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⚽️ Champions League Preview: Arsenal & Barca

We're halfway through the Round of 16 in this year's UCL, and while last week's action was upset-free, some contenders are in danger this week. Can Arsenal and Barcelona get it done today both playing at home? 🤔 (3 min read)

UCL Round of 16 Continues

I know you guys have gotten your fill of hoops content from us lately, so I think it’s high time to toss the soccer fans here a bone. Let’s talk some Champions League 🏆

  • First thing’s first, here’s a quick guide for anyone unfamiliar with the UCL format, and how it will change moving forward

  • Last week saw the first four teams claim their spots in the quarterfinal round, and the results were pretty much as expected 👇

    • Bayern Munich over Lazio (3-1 on aggregate)

    • PSG over Real Sociedad (4-1)

    • Real Madrid over Leipzig (2-1)

    • Manchester City over Copenhagen (6-2)

Man City captured their first ever Champions’ League title last year, and if their dominance over Copenhagen is any indication, a repeat is well within reach. Just ask Vegas, who has the Sky Blues positioned as sizable championship favorites (+160)

But I’m getting ahead of myself with this title talk. Round of 16 action is set to resume over the next couple days, with four very intriguing matches to determine the second half of the quarterfinal field. Check out the schedule for today and tomorrow (home team listed first) ⬇️

We’ll focus on the two matches going down this afternoon, starting with an Arsenal team that is quite familiar with heartbreak this time of year 😭

  • The Gunners are one of England’s most storied clubs, but they’ve yet to capture that elusive first UCL title, and they haven’t even advanced out of the Round of 16 since 2010 😬

  • Despite eight straight defeats in the opening round, they entered this year’s tournament with plenty of hype, and top-four title odds (+650)

  • But they’ll head into today’s do-or-die match against FC Porto already facing a one-goal disadvantage, courtesy of a wild finish to the first leg 👇

Arsenal has outscored their EPL opponents 12-2 since that loss, and they’re currently sitting atop the league table, so this team is certainly capable of grabbing the win they need today on their home field. Even with the deficit, oddsmakers are still backing them pretty heavily to advance to the next round (-325)

  • But Porto (+250) ain’t just some flukey underdog; they’re plenty legit themselves. The Portuguese club has a long history of UCL success, and they’ve lost just once in their last 15 matches. And remember, all they need is a tie 🤷🏻‍♂️

Today’s other match between Barcelona and Napoli has no aggregate considerations after the two clubs settled for a 1-1 draw in their first leg. So it’s a one-game winner-take-all, and the odds are unsurprisingly in favor of the Spanish powerhouse playing in front of one of the sport’s most electric home crowd 🇪🇸

Seeing Barcelona take the field without Messi still takes some getting used to, but at their best this remains one of the most dangerous clubs in the world…you can find them at -250 to advance today 💪

  • Napoli (+198) hasn’t had the season they hoped for in Italy’s Serie A (currently in seventh place), but they’ve looked better of late, and their performance in the first leg at least shows they aren’t overmatched 🤔

Last week saw all of the favorites advance, but the underdogs both have a fighting chance today – can either Porto or Napoli shake things up with an upset? 🍿

Trivia Question: UCL success has eluded them, but where does Arsenal rank all-time in EPL titles?

For My Parlay Gurus

Will Arsenal make it nine straight Round of 16 exits? I don’t think so; you know I love a good upset, but I gotta back the favorites today. I’m taking the Gunners to win by 2+ goals and Barca to win in regulation; check out this parlay 👇

  • Arsenal -1.5 vs. FC Porto: -150

  • Barcelona ML vs. Napoli: -120

$100 on this bet would win you $206 — if we hit, make sure you email [email protected] for a chance to win an Overtime hoodie*. Many will enter, only some will win 😉

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Trivia Answer: Arsenal’s 13 EPL titles ranks third all-time, trailing only Manchester United (20) and Liverpool (19)

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Many will enter, one (1) will win. Void where prohibited. Open to legal US & DC residents 18 years or older. Prize is one Overtime hoodie. Approximate retail value (“ARV”): $65. Entries are accepted until 11:59 pm EST on the day after the bet hits. See Campaign Terms for additional terms. ©2023 Overtime Sports, Inc. All rights reserved.