Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
Europe’s most prestigious club competition makes a comeback this week with the return of the 2019/20 Champions League at the tournament’s Last 16 stage.
Against a backdrop of the razzle-dazzle and allure that comes with continent’s elite club tournament, eight teams will battle it out for the Champions League’s remaining quarter final spots in UEFA’s festival of football in Portugal next week.
Below, we’re focusing on developments in Saturday’s fixtures, where Barcelona meet Napoli in the Camp Nou and Bayern Munich host Chelsea at the Allianz Arena, on what promises to be an enthralling evening of high-octane entertainment.
Ahead of the drama, we’ve put together a tasty looking six-part #OOT with selections from both games with Betfair’s help that comes in at a whopping 70/1!
But before we get into the nitty gritty of our Odds on That selections, make sure to check out our more detailed match previews for each contest on our Champions League predictions page.
What is Betfair’s #OddsOnThat?
Betfair’s #OddsOnThat feature allows you create a customised multiples bet based on your own unique picks ahead of a particular football match. You can choose from a huge variety of markets and once you have decided on your selection, you can request a price for your acca from Betfair on Twitter using the #OddsOnThat hashtag.
Want to add FST’s 70/1 selection straight to your betslip? Check it out below:
FST’s Champions League #OOT for Saturday’s games
Both teams to score in Barcelona vs Napoli
With the scores tied at 1-1 between Barcelona and Napoli from the first leg, the Serie A giants will back themselves to give their Catalonian hosts another tough time in Saturday’s return fixture.
Barca are far from the dominant force they once were, and with their defence proving a more creaky than cementitious unit, both teams found the net in five of Los Cules’ last six Champions League assignments.
Similarly, goals were plundered at either end in four of Napoli’s last five matches in the competition, and both the Partenopei and Barca proved in the first leg between the teams that they have the attacking tools to unlock each other’s defence.
Read our expert’s analysis and betting tips in our detailed Barcelona vs Napoli predictions.
Bayern Munich to score three or more goals
A powerful Bayern Munich team hammered home 31 goals in the 10 matches they’ve contested at the Allianz Arena so far in 2020, and the Bavarians proved too powerful a force for Chelsea to resist when the teams faced off in London back in February.
Even with a full complement of players, Chelsea’s task would have been tough in the return fixture, however, with the major personnel problems facing Frank Lampard, the Blues could lose heavily again.
Lampard will be without the injured César Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic, Pedro, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Billy Gilmour for Saturday, while key pair Marcos Alonso and Jorginho are also absent through suspension.
Against a severely weakened Chelsea outfit, Bayern Munich – who scored three or more goals in a phenomenal 28 separate matches already this season – can cut loose in the second leg.
Check out our comprehensive Bayern Munich vs Chelsea predictions for more free betting tips.
Luiz Suarez to score anytime (Barcelona vs Napoli)
Veteran Uruguayan striker Luiz Suarez has had his share of injury troubles this term, though the 33-year-old’s goals to games ratio remains superb.
Suarez has notched an impressive 19 goals in 26 starts in La Liga and the Champions League in 2019/20, and the ex-Liverpool star has the top-level knowhow to make another big-game impact against Napoli on Saturday.
It’s worth noting that all three of Suarez’s Champions League goals this season were struck at the Camp Nou, and we’re backing the controversial hitman to make his mark again.
Gnabry to score anytime (Bayern Munich vs Chelsea)
Former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry has saved some of his best work for Bayern Munich’s games against English opposition this season.
The prolific wideman managed to bag six Champions League goals so far this season, and all six strikes were leathered home against teams from the Premier League.
Gnabry scored a sensational four goals when Bayern tore Tottenham to shreds in London last year, and the 25-year-old helped himself to two more goals in the capital when the Bavarians taught Chelsea a lesson at Stamford Bridge in February.
With his knack of putting English teams to the sword well established, Gnabry can get among the goals again when he lines up against a weakened Chelsea.
Mario Rui carded (Barcelona vs Napoli)
29-year-old Portuguese left-back Mario Rui has fallen foul of match officials with regularity this season.
The defender has already been booked 12 times in all competitions for Napoli in 2019/20, and Rui tops the pile for yellow cards in Serie A this term for Gennaro Gatusso’s side.
Rui’s two Champions League cautions this season also make him the club’s joint worst offender on the continent, and the ex-Empoli man looks a prime candidate to have his name taken again when he lines up in direct opposition to Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi on Saturday.
Matteo Kovacic carded (Bayern Munich vs Chelsea)
While his counterparts at Chelsea – Jorginho and N’Golo Kante – carry much more solid reputations as combative midfielders, Croatian schemer Matteo Kovacic is the Blues’ quiet assassin in central areas.
The 26-year-old, who is more of a tactical fouler than a hatchetman, has picked up his fair share of yellow cards this season – in fact, his haul of 11 bookings in all competitions to date makes him the club’s second most prolific offender.
With the aforementioned Jorginho out suspended and N’Golo Kante in a race to be fit, Kovacic may have to add even more bite to his game at the Allianz Arena, and that in turn makes him a selection worth backing in the cards market again.
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