Champions League betting preview: Free football tips & best bets for Ajax v Real Madrid; Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund

Our best bets for the Champions League

The Champions League round of 16 continues on Wednesday. Tom Carnduff has a best bet in each of the two games.

Recommended bets

1pt Noussair Mazraoui to be shown a card in Ajax v Real Madrid at 9/2

1pt Axel Witsel to have 1+ shots on target in Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund at 2/1

For advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record

Ajax v Real Madrid (2000 GMT - BT Sport 3)

Ajax were unbeaten in the group stage

Real Madrid are odds-on favourites here, although Ajax's impressive record in the Eredivisie this season highlights how they have the potential to push the LaLiga giants all the way.

Ajax managed to steer through the group stage with an unbeaten record. Three wins and three draws, alongside two points earned against Bayern Munich, and that was enough to put them through with distance between themselves and third.

This has the potential to be a really entertaining game. Ajax's recent 6-2 defeat to Feyenoord may have grabbed the headlines, but they have posted 8-0, 7-1, 6-0 and 5-0 scorelines in their favour at various points throughout the season.

There's often value in cards in the Champions League with referees often posting higher than usual average card tallies. That applies to Damir Skomina, with the Slovenian official showing at least five yellows in his four European club games.

Cards were a common theme for Ajax in the group stage. They saw at least 20 booking points in each of their six games, with at least 40 in games against Benfica and Bayern.

One player who may catch the referee's attention is Noussair Mazraoui. The 21-year-old has is primarily a right-back but does have experience in midfield, and he should line-up on the right side of a back four on Wednesday night.

Mazraoui sits second for fouls committed by Ajax players in the Eredivisie, while he sits third in that chart in the Champions League. He also has three yellows on his tally this season, two of which have come in Europe.

Given Ajax's ability to attack down the wings, with their full-backs allowed to drive forward, they could be caught out by the pace of a Real counter attack. Mazraoui will have the tough job of trying to keep Gareth Bale or Junior Vinicius quiet, which will be a real test of his defensive ability.

That said, if could go the other way and Mazraoui may strike from one of Ajax's attacks, as he has done on three occasions this season. He's available at 20/1 with a few places for a goal anytime.

Score prediction: Ajax 1-1 Real Madrid (Sky Bet odds: 7/1)

Best bet: Noussair Mazraoui to be shown a card at 9/2

Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund (2000 GMT - BT Sport 2)

Axel Witsel celebrates his goal against Atletico Madrid

Tottenham were expected to struggle with Harry Kane and Dele Alli both absent from injury, yet they still find themselves in the Premier League title race.

The round of 16 puts them up against a side who are in a fantastic position to break Bayern Munich's dominance of the Bundesliga. Die Schwarzgelben are currently five points clear of the Bavarian side at the top after 21 games.

While Spurs' home record would usually put them in a strong position, Dortmund's form on the road gives them as good of a chance as any. Their surprise defeat to Dusseldorf being the only league game they have lost away.

They also lost just one away in the group stage, although they pipped Atletico Madrid to top spot after a hefty 4-0 victory at Signal Iduna Park.

As any good Champions League tie should, this has the potential to be an attacking game where both sides will be looking to win. Even though Dortmund will be without Marco Reus due to injury, you know they will look to create opportunities for goals.

Raphael Guerreiro and Jadon Sancho played either side of Maximilian Philipp, who played in place of Reus in their 3-3 draw with Hoffenheim last time out and that could be the case again at Wembley.

However, one midfielder has caught the eye with his efforts in trying to find the net is Axel Witsel. The 30-year-old is beaten only by Guerreiro for shots taken in the Champions League by Dortmund players.

He sits in third when it comes to domestic games, the majority of which do come from distance. Sky Bet have offered Witsel to have at least one shot on target at 2/1 for Sporting Life readers which looks great value in a game such as this.

They also tend to offer match stat boosts in-play too, and one to keep an eye out for is the midfielder to have a shot on target from outside the area.

Score prediction: Tottenham 1-1 Borussia Dortmund (Sky Bet odds: 11/2)

Best bet: Axel Witsel to have 1+ shots on target at 2/1

Odds correct at 1300 GMT (12/02/19)

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