Champions League Predictions- Dortmund & Barcelona looking for a Quarterfinals MiracleOliver Moore
It’s safe to say the first leg of the quarterfinals matchups between Juventus – FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund – AS Monaco didn’t go as planned. The Germans at least have a reasonable excuse for their bad performance. But what can Barca say for itself?
Now Dortmund and Barcelona look for a comeback. Both lost their first-leg games in the round of 16 and turned things around in the second match. Somehow, this time it looks more complicated. The opponents play a huge factor here. AS Monaco is the surprise of the tournament, but when you see them play you realize they are the real deal. Juventus is ready to make serious attempt to win the Champions League. Their victory in Turin is not a surprise, but the way they did it sure is.
Here are the second-leg Champions League Predictions:
Juventus at FC Barcelona
- When: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
- Where: Nou Camp, Cataluña, Spain
- Game Time: 2:45 PM ET
- UCL Money Line: Juventus +500 vs FC Barcelona -200, Draw +375
- Handicap: FC Barcelona -1
- Game Total: 3
FC Barcelona has allowed seven goals in their last two away games in the UEFA Champions League. It’s not a fluke; they are broken as a team. The pay per head bookie is expecting a Barca win on Wednesday, but to overcome a 0-3 deficit seems nearly impossible.
One might remember the epic comeback they had against PSG in the round of 16 less than a month ago. Down 4-0 in the first leg, the Catalans won 6-1 the second game to advance to this point. There are a few things vastly different. Juventus is not PSG. The Italians are a better and more experienced team. Their Italian nature won’t allow them to give up four goals against any opponent.
Second and this one is the elephant in the room: Barcelona was awfully helped by the referees in the comeback against PSG. Without two of three key decisions in their favor, they would be eliminated right now. It would be a huge scandal if this happens again.
The pph sportsbook rated FC Barcelona -200 to win in the money line. A win by the home team is expected, but to qualify is another story. Barca has won all their four games at home this season. Their goal scored/allowed ratio is impressive. They have scored 21 goals in four games and allowed just one. That’s a 5.25 goal scored average when they played at the Nou Camp. Two of those four wins were against Manchester City and PSG; two teams listed as part of the favorites to win the title when the season started.
Juventus won’t play a defensive game. Not entirely. They have playmakers on offense that can make FC Barcelona uncomfortable. The Catalans had issues stopping Paulo Dybala in the first game. But they also had problems against Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic. Each brings something different to the table.
Barca’s defense has been an issue over the last month. They beat Real Sociedad 3-2 during the weekend. The team didn’t defend with energy and looked outplayed at time. A similar performance against Juventus and they will be eliminated quickly.
Juventus has won each game they have played on the road during this Champions League run. They took down Dinamo Zagreb (0-4), Lyon (0-1), Sevilla (1-3) and FC Porto (0-2). They have become a team who is looking for the UCL title at all cost. They dominate the Serie A. At this point it’s about beating the best in Europe.
A Juve win at the Nou Camp pays a solid +500. Remember, they are playing with the lead, which mean they could play defense while counter attacking whenever they find spaces. It’s a good place to be for the Italians.
Champions League Predictions: Juventus +1.
Borussia Dortmund at AS Monaco
- When: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
- Where: Stade Louis II, Monaco, France
- Game Time: 2:45 PM ET
- UCL Money Line: Borussia Dortmund +130 vs AS Monaco +185, Draw +285
- Handicap: PK
- Game Total: 3.5
It’s hard to explain what happened in the first leg of the Borussia Dortmund vs. AS Monaco matchup. The best pay per head sportsbook took advantage of the upset win by the French in Germany with a 2-3 result.
I don’t mean to give Dortmund an out, but the first game shouldn’t have been played. It’s simple. A day after the Germans’ bus suffered a bomb explosion they are forced to play the match? It’s ridiculous.
Dortmund has a couple of things going their way despite the first-leg loss. They are capable of winning in France with a two-goal margin. They have the players and the mindset to make it happen. The second thing is they welcomed back playmaker Marco Reus during the weekend.
The return of Reus changes the entire game plan for Dortmund and betting software for bookies know it. Reus is the best player they have, and he showed it in the win over Eintracht Frankfurt (3-1) during the weekend. He scored a beautiful back heel goal and showed he still one of the best in the World.
Against Monaco, he needs to step up. He’s one great offensive mind who can score and assist. His team needs his best version to pull an away win. The book making services listed Dortmund favorites at +130 to win in the second leg.
The problem for the Germans is AS Monaco doesn’t understand about leads and series situations. They have just one gear: attack. The French eliminated Manchester City in the round of 16 by scoring three goals on the road, and they did it again against Borussia Dortmund. They are an aggressive group who is trying to upset everybody by pressuring in the middle and scoring off mistakes.
Monaco is unbeaten at home during the UCL this season, winning three of the four games they have played. The only team who stole a draw was the Germans Bayer Leverkusen (1-1). Then, CSKA Moscow (3-0), Tottenham (2-1) and Manchester City (3-1) all end up on the wrong side.
A win by Monaco at home has some juice at +185. The sports bookie software still doesn’t buy what the French have been doing. But perhaps another win and a ticket to the Champions League semifinals might chance their chances.
I see Borussia Dortmund winning this game, but advancing to the semifinals is a little complicated. I have the Germans with a 1-2 win, losing by the away goal rule. It should be a great match with a lot of action on both goals.
Champions League Predictions: Borussia Dortmund.
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