time out, a 2-2 at home to Genoa and a few 2-1s. So the Italians are very much a guarantee of goals with Valencia quite the entertainers, as well.
Six out of their last seven have gone overs and with no choice but to take risks in a bid to get back in the tie, 'overs; looks something of a banker at 9/20. The double comes to 3.38.
PSG v Borussia Dortmund
Wednesday March 11, 20:00
Mbappe scores, but so do Dortmund
The Betfair Sportsbook make Dortmund slight outsiders to progress against PSG after the German outfit won the first leg 2-1. Erling Haaland got both as his remarkable season continues, those being his ninth and tenth goals in the Champions League this campaign.
I always think most sides who go into the second leg having won 2-1 should be favourites because (stating the obvious I know), one goal in the away tie and they're very much in the driving seat. And you'd think they should get one.
We say that because they've scored at least once in all of their last 17 matches; you'd need to go back to a 4-0 drubbing they suffered away at Bayern Munich for the last time they didn't score. And just as an example of their scoring potential, between mid-January and early February they scored five goals in three consecutive matches in the Bundesliga, beating Augsburg, Cologne and Union Berlin 5-2, 5-1 and 5-0 respectively, proof of their undoubted firepower.
The possible absences through injury of Idrissa Gueye and Thiago Silva, plus the definite absences of Ander Herrera and Marco Verratti mean PSG won't be at their best, with all four of those key players from a defensive point of view. Given PSG are virtually guaranteed to score themselves, both teams to score at 4/11 looks a safe bet.
So, who might score for the hosts? We'll have to wait and see who gets the nod from Mauro Icardi or Edison Cavani but Neymar and Mbappe will be certain starters and they're both priced up at 10/11 to get a goal.
So who should we go for? Neymar has 17 in 21 matches for the season, while the young French star has 29 from 32. Not only are Mbappe's numbers slightly better for the campaign but he also comes into the game in slightly better form, fresh from one, two and three goals in his past three appearances. A Mbappe goal and both teams scoring comes to 2.3.