Champions League betting: Last roll of the dice for EPL champion Foxes

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Updated: March 14, 2017

We’re all still reeling after Barcelona’s stunning 6-1 win to erase the 4-0 first leg lead of PSG, which again underlines that anything can happen at this stage of the UEFA Champions League. Can Leicester City embrace that belief and salvage something from their disastrous title defence domestically? Overall record: 40-5-32, +17.90 units

 

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Game: Leicester City (England) v Sevilla FC (Spain) – aggregate 1-2
Where: King Power Stadium, Leicester, England
When: Wednesday, March 15, 6.45am (AEDT)
Prices: Leicester $3.20, Sevilla $2.25, DRAW $3.50

Confirmed bet: Leicester City DNB (one unit @ $2.25)

TIW says: Leicester City’s EPL title defence has been little more than a disaster, but they remain a silly chance of a deep run in their first UEFA Champions League campaign. The Foxes return to King Power Stadium tonight with a crucial away goal in their possession with Sevilla leading 2-1 after the opening leg in Spain. That first-leg defeat was Claudio Ranieri’s final match as City manager before he was sacked, nine months after leading them to the Premier League title. Since then they have won both their Premier League matches 3-1, against Liverpool and Hull, under Craig Shakespeare (pictured below) who has been appointed as boss until the end of the season.

 

Forget their EPL form – Leicester City are the first team since Malaga in 2012-13 to finish top of their group on their Champions League debut and they were one of only four teams to win all three of their 2016-17 home group games (along with Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona being the others). Their cause is further advanced after a frustrating fortnight for Sevilla since their home triumph. They dropped two points away to Alavés then failed to put away Leganés at the Sánchez Pizjuán last weekend. Those draws have left the Los Blanquirrojos five points off the pace in La Liga.

Their record away from home in this competition will provide some solace – Sevilla didn’t concede a single goal in trips to Juventus, Dinamo Zagreb and Lyon and they are yet to lose on the road in the Champions League this season. Repeat that, and they will reach their first European Cup quarter-final since 1957-58. Samir Nasri, Steven N’Zonzi, Vitolo, Vicente Iborra, Sergio Escudero, Gabriel Mercado and Nico Pareja were all rested on Saturday, so should be well rested. Heart says Sevilla, head says Leicester.

 

Game: Juventus FC (Italy) v FC Porto (Portugal) – aggregate 2-0
Where: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
When: Wednesday, March 15, 6.45am (AEDT)
Prices: Juventus $1.80, Porto $4.80, DRAW $3.50

Confirmed bet: Juventus WIN (one unit @ $1.80)

TIW says: Juventus have an imposing home record in European competition so Porto have a difficult task to overcome a 2-0 first leg home defeat to claim a place in the quarter-finals. Tonight’s hosts hold the upper hand in this tie thanks to second-half goals from substitutes Marko Pjaca and Dani Alves after Alex Telles had been sent off in the 27th minute for a second yellow card. Only twice in UEFA Champions League history has a side overturned a home first-leg defeat to win the tie: AFC Ajax (1995-96) and Inter Milan (2010-11).

The Bianconeri won only one home fixture in Group H (drawing the other two) but still finished on top with a three-point advantage. They are aiming to reach their 10th Champions League quarter-final but only their third in the past seven attempts. Massimiliano Allegri’s side have won their past 31 home games in Serie A though they did it the hard way on Friday night, needing a 97th minute penalty to get the better of AC Milan by 2-1. Even when they’re not at their best, they find a way to win.

The Portuguese leaders, who have won their past nine league matches, have won only one of their previous nine Champions League second-leg matches away from home. Porto have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the seventh time in their past 10 attempts but have only progressed past the round of 16 once in their past six Champions League attempts. Porto striker Andre Silva has been directly involved in two thirds of Porto’s goals in this season’s Champions League, scoring four and assisting two. They could really do with Hector Herrera but the skipper is unlikely to be fit enough to start having not played for a couple of weeks.

 

Most recent results: 2-0-1, +3.8 units

FC Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain +3.5/total (three units @ $1.90) WIN (6-1)
FC Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain +4.5/total (one unit @ $3.10) WIN (6-1)
Borussia Dortmund v SL Benfica/to qualify (one unit @ $2.25) LOSE (4-0)

 

 

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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