Juve Up Against it but Dortmund Eye Last Eight

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Edin Terzic

The Champions League kicks back into action this week with a couple of intriguing last-16 ties. Borussia Dortmund will aim to bounce back from their 4-2 defeat to Bayern Munich on Saturday to take care of things against Sevilla after winning the first leg 3-2, while Serie A champions Juventus have it all to do as they look to claw back a 2-1 deficit from their first encounter with Porto.

Haaland Key to Dortmund’s Fortunes

There was concern in the closing stages of Der Klassiker on Saturday when Dortmund’s star striker Erling Haaland limped out of the match with an ankle injury with plenty of work still for BVB to do to book their place in the last eight.

The Norwegian had handed Edin Terzic’s side a two-goal lead against Bayern Munich before the European champions bounced back and there will be a sense of relief that the injury does not look to be too bad.

Haaland was on target twice in the first leg too, and Dortmund are arguably in a better place now than they were before that meeting.

The 3-2 victory was preceded by a league defeat to Freiburg and a home draw with Hoffenheim, but BVB had posted comfortable wins over Schalke and Arminia Bielefeld and a German Cup success over Borussia Monchengladbach before Saturday’s defeat.

Sevilla, on the other hand, have not had much to smile about.

They fell to two defeats to Barcelona, one in the Copa del Rey and their new central-defensive partnership of Karim Rekik and Sergi Gomez looked shaky in their 2-1 defeat to Elche, so the Bundesliga outfit should get the job done inside 90 minutes at 5/4.

Juventus Face Big Task

Juventus have had a monopoly on the Serie A title over the last few seasons, but their Champions League exits to Ajax and Lyon in the last two years have been big disappointments and they are in danger of posting another underwhelming departure.

They trail 2-1 from the first leg of their tie with Porto, but while Federico Chiesa’s late goal gave them hope of progressing, they still have plenty of work to do.

The main problem is that their opponents have proved particularly frugal in European competition this term and kept clean sheets in five of their six Champions League group matches, including a home goalless draw against Manchester City.

So they look capable of keeping the Old Lady at bay and they possess their own striking threat too.

Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi has netted nine goals in 15 matches this season and midfielder Sergio Oliveira has also chipped in with ten, so there are dangers for Juve boss Andrea Pirlo to consider.

He does still have the ability of Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata in the final third, but that might not be enough, so Porto have a great chance of qualifying from the tie at odds of 6/4.

If Juve get desperate, there could also be some interest in the visitors at 25/4 to win on the night too.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

A sports journalist for over 15 years, Aidan has been part of written and audio coverage on a wide-ranging number of events. Having played and coached at amateur level, he offers in-depth insight and opinion into the world of football in particular.

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