Champions League Knockout Stage Preview and Predictions: Gent vs Wolfsburg

Champions League Knockout Stage Preview and Predictions: Gent vs Wolfsburg

A 2-1 victory versus the previously unbeaten Zenit St Petersburg assured Gent’s place in the last 16, becoming the first Belgian side to progress to the Champions League knockout stage in the process.

Wolfsburg moves forward in the qualification with a 3-2 matchday six home win against Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United. Four wins out of six, including three home wins, saw the German side take top spot with 12 points, finishing two clear of second-placed PSV.

Gent vs Wolfsburg

How they got here:
Gent finished second in group H winning half of their games while losing 2 with a draw to complete the 6 game schedule. Wolfsburg were group B winners with a record of 4 wins and 2 losses and captured top spot with a dramatic match day 6 victory over Manchester United 3-2 also eliminated the United side from any further Champions League play.

Previous Meetings:
These teams have not previously met and their only previous matches against any German opponents date back to the early 2000’s when facing and beating Bremen in 2001 winning the two leg tie. Wolfsburg come into this 2 leg affair with much more recent Euro play having made it to the Europa League quarterfinals last season before falling to Napoli (6-3 aggregate). There have been no prior meeting for this German side with any Belgium opponents.

Current Form:
Since the 2-1 victory over Zenit on match day 6 this Gent squad have won 7 of 8 matches while dropping 1. They’ll play a final domestic match 5 days prior to hosting Wolfsburg in Leg 1. Wolfsburgs form after the match day 6 victory over Man United has been somewhat spotty, they drew at home before dropping a road match prior to the Bundesliga winter break. They picked up 3 victories in friendlies after the break but again lost and drew in the first two Bundesliga matches of 2016 and will play 2 more with the last being 4 days prior to Leg 1.

Odds: To Advance — Gent +255 Wolfsburg -296

Odds: Leg 1 Gent +233 Draw +250 Wolfsburg +130

Predictions:
Arguable Wolfsburg had the tougher route to this round of 16 with opponents such as Manchester United and a PSV squad that have played exceptional soccer and lead their domestic league. Gent in the opinion of this corner were the best of bad lot as Valencia and Lyon have looked out of sorts during their domestic league campaigns. The opinion here is this Wolfsburg squad which plays at a high level in a much better domestic league (Bundesliga) than that of Gent (Jupiler) will wear down their opponents over the course of these two legs and will advance to the quarter finals. I’ll expect Wolfsburg to leave Belgium with a favorable result as well.

Wolfsburg to Advance at -296 and to win Leg 1 +130.

 

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Champions League Knockout stage Preview and Predictions: Chelsea vs. Paris SG

Match of the Day Prediction: Chelsea vs West Ham

Chelsea have included Ghana defender Abdul Baba Rahman in their squad for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League. The 21-year-old has struggled to command a regular spot since arriving from German side Augsburg. Regardless of the Ghana international struggles with Augsburg he has been named in a 23-man squad announced by the English champions. Chelsea takes the pitch against French giants PSG in the 1/16th stage.

Chelsea vs Paris SG

How they got here:
Paris Saint-Germain finished second in Group A behind Real Madrid with a record of 4 Wins 1 Loss and 1 Draw and allowed only 1 goal in a 1-0 loss away to Real Madrid while scoring 12 times. Chelsea finished first in Group G capturing first place on the final match day 6 with a victory over FC Porto.

Previous Meetings:
These two met in the round of 16 last season with the first match ending in a draw at Parc de Princes in France as Chelsea drew first blood before PSG equaled at one to send the both team back to Stamford Bridge for Leg 2. Once again Chelsea opened the scoring and while PSG did draw level Chelsea would again regain the lead in Extra time until a Silva strike put PSG level and they moved on to the quarter finals winning on the away goals rule. (Aggregate 3-3) They also met the previous season in the quarter finals with PSG securing a 3-1 home victory in Leg 1 before Chelsea came away victorious in Leg 2 at Stamford Bridge 2-0 and advancing on the away goals rule (Aggregate 3-3)

Current Form:
Since dropping a 2-1 result to Leicester City in December Chelsea have gone 9 games without tasting defeat 5 Wins 4 draws and have played arguable better since the departure of Mourinho. PSG have played virtually unbeatable soccer since dropping a 1-0 result to Real Madrid in match day 6 they have
gone 18 wins 1 draw in their next 19 matches after the defeat. Both squads are fairly injury free and will have full line ups available for Leg 1 in France.

