After a break over December, the Christmas period and New Year, the Champions League and Europa League get back underway this week as the knockout phase in each of the competitions start. In the Champions League, that means the Round of 16, or rather half of the Round of 16 first leg ties as the remaining four matches at this stage of the competition are played next week.

Only Liverpool out of the three remaining English teams in the competition will be in action this week as they face Red Bull Leipzig, one of last season’s losing semi-finalists, in Hungary at a neutral venue. However, there are some very big names in action in the other games including Paris St Germain, Juventus and Barcelona to name but three.

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The games this week are just half of the eight games that comprise the Champions League Round of 16. The remaining four games will play their first leg next week. The second leg of these fixtures are then played three weeks after the first (on the weeks of March 9th & 10th and 16th & 17th).

Let’s now take a look at the games coming up this week and our tips for each of them.

Champions League Fixtures

Tuesday 16th February

Red Bull Leipzig v Liverpool

Red Bull Leipzig managed to knock Manchester United out of this competition in the Group Stage and now they have the chance to do likewise to Liverpool, who won their group to earn a shot at the German side in the Round of 16.

Leipzig are second in the Bundesliga and have been in generally decent form in recent times. Their Champions League form has been erratic at times though, which will give Liverpool hope, but by the same token they have picked up some big wins in the competition too, notably against Man Utd and Paris St Germain.

Liverpool qualified from their group relatively comfortably but their recent form domestically has been very poor by their standards and their attack has seemingly dried up when it comes to goals, especially at home. That is a real concern heading into a game where they are likely going to need a few goals to progress.

I normally wouldn’’t back against Liverpool here, especially with the game being held at a neutral venue, but I just think that the Reds are struggling for form so much, that Leipzig can take full advantage and take a slender lead into the second leg at Anfield in a few weeks time.

Our Tip – Red Bull Leipzig 2-1 Liverpool – 11/1

Barcelona v Paris St Germain

Barcelona are in the middle of a decent run in La Liga, but they lost to Sevilla in the cup last week and even so, they are still just third in the league table. They were also pipped to top spot in their Champions League group by Juventus, which means they now face a Paris St Germain side in the Round of 16.

For me, this Barcelona side is a pale shadow of some of the teams of the past. Lionel Messi doesn’t seem to have the heart for this team as he has others. Griezmann is not at his very best and with the threat of so much debt hanging over the club, it is little wonder that they are not finding their best form under Ronald Koeman.

In contrast, PSG have a new manager in Mauricio Pochettino, they topped their Champions League group and reached the final of this competition last year. This is a big test for them though against a side that historically, they don’t have the best of records against.

That said, I think it will be the French side that will be happiest on the night as I just can’t see Barcelona having enough to win the game. I do think the Spaniards will score, but I feel Paris will too and as such, I think a score draw is the most likely outcome.

Our Tip – Barcelona 1-1 Paris St Germain – 13/2

Wednesday 17th February

Sevilla v Borussia Dortmund

Ciro Immobile will make a return to the club he spent last year on loan at for Sevilla as Dortmund are the visitors to the south of Spain for this intriguing game. Sevilla lie 4th in La Liga at the moment and defeated Barcelona in the cup last week to put themselves in great form ahead of this crucial clash.

Immobile’s signing, along with that of Ivan Rakitic, has given this Sevilla side another dimension and with Kounde and Carlos in defence, they have one of the best spines in the competition. They may not have quite so many star names as Dortmund, but I do feel that the Spanish side are a better all-round team than the Germans at the moment.

Dortmund come into this game lying 6th in the Bundesliga and having already lost eight games in that competition this season. They did win their group, pipping Lazio, but I think they are a side that are very susceptible to conceding goals and I think they are going to find Sevilla, who are disciplined and well-organised, a tough nut to crack.

Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho will be a lively attacking threat, but I think Sevilla can match the German side here and I think the Spanish team will do enough to take a decent lead with them into the second leg in Germany.

Our Tip – Sevilla to win 3-1 – 18/1

FC Porto v Juventus

FC Porto are one of the teams that always seem to reach this stage of the competition, but rarely go any further. The Portuguese side lie second in their domestic league, but are some way off the pace being set by Sporting Lisbon at the top of the table.

They are a dangerous side at home and are blessed with a number of talented players. Marega in attack is a real threat and Pepe in defence has vast experience. However, they always seem to come unstuck against one of European football’s bigger names in this round and I feel that will be the case here too.

Juventus have not dominated Serie A like they have in recent years and they actually lie third in the table at the moment. However, they have topped a group that included Barcelona in the Group stage and I think they will be too strong for their hosts here.

Cristiano Ronaldo always seems to score in this competition regardless of how he is performing in the league and I am backing the former Real Madrid winger to be the executor in chief in this game, grabbing a goal and maybe setting up another to lead the visitors to a very useful win on the road.

Our Tip – Juventus to win 2-0 – 15/2 with bet365

*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 11.30am on Thursday 11th February,

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