Juventus are worthy favourites to progress, but Borussia Dortmund should at least score in the second leg…
Borussia Dortmund v Juventus
Live on Sky Sports 1
Relegation is no longer a concern for Borussia Dortmund following a six-game Bundesliga unbeaten run, but they remain a shadow of the Champions League final-reaching team of 2012/13, as evidenced by the 0-0 draws with bottom-half duo Hamburg and Koln in their last two fixtures.
Their injury list is at least not as severe as it has been at times this season as they attempt to recover a 2-1 deficit against Juventus. Lukasz Piszczek and Kevin Grosskreutz are both out, while Matthias Ginter and Nuri Sahin are doubts.
The Old Lady are in a tricky domestic position because the demise of their main challengers Roma, who have won once in ten matches, has rendered a fourth successive scudetto a formality.
However, they have done an admirable job of maintaining their focus, with the exception of the odd careless away draw against the likes of Udinese and Cesena, and haven’t lost in 18 Serie A outings.
Juventus have more absentees than their hosts, but the only truly troubling one is Andrea Pirlo, who suffered a calf injury in the first leg, which his side admittedly went on to win without him.
Also missing are Martin Caceres, Paolo De Ceglie, Romulo and Kwadwo Asamoah, though the latter two are no longer in the Champions League squad for that reason.
Match Odds: Borussia Dortmund 2.265/4, Juventus 3.55n/a, The Draw 3.55/2
As much as Borussia Dortmund’s supporters are praised, Signal Iduna Park isn’t the fortress that you might assume.
They have been defeated there four times in the league this term, including to lowly Hamburg and Hannover, and have lost twice in seven Champions League ties – to Arsenal and Zenit – being held by Anderlecht in the most recent.
Juventus aren’t the best Champions League travellers, yet stopped the rot with victory in their latest assignment at Malmo, and are unbeaten in 11 road trips across all competitions. They have also prevailed on all three prior visits to Dortmund.
You might be surprised that the Italian club are as short as 1.564/7 to qualify, especially given the popular spiel about 2-1 being a dangerous lead in a double header.
However, Juventus have a three-from-three strike rate when it comes to converting such advantages away in continental combat and have also progressed through a stunning 12 of their 15 previous two-leggers with German opposition.
Both Teams to Score
It took just 18 minutes for both sides’ clean-sheet-keeping plans to collapse in the first leg and both teams to score looks like an appealing prospect again at 1.845/6.
Juventus have netted in all bar one of their last 18 encounters and have shut out only one of their past seven Champions League hosts.
Dortmund have fired a shocking ten Bundesliga blanks in 2014/15, but tend to get it right in Europe. They have notched 15 times in seven games, with their sole zero arriving away to Arsenal. Five of their last seven foreign guests scored, including latest two Galatasaray and Anderlecht.
Whatever happens in this showdown, Dortmund will be able to take one positive from this dreary campaign: persuading Marco Reus to sign a new contract.
The Germany international has struck four times in the five weeks since that unexpected extension and often finds his finest form on the grandest occasions. Since November alone, he has fired past Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, enemies Schalke and in the first leg of this round-of-16 clash.
Best Bet: Back both teams to score @ 1.845/6
Other Recommended Bet: Back Reus to score @ 3.211/5