By Antony Jordan
The second pair of Champions League Quarter Final second leg matches play in the Catalan city of Barcelona and the French principality of Monaco this Wednesday evening. The first match sees the home side looking to once again overturn a large deficit as they trail Juventus 3-0 from the first leg, while the second match sees the French side hold the cards over Borussia Dortmund with a one goal lead having netted three times in Germany.
Will Barcelona and Dortmund be able to turn these ties around? We preview both of these last eight stage games with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our best Champions League picks.
The first leg of this Champions League Quarter Final tie saw Barcelona travel to Turn to face Juventus and for the second round in a row return to the Camp Nou with their tails between their legs. They suffered a 4-0 loss to PSG in the last round before coming back to triumph 6-1 on home soil to secure their passage to this stage of the competition, but with a 3-0 loss in Italy last week they will need to repeat those heroics again if they are to avoid exiting the Champions League at this stage. The problem is that Juventus are certainly a much better and more defensively solid side than PSG, so can the home team once again upset the odds?
The last time that these two sides clashed at the Camp Nou was 2003 when the game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes, but it was the Italians who progressed the final four stage with an extra time winner to progress 3-2 on aggregate. We are expecting more goals this time around though as Barcelona have netted 27 goals in their last six home matches and have kept just two clean sheets in their last eight in front of their own fans. Juventus showed a week ago that they can find space and score against their hosts in this match with their three goals at home, but they’ll be confident about a return to Spain too as they triumphed 3-1 against Sevilla in the group stages too.
How will this match go? Barcelona are certainly the favourites with Bet365 to triumph in this second leg and with Juventus winning just two of their last five away games in all competitions this is a likely outcome for this match. Barcelona will aim to hit the ground running and bag at least two goals in the first half to give themselves a good chance at upsetting the odds once again, and they are certainly capable of doing this, so we are backing goals in this match and with Barcelona having such a poor defensive record we see goals from both teams.
Everything about the first leg match between Monaco and Dortmund was unexpected as the match was first postponed for 24 hours as a bomb exploded in front of the Dortmund team bus and this then left the side who were favourites to win the first leg understandable shaken. This saw struggle when the match was played as they were beaten 3-2 on home soil, yet they come into this second leg as the favourites with Bet365.com to claim victory in the south of France, but can they win by enough goals to overcome the away goals disadvantage they have and progress to the Semi Finals of this competition for the first time since 2013?
They will certainly find it difficult to do so as Monaco have not lost at home in nine matches in the Champions League, including seeing off EPL sides Tottenham and Man City this season, as well as being unbeaten against German opposition on this ground. Dortmund were beaten by Benfica in their last away game in this competition despite dominating that match and have won just twice in their last six away Champions League clashes.
The Germans have won just one of their last four away trips too and face a French side that has won 11 of their last 12 home matches, meaning that the home side offer excellent value in this match. However, Dortmund have plenty of goal threat and know that they must win to stand any chance to progressing to the final four stage for the first time in four years. As a result of this and the fact that Monaco have just no clean sheets in five at home in all competitions we can see this match having plenty of goal mouth action in both halves of the match this Wednesday evening.