Published on February 13th, 2011 | by Sportingly Better Tipster0
Champions League Predictions 15th Feb & 16th Feb
The Champions League knockout stages finally arrives and the first half of the Champions League hopefuls play with AC Milan v Tottenham, Valencia v Schalke, Arsenal v Barcelona and Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk.
AC Milan scraped through qualification in Group H with a record of 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats, in a group that contained Real Madrid and Ajax. Since then AC Milan have been impressive enough and are unbeaten in 8 Serie A games since the Winter break, but new signings Antonio Cassano, Mark van Bommel and Urby Emmanuelson are all ineligible and Andrea Pirlo will likely miss both legs which is a blow.
Tottenham have injury concerns of their own with Modric and Bale almost definitely ruled out but Rafael van der Vaart is rumoured to be fit for the match at the San Siro. Losing Bale is a blow especially as he will have fond memories of the demolition of rivals Inter. Tottenham out qualified Inter in Group A to finish top and have won the last 3 games in the Premier League and Niko Krancjar has stepped in and performed well. But I fancy the story at the San Siro to be a different one this time. Spurs are far too gung-ho and lack a defensive discipline that seasoned teams like Man Utd and Chelsea seem to have instilled in them. Added to that are key injuries for Tottenham and AC Milan should come out on top and take an advantage over to White Hart Lane.
AC Milan to win @1.72
At the Emirates another tasty encounter awaits as Arsenal welcome Pep Guardiola’s formidable Barcelona side. Barcelona of course topped Group D but were rarely challenged in a group that included Copenhagen, Rubin Kazan and Panathinaikos. Domestically and the Catalans are flying, with their run of 16 successive wins only being halted by a 1-1 draw by Sporting Gijon last time out. Arsenal themselves are fairing well and are only 4 points behind league leaders Manchester United.
Both Arsenal and Barcelona are no strangers in this competition. Every single encounter has had both teams scoring and there has been an average of 4 goals per match in the 5 games that have been played. Whilst Arsenal have scored a joint competition high of 18 goals in the Champions League they have only managed 1 clean sheet in their last 8 Champions League matches. There is nominal difference in the value for over 2.5 goals and both teams to score, but I fancy another classic encounter of goals at the Emirates.
Over 2.5 goals (Arsenal v Barcelona) @1.61