It’s a crucial midweek for English sides in the Champions League as they look to book a spot in the last four.
Manchester United have it all to do in Barcelona having lost the first leg 1-0 at Old Trafford courtesy of a Luke Shaw own goal, while the all-English tie between Man City and Spurs is poised to be a cracker – with Mauricio Pochettino’s side holding a narrow 1-0 lead from the first leg.
Our football betting expert previews both ties and gives you the best bets to look out for.
Barcelona v Man Utd
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope some of his Nou Camp magic will rub off on his squad as they look to claw back a first leg deficit for the second knockout stage in a row.
Solskjaer scored the winner in their 1999 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich at Barcelona as Alex Ferguson’s side struck twice late on to secure a win of epic proportions.
They produced a comeback in the last round which drew comparisons to that night in Spain when overturning a 2-0 home deficit to remarkably see off Paris St Germain.
However, in the first leg last week the Red Devils failed to muster a shot on target when Barcelona came to Old Trafford in what was a disappointing showing from Solskjaer’s side. You can never write off United in a European knockout game though and they are 13/2 to make it through to the last four.
Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 18 games in all competitions heading into the meeting but fired a blank on Saturday in a goalless draw with Huesca – the first time they have failed to score in 11 games. The Catalan side are overwhelming 1/12 favourites to progress.
Since Solskjaer’s permanent appointment as Man Utd manager they have suffered a dip in form, and while many will be hoping for another magical European night, I can’t see past Barcelona progressing.
I can see United scoring at some point though, and a bet of Barcelona to win and both teams to score looks good value at 7/4.
Man City v Tottenham
Pep Guardiola’s side have it all to do to keep alive their hopes of the quadruple, or the quintuple in the eyes of the Citizens boss, who includes the Community Shield as a major honour.
City may be in imperious domestic form having kept their league title hopes alive with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, but in five games against English sides in European competition, they are yet to taste victory, and have only scored once in those matches.
Spurs will have to cope without skipper Harry Kane after his ankle injury picked up in the first leg, but their recent run of results without the England striker has yielded plenty of positive results in the past.
Much like the first leg, I can see this being another close contest, but I feel on home soil Man City can overturn the deficit and a home win and both teams to score again looks like the bet for me at 13/8.
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