It doesn’t get much better than a glitzy knockout Champions League night.
Amsterdam and Manchester will play host to Ajax vs Benfica and Man United vs Atlético Madrid respectively, with both ties locked up on aggregate. Get our football experts’ best bets here.
- Over 3.5 goals in Ajax vs Benfica
- Draw between Man United & Atléti
Ajax vs Benfica
This isn’t likely to be an enjoyable night for defenders. Ajax and Benfica drew 2-2 in the first leg of this Champions League round of 16 battle, making this match a truly tantalizing prospect. It’s a difficult one to call but Ajax are in supreme domestic form and they have the red-hot Sébastien Haller leading the line.
The Ivorian has notched a stunning tally of 32 goals in 33 matches for Ajax this season, including 11 in seven UCL appearances. 22-year-old Uruguayan hotshot Darwin Núñez has 23 goals across 30 Benfica appearances this season, so it’s clear who the dangermen are at the Johan Cruijff arena on Tuesday.
The Dutch giants should get the better of a goal-filled contest here, but only just.
Man United vs Atlético Madrid
Man United’s dramatic 3-2 win over Spurs will have lifted some of the gloom surrounding Old Trafford, but clean sheets continue to elude them. Atlético Madrid doesn’t even have to necessarily score here in order to keep their hopes alive, but they’ll be confident they can do that with João Félix having netted five times in his last five outings, including the opener against United in Madrid.
Anthony Elanga’s late equalizer for the Red Devils at the Wanda Metropolitano means that this tie is hanging on a knife-edge. Key Atléti defender José Giménez is a major injury doubt and that will worry manager Simeone, whose side has just one clean sheet in its last five competitive away games (W2, D1, L2). Five of Man United’s last six games witnessed scoring in or after the 80th minute. You wouldn’t rule out late drama either, with Cristiano Ronaldo having scored 25 of his 807 career goals against these opponents. Only against Sevilla has he scored more.
Ronaldo’s young compatriot Félix will be desperate to steal the show in Manchester against an international colleague and all-time great.