Real Madrid – Schalke 04
. Real Madrid have a comforting lead of two goals against Schalke and are the clear favourites to reach the 1/4 finals. The Spanish side will be without James Rodriguez and Sergio Ramos for this match while Schalke’s manager Roberto Di Matteo has five players that will surely miss the game and five that are under doubt. Julian Draxler, Ralf Fahrmann, Jefferson Farfan and Chinedu Obasi are injured and will definitely miss the game in Spain while Kevin-Prince Boateng is suspended. Real Madrid won their last seven games in the Champions League, keeping five clean sheets in the process. Their recent form has been disappointing and Carlo Anchelotti will want an impressive performance from his men. Schalke 04 have conceded 11 goals in three matches against Real and things don’t look very optimistic for the German team.
Tip: Real Madrid (-2) @ 2.40
FC Porto – Basel
Porto managed to snatch a draw in Switzerland after a late penalty from Danilo and now are in a better position than their opponents. Their main striker Jackson Martinez has a knock, but the team from Portugal will make everything to get him fit for the match. Oliver and Adrian will surely miss the clash. Basel will have to cope without the injured Ivan Ivanov and the suspended Marek Suchy. Both teams won their last three domestic fixtures and are looking sharp before this Champions League knock-out round. The hosts were defeated only two times at home and are unbeaten in their last nine Champions League fixtures. I expect this to be a close game and there probably won’t be many goals in it.
Tip: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.95
Chelsea – Paris Saint Germain
Probably the most interesting match-up in the 1/8 finals this year. Chelsea had a hard game but eventually won the three points against West Ham. Nemanja Matic will probably be back, even though he received a slight injury celebrating the win of the Capital One Cup. John Obi Mikel is still out and will probably return in the first weeks of April. PSG will have to cope with the absences of Yohan Cabaye, Lucas Moura and Serge Aurier. The French team destroyed Lens during the weekend and have set their sights on Chelsea. They need at least one goal to progress and will probably start this match with aggression. Chelsea will enjoy this and play on the counter. Jose Mourinho and his team have huge experience in these types of matches and I think they’ll outsmart their opponents and win it.
Tip: 1 @ 2.00
Bayern Munich – Shakhtar Donetsk
The first game was surprising for many and Shakhtar will be delighted with the draw. They know that if they manage to put one goal past Neuer, Bayern will need to score at least two in order for them to qualify. Xabi Alonso was send off in the first game and joinst Philip Lahm, Thiago and Javi Martinez, who also won’t be able to play. Shakhtar will be hoping that Rakitskiy, Teixeira, Krivtsov and Ordets will recover in time to play at the Alianz Arena. We saw under 2.5 goals in the Ukrainian’s last three CL games and if they keep things at their end tight, even a team like Bayern won’t be able to score many goals.
Tip: Under 2.5 @ 2.35