Arsenal enter Barca lair, Juve jostle Bayern in Champions League last 16 second legs


Holly Thackeray | March 15, 2016

March has been a magnificent month of sport so far, and the Champions League keeps the quality clashes coming, as Wednesday evening throws together four giants of Europe for their second leg last 16 scuffles.

Arsenal have the unenviable task of travelling to the Nou Camp with a 2-0 deficit to Barcelona, while it is all even Stevens between Juventus and Bayern Munich as the Italians arrive in Germany for an enthralling Bavarian battle.

Can the Gunners make a great escape from the Catalans’ clutches, and Paulo Dybala help Juve down Bayern? Read on to find out Coral’s top betting tips, but also don’t forget to peruse our thoughts on Tuesday’s tussles featuring Manchester City and Atletico Madrid…

Barcelona v Arsenal

  • Champions League
  • Wednesday, March 16th
  • Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
  • Nou Camp, Barcelona
  • Live on BT Sport Europe

Can Arsenal overcome Emirates stumble?

It is all stacked against the Gunners as Arsene Wenger leads his under-fire team to salvage their first leg 2-0 loss to Barcelona, with the Londoners an outside 11/1 to win this wrangle in 90 minutes and even longer now at 20/1 to qualify for the quarter-finals.

After floundering in the FA Cup and managing just one win, against Championship team Hull City, across all competitions in their past seven, the English capital club will probably be lacking the confidence to reverse their troubles in Catalonia.

Though, with nothing to lose, customers can back Arsenal in a match special to at least do themselves justice and get on target, with a plum 2/1 price for Barcelona to win in 90 mins and both teams to score (max stake £20).

Arsenal’s main attacking threat is former Barca star Alexis Sanchez, with the Chilean 4/1 to strike at his old stomping ground anytime, and frontman Olivier Giroud 7/2 in the same market.

Barca kings of Nou Camp

The Gunners have previously collided with Barca three times on enemy turf, winning none, with the Catalans firing eight goals past them in those meetings, so Arsenal are toiling against history.

Luis Enrique’s Barcelona boys are unbeaten since October and have not lost at home all campaign, yet the coach still seemed cautious, telling press of their last 16 lead: “It doesn’t change our approach. It is still an open match, our opponents are dangerous and we need to play very well to go through to the next round.

“We have to try to handle quality players like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez… Alexis is a very important player for Arsenal and the national team. He is a quality player, fast and attacking and he has improved his way of playing since he came to Barcelona.”

It was talisman and superstar Lionel Messi who broke the deadlock in London with a brilliant brace and, as the exceptional Argentine has hit seven strikes in five career appearances against Arsenal, you can opt for Messi in a match special to score two or more again in normal time at 3/1 (max stake £20).

While, former Liverpool forward Luis Suarez was rested at the weekend and is 3/1 to open scoring after his breather.

Bayern Munich v Juventus

  • Champions League
  • Wednesday, March 16th
  • Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
  • Allianz Arena, Munich
  • Live on BT Sport 2

Baying baying for blood after losing lead

It is this match, which pits the best of Germany and the cream of Italy’s crop against one another, that could prove the closest clash of midweek.

Bayern bagged twice in Turin to at least take an away goal advantage from the first leg fixture, but all the headlines focused on the Bundesliga leaders allowing their 2-0 lead to slip as Juventus fought back through dangerous Dybala and Stefano Sturaro.

Pep Guardiola’s guys are, however, odds-on 2/5 favourites to take all spoils in normal time at the Allianz Arena and still 1/7 to qualify from this fray.

Much more potent at home, the German juggernauts are fresh from thrashing Werder Bremen 5-0, and will be eager to flex their muscles following the first leg slip. So, why not back potent poacher Robert Lewandowski to score and Bayern to win in 90 mins at 7/4 (max stake £20)?

Lethal Lewandowski is Bundesliga leading marksman with 24 goals, but the Munich men also have menacing Thomas Muller (5/1 for the final say), who bagged in the reverse, up their sleeve.

Old Lady not lacking for talent

Former Juventus and England coach Fabio Capello weighed in with his own thoughts before the wrangle, saying: “Juventus’ chances against Bayern? 40 per cent. The Germans have more big personalities and top-level players.

“To beat this Bayern, Juve will have to do something exceptional. I think Bayern are superior to Juve.”

The Old Lady are 17/2 outsiders to win this match on the road in 90 mins, but at least have the quality to make it close, with 15/4 for a draw appealing, after the Italians reached the final last term.

Even cautionary Capello admitted that there is tremendous attacking talent in the Turin team’s ranks, stating of Dybala: “No one at 22 years demonstrates the technical shots and personality he has.”

Decisive Dybala fired past Bayern in the first leg and drew plaudits for his recent stunning strike against Sassuolo, which you can watch below.

After that curling effort, the up-and-coming Argentine is a top value 9/4 to net against the hosts anytime, while supporting act Juan Cuadrado has also looked inspirational of late and is a superb 6/1.

It looks like Guardiola and co’s to lose but, as this season’s Scudetto race has shown, never count Juventus out.


Check out our Champions League page for more previews and news.

Coral’s top tip: Back magical Messi at 3/1 for a brace or better again (max stake £20).

Latest Articles