Champions League: Juventus and PSG are exceptions

Wesley Sneijder should feature prominently for his new side

Christian Crowther reveals that home wins are still the Champions League norm, and offers a few bets for the remaining first legs... 

"Turkish giants Galatasaray are a team on the up after signing Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba and, replete with their new stars, couldn't have picked a better time to play beleaguered Schalke."
Back Galatasaray to beat Schalke @ 2.3411/8

The Champions League round-of-16 may have begun with two away wins but don't be duped in to thinking that this pattern will continue for the rest of these first-leg ties. 

A closer look at the stats reveals such results are actually a rarity at this stage of the competition with 14 of 16 fixtures from last season producing home victories. By contrast, just 21 of the previous 96 games in this round ended in away success.

Last night's anomalies can, to a certain extent, be attributed to a case of the better side simply outclassing their opponents. Juventus are clearly a mismatch for Celtic and, although Valencia have experience, their current position of sixth in La Liga indicates that they were always likely to fall short as the competition intensified.

Here are three home win for bets to get the trend back on track:

Back Real Madrid to beat Man United @ 1.625/8
With a home record as formidable as Real Madrid's, it's difficult to envisage Jose Mourinho's men travelling to Old Trafford in three weeks time without some kind of advantage. Where Madrid have been lackadaisical on the road, contrastingly, the Bernabeu crowd has not witnessed a single defeat across 19 games, being treated to 15 wins from those matches. Manchester United have never won away at Real Madrid either, losing twice from four visits.

Back Porto to beat Malaga @ 1.8910/11
Three wins from their three group home matches, including a triumph over Paris St-Germain, suggests that the Portuguese champions will once again make frosty hosts. Porto remain unbeaten at the Estadio do Dragao this season, winning nine out of ten encounters in the Portuguese top flight. Malaga did manage to draw at both AC Milan and Zenit in the group stages but have only won two of their last seven games.

Back Galatasaray to beat Schalke @ 2.3411/8
Turkish giants Galatasaray are a team on the up after signing Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba and, replete with their new stars, couldn't have picked a better time to play beleaguered Schalke. Since qualifying for this stage, the Germans have sacked their "coach of the century" Huub Stevens, lost their most promising player to Tottenham in Lewis Holtby and have tasted defeat five times of their last seven outings.

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