Monaco, Juventus, Leicester & Real Madrid can cause upsets

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It’s the return of the Champions League this week and with just eight teams still standing we’ve picked out our best bets for the quarter final first legs.

But we’re not focusing on the favourites here. We’re fancying an upset or two, starting on Tuesday night, with Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Juventus and Barcelona all in action…

Monaco to score two or more @ 6/4

You’d have to say any defence in world football would fear Monaco’s front line right now. It’s been 25 games since Leonardo Jardim’s men failed to find the net, while for all of Dortmund’s attacking talents, they’re still prone to the occasional collapse defensively – a 4-1 defeat this weekend to Bayern Munich being a case in point.

Dortmund will pose a similar threat to what Manchester City did in the last round for Monaco. How did they handle that? They scored six goals in two games. Don’t be surprised to see them go all out on Tuesday night.

Juventus to beat Barcelona @ 6/4

Barca head into this one having just lost 2-0 to Malaga in La Liga – not the best kind of preparation for a game of this magnitude.

As remarkable as their comeback against Paris Saint-Germain was in the last round, it’s hard to see Juve allowing the Catalan giants such an opportunity.

Remember, the last time Barca played away from home in Europe, they lost 4-0. We’re not expecting a similar result here, but at 6/4, we think Tuesday’s hosts represent great value, especially given that they’ve not lost at home in the Champions League or Serie A since August 2015.

The Serie A outfit have to head into the return leg protecting a lead of some sort if they’re to stand any chance of progressing.

Leicester City +2 @ 10/11

Grab an away goal, and Leicester City will consider themselves to have a great chance of going one step further.

Similarly to their last European outing, they have the advantage of playing the decisive leg on home soil. Plenty of Craig Shakespeare’s first team stars were rested this weekend in preparation for the trip to the Spanish capital, while Diego Simeone was forced to play a strong XI against bitter rivals Real on Saturday.

The Foxes will go out to do one thing: keep themselves in the tie. And with that in mind, we’d be lumping on them winning with a +2 advantage at just shy of evens.

Real Madrid to beat Bayern Munich @ 7/2

Quite simply, Zinedine Zidane’s men are just too short to ignore here, as this will certainly be closer than what the odds are suggesting.

Remember, Los Blancos are defending this title, so they won’t fear anyone in this competition. Their opponents also lost 1-0 to Hoffenheim last week, so they’re by no means unbeatable.

Probably the fixture of the tie, the La Liga leaders will be itching to get one over on their German counterparts, and we’re right behind them as far as the betting goes.

Click here for a full list of Champions League odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.