CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – It's Ronaldo vs Neymar

BY CHRISTOPHER SAWYERS
Contributor

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

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Today and tomorrow (Feb 13-14) the much-anticipated Champions League round of 16 kicks off with two tantalising matchups that will have football lovers in awe of the fireworks that will be on display. First, we take you to Italy where Juventus will await English powerhouse Tottenham Hotspurs with the aim of showing them who's boss, then we take you to Spain to witness Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) on Valentine's Day. Don't be fooled by the fact that its Valentine's Day, as there will be no love shown between players as Neymar renews his rivalry with Ronaldo.

Winners in 1985 and 1996, Juventus came close in recent times to being three-time Champions League winners. However, despite being finalist in two of the past three seasons, the challenges presented by both Barcelona and Real Madrid have created a bridge they could not cross.

Tottenham, the quarter-finalist in 2011, have been showing their best form this Champions League. it is now up to the prolific Harry Kane and the meticulous Christian Eriksen to try and push them further.

Both teams have never met in Champions League action before, but Juventus have plenty of knockout experience, having reached two of the last three finals, but now face a Tottenham team that collected the most points in the group stage.

My betting tip? Juventus to win or draw

The JustBet odds on the match are as follows:

• Juventus to win $1.90, which means that a $,1000 bet would pay $1,900.

• Tottenham to win $4.30, which means that a $1,000 bet would pay $4,300.

• Odds of a draw, $3.30, which means that a $1,000 bet would pay $3,300.

• Odds on the home team (Juventus) winning the game and it finishes under 2.5 goals at full time, $5.75, which means that a $1,000 bet would pay $5,750.

• Odds on the away team (Tottenham) winning the game and it finishes over 2.5 goals at full time, $5.50, which means that a $1,000 bet would pay $5,500.

• Odds on the game drawing and going over 2.5 goals at full time and, $4.25, which means that a $1,000 bet would pay $4,250!!!

Now to the second match. On Valentine's Day, at 2:45 pm (local time), what a match this is going to be! It's Neymar against Ronaldo! Well, what a brilliant spectacle this will be for football fans on this supposedly loving day…. We can tell you though, that there will be no love shown when they both step out on that pitch.

This fixture will tell us so much about both teams. Are Real Madrid still the real deal? Can Cristiano Ronaldo and company give an unbeatable performance on the biggest stage? As for PSG, well, they have long threatened to blast their way into European football's elite, and with their Qatari owner's assembly of a genuinely talented squad of top class players, do they really believe they can win the Champions League? Their task is reminiscent of that of France in Euro 2016; everyone expected them to lift the trophy, but the players didn't quite believe it, hence Portugal took the prize.

This will truly be a fascinating contest with Real Madrid the 12-time winners and the first team to successfully defend the European Cup in its modern format last May, while the eye-catching PSG must now exorcise the demons from last season's traumatic exit against Barcelona and prove they are the real deal. Could this be a feat too great for either team? That question will be answered on Valentine's Day.

My prediction over 2.5 goals

The JustBet odds are as follows:

• Real Madrid to win $2.35, which means that a $1,000 bet would pay $2,350.

• PSG to win $2.80, which means that a $1.000 bet would pay $2.800.

• Odds of a draw, $3.60, which means that a $1,000 bet would pay $3,600.

• Odds on the home team (Real Madrid) winning the game and only one team scoring at full time, $5.50, which means that a $1,000 bet would pay $5,500.

• Odds on the away team (PSG) winning the game and both teams scoring at full time, $3.60, which means that a $1,000 bet would pay $3,600.

• Odds on the game drawing and no team scoring at full time, $22.00, which means that a $1,000 bet would pay $22,000!!!!!

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