Following last week’s incredible round of last 16 second legs, the Champions League is back this week to complete the line-up for the quarter-finals. With most of the games finely poised and some of Europe’s top marksmen on show, who’s looking good in the first goalscorer bets?
Starting with perhaps the least competitive-looking tie of the week, Manchester City vs Schalke. The Premier League leaders pulled of a dramatic late victory when down to 10 men in the first leg, after Sergio Aguero had put the Blues into an early lead.
The Argentine striker has been in sensational form of late, with 11 goals in his last 10 games. Schalke are struggling in the Bundesliga this season, and have only won one of their last nine fixtures in all competitions. Aguero is the likeliest City player to break the deadlock, and he’s priced at 11/4 with Betfred.
Tuesday’s other game sees Juventus attempting to overturn a 2-0 deficit from their away leg against Atletico Madrid. An early goal for Juve completely changes the complexion of this tie, and the runaway Serie A leaders have a certain Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks.
Ronaldo is of course looking to make it four Champions League titles in a row on a personal level. As well as serious pedigree in this competition, the Portuguese is looking to end a four-match scoring drought and add to his 21 goals this season. Atleti are the favourites to go through, but Ronaldo tops the first goalscorer odds at 29/10 with 888sport.
On to Wednesday, and two ties where no one could break the deadlock in the first legs. Liverpool head to Germany to take on Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, looking to end a barren run away from home. Mohamed Salah is also looking to end a barren run, as the Egyptian has gone five games without a goal.
While Salah is 11/2 to score first, Sadio Mane could be more interesting at 8/1 with bet365. The Senegal forward has kept Liverpool’s title challenge alive with eight goals in his last nine games. Four of those have been to open the scoring.
Robert Lewandowski meanwhile is the 10/3 favourite to break the deadlock. The Polish striker’s on 29 goals for the season, with eight of those coming in the Champions League, making him the competition’s top scorer. Lewandowski has struggled to deliver on the big occasions in the past, but is always a threat.
A man who certainly hasn’t struggled on Europe’s grandest stage down the years takes to the field over in Spain this week. Lionel Messi has 34 goals from 35 games this season, and has scored in each of his two home games against Lyon in the past. The Argentine maestro is 11/5 with 888sport to net first as Barcelona host Lyon at the Nou Camp.
If you’re looking to put together an accumulator from the best Champions League first goalscorer bets, you can get a massive 351/1 with bet365 on Aguero, Ronaldo, Mane and Messi all striking first this week. And if you’re after some free bets to spend on this week’s Champions League action, don’t miss the latest offers from our top partners.
Not exactly a long-suffering Manchester City fan, Tom’s favourite moment supporting the Blues was being a young lad at Wembley for Paul Dickov’s equaliser in the 1999 play-off final against Gillingham. He follows La Liga closely too, and has lots of experience writing about sports betting including F1, tennis and golf.