Champions League soccer predictions and UCL best bets for Wednesday 2/22: Tricky first leg for Manchester City
The final slate of Champions League round-of-16 first-leg games takes place on Wednesday, with teams from Portugal, Italy, England and Germany in action. Inter Milan is a strong favorite at home to Porto, but RB Leipzig is a home underdog for the visit of EPL team Manchester City.
We’ve picked out our best bets for each of those matchups on Wednesday afternoon, but make sure you check out the rest of our soccer predictions which include this weekend’s EPL matches. Both games kick off at 3:oopm ET and can be viewed on Paramount+. with Leipzig vs Manchester City also being shown on CBS. Odds shown are available at the time of publishing.
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Inter Milan vs Porto best bet: Under 2.5 goals (-130)
Inter against Porto is expected to be a tight matchup over the 180 minutes of the two-legged Champions League round-of-16 tie. Neither team is used to losing or allowing many goals, so we should expect a close first leg in Italy. Porto’s season really got going during the Champions League group stage, as it won its final 4 games of the first round to claim 1st place in the group, and now returns to European action on a 10-game winning streak.
Inter has also played well in European matches, successfully qualifying from a tough group which also housed Bayern Munich and Barcelona. A 1-0 home win over Barca was the key to their qualification. Only Juventus has posted more home shutouts in Serie A this season than Inter, while Porto has 8 in this current winning streak. These teams could cancel each other out, so under 2.5 goals looks a sensible wager — that bet cashed in all 4 of last week’s Champions League first legs.
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RB Leipzig vs Manchester City best bet: RB Leipzig or Tie double chance (+106)
Manchester City has been finding it more difficult to achieve wins on the road recently and RB Leipzig has a solid chance to at least avoid defeat in its first-leg game against the English champions. City’s recent league win at Arsenal was its only away win in the last 5 games in all competitions, and it was shut out by Borussia Dortmund and FC Copenhagen in goalless games in the group stage of this season’s Champions League. On top of that, star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is set to miss the game due to injury.
City was beaten in a group game at Leipzig last season and now goes up against a home team boosted by the return from injury of forward Christopher Nkunku last weekend. Nkunku, who is set for a move to Chelsea this summer, laid on an assist in his comeback game as Leipzig won 3-0 at Wolfsburg to make it 4 wins from the last 6 games in all competitions. The German club has lost just 1 of its last 20 competitive matches, and City’s defensive concerns — only 2 shutouts in the last 9 games — means it could pay to fade the road favorite and take Leipzig to either win or tie the game.
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