Inter Milan are on fire to start the season

Champions League odds and betting tips: Who to back in last 16

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  • 'To qualify odds' are in brackets next to team names and via Sky Bet

Champions League betting tips: Last 16

5pts Inter Milan to qualify vs Atletico Madrid at 8/11 (Betfair, Paddys)

4pts Real Madrid and PSG both to qualify at evens (bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes)

1pt Lazio to qualify vs Bayern Munich at 7/1 (888Sport)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

We've had plenty of success at this stage over the last few seasons, tipping Villarreal to qualify against Juventus at 7/4 and Benfica to get past Ajax at 3/1 in 21/22, and last season banking Milan to qualify past Spurs at 6/5, Real Madrid to knockout Liverpool at 10/11 and a Benfica-Napoli double at 9/10.

The slate for this season's round of 16 isn't a classic, but there is still value to be had.

PSV (Evs) vs Dortmund (8/11)

  • First leg - Tuesday, February 20
  • Second leg - Wednesday, March 13

This looks one the most even tie of the round, and the bookies agree, with this match-up the closest to a coin-flip.

It is understandable given Dortmund's recent history, 'bigger club' stature and the fact they topped the 'group of death', and that they are coming up against a PSV side ripping the Eredivise to shreds this season - winning 19 of an unbeaten 22, with a goal difference (+58) almost equal to the number of points collected (59).

I am leaning towards BVB, but can I trust them at around 4/5? It's a no from me, especially with the firepower PSV have at their disposal.

Selection - No bet

Inter (4/6) vs Atletico Madrid (11/10)

  • First leg - Tuesday, February 20
  • Second leg - Wednesday, March 13

Inter finished second in their group on goal difference, remaining unbeaten, and last season's runners-up look arguably stronger this time around than last.

Simone Inzaghi has a deep squad with players for certain styles, meaning they have the flexibility - both tactically and personnel wise - to deal with any side they could face in Europe.

They are running away with Serie A, seven points clear of Juventus, with their underlying process excellent (2.22 xGF, 0.85 xGA per game), and a key upgrade has been made in attack, with Romelu Lukaku shrewdly replaced with Marcus Thuram.

Marcus Thuram has started well since joining Inter
Marcus Thuram has been excellent for Inter

Inter are a team to fear, especially for Atletico Madrid, as the Italians can match their sh*thousery and in-your-face game plan.

INTER TO QUALIFY looks a cracking bet at 8/11. After all, they have lost just one of their 32 games all season long, winning 24. They are a machine.

Atleti's away form and performances are a massive concern ahead of a first leg in Milan, winning just two of their last 10 road games in all competitions - one of which came in the Copa del Rey against third-tier Lugo.

They have had a tough away schedule over that time (playing Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Girona, Real Madrid and Sevilla), but Inter are at the same level, and are well equipped to deal with an away leg in Spain.

Selection - Inter to qualify

Porto (7/2) vs Arsenal (1/6)

  • First leg - Wednesday, February 21
  • Second leg - Tuesday, March 12

Arsenal should have too much for Porto over two legs, especially as the Gunners now only have the league and UCL to focus on.

Arsenal's Mikel Arteta and Kai Havertz celebrate

They made light work of a fairly easy group, and look well set up to play on the continent with a strong spine that should negate Porto's strengths.

It may look a tricky tie on paper, but it would be a huge shock if Mikel Arteta's side were to exit the competition here, as the odds suggest.

Selection - No bet

Napoli (11/8) vs Barcelona (8/15)

  • First leg - Wednesday, February 21
  • Second leg - Tuesday, March 12

Barcelona are not the force they used to be. Xavi's side at least made it out of the group stage this season, and they will probably be one to oppose if they get past Napoli, but given the Italians aren't what they were last season, I can't take Barca on with the reigning Serie A champs.

Napoli manager Walter Mazzari
Napoli manager Walter Mazzari

The Little Donkey's have fallen apart without league winning manager Luciano Spalletti - who left to manage the national team - with Walter Mazzari, yes one of the many Watford bosses down the years, brought in.

