What an exciting time to be a Football Index trader at the moment! We’ve seen unprecedented growth period recently for various reasons including the announcement of new territories due to join the platform in Sweden, Canada & Ireland, a recent bonus incentive for those that attended the trader meet in London with special guest speaker Lex Van Dam saw literally thousands of pounds pumped into the platform. With both the Champions & Europa Leagues resuming after the winter break and almost inevitably a lot of money went into players still involved in these competitions.
It’s no wonder when you consider Football index have confirmed that match day pay-outs will be treble (top defenders/midfielders/forwards 12p + 6p Star man) for the quarterfinals onwards – could prove quite lucrative when only a handful of teams will be playing on these match days.
With a crucial week coming up, let's catch up on recent events in both competitions.
Round of 32 Aggregate results
Lokomotiv Moscow 4-2 Nice
Atletico Madrid 5-1 FC Copenhagen
Dynamo Kiev 1-1 AEK Athens * Dynamo Kiev win on away goals
Lazio 5- 2 Steaua Bucharest
RB Leipzig 3-3 Napoli * RB Leipzig win on away goals
Sporting Lisbon 6-4 FC Astana
Viktoria Plzen 3-1 Partizan Belgrade
Villarreal 1-4 Lyon
Zenit St Petersburg 3-1 Celtic
Arsenal 4-2 Östersunds FK
Atalanta 3-4 Borussia Dortmund
Athletic Bilbao 4-3 Spartak Moscow
FC Red Bull Salzburg 4-3 Real Sociedad
AC Milan 4-0 Ludogorets Razgrad
Sporting Braga 1-3 Marseille
CSKA Moscow 1-0 Red Star Belgrade
In perhaps the tie of the round, Serie A leaders were knocked out despite winning 2-0 on the night at RB Leipzig. A 3-1 home defeat in the first leg left Napoli on the brink of elimination, goals from Piotr Zielinski and Lorenzo Insigne setting up a grandstand finish in the return fixture. But it was not to be, Timo Werner's brace in the first leg proving enough to see RB Leipzig into the last 16 of the Europa League in what is the club's maiden European campaign.
There was better news for Napoli's Serie A rivals, Lazio, though, as an Immobile treble - his third of the season - saw them emphatically overturn a first-leg deficit against Romanian side Steaua Bucharest. Lazio had suffered a surprise 1-0 loss in the first leg in Romania, but the Serie A side came from behind to secure a comfortable 5-1 aggregate victory. Ciro Immobile scored twice before half-time to reach 30 goals in all competitions for the season, with Bastos also on target as Simone Inzaghi's men routed Steaua 5-0 at the Stadio Olimpico. Felipe Anderson struck after the interval to add to a comprehensive Lazio win, guaranteeing Serie A will be represented in Friday's last-16 draw, with Immobile wrapping up his hat-trick winning 18p in dividends as top forward and star man.
Lokomotiv Moscow joined city rivals CSKA in the last 16 with a 1-0 win over Nice ensuring a 4-2 aggregate victory, Igor Denisov's well-taken finish deciding the encounter in the Russian capital.
A 3-1 win for Sporting CP in their first leg against Astana gave the Portuguese side a big advantage, which Bas Dost added to with an early header - his 10th aerial goal of the campaign. Although Astana equalised, Bruno Fernandes struck a brace in a thrilling 3-3 draw that ensured Sporting went through with a 6-4 aggregate victory. Those 2 goals for Fernandes secured 12p dividends as top midfielder.
Arsenal survived a huge scare to keep their Europa League campaign alive, progressing to the last 16 with a 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds despite a 2-1 loss at home. The Gunners cruised to a 3-0 win in the first leg in Sweden last week but found themselves 2-0 down at half-time of the return fixture at the Emirates Stadium. A strike from Sead Kolasinac early in the second half eased some of the nerves in north London.
AC Milan went through after beating Ludogorets 1-0 on the night with a Fabio Borini goal, sending them into the next round on a 4-0 aggregate score. This clean sheet helping Ricardo Rodriguez win 12p dividends as top defender.
Favourites Atletico Madrid cruised through with a 1-0 win, easing past Copenhagen. Kevin Gameiro opened the scoring with a spectacular drive from range just seven minutes in. Main man Griezzman was rested due to the commanding lead from the first leg.
Spanish teams have a brilliant record in this competition, but 2015-16 semi-finalists Villarreal were knocked out by Lyon. The Ligue 1 side led 3-1 after the first leg at home and when Jaume Costa was dismissed, Bertrand Traore then on target to earn a 1-0 win and send Lyon through.
Borussia Dortmund needed an 83rd-minute goal from Marcel Schmelzer to ensure they did not go out on away goals to Atalanta. Having scored twice in a 3-2 loss in Germany, Atalanta had hoped Rafael Toloi's early strike would be enough only for Schmelzer to save Dortmund late on.
