By Antony Jordan
This Tuesday night will provide us with the first pair of Quarter Finalists in the Champions League as Napoli and Arsenal look to come back from first leg deficits to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Both of the home teams who trail at the halfway point of the ties have away goals but there is still a long way to go if they’re to turn the ties around. Can they upset to the odds to progress?
We preview these two games from Naples and London with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our thoughts on the games and our best Champions League picks.
Despite taking an eighth minute lead at the Bernabeu in their first meeting with the Spanish giants Napoli were ultimately overpowered by Real in Madrid three weeks ago as they were beaten 3-1, but they did make a good attempt at winning the match. Unfortunately, the firepower that the hosts of the first leg had at their disposal saw them too strong. However, by scoring first and now having home advantage the Italians will hope to get a goal in early and come from two goals down to secure their place in the last eight of the top European club football competition.
They have lost just one of their last 13 home matches and their record in Europe at the Stadio San Paolo this season saw them net six goals in the group stages of this competition. They will know what they have to do to win this match and they will set up to exploit a Real Madrid defence that has kept just two clean sheets on the road since September, including conceding 13 in seven matches since coming back from lifting the FIFA Club World Cup. Real have scored 17 goals in these games too and if Napoli are to push to exploit their weak backline we can see a rested Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema getting chances of their own too.
While it is possible for Napoli to shock the world and progress, we feel that their odds of 7.00 to make the next round with Bet365.com sums up their chances appropriately. We still them pushing their guests all the way and we’re backing goals in Naples this Tuesday night.
Our best bet on this Napoli v Real Madrid match is back Over 3.5 goals to be scored @ 2.20 in the Bet365 Sportsbook!
While there is a chance for Napoli to perhaps sneak past Real Madrid to secure their place as one of the top eight sides in Europe this season, we feel that Arsenal’s chances of progressing are all but dead. They conceded after 11 minutes in Munich three weeks ago and despite levelling the match on the half hour to give themselves an away goal they were put to the sword by Bayern as they four second half goals gave them a comfortable 5-1 first leg victory. The Gunners did triumph 2-0 on the last occasion that they welcomed Bayern to The Emirates Stadium at the end of 2015, but they’ll need to double that scoreline to even stand a chance at progression. Can they shock us and the football world to make the Quarter Finals?
Arsene Wenger’s men do have a good record at home this season with just two losses in 17 matches since a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool in the first match of the season, including scoring ten goals in their three group matches on this ground, but despite seven wins in their last eight they have not faced anyone in the top seven of the EPL during this run. Bayern are much tougher than any of the sides that Arsenal have recently faced and they will bring confidence to London thanks to 15 goals scored in the four matches since beating Arsenal in Germany and having won seven and drawn one of their last eight games on the road.
Although Arsenal did win their last home match against Bayern that was in the group stages and they have suffered two goal defeats in the two knockout stage games in North London since the 2012-13 season. We feel that the home side know that they will be playing for pride rather than progression and we can see Bayern once again taking advantage so we are backing them at their generous odds to win this second leg.