Following the action and excitement in the first two games of the returning Champions League last night are two more potentially action packed games from Europe’s top football competition this evening. The biggest match comes from the Stadio Olimpico in the Italian capital as Roma take on Real Madrid while Belgian side Gent do battle with German team Wolfsburg in the night’s second game.
We preview both Champions League last 16 stage first leg clashes with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our best Champions League picks.
Having scored 11 goals in the six group stage matches and seven goals in the six games since former Real Madrid legend Zinadine Zidane took over as manager of the Spanish capital city team we predict that this first match of the Champions League knockout phase will be all about Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese striker is the all time top scorer in this competition having netted 88 goals and with the side having bagged 22 goals under Zidane we can see goals from the away side in this match.
Roma conceded 16 goals in their six group stage matches as they edged into the knockout phase of this competition ahead of Bayer Leverkusen and BATE Borisov despite losing 6-1 to Barcelona in one of their group games. They do bring four successive wins into this match and have lost just one match on home soil this season in all competitions so they will be cautiously optimistic about their chances of upsetting the odds in this match, especially there have been four meetings between the sides since Real last triumphed against the Italians in 2004.
However, with Real playing with a swagger right now as one of the most experienced football men has overseen a return to form we cannot look past an away victory and a return to winning ways for Real against Roma this Wednesday evening. We also see the form goal scorer in this competition adding to his tally too.
Our top Roma v Real Madrid tip is back Real to win and Cristiano Ronaldo to score at odds of 4.00 with Bet365.
This is a match of firsts at the GHELAMCO-arena as Gent and Wolfsburg have never faced each other while the home side are the first Belgian side in 15 years to make it to the knockout phase while the Germans have never gone this far in the competition before now. Despite this lack of experience both teams had excellent group stage competitions as Gent followed Zenit out of Group H by seeing off Valencia and Lyon while Wolfsburg topped Group B ahead of PSV as Manchester United and CSKA Moscow faltered. Both teams will feel that they have a good chance of putting themselves in the leading position for the second leg of this tie and clearly Bet365,com believe it’ll be a close match, but which way will this game go?
Gent have had a tough time of things in February so far as they were twice beaten by Club Brugge, once in the league and once in the cup, to slip to second in the league, but they did bounce back against bottom of the league Mouscron-Péruwelz last Friday night, although they did need two goals in the last five minutes of the match to claim the points. They are unbeaten in ten matches on home soil coming into this game, including beating Zenit St. Petersburg 2-1, and will be difficult to beat for the away side.
Wolfsburg ended a winless run of more two months at the weekend as they defeated Ingolstadt 2-0 to record their first win since beating Manchester United 3-2 in December to see the EPL side play in the Europa League as they exited the Champions League. They have not performed well on the road either this season with just two wins in 13 away games, losing eight of the last 11 as well.
Wolfsburg will be a tough opponent for the Belgian side despite their poor away form, but with Gent’s excellent record on home soil this season we can see them holding the advantage at the halfway stage of this tie.
Our best Gent v Wolfsburg bet is back the home win @ 2.80 in the Bet365 Sportsbook!