Odds: To Advance — PSG -152 Chelsea +135

Odds: Leg 1 — PSG -128 Draw +267 Chelsea +490

Predictions:
This match up is fairly even in the opinion of this corner and once again could come down to aggregate and away goals deciding which side will advance to the quarter finals. PSG must secure a solid victory on home soil and must avoid conceding the all important away goal that Chelsea will seek. In my opinion PSG will secure a leg 1 result and head to Stamford Bridge with something along the score line of 2-0 and should do just enough at Stamford Bridge to get them through to the next round.

PSG in Leg 1 at -128

 

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Champions League Knockout stage Preview and Predictions: Benfica vs Zenit

Champions League Knockout stage Preview and Predictions: Benfica vs Zenit aty WagerTalk

The business end of Champions League is about to begin. Carmine Bianco previews the Knockout Stage and it all begins with Benfica having to get past a Portuguese coach and three former players in the Zenit ranks as they bid to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in four years.

Benfica vs Zenit

How they got here:
Benfica finished 2nd in Group C behind Atletico Madrid (Spain) dropping their final game at home 2-1 to Atletico to drop out of first.

Read moreChampions League Knockout stage Preview and Predictions: Benfica vs Zenit

Serie A Betting Action: Juventus vs Napoli

Juventus vs Napoli – Goals galore expected in tense title thriller in Turin! Juventus and Napoli meet in Turin tonight, facing off in a match that will undoubtedly have a major say in the destination of the Serie A title. The Bianconeri are just two points behind their opponents, and a win for either side could end the other’s hopes of clinching the ultimate prize.

Read moreSerie A Betting Action: Juventus vs Napoli

FA Cup – West Ham vs Liverpool – Betting suggests Liverpool will have the last laugh over the Hammers!

FA Cup - West Ham vs Liverpool - Betting suggests Liverpool will have the last laugh over the Hammers!

West Ham are yet to beat Liverpool in seven FA Cup meetings (D3 L4), with the most recent encounter prior to the 0-0 draw at Anfield coming in the 2006 final, when the Reds won on penalties after a 3-3 draw. However, the Hammers have won three of their last five meetings with Liverpool, including two league victories this season – a 3-0 win at Anfield back in August and a 2-0 victory at home in January.

Read moreFA Cup – West Ham vs Liverpool – Betting suggests Liverpool will have the last laugh over the Hammers!

Bournemouth vs Arsenal – Gunners to start firing again and blow away the Cherries!

Bournemouth vs Arsenal - Gunners to start firing again and blow away the Cherries, from WagerTalk

This will be only the third competitive game between the sides, and the first in Bournemouth. Arsenal have won both of the previous encounters without conceding a goal – 3-0 in a League Cup game in 1987 and 2-0 when the sides met at the Emirates Stadium in December.

The Cherries have claimed three top-flight home wins this term – only Aston Villa, with one, have a lower tally. They have dropped 14 points from winning positions, more than any other top-flight team. Former Arsenal youth protégé Benik Afobe has scored in each of Bournemouth’s last three Premier League games.

Arsenal have failed to score in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since a run of four matches without a goal between January and February 2009. The Gunners have won just one of their last six top-flight away games (D3, L2), with their only victory coming at Aston Villa on 13 December. Arsenal have dropped seven points from winning positions away from home, more than any other team.

Spread:
Bournemouth (+0.5) 45.2%
Arsenal (-0.5) 54.8%

ML:
Bournemouth 10.2%
Draw 15.5%
Arsenal 74.3%

Total (2.5):
Over 72.6%
Under 27.4%

 

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Read moreBournemouth vs Arsenal – Gunners to start firing again and blow away the Cherries!

Premier League Preview: Southampton vs West Ham

The last three meetings at Southampton have ended all square – including goalless draws in the last two. West Ham have never won a game at St Mary’s Stadium (D4, L2), scoring just two goals. Their last win away to Southampton was a 3-2 victory at The Dell in November 2000, which was also the last season they did the league double over Saints.

Read morePremier League Preview: Southampton vs West Ham