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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.

Check out today's Paper Talk2

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.

3

Sporting Life Accumulator

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

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.

Free Champions League betting preview: Tips for Bayern Munich v Liverpool and Barcelona v Lyon

Sporting Life's Champions League preview package
Sporting Life's Champions League preview package

The remaining Champions League last 16 second legs take place on Wednesday and George Pitts has three best bets to consider.


Recommended bets

1pt Liverpool to score 2+ goals v Bayern Munich at 13/8

1pt Liverpool's Andrew Robertson to be carded at 7/2

0.5 pt Tanguy NDombele 1+ Shots On Target at 6/1

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


Bayern Munich v Liverpool (BT Sport 2, 2000 GMT kick-off)

Current aggregate score: 0-0 | Allianz Arena

Sadio Mane attempts the spectacular
Sadio Mane attempts the spectacular in the first leg of Liverpool v Bayern at Anfield

If Liverpool are knocked out and you ask fans for their thoughts on Thursday, expect the reply to be something along the lines of it being for the best so they can concentrate on the league. But that will be a load rubbish.

Have no doubts that Liverpool will be desperate to win on Wednesday and, with injuries and suspensions to Niko Kovac's Bayern in mind, they have a great chance of reaching the quarter finals once again.

These two played a cautious approach in the first leg, a goalless draw at Anfield, so both will have no choice but to go for it at the Allianz Arena. While Liverpool did not gain a home advantage, they at least kept a clean sheet and stopped Bayern getting an away goal which could be vital come full-time.

As well as injuries to Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman, David Alaba and Arjen Robben are also doubts while Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich are both suspended. Granted, Kimmich's replacement will still possess quality but the Germany international will still be a big miss in the middle.

Being the away team, Liverpool could look to sit back and get at Bayern, who have attacking full-backs, on the counter. And, given the fact a potential 1-1 scoreline would not be enough for Bayern due to away goals, the German giants will have to gamble and give it their all, which could in turn leave them open at the back and there could be goals in this one.

Therefore the 13/8 price on Liverpool to score two or more goals is particularly appealing, which covers a high-scoring draw, while you can get the same price by backing the visitors in a draw no bet.

Celebrations for Liverpool's Sadio Mane (right) and Roberto Firmino (second, right)
Celebrations for Liverpool's Sadio Mane (right) and Roberto Firmino (second, right) in the Premier League

They scored four goals against PSG over two legs in this competition earlier this season and the front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are well capable of doing damage on their day. What better night to do it than an important Champions League last 16 second leg?

Another eye-catching price is in the cards market on Andrew Robertson. The Scotland captain is on two bookings in Europe this term and one away from suspension.

He is expected to have a busy evening, both offering his threat going forward and providing extra width while covering against an attacking Bayern right flank, potentially consisting of Rafinha and Serge Gnabry.

Robertson received his previous bookings against the bigger sides in this competition - PSG and Napoli - and he will be up against elite players here which could be punished at times.

The left-back being carded, and potentially suspended for the quarter-final first leg, is also worth a small play along with the preferred 2+ goals bet.

Score prediction: Bayern Munich 1-2 Liverpool (Sky Bet odds: Price Boosted to 12/1)

Best bets

Opta stats

Jurgen Klopp ahead of Liverpool's clash with Bayern
Jurgen Klopp ahead of Liverpool's clash with Bayern
  • 68% of teams to have drawn 0-0 away from home in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie have ended up progressing to the next round (21 out of 31).
  • Bayern Munich have won only one of their eight matches in European competition against Liverpool (D5 L2), that came in the Cup Winners’ Cup back in November 1971 with two goals from Gerd Müller and one from Uli Hoeness in a 3-1 win in Munich.
  • Liverpool and Bayern Munich’s only previous encounter in the European Cup/Champions League before this season came in the 1980/81 semis. Liverpool progressed on away goals (1-1 on aggregate) – they would go on to beat Real Madrid in the final (1-0).
  • Bayern Munich failed to have a single shot on target in the first leg against Liverpool, a first for the Bavarians in the Champions League since their semi-final first leg against Barcelona in May 2015.
  • Bayern Munich will attempt to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the eighth consecutive season, last failing at the round of 16 stage in 2010/11 against Inter Milan.
  • Bayern Munich have only failed to score once in their last 26 Champions League home games, that was against Sevilla in last season’s quarter-finals (0-0).
  • Liverpool have lost their last four away games in the Champions League (3 goals for, 9 against) – they have never lost five in a row in European competition.
  • Liverpool’s only goal in their three away Champions League games this season was a James Milner penalty against Paris SG.
  • Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has scored 23 goals in his last 22 Champions League games at the Allianz Arena, including nine in 10 knockout games.
  • If Manuel Neuer features, this will be his 100th game in the Champions League. He would also become the 6th goalkeeper to reach that landmark after Iker Casillas, Gianluigi Buffon, Petr Cech, Victor Valdés and Oliver Kahn.
  • Only one of the last 33 shots attempted in the Champions League by the Liverpool trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané has found the back of the net.
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Sky Bet's Cheltenham Festival offer - Money back as cash if you lose in the first race everyday

Barcelona v Lyon (BT Sport 3, 2000 GMT kick-off)

Current aggregate score: 0-0 | Camp Nou

Lionel Messi finds his way through the Lyon defence
Lionel Messi finds his way through the Lyon defence

To have one 0-0 match in these two first leg fixtures was a surprise, but to have both goalless was a real shock. Especially considering Barcelona were in action.

