Champions LeagueFootball

Champions League QF betting tips: Atalanta to keep their incredible run going, Atletico to sweep aside Leipzig

August 11, 2020

ARE you ready for the most exciting few days of Champions League action we're ever likely to witness? Back-to-back massive games separated by mere hours with so many twists and turns and competing narratives that there will barely enough time to discuss all the action. The old European Cup for the iPhone generation. Enjoy! Here is part one of this week's Champions League quarter-final tips.
 

Atalanta vs Paris Saint-Germain | Wednesday August 12, 20:00 GMT
 

Since losing 1-0 to Man City in 2015/16, Paris Saint-Germain have scored in 32 consecutive Champions League matches, the longest such run in the competition. Since 2014/15, only Cristiano Ronaldo (33), Lionel Messi (16) and Robert Lewandowski (14) have scored more goals in Champions League knockout ties than Neymar (12), and Atalanta have conceded more goals (16) in this year's competition than any remaining quarter-finalist.

However, Paris are winless and without a clean sheet in all six previous clashes with Italian sides (drawn two, lost four). Atalanta, the highest scoring Serie A side since 1951/52 with 98 league goals, have had more shots on target (269) than any major European side in 2019/20. They will be without key midfielder Josep Ilicic who has scored five of their last seven Champions League goals, but then Paris Saint-Germain are contending with plenty of absences of their own.

Angel Di Maria, Layvin Kurzawa and Thilo Kehrer are definitely out, while Kylian Mbappe and Marco Verratti remain doubtful. The French champions have also played just two competitive games over the last five months (wins in July 24's Coupe de la Ligue Final against St Etienne, and July 31's Coupe de France Final against Lyon) compared to 12 for Atalanta (nine wins, three draws, one defeat)

Uncontainable attacking threat, better preparation, fewer injuries, and bigger odds make Atalanta the team to back in this encounter. Gian Piero Gasperini's side have laughed in the face of Serie A's bigger budgets for the last four years. Now it's time to take that approach to the continent.

Match Odds: Atalanta (12/5) Draw (29/10) Paris Saint-Germain (21/20)
Tip: Atalanta to go through (27/20)
Correct score: Atalanta 3-2 Paris Saint-Germain (20/1
 

RB Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid | Thursday August 13, 20:00 GMT   
 

This tie pits together two teams who between them disposed of last year's finalists – Leipzig with a 4-0 aggregate win over Spurs, Atletico Madrid with a thrilling extra-time comeback at Anfield to see off Liverpool 4-2. This will be Atleti's fifth Champions League quarter-final in the last seven years, a record bettered only by Barcelona and Bayern Munich. During that run, Diego Simeone's side have swotted aside German opposition three times out of three – Bayer Leverkusen in 2014/15 and 2016/17, and Bayern Munich in 2015/16.

Leipzig's 3.2 xG negative differential (just 14 goals from an expected goals tally of 17.2) is amongst the biggest of sides left in the competition, and with top scorer Timo Werner now departed for Chelsea, and four of their last eight Champions League goals coming from the spot, the outlook is not good ahead of a clash with arguably Europe's best defence over the last five years.

Atletico hung in there for huge most of their tie with Liverpool and may adopt a similar approach against an RB side that, on paper, goes about their business a similar way. Indeed that may suit the Spaniards who have bagged 12 of their last 14 goals after half-time, while Alvaro Morata has notched an impressive 53% of his 15 UCL goals in the knockout stages.

Match Odds: RB Leipzig (23/10) Draw (43/20) Atletico Madrid (7/5
Tip: HT Draw FT Atletico Madrid (9/2)
Correct score: RB Leipzig 0-2 Atletico Madrid (19/2)