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Saturday's best bets1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our team highlight their best Saturday bets, with Matt Brocklebank waiting until the evening card at Kempton and George Pitts looking at Euro 2020 qualifiers.

2

Sporting Life Accumulator

With the international break pausing action in the Championship, we have backed four teams in League One and League Two...

Check out today's Paper Talk3

Paper Talk: £65m Maguire?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives green light on big-money Harry Maguire move and Man City want £105m-rated wonderkid, according to the back pages.

Birmingham City's St. Andrews Stadium4

Birmingham hit with points deduction

Birmingham City have been deducted nine points following a breach of the EFL's Profitability and Sustainability rules.

Neymar celebrates5

Neymar hit with UEFA charge

UEFA have charged Neymar with "insulting acts against a match official" due to social media comments he made after PSG's controversial Champions League defeat to Manchester United.

Champions League quarter-finals guide: Latest odds, stats and records for last eight of top European competition

The Champions League trophy
The Champions League trophy

From a bumper all-English tie to Solskjaer's return to Barcelona, we analyse the last-eight ties with the vital stats and odds for each game.

It was another interesting draw and, although only one all-English tie came out of the hat, there's still plenty to look at with some intriguing contests taking place next month.

Man City are the tournament favourites but Juventus and Liverpool will both receive support on the back of favourable draws, while not many will give Man Utd a chance against Barcelona - but that's exactly what they said against PSG.


Ajax v Juventus (April 10 & 16)

Celebrations for Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo was bought to bring the Champions League to Juventus

To qualify: Ajax 11/4 | Juventus 1/4

Cristiano Ronald did just what Cristiano Ronaldo was bought to do for Juventus when he brought them back from the brink to beat Atletico Madrid in the last round - that's why they paid the big bucks for him.

Ajax sprung a huge upset to beat Real Madrid, and rob us of a Ronaldo return to Real, but they will prove a dangerous opponent and are not without a chance. Juve, though, are rightly huge favourites as Ronaldo can always prove to be the difference.

Match stats

  • Ajax have never beaten Juventus in the Champions League in five attempts (W0 D1 L4) – their last win against them in the European Cup was in the 1973 final.
  • Juventus are unbeaten in nine European matches against Ajax (W5 D4 L0) since losing 1-2 in a UEFA Cup match in December 1974. o This will be the first Champions League knockout meeting between Ajax and Juventus since the 1996-97 semi-final, with Juventus winning 6-2 on aggregate.
  • Ajax have played more Champions League matches without winning against Juventus (five) than any other side, while Juventus have only faced Rosenborg (six games) more often without losing than their five games against Ajax.
  • Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo has scored seven Champions League goals against Ajax – only against Bayern Munich (9) and current side Juventus (10) has he scored more often.
  • Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has faced Ajax four times in the Champions League without winning (W0 D3 L1), facing the Amsterdam side more often without winning than any other opponent in the competition.

Liverpool v Porto (April 9 & 17)

To qualify: Liverpool 2/9 | Porto 3/1

The Reds powered into the last eight with a fine victory at Bayern Munich, and pulled out a prize draw against the side they beat 5-0 away from home last year before going on to reach the final. They play at Anfield first this time around but will not fear the second leg after last year.

Sadio Mane scored a hat-trick in Portugal last season and with the form he's in right now he's the last man Porto would want to face again. Liverpool should go through reasonably comfortably.

Match stats

  • Liverpool have never lost a European match against FC Porto in six games (W3 D3 L0).
  • FC Porto were eliminated by Liverpool in the Champions League last season at the Last 16 stage, losing 0-5 on aggregate.
  • Liverpool have lost just one of their 11 home European games against Portuguese opposition (W7 D3 L1), a 0-2 defeat against Benfica at Anfield in the Last 16 stage of the 2005-06 Champions League.
  • FC Porto have never faced an opponent more without winning in the Champions League than Liverpool (four games), also failing in four matches against Zenit St Petersburg and Juventus.
  • Liverpool have progressed from all four of their European quarter-finals against Portuguese opponents, eliminating Benfica in the European Cup in 1977-78 and 198384 and in the Europa League in 2009-10 – their other triumph was against opponents FC Porto in the 2000-01 UEFA Cup.
  • Sadio Mane's only hat-trick in all competitions for Liverpool came against Porto in the Champions League in 2017-18 - only Santiago Solari (4) has netted more goals against Porto in the competition.

