Dortmund vs. Spurs, Tuesday 5th March, 20:00
Both teams have hit rough patches in their respective seasons as Dortmund have just one win from their last seven outings, while Spurs can count themselves fortunate to have one point from their last three.
However, the hosts still boast an impressive record at the Westfalenstadion as they have won 12 of their 17 unbeaten outings in all competitions this term, including victories over the likes of Leipzig, Frankfurt, Atletico Madrid, Bayern and Gladbach, as well as Leverkusen in their last outing here.
Mauricio Pochettino’s charges find themselves on a run of four straight defeats on the road in all competitions, including defeat to Chelsea when they had won the first leg already – similar to their situation here although by a slimmer margin.
In fact, since 2012/13, teams in the Champions League have a woeful record away in the second leg when defending a three-goal lead from the first leg at home, losing seven of nine such matches as only Liverpool could salvage a 2-1 victory at Man City last season, while Barca managed a goalless stalemate with Juve the year before. For that reason, we’re with Lucien Favre’s men to put some pressure on Spurs, even if they don’t quite qualify.
Real Madrid vs. Ajax, Tuesday 5th March, 20:00
All is not well at Madrid and preparations for this clash have not been ideal to say the least. Sergio Ramos has been hit with a two-game suspension following his deliberate yellow card in the first leg of this tie, though he would have missed this game anyway had he been successful in whipping the slate clean for the quarter-finals.
However, with Marcelo, Isco and Gareth Bale falling out of favour and Ronaldo departing for Juve over the summer, this is a shadow of the team that have won four of the past five editions of this tournament.
Indeed, Real have lost all three home games since the first leg to Girona and Barcelona (twice) by an aggregate score of 6-1, while they required two penalties to down Levante 2-1 on their travels.
By contrast, Ajax have won their subsequent three games by a combined score of 13-1, while they were somewhat unfortunate to suffer defeat in the initial tussle with Los Blancos having had a goal disallowed by VAR, hitting the woodwork and seriously testing Thibault Courtois a couple of times.
Since 2010/11, Real have progressed on all 14 occasions where they’ve taken a lead into the second leg of a Champions League knockout tie, but they’re merely W7-D1-L6 over these fixtures and won just three of seven at the Bernabeu.
Ajax picked up a pair of draws with another below par European heavyweight in Bayern during the group stages, and can make life uncomfortable for the reigning champions with a youthful and vibrant team that deserved more from their first leg effort.
Porto vs. Roma, Wednesday 6th March, 20:00
Roma were convincingly beaten 3-0 by their city rivals Lazio at the weekend. However, they’ll hope to bounce back from that having won each of their previous four matches, even if they haven’t exactly excelled on the road this term.
Meanwhile, Porto will be kicking themselves as they lost out to their rivals Benfica at the Estádio do Dragão last time out, as the Lisbon based outfit also leapfrogged them domestically too.
Eusebio Di Francesco will be hoping history repeats itselfas including playoffs, Italian teams have drawn six of eight unbeaten trips to Portuguese sides in this competition since 2007/08.
That run includes Roma’s last visit here which ended 1-1 back in 2016, while three of their last five visits to competitive top-half opposition in Serie A have ended in stalemates.
With a goal advantage from their 2-1 victory back in Rome to defend, we reckon they can hold out their opposition and qualify for the quarter-finals with another deadlock.
*all odds are subject to change