Odds Against: The Weekly JOE Group Bet - Matchday 6
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It's the Weekly JOE Group Bet, but not as you know it
In previous editions of the Weekly JOE Group Bet, we have mainly focused on matches on the British Isles. Premier League and Championship games have been the order of the day, with the occasional foray into LaLiga.
But with the Champions League round of 16 set to kick off this week we figured there was no better time to expand our collective eye to the continent. The second round of the Champions League is thankfully offering us up some extremely interesting ties, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's resurgent Manchester United side facing a PSG team with enormous pressure on them to finally lift the trophy, as well as the clash between two of Europe's most exciting teams on their day: Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund.
As usual, we'll use Sky Bet's Group Bet feature, in which we put the four of our football brains - Si, Matt, Reuben and Wayne - together in the JOE Sky Bet Group Bet league.
N.B. Odds are correct at the time of publication.
Fan Boy - Wayne: BTTS in Manchester United vs Paris Saint-Germain
Manchester United have been a side reborn since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho and such is the optimism at the club and among fans that there is genuine if tentative optimism that we may be able to make it through a tie which had appeared insurmountable while the Portuguese coach was still at the club.
We'll undoubtedly be buoyed by the absence of Neymar, but will still have to contend with PSG's other two world class strikers Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani. It is because of the away side's embarrassment of riches that I think it is unlikely that United will keep a clean sheet in the first leg of this tie. However, given the interim coach's return to the club's traditional attacking style, as well as the stunning form of and link-up play between Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, I firmly believe United will get on the score sheet too.
Captain Obvious - Reuben: Real Madrid to beat Ajax
After a slow start to the season, and the absence of a new immediate new manager bounce from Santi Solari, Real Madrid have finally hit a run of form. Having drawn the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona and beaten Atlético Madrid at the weekend, it would take a monumental collapse for Ajax to get anything from them in this tie.
Ajax are in good domestic form, scoring seven goals in their last two matches, but they will struggle to continue that form against Madrid, and will have to adapt to having much less of the ball than usual.
Dark Horse - Si: Borussia Dortmund to beat Tottenham Hotspur
Lucien Favre's Borussia Dortmund side have shocked the pundits this season with their extraordinary form in the Bundesliga. After 20 league games they have a seven-point lead after winning 15 games, drawing four and losing one. Spurs meanwhile have been quietly working away in the Premier League despite a host of injuries to key players and find themselves still in the hunt for the title.
Home sides tend to have the advantage in these games, but I feel that those aforementioned injuries - particularly to Spurs' talisman Harry Kane - put the ball in Dortmund's court.
The German side will know that the injury to the England star represents a massive opportunity for them to progress, and their 51 league games this season - as well as the timings of those goals - are testament of a side which can ruthlessly take advantage of opportunities in a way that few others can.
Tottenham will need to start well to win this one, but I believe Dortmund will have too much for them.
The Stat Man - Matt: Under 2.5 goals in AS Roma vs Porto
One of the less glamorous ties in this season's round of 16, Roma vs Porto could still be an intriguing battle. The Portuguese side have only conceded 12 goals in the league all season, while Roma have conceded 30. That said, Roma will pose a bigger threat to Porto than any team in the Primeira Liga.
I see this as a low scoring affair, with both sides erring on the side of caution in the first leg, which is why I've decided to make under 2.5 goals being scored in this tie my selection for this group bet.