They sit ninth in the Serie A table currently, struggling at both ends of the pitch, and despite Barca looking all at sea defensively - shipping 19 goals in their last nine league games - I can't pick the outsiders here, so it's a no bet.

Selection - No bet

Copenhagen (12/1) vs Man City (1/5)

  • First leg - Tuesday, February 13
  • Second leg - Wednesday, March 6

Reigning champions Manchester City got the kindest of draws in the last 16, getting to play the team every group winner wanted.

That's no disrespect to Copenhagen, as they did advance ahead of Galatasaray and Manchester United, but they do look the weakest team remaining in the competition.

I give the Danes a chance of getting a somewhat positive result in the first leg - and by positive I mean staying in the tie - but they could get blown out at the Etihad, as so many teams do. In terms of value, there is none on offer here, with Copenhagen still not big enough at 22/1 in places to entice me in.

Selection - No bet

RB Leipzig (5/2) vs Real Madrid (2/7)

  • First leg - Tuesday, February 13
  • Second leg - Wednesday, March 6

Real Madrid are many people's favourites to win the Champions League, and that's unsurprising given their history in this competition, the manager in the dugout and the excellent blend of youth and experience.

RB Leipzig are a strong home side and could well get a result in the first leg in Germany, especially with Madrid expected to be without key players - including Jude Bellingham - but they don't travel well, losing five of their last eight away games.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti's La Liga leaders are on a 27 game unbeaten run (in 90 minutes), winning 21 of those, so have to be backed to get the better of a mediocre Leiozig team, though as Real are too short to back as a single at 1/3, I'm going to involve them in a double alongside PSG.

Selection - Real Madrid to qualify

PSG (4/9) vs Real Sociedad (13/8)

  • First leg - Wednesday, February 14
  • Second leg - Tuesday, March 5

PSG are a polarising team, even more so without Neymar and Lionel Messi. I personally was expecting them to be in a better position at this stage under Luis Enrique's reign than they currently are, still showing signs of inconsistency, but I do have confidence they can get past Real Sociedad.

Les Parisiens have immense quality and possess arguably the best player in the world - Kylian Mbappe - with the French champions comfortably the best team in their group on underlying data, being unfortunate to only finish second.

Kylian Mbappe

They averaged 2.27 xGF and 1.05 xGA per game in the so-called 'group of death' dominating in home games with an xG differential per game of +1.92 at the Parc des Princes.

Real Sociedad are a decent side but have taken a backwards step after a stellar 22/23 campaign, with their underlying process in La Liga a very middling 1.35 xGF and 1.25 xGA per game. They are also one of the most intense pressing sides in Europe, which could be a negative against a team of PSG's ball-playing calibre.

At 4/9, PSG as a single is probably a touch too short for many, but combining them with Real Madrid gives us a lovely even money double.

Selection - PSG to qualify

Lazio (11/2) vs Bayern Munich (1/10)

  • First leg - Wednesday, February 14
  • Second leg - Tuesday, March 5

Bayern Munich are in a bit of a mess. It's been nearly a year since Julian Nagelsmann was sacked and Thomas Tuchel was hired, and the Bavarians don't seem to have improved much at all.

Their defeat at Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend was a simply shocking display, an incredibly negative approach in which they offered little in attack (0.56 xG), with Tuchel's tried and trusted back-five system just not good enough. They are now five points off the pace at the top of the Bundesliga.

Thomas Tuchel Bayern

There are clearly problems at the club, still, both on and off the pitch, and it could be worth taking them on in this awkward tie against Lazio.

The Italians aren't having an outstanding season, sitting eighth in Serie A, but their underlying data this term (1.33 xGF, 1.09 xGA per game) is fairly close to last season's (1.43 xGF, 1.12 xGA per game), when they finished second.

That defensive figure in particular gives confidence that they can make this a really competitive tie, as does the fact that they appear well set up to deal with Bayern's threats, which are limited due to injuries currently, and cause them problems on the counter attack.

At a price of 7/1, backing LAZIO TO QUALIFY is overpriced and is worth a small bet.

Selection - Lazio to qualify

Odds correct 1500 GMT (12/02/24)

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