While the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma have seen Europe covered in snow over the past few days, things are about to hot up across the continent as we reach the second-legs of the Champions League last-16 matches.
As we move into March, we’re approaching the business end of the season, and we’re certain to see some high-profile eliminations as the big boys battle it out.
We’ve run through the best bets for this week’s knockout games.
Tottenham v Juventus
At 2-0 down after just nine minutes, Tottenham were staring Champions League elimination in the face – but Mauricio Pochettino’s men are made of stern stuff.
Goals from Harry Kane and Christan Eriksen helped Spurs to a battling 2-2 draw – and those two away goals may give the English side the advantage at half-time in the tie.
Juventus are no pushovers, however, and the side that made last year’s final have the ability to grind out a result against anyone.
Spurs have won each of their last seven games at Wembley, and have beaten both Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at their temporary home this term.
Age may be catching up with Juve, and after their comeback in Turin, I see Tottenham doing the business here.
Liverpool v Porto
Barring a miracle of Istanbul 2005 proportions, this tie is over and done with after Liverpool’s emphatic 5-0 win over Porto in the first leg.
Sadio Mane netted a hat-trick, with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both getting on the scoresheet in a win that has led some Reds fans to think that, just like 2005, this could be their year too.
With a crunch match against Manchester United on Saturday, Porto’s only hope is that the Jugen Klopp’s side underestimate the tie, and he rests a few key players.
Qualification (at between 50/1 and 125/1 generally) is out of the question, but a win on the night at 23/4 may not be out of the question.
I can’t see it, however, and the Red’s fearsome attack should have too much for Porto’s shaky defence.
Salah has scored in seven matches in a row, and if he gets the chance to play here, could well make that an eighth.
PSG v Real Madrid
PSG’s faint hopes of getting something out of their tie against Real Madrid may have ended when Neymar was stretchered off with a broken foot against Marseille.
The £200 million man, signed to deliver Champions League success, now faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup, and won’t be available to try and help the Parisian’s overturn a 3-1 deficit against Real.
Late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo put the tie firmly in Real’s favour, as the reigning champions attempt to add an unprecedented third title in a row.
Adrien Rabiot’s away goal does give PSG a sniff, however, and a 2-0 win (priced at 13/1 ) would see them progress.
That’s easier said than done, however, given Real – and Ronaldo’s ability to find the net. The Portuguese star has scored in every single Champions League match this season, and is 5/4 to do so again here.
Real have the experience and knowhow to get through this one, and I think they’ll hold PSG at arm’s length.