Champions League Round of 16 Best Bets For 2/22/23: RB Leipzig Vs. Manchester City, Inter Milan Vs. Porto
The Champions League Round of 16 continues on 2/22/23. Individuals can find the Champions League best bets for RB Leipzig vs Manchester City and Inter Milan vs Porto below.
Champions League Best Bets (2/22/23)
After Tuesday’s fascinating matchups wrap up, we’ll have one more slate of first legs left before a two-week wait for some second leg action. Let’s take a look at those two clashes and make some picks.
RB Leipzig vs. Manchester City
Here’s a sneaky-interesting matchup, between two teams who are also fighting major domestic battles. For Leipzig, it’s a fight for the privilege of staying in this competition next year, although at just four points back, they’re just about as close to the top of the Bundesliga as City are in the Prem. Pep Guardiola’s men find themselves in the rare position of looking up the table; despite a recent, massive road win over Arsenal, a stunning tie at Nottingham Forest over the weekend has City two points off the top of the table, having played one more match than the leaders. So both teams will have split priorities; it’ll be fascinating to see who plays and how many minutes, with such major stakes back at home. This matchup looks lopsided at a glance, but make no mistake, Leipzig are a serious club. They were semifinalists just a couple of years ago, and last season, stood tall in a UCL group that featured PSG and none other than City themselves; the Red Bulls took points off of both goliaths then, so don’t underestimate them now. They also have one hugely key individual in this particular matchup, and that would be rising star defender Josko Gvardiol. The young Croatian’s rise to notoriety was accelerated by an outstanding World Cup performance for the third-place medal winners, and rightfully so; he’s one of the very best centre-backs in the World, and could be the key to slowing down Erling Haaland.
Due to the efforts of Gvardiol, among others, Leipzig boast one of the best defenses in Germany. Other than a hiccup against potential league leaders Union Berlin, they’ve also had some good recent form in that area. Meanwhile, we’re looking at a City team who put up one goal on the road against Nottingham, and none on the road against Spurs- and Haaland individually has one goal in his past four Prem matches. The books may disagree, but I love the under in this match. As for the result, I’m going to go against the grain again; I love Leipzig to draw or win. This is the most mortal City team in awhile, and they might even be rotating to protect themselves for a grueling Prem chase. I wouldn’t put it past Pep to simultaneously underestimate his opponent, and also overthink the tactics enough to do something insane like stacking fullbacks or not starting a single holding midfielder. The Sky Blues could surely escape this tie, but I think it would require a good home performance; on the road, they just might be out of luck.
Best Bets: Leipzig Double Chance (+100), u2.5 goals (+115)
Inter Milan vs. Porto
Like City against Leipzig, this matchup also looks a bit predictable- but once again, let’s peel back the layers a bit. While they’ve been one of Europe’s best teams on paper for several years now, even winning a league title in 2021, Inter have had pretty routine shortcomings in European competition over the past decade-plus. In fact, their last quarterfinal appearance was in 2011, and even then, they failed to defend their 2010 European title as they were demolished by Schalke 04. In 2020-21, the Nerazzuri came in dead last in their group, a year after a two-year streak of finishing third and dropping to the Europa league. By contrast, Porto have actually been to three quarterfinals since 2015, the most recently being in 2021. They have a seemingly-annual tradition of losing to Liverpool, but other than Real Madrid themselves, who doesn’t? They may not play in one of the more heralded leagues, but this side has plenty of European experience, and is not afraid of a club others might perceive as “bigger”.
Inter have the second-best attack in Italy, after the transcendent Napoli, but their defense has become a bit vulnerable. Porto have excelled on both ends of the pitch domestically, but have had a couple of defensive hiccups in the UCL, namely a 4-0 debacle against Brugge. So, suffice it to say that I like goals in this one- I’m going to go against the flow and take over 2.5 goals as one of my best bets. Another way to go could be both teams to score at -115, as 1-1 could somewhat realistically be on the menu, but I’m not sure I see either team getting shut out. As for the result, it pains me to say that I do have to stick with the chalk and pick Inter to win at home. With few exceptions, they’ve had really solid performances at home, and they need this one desperately; expect Simone Inzaghi’s men to come out on fire.
Best Bets: Inter -130, o2.5 goals (+100), Both Teams to Score (-115)