Zenit overturned Celtic's slim first-leg lead to go through 3-1 on aggregate, with former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic scoring one and making another. Last season's semi-finalists Lyon won 1-0 at Villarreal to go through 4-1 on aggregate.
RB Salzburg's 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad was enough for them to continue in the competition and though Marseille lost 1-0 to Braga, they marched on nevertheless having held a 3-0 lead from the first meeting.
Elsewhere, goals from Michael Krmencik and Ales Cermak earned Viktoria Plzen a 2-0 win and 3-1 aggregate success against Partizan Belgrade, while Dynamo Kiev progressed on away goals after a 0-0 draw with AEK Athens.
Round of 16 Draw – First Leg
Football Index Double Match Day Payouts
Top Defender 8p / Top Mid 8p / Top Forward 8p / Star Player 4p
THURSDAY 8TH MARCH Odds Home Draw Away
Atlético Madrid 18:00 Lokomotiv Moscow 2/9 4/1 10/1
Borussia Dortmund 18:00 FC Red Bull Salzburg 4/9 7/2 11/2
CSKA Moscow 18:00 Lyon 8/5 11/5 17/10
AC Milan 18:00 Arsenal 6/5 23/10 21/10
Lazio 20:05 Dynamo Kiev 2/5 10/3 11/2
Marseille 20:05 Athletic Bilbao 4/5 12/5 3/1
RB Leipzig 20:05 Zenit St Petersburg 8/13 13/5 7/2
Sporting Lisbon 20:05 Viktoria Plzen 4/11 16/5 13/2
Second Leg ties to be played 15th March
Outright Winner Odds
Atlético Madrid 9/4 Arsenal 5/1 Borussia Dortmund 6/1
Lazio 9/1 RB Leipzig 10/1 Lyon 12/1
Sporting Lisbon 12/1 Marseille 12/1 AC Milan 14/1
Athletic Bilbao 18/1 Zenit St Petersburg 33/1 FC Red Bull Salzburg 33/1
CSKA Moscow 33/1 Dynamo Kiev 50/1 Lokomotiv Moscow 90/1
Viktoria Plzen 90/1
Round of 16 Second Leg ties
Odds Home Draw Away
TUESDAY 6TH MARCH
Liverpool 19:45 FC Porto Madrid (Agg 5-0) 4/9 16/5 5/1
Paris Saint Germain 19:45 Real Madrid (Agg 1-3) Evens 11/4 23/10
WEDNESDAY 7TH MARCH
Manchester City 19:45 FC Basel (Agg 4-0) 1/12 7/1 18/1
Tottenham Hotspur 19:45 Juventus (Agg 2-2) 11/10 11/5 23/10
TUESDAY 13TH MARCH
Manchester United 19:45 Sevilla (Agg 0-0) 8/13 13/5 7/2
Roma 19:45 Shakhtar Donetsk (Agg 1-2) 8/13 13/5 7/2
WEDNESDAY 14TH MARCH
Besiktas 17:00 Bayern Munich (Agg 0-5) 9/2 10/3 2/5
Barcelona 19:45 Chelsea (Agg 1-1) 2/5 10/3 5/1
Biggest news affecting this the 2nd leg ties will undoubtedly by Neymar’s injury sustained during a PSG league match versus Marseille, the Brazilian forward will miss the crucial match with Real Madrid. Already 3-1 down from the first leg, PSG have a massive task ahead of them to progress to the next round, Real’s indifferent form, however, will encourage PSG that the tie is not yet finished.
Manchester City (fav), Bayern Munich and Liverpool all have commanding leads from their 1st leg ties and may rest certain first-teamers for their 2nd leg tie as progression into the quarterfinals are all but secured. Players from these clubs will be eligible for those attractive 12p treble match day payouts during the QF’s and it seems that traders have been quick to pounce.
There is 3 ties far from resolved. Manchester Utd v Sevilla, Tottenham v Juventus and Barcelona v Chelsea – the home teams all will be very confident of progressing to the Quarterfinals. Somewhat expect a lot of activity in players being bought and sold pending the results of these ties.
Roma will be looking to overturn the 2-1 result in the 1st leg against Shakhtar Donetsk, an impressive 4-2 win against league leaders Napoli leading up to this match will give them plenty of encouragement especially with 3 of the main men Under, Dzeko and Perotti all scoring.
With the conclusion of the 2nd leg ties, all eyes will be on the draw for the quarterfinals on March 16.
Outright Winner Odds
Manchester City 10/3 Barcelona 4/1 Bayern Munich 5/1
Real Madrid 11/2 Liverpool 9/1 PSG 10/1
Tottenham 14/1 Manchester Utd 18/1 Juventus 25/1
Chelsea 40/1 Roma 60/1 Shaktar Donetsk 100/1
Sevilla 100/1 Besiktas 250/1 Basel 500/1
Whatever happens this week, there will be increased trading on the platform no doubt – let us hope we are all on the right players to see some big gains! Good luck!
Premium Member PB Stats
We will be adding this article together with updated PB stats that focus on the remaining champions league games to the Member's Blog later today.