Tottenham v Man City (April 9 & 17)

To Qualify: Tottenham 7/2 | Man City 1/6

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola says their tie against Spurs is a 50-50 match up

Man City have had their way with Spurs over the last few games so they'd have probably taken this draw over facing Juventus, Barcelona, or even Liverpool, who dumped them out of the quarter-finals last season, and having the second leg at the Etihad is a big plus.

If familiarity breeds contempt then these two will be sick of the sight of each other come mid-April as they clash in the Premier League just three days after the second leg making it three meetings in just 11 days. City are well-fancied over two legs but Spurs are always a danger.

  • This is the first ever European meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.
  • For the second consecutive season, Manchester City will face fellow English opponents in the Champions League quarter-final – they lost 5-1 on aggregate to Liverpool last season.
  • This is Spurs’ first European meeting with a fellow English side since the 1972-73 UEFA Cup semi-final, when lost on aggregate on away goals to Liverpool.
  • Manchester City have lost all four of their European matches against English sides, losing both legs of the 1970-71 Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final against Chelsea and both legs of last season’s Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool.
  • Spurs have been eliminated in two of their three European knockout ties against English teams, losing to Man Utd in the 1963-64 Cup Winners’ Cup and Liverpool in the 197273 UEFA Cup; however, they did win over two legs against Wolves in the 1971-72 UEFA Cup final.
  • In all competitions, Manchester City have won their last three matches against Tottenham Hotspur, with all victories coming in the Premier League.

Man Utd v Barcelona (April 10 & 16)

To qualify: Man Utd 3/1 | Barcelona 2/9

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (centre) celebrates after Manchester United's UEFA Champions League success in 1999
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will return to the scene of his 1999 Champions League exploits

It's a huge tie for United, but after going and winning in Paris they won't fear even this toughest of Champions League assignments. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his biggest test yet in figuring out a way to stop Lionel Messi from running riot.

A return to the Nou Camp will stir wonderful memories for Solskjaer and United fans, 20 years after their spectacular Champions League final victory, but they really do have it all to do to negotiate their way beyond the Spanish giants.

They'd have preferred to hold the second leg at Old Trafford as was the original draw, but the tie was reversed due to Man City also being drawn away first - Red Devils fans won't be happy if that turns out to be decisive.

Match stats

  • This will be the first European meeting between Barcelona and Man Utd since the 2011 Champions League final, which Barcelona won 3-1 at Wembley.
  • Manchester United have never won away from home against Barcelona in any European competition (P4 W0 D2 L2), with this their first match there since April 2008, a goalless draw.
  • Excluding finals, Manchester United have progressed from both of their European knockout ties with Barcelona, winning 3-2 on aggregate in the 1983-84 Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final and 1-0 on aggregate in the 2007-08 Champions League semi-final.
  • Since their elimination to Chelsea in the 2011-12 semi-final, Barcelona have progressed from all four Champions League ties with English opponents, most recently a 4-1 aggregate victory over Chelsea in the Last 16 stage last season.
  • Barcelona have won both of their Champions League quarter-finals against English teams, beating Chelsea in 1999-2000 and Arsenal in 2009-10.
  • Manchester United have won just two of their last 15 European matches against Spanish teams (D6 L7), failing to beat Valencia in both group stage games this season.
  • Barcelona have lost just two of their 41 home European matches against English teams (W27 D12 L2) – both against Liverpool (in March 1976 and February 2007).
  • Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has scored 22 Champions League goals against English clubs; more than any other player in the competition. He has scored twice against Manchester United in the competition.
  • This will be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first match as a player or manager at the Nou Camp since the 1999 Champions League final, in which he scored the winner in stoppage time.

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