Analysis: Champions League Knockout games!

Four games of the first round of UEFA Champions League knock out games are over. And as usual, there aren't any big surprises. With three games out of four ending in draws and just Real Madrid emerging triumphant from the fixtures, first impression is that the ties are in balance. Or, at least the general perception is that there is so much still to play for. Is it really the case?

The first leg of the knock out games of last 16 of Champions League saw Real Madrid beat Schalke 2-0 away from home while Shakhtar Donetsk held Bayern Munich to a scoreless draw. Porto scored an important away goal at FC Basel and the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Similarly, Chelsea scored an important away goal at Paris Saint-Germain and Jose Mourinho will be the happier of the two coaches coming out of a 1-1 draw.

The Second leg matches may still end up telling a different tale and the favourites may be toppled over. However, we cannot withhold the fact that there were only 6 goals scored. This week will see the other four of the last 16 matches being played over with Manchester City looking to get it past Barcelona, Juventus hosting Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Leverkusen taking on Atletico Madrid and Arsenal seemingly at ease with their home match against AS Monaco.

At the same stage last year, we had 5 out of 8 games settled right after the first leg. And more importantly, all the visiting teams went aggressive to grab more than a goal. The trend this year seems to be more of ‘security first’ by making sure that the home advantage of the second leg kicks in.
However in the last 2 years, we saw 77 goals in 28 first leg matches and 84 goals in the return games. There was no Over/Under significance but an interesting fact is that there was no overtime in the last 2 years (until the final 2013/2014). Worth mentioning what we found on the results market. The correct score that happened most often was a 2:0 independent from the home/away factor with 12 matches ending that way followed by the score of 1:1 with 8 such results (out of 56 knock out matches in the last 2 CL seasons).
Reason enough for us to check the best bookies regarding the odds on 2:0 scores (home wins) as well as on 1:1s for the second legs:
The best bookie for 2:0s is William Hill with average odds of 7,0.
The best bookie for 1:1s is Bwin with average odds of 10,45.

Historically too, home teams ending with a draw in the first leg have had difficulty in qualifying. As per Opta Stats, only 31% of the teams have managed to qualify after a 1-1 home draw in the 1st leg of a knock out game in the Champions League. PSG would have an eye on this fact when they try to overturn the first leg draw at Chelsea. If you believe Laurent Blanc’s men will be able to rewrite this fact, you can bet on PSG to qualify which is being offered at 2,25 by William Hill.

It is generally observed that in knock out ties, the team which is playing at home is generally seen as having an advantage. No wonder then, that higher seeds in the knock out draw are granted this advantage by UEFA. Statistically, there is no such significant advantage. Teams which are playing second leg at home have lost almost as much as they won; and are eliminated in equal numbers as much as progressed.

It’s an old cliché that football isn’t played in numbers but on the field. Numbers from the past may tell a tale but we will be able to find out the facts only after the second leg. So check out our betting tips and betting strategies, make your mind carefully and have fun with Europes best football action!

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