By Antony Jordan
The final two Champions League semi finalists will be decided this Wednesday evening as two finely poised Quarter Final matches will be played out in Spain and Portugal. The biggest match of the evening sees Atlético Madrid look to defeat Barcelona in the capital to progress ahead of the team sitting top of the Spanish league and who won the first leg 2-1 while Benfica are much closer to Bayern Munich than expected as the Germans triumphed just 1-0 last week.
Which way will this pair of matches end this evening? We preview the action with online sportsbook Unibet.com to provide our best Champions League picks.
The first leg of this Champions League last eight stage clash between the sides sitting second and top of the La Primera Liga table respectively was the third clash of Atlético and Barcelona this season and all three games have finished 2-1 to the favourites to win a fourth meeting of the teams during this campaign. However, with Luis Enrique’s men having hit a blip in form recently as they have lost two and drawn one of their last four, while only defeating Atlético last week after they spent 55 minutes of the game down to ten men following goalscorer Fernando Torres’ goal. This form shows that they are a wounded animal and you can be sure that Atlético will smell blood to be circling in for the kill. Can they strike though?
There are a number of issues with Barcelona right now, with Lionel Messi on his worse goal drought in five years as he has not found the net in 362 minutes of football being the worst of them. Their misfiring attack is not making up for a leaky defence and had Torres not been red carded last week in the first leg Barca could be on the back of three successive defeats. Their gap at the top of the league has been wiped out and Atlético are just three points behind them, and they will know that victory in this game will give them a massive psychological boost in the league run-in as well as putting them into the last four in the Champions League.
As well as this Atlético have lost just one of their last 18 on home soil and have conceded just one goal in their last five in front of their own fans. With Barcelona leaking goals, with just two clean sheets in eight away from the Camp Nou, and Atlético one of the best sides in Europe at defending and closing down sides we feel that this match could see the capital city side securing their place in the final four of the Champions League.
Our best Atlético Madrid v Barcelona bet is back Atlético to progress @ 4.40 in the Unibet Sportsbook!
Many people expected this tie to be all over by this halfway stage prior to kick off last week and after Arturo Vidal netted for Bayern after two minutes it looked for all the world that Benfica were going to be embarrassed at the Allianz Arena. However, that match saw no more goals from either side and with Benfica creating plenty they could be ahead by this stage of the tie. They will have to win this second leg if they are to upset the odds and send the Germans crashing out, but can the Portuguese side do this?
The last visit to Portugal for Bayern saw them beaten 3-1 by Porto at this stage of the competition and with Benfica having won 20 of their last 22 matches in all competitions and triumphed in 29 in 33 on home soil, including keeping 21 clean sheets, so they will be confident with this record and their performance last week. However, with Jonas, who is arguably their top striker, suspended for this match after picking up a yellow card last week can they keep out a fearsome Bayern attack?
Bayern have impressed on their travels recently with 16 goals scored in their last nine matches away from home with five clean sheets in the last eight road trips too. They have scored seven in four on the road in the Champions League this season and as Pep Guardiola will want his side to ensure that they do not fall to a shock defeat we see goals in this match as well as an away win.
Our top Benfica v Bayern Munich tip is back Bayern to win and Over 2.5 goals at odds of 2.50 with Unibet.com.