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.
The Champions League’s spine-tingling anthem will be booming through millions of televisions when the competition resumes at its quarter-final stage later this week, and we’ve got some bet builder tips to whet your appetite ahead of Wednesday’s action.
Portuguese giants FC Porto lock horns with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in one of the evening’s headline acts, while a Lewandowski-less Munich host Ligue 1 behemoths PSG in Munich.
Both star-studded showdowns offer tons of multi-part betting potential, and below, we’ve picked out selections for this week’s Champions League quarter-final skirmishes with that in mind.
Want even more betting tips? Check out our football predictions page here.
FC Porto vs Chelsea bet builder tip
Match result market
Bet builder tip: Chelsea to win
Saturday’s aberration against WBA aside, Chelsea’s results since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival earlier this year have been superb, and the Blues had won 11 and drawn three of their 14 matches before their capitulation with 10-men against the Baggies.
FC Porto upset the odds to eliminate Juventus in the previous round, though the Portuguese outfit have generally struggled against English opponents in the Champions League. With Wednesday’s first-leg being played in Sevilla, Porto have also lost home advantage for the first-leg, and with circumstances stacked against them, they are worth opposing this week.
Both teams to score market
Bet builder tip: Both teams NOT to score
Chelsea collapsed in spectacular style when they were reduced to 10-men against West Brom on Saturday, but with a full complement of players on the field, the Blues had been rock-solid at the back before that.
With Thomas Tuchel’s defensive strategy proving a massive hit, Chelsea kept 11 clean sheets in the German’s first 14 matches in charge, and the Blues shut-out Atletico Madrid twice in the last round of the Champions League.
Bet builder tip: Under 2.5 goals
Chelsea’s first-leg clash with Porto has all the makings of a cagey battle for inches. While the Blues’ improvement in their defensive third under Tuchel has been notable, it has come at a price further up the pitch.
They have yet to score more than twice in a game with Tuchel calling the shots, and under 2.5 goals has landed in a huge 13 of their 15 contests since the German taskmaster took the reins.
Bet builder tip: Olivier Giroud to score
So often Chelsea’s man for the big occasion, Olivier Giroud was the Blues’ match winner when they forced a 1-0 Last 16 first-leg victory at Atletico Madrid in February and the veteran striker could be central to their chances of success again this week.
Giroud has notched an impressive six goals in his last four Champions League appearances overall, and the seasoned 34-year-old has a wonderful habit of popping up with match-defining moments in the tournament.
Bet builder tip: Mason Mount to have 1+ shots on target
Mason Mount is fast becoming one of Chelsea’s most influential players, and the 22-year-old offers the Blues are consistent goal-threat from midfield.
The England international has averaged a relatively modest 2.1 and 0.5 attempts per game in the Premier and Champions League respectively this season, though both stats have been climbing, and Mount is worth backing to test Porto keeper Agustín Marchesín with at least one effort.
Read all our FC Porto vs Chelsea predictions here
Bayern Munich vs Paris St. Germain bet builder tip
Match result market
Bet builder tip: Bayern Munich to win
A Bayern Munich team shorn of the devastating powers of Robert Lewandowski isn’t quite as strong, however, the Bavarians showed in their 1-0 win at Bundesliga title rivals RB Leipzig on Saturday that they can win big games without their top-scorer.
PSG meanwhile, showed their vulnerable side again when they were beaten at home by Lille in crunch Ligue 1 clash in Paris the same day, and with their confidence rattled, they could come up short again in Munich.
Both teams to score market
Bet builder tip: Both teams to score
Both Bayern Munich and PSG are renowned for the fluidity and pace of their football in the final third, though neither team has looked particularly solid in defence this season.
The German giants have kept just two clean sheets in eight Champions League fixtures in 2020/21 – a record mirrored exactly by Paris St. Germain, and there should be chances for both star-studded attacks to get in on the act in Munich on Wednesday.
Bet builder tip: Over 2.5 goals
Bayern Munich have delivered entertainment by the bucketful over the past couple of seasons in the Champions League, and 16 of their last 20 matches in the competitive have produced over 2.5 goals.
In 2020/21, their games in the tournament have averaged an eye-watering 3.875 goals per 90 minutes, and their frenetic style of play should lead to more edge-of-the-seat action when an attack-minded PSG visit Munich on Wednesday.
Bet builder tip: Serge Gnabry to score
Versatile forward Serge Gnabry was a big hit in last season’s Champions League, netting nine times overall during Bayern’s run to the title. This term, the German international hasn’t quite found his range in the tournament, though he should have chances to break his duck in the competition against PSG.
With Robert Lewandowski sidelined, Gnabry could be deployed in a more central role for Bayern, and the 25-year-old – who is already into double figures for the campaign domestically – is capable of shouldering the extra goal-scoring responsibility.
*UPDATE – Serge Gnabry has been ruled out of Wednesday’s game after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Bet builder tip: Neymar to have 2+ shots on target
Sometimes it’s worth sticking with a player who has a selfish streak instead of a team’s best attacker in the shot markets, and Brazilian superstar Neymar certainly falls into that category.
The 29-year-old is averaging a meaty 4.0 and 3.4 attempts per Ligue 1 and Champions League appearances respectively this season, though his 2.2 shots per target figure in the latter competition points to more accuracy on the continent.
Neymar will want to take centre-stage in Munich on Wednesday in front of the watching world, so expect him to let fly at every opportunity at the Allianz Arena.
Read all our Bayern Munich vs PSG predictions here
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