Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Juventus are already in the Champions League quarter-finals. This week we will find out which four teams will complete the draw.
Both of these ties are perfectly poised heading into Tuesday’s European action. So, here are a few thoughts on the matches.
MANCHESTER UNITED vs Sevilla
The first leg of this tie was one of the worst matches all season. The Manchester United performance was similar to so many they have produced this season. Set up to avoid defeat rather than win, Jose Mourinho’s side leant on reflex magic from David De Gea to stay level.
Chances were almost non-existent for Manchester United at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan a couple of weeks ago. With the tie goalless after 90 minutes, though, they are still favourites to progress but will be under severe pressure should they give up the first goal at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
Sevilla’s flickering hopes of a top four finish were as good as extinguished at the weekend as they fell to defeat to Valencia. The La Liga side have been up and down this season, which has – for a large part of the campaign – been down to their poor finishing. Their first leg struggles in front of goal were no shock.
Away form has hardly been great, either. Sevilla have taken 18 points from 14 La Liga matches on the road this season, losing eight of them. A draw would at least force this one to extra time, but the signs are not good.
I would be surprised to see United knocked out. The failure to score in Seville could make this a tricky evening, but I think the hosts will just have enough to make it through.
TIP: Manchester United to go through @ 1/2
ROMA vs SHAKHTAR DONETSK
The comeback victory for Shakhtar in the first leg leaves them 2-1 up heading to the Italian capital. Cengiz Under’s first half strike keeps Roma well in the tie, however, with the away goal meaning even a mere 1-0 victory would put the Serie A side into the last eight.
Shakhtar will be comfortable sitting deep on Tuesday. Their attacking players are all capable of carrying the ball in transition and are a threat on the counter. The advancing full-backs of the hosts are vulnerable to pace on the break. Bernard and Marlos will be looking to get behind Aleksandar Kolarov and Alessandro Florenzi down the flanks at every opportunity.
The onus while the score is level is on Roma to find the net. That’s not been an issue for them, though, having scored seven in their last two Serie A outings. The 3-0 thumping of Torino at the weekend was the perfect preparation for what is the biggest match of their season to date.
Chances were pretty even in the first leg. It took a wonder goal from Fred to put Shakhtar’s noses in front heading to Rome, and it might have to be a moment of individual magic to turn the tie again.
Early goals could provoke a high-scoring affair. As Roma chase the game, this could become end-to-end, and that’s why I like the price on over 3.5 goals.
TIP: Over 3.5 goals @ 31/20
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*