1. Cristiano Ronaldo to score first at 3.60
Ronaldo hasn’t scored since turning 30 on February 5th and is currently enduring his longest spell without a goal this season. But we all know Ronaldo doesn’t go too long without a goal and, despite struggling with a knee injury of late, is always a good bet to score. He’s scored 57 goals in 57 Champions League games and, available at slightly-higher-than-usual odds of 3.60, back him to score first and make it 58 from 58.
2. Benedikt Howedes to score any time at 21.00
While it may be seen as a long shot, Howedes knows how to score in the big games. The central defender has scored three goals from centre-back this season, with two of those coming against Bayern Munich and the other in the 4-3 win over Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League group stage back October. Schalke’s best chance of doing some damage against Madrid is from set-pieces and Howedes carries a threat in such situations. Worth a small stake at 21.00.
3. Schalke +1.25 on the Asian Line to beat Real Madrid at 1.87
Schalke face Real Madrid in the Champions League for the second successive season, having lost 6-1 to Los Blancos in the corresponding game last time. Schalke don’t have a great record in the knockout phase, but expect this game to be very different to last year’s as Schalke, who have improved in recent weeks under Roberto di Matteo, aim to keep things tight against the holders. This first leg is likely to be won by a single goal, meaning the Asian Line at +1.25 makes sense.
4. Draw/Away at 4.90 in the HT/FT
Porto have the greater Champions League pedigree here as Switzerland meets Portugal in this last 16 clash. Basel have never won a Champions League game against a Portuguese team and Porto are still unbeaten in this year’s competition, with their last 16 goals in the competition coming from the 45th minute onwards. With former Benfica star Paulo Sousa in the Basel dugout, it could be a tempestuous affair, which the visitors could just sneak.
5. Both teams to score in Basel vs Porto at 1.93
Basel have only conceded three goals in their last seven Champions League games, but have rarely come up against such quality opposition in attack. While Porto are unlikely to leave Basel without an away goal, Basel themselves will fancy their chances at home. This could be a relatively open one for a first leg so back both sides to score.