The group stages of the 2023-2024 edition of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) have come to a close, and the qualified teams are already drawn for their round of 16 matchups. With over a month before the knockout phase, it is now the ideal time for those engaged in Singapore football betting to pick and place bets on who they think will enter the quarterfinals.
So, if you are looking to place bets on every match of the round of 16, here are our predictions on which clubs will come out on top and which clubs will pack their bags.
Porto vs. Arsenal
After 13 years, the two historic clubs from Portugal and England will once again meet to kick off their knockout phase campaign. FC Porto has tied with Barcelona in Group H with 12 points, only placing 2nd because of head-to-head points. Meanwhile, Arsenal has shown pure dominance in Group B with 13 points, highlighted by a 6-0 thrashing of French club RC Lens.
While this matchup looks to be a tight one, Arsenal’s offensive calibre can easily overwhelm Porto’s defence on any given night. With Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, and Eddie Nketiah leading the charge, Arsenal can cruise past the two-time UCL champs and achieve a quarterfinal appearance in their return to the big stage. The Gunners are among the favourites to win the tournament with 6.80 SG Pools football odds.
Napoli vs. Barcelona
After winning the Champions League in 2015, Barcelona didn’t have any luck in their succeeding campaigns, with their best finish coming in 2019 when they lost in the semifinals against eventual champions Liverpool. Meanwhile, Napoli had their best UCL finish last year when they reached the quarterfinals before losing to fellow Serie A club AC Milan.
Victor Osimhen’s extension with the club might be a boost for the team. However, Barcelona might steal this one away from the Italian club. A 3-1 or 4-1 aggregate score for the Catalan side is highly possible, with the club looking to do everything to get their first Champions League title post-Messi era.
PSG vs. Real Sociedad
There is no wonder why PSG is the heavy favourite in this matchup. The Parisians have been in 11 straight Champions League tournaments, with their best finish being in 2020 when they became runners-up. This experience of playing in the spotlight, along with the presence of Kylian Mbappe up front, can be a challenging ordeal for Real Sociedad, who returned to UCL after 10 years.
Despite the departure of Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. last summer, PSG has continued their winning ways locally and survived a tricky Group F, finishing in 2nd place despite a tie with AC Milan due to head-to-head goal difference. With a more solid team around the pitch, PSG will breeze past La Real to book a quarterfinal ticket this year.
Inter Milan vs. Atletico Madrid
The current runners-up of the UCL have had an impressive group stage run, going unbeaten with 3 wins and 3 draws to tie with Real Sociedad with 12 points in Group D. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid has had an eventful year so far, with them topping Group E with 4 wins and 2 draws for 14 points. This is one of the possible closest matchups in this year’s round of 16, similar to last year’s AC Milan-Spurs matchup.
While Inter Milan has a solid attacking core led by World Cup winner Lautaro Martinez, Atletico’s strength in both offence and defence might be enough to fend off the three-time UCL winners.
PSV vs. Dortmund
After winning the UCL over 30 years ago, PSV didn’t have another solid campaign in the tournament. The team couldn’t even come out of qualifying in the past three seasons. However, the Dutch team was able to do wonders in their return to the big stage, securing a 2nd-place finish in Group B to book a spot in the round of 16, their first in eight years.
However, they’re up against one of the best clubs from the Bundesliga in Dortmund, which also won the UCL in 1997 and had their best finish since in 2013 as runners-up. Despite losing Jude Bellingham last summer, the 8-time Bundesliga champions won the challenging group G, featuring PSG, AC Milan, and Newcastle United. PSV’s chances are promising, but Dortmund is expected to win this round of 16 matchup.
Lazio vs. Bayern Munich
Acquiring superstar striker Harry Kane from North London might be one of the most significant moves in all football this season. This proved to be a remarkable transfer for the Munich side during their UCL campaign, with Kane scoring 4 goals to help the club top Group A with 5 wins and 1 draw for 16 points.
Bayern’s dominance is expected to show against SS Lazio, who qualified for this year’s UCL after finishing 2nd in Serie A last year. The Italian club finished 2nd in Group E with 3 wins and 1 draw for 10 points, enough for them to return to the knockout phase this year. However, facing Bayern might mean an early exit for the Eagles as the Bavarians are looking ready to bring the trophy back to Germany.
Copenhagen vs. Manchester City
To say that Manchester City has dominated the group stage is an understatement. They scored 18 goals in 6 wins, grabbing all 18 points they can take in Group G. After cruising past the competition, the reigning champions look like a lock for a quarterfinal spot as they are drawn with surprise knockout phase participant FC Copenhagen.
After finishing last in Group G (which also featured Man City) in the 2022-2023 edition, the Danish team finished 2nd in group A ahead of Manchester United. This marks the team’s return to the knockout phase after a brief stint in 2010-2011. While it would be nice to see Copenhagen’s Cinderella run continue, the Citizens are just too much to handle for the club, especially since they are the clear-cut favourite to win the tournament with 2.90 odds.
RB Leipzig vs. Real Madrid
The two teams are no strangers to each other, with them being grouped together during the 2022-2023 edition of the UCL. But with higher stakes at hand, it’s just a mistake to root against Real Madrid. The 14-time UCL champions have never failed to come out of the group stages, a testament to the club’s dominance. They won this year’s Group C with 6 convincing wins, making them the only other team to go untouchable during the group stages.
Despite being one of the youngest teams, RB Leipzig has constantly made waves in domestic and European tournaments, even reaching the semifinals of the Champions League in 2019-2020. The Red Bulls can make this an exciting affair for Real Madrid, but the Spanish team’s improved and younger lineup should be enough to propel them into the quarterfinals.
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