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The Champions League hots up as the last 16 plays out

Tuesday 17th February 2015
With the return of the Champions League we handover to our European expert Jack Kitson for the mid-week treble.

The Champions League explodes back into the frame this week as eight of the remaining 16 teams take to the field in the eagerly anticipated knockout stages. The last-16 is where the competition really starts to heat up, and this season will be no exception with Chelsea, PSG, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid included in this week's treble, which pays out a £131.44 off a £20 punt with Betfred.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Bayern Munich (Tuesday 17th February, 7.45pm): Away Win

Bayern Munich kick-start this weekend's tasty treble when they travel to Ukraine (Lviv) on Tuesday night. The German champions have been handed a potential banana skin away to Shakhtar Donetsk, however they are veterans of the competition and should be too strong for their Ukrainian opponents, especially if Saturday's league match was anything to go by. Pep Guardiola's men prepared for Tuesday's clash in style after they recorded their biggest margin of victory in 30 years in hammering Hamburg 8-0.

Shakhtar undoubtedly have a huge task ahead of them, which has been made all the more difficult by the fact that they have been forced to relocate 800 miles to Lviv due to a military conflict in the city. Meanwhile, the Miners men only recorded two group stage wins - against whipping boys BATE - and they are likely to come unstuck against the German giants, who won five of their six group games.

Stat Attack:

Bayern won five of their six group games.

Bayern have won 19 of their last 24 matches in all competitions.

PSG v Chelsea (Tuesday 17th February, 7.45pm): Draw

PSG and Chelsea clash in what promises to be one of the ties of the second-round. The teams, who clashed last season in the quarter-finals, renew their rivalry in Paris on Tuesday in a match that pits David Luiz against his form club. Last season the Blues sneaked through on the away goals rule - thanks to a late Demba Ba strike - but on this occasion they will be looking to make more an impact in the first-leg, having lost 3-1 last time around.

Chelsea will be well aware of PSG's immense home form. The Parisians have a simply staggering record at the Parc des Princes, having gone unbeaten in their last 32 home games in European competition (W22 D10). Furthermore Laurent Blanc's men have only lost one of their last eight Champions League knockout games (W4 D3), however that defeat was to Chelsea. Jose Mourinho's troops are a more complete outfit this term, and they head into the last-16 unbeaten and as the top goalscorers from the group stages. Tuesday's fixture will no doubt be an absolute cracker, with a draw looking the best bet 9/4 with Betfred.

Stat Attack:

PSG are unbeaten in their last 32 home games in European competition (W22 D10).

José Mourinho has only lost one of his 15 Champions League games against French clubs (W11 D3).

Schalke 04 v Real Madrid (Wednesday 18th February, 7.45pm): Away Win

The Real Madrid juggernaut may have cooled off slightly in 2015, although it was always going to be tough to bounce back from their ultra-impressive 22 match unbeaten run, which included six straight Champions League wins. Los Blancos dominated Group B from start to finish - topping the table by a whopping 11 points - as they became the first team in history to progress through to the last-16 with a 100% record twice.

The reigning champions now take on Schalke 04 in an exact repeat of last season's knockout duel, which saw Real thrash the Bundesliga outfit 9-2 across both legs, including a devastating 6-1 in Germany. Carlo Ancelotti's troops will once again be expected to come away with the win, and the Spanish giants have been handed odds of 4/9 with Bet365 to register their seventh straight success in the competition. Last time around Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace in each leg and the Portuguese superstar can be backed at 14/5 with William Hill to score two or more on Wednesday.

Stat Attack:

Real won the 2013/14 last-16 clash 9-2 on aggregate.

Real have won all 6 of their matches in this season's competition.
Jack Kitson
Massive Southampton fan, loving being back in the Premier League but cannot get enough football to feed my addiction.

Total articles: 53

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