We saw Real Madrid crash out last week, so surely not another La Liga giant?

Unlikely. Real, were in a bit of a crisis under Santiago Solari (who has since been sacked and replaced by Zinedine Zidane). Barca, cruising to the La Liga title, are not quite in as tough of a situation but Ernesto Valverde has been forced to defend his side's motivation levels while Philippe Coutinho has come under-fire in recent days.

With that pressure on Coutinho and his likeliness to start in mind, there was a temptation to back him to prove his doubters wrong and score anytime but the 15/8 best price shows how heavily fancied Barca are for this one.

Since that first-leg draw, Barca have won four games in a row and they will look to get off to the best possible start in front of a packed out Camp Nou crowd. Backing them to be leading after half an hour at 6/5 was a consideration, but the near 3/1 price for them to lead after a quarter of an hour is too good to turn down.

They scored after seven minutes last time out at home in the Champions League, against Tottenham and they can do the same against to shock their opponents here.

A more ambitious option though is the 6/1 available on Lyon's Tanguy NDombele to register a shot on target. That is a price for a midfielder who has scored in this competition this season.

Tanguy NDombele scores for Lyon against Hoffenheim
Tanguy NDombele scores for Lyon against Hoffenheim

The France international, 22, plays a central role for the Ligue 1 outfit and averages a shot per game in Europe this term (he once notched five in one match) and what is more interesting is his tendency to shoot from distance, which could be key in a game where Barca dominate possession.

Ndombele has had eight shots in the Champions League this term and four have been from outside the box, while in the league 12 of his 20 attempts have come from outside the area. This shows his clear eye for goal and he will not hesitate to try his luck despite his defensive responsibilities, so backing him to register a shot on target at this price is well worth a small play, which could be useful if Lyon are trailing and chasing the game.

Score prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Lyon (Sky Bet odds: Price Boosted to 10/1)

Best bets

Opta stats

Jason Denayer looks to find the net
Jason Denayer looks to find the net in the first leg
  • 68% of teams to have drawn 0-0 away from home in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie have ended up progressing to the next round (21 out of 31).
  • Barcelona have won all three of their home matches against Lyon in the Champions League, scoring 10 goals and conceding only two.
  • Metz are the only French side to beat Barcelona at Camp Nou in European competition, in the first round of the Cup Winners’ Cup in October 1984 (4-1). In the Champions League, no French club has ever kept a clean sheet at Camp Nou (9 games), with Paris SG being the only side to avoid defeat (1-1 in March 1995, April 2013).
  • Barcelona and Lyon are unbeaten in this season’s Champions League. In fact, Lyon have drawn each of their last six games, equalling the record for most consecutive draws in a single UCL season held by AEK Athens (2002/03) and Glasgow Rangers (2005/06).
  • Barcelona will attempt to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the 12th consecutive season – a record, last failing at the round of 16 stage in 2006/07 against Liverpool. Meanwhile, Lyon last made the final eight in 2009/10.
  • Since losing 3-0 to Bayern Munich at Camp Nou on 1 May 2013, Barcelona have won 26 of their 29 home games in the Champions League (D3).
  • Lyon have lost seven of their last nine Champions League knockout games away from home (D2), including each of the last four without scoring a single goal.
  • Lyon’s two shots on target in the first leg against Barcelona were in the opening 10 minutes whilst their last shot of any kind came in the 52nd minute. Meanwhile, none of Barcelona’s 25 shots found the net, with only one of Lionel Messi’s nine attempts testing goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.
  • All five goals conceded by Barcelona in this season’s Champions League have come in the second-half, including three in the final 10 minutes.
  • Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has scored 60 goals in 60 Champions League games at Camp Nou. However, he’s failed to contribute a goal (either scoring or assisting) in eight of his last 11 home/away knockout games in the competition.
  • Suspended in the first leg against Barcelona, Nabil Fekir will be making his return for Lyon – he’s scored in each of his two Champions League away games this season and is unbeaten in his last eight games in the competition with the French club (W2 D6).

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Odds correct at 1400 GMT on 12/03/19

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Most Read Football

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.

Check out today's Paper Talk2

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