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Champions League second round draw and predictions

Date Added: December 19, 2018 10:16:10 PM
Author: David
Category: Competitions: UEFA Champions League
The draw for the second round of this season’s UEFA Champions League took place this morning and has thrown up a number of interesting ties.

Manchester City are the current bookmakers’ favourites. You can get 18/5 on them with Sport Pesa. The African bookmaker sponsors a couple of teams in England. If you’ve not signed up already you may want to read a sportpesa review first.

Here are our early thoughts on the eight ties:

Manchester City vs Schalke 04

Pep Guardiola’s side have been handed a favourable draw against bottom half German Bundesliga side Schalke 04. 33-year-old head coach Domenico Tedesco may feel it was beginners’ luck that they finished second last season after a tough start to his second season in charge. Schalke were handed a favourable group stage and Manchester City will expect a comfortable progression to the quarter-finals.

Pick: Manchester City

Juventus vs Atletico Madrid

Juventus’ reward for winning their group is facing Atletico Madrid in the second round. The Spanish side have reached the final twice over the past four seasons but aren’t the team that they once were previously. The Italian giants, with Cristiano Ronaldo and co should fancy their chances of making it through this time despite losing their last group stage game against Young Boys.

Pick: Juventus

Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester United

Manchester United face the toughest test of the four English Premier League representatives when they face Ligue 1 runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain over two legs from February. Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani will fancy their chances against Jose Mourinho’s defence that allowed 36 shots at Liverpool over the weekend, conceding three goals.

Pick: Paris Saint-Germain

Borussia Dortmund vs Tottenham Hotspur

Expect this to be one of the most-anticipated ties of the second round. Borussia Dortmund are top of the German Bundesliga and scoring for fun currently under Lucien Favre. Tottenham Hotspur are in a battle for a top four finish with Mauricio Pochettino at the helm. The Argentine manager has done a great job during his time in charge but this will be one of his biggest challenges yet.

Pick: Borussia Dortmund

Barcelona vs Lyon

Lyon took four points from Manchester City in the group stage but I cannot see beyond the current La Liga leaders in this game. Barcelona boast one of the strongest and most experienced squads in the Champions League and won’t fear the French Ligue 1 side.

Pick: Barcelona

FC Porto vs AS Roma

FC Porto picked up the most points of any side in the group stage, but were only up against Schalke 04, Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Moscow. The Portuguese side’s reward for winning their group is a tie against AS Roma who are arguably already out of the Serie A title race. The Italian side were surprise semi-finalists last season and must fancy their chances of making the final eight at least again this season.

Pick: AS Roma

Real Madrid vs Ajax

Despite being beaten twice by CSKA Moscow in the group stage Real Madrid came out as winners which has set up a second round tie versus Ajax. The Dutch side gave Bayern Munich a game in their final group match, drawing 3-3 in Amsterdam. But it’s been a long time since Dutch sides have been competitive with the top teams in the Champions League.

Pick: Real Madrid

Bayern Munich vs Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp faces the club he rivalled with whilst Borussia Dortmund manager. Robert Lewandowski was the top scorer in the group stage. The German side are currently nine points off the top of the Bundesliga as young manager Niko Kovac hasn’t got off to a great start. Last season’s runners-up, Liverpool, must fancy their chances of progressing from this tie.

Pick: Liverpool
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