The 2023-24 UEFA Champions League knockout stage begins Tuesday with the first leg of round of 16 games featuring Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Manchester City and FC Copenhagen. Action this week continues Wednesday with Lazio, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Sociedad. All matches will be available on Paramount+, with the Man City and PSG games also airing on CBS.
We’ll go through everything you need to know about each match, along with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook and our predictions for each contest.
Champions League round of 16 first leg picks
RB Leipzig vs. Real Madrid - Tuesday, February 13, 3 p.m. ET
RB Leipzig: +200
Real Madrid: +125
Leipzig are coming into this contest off a 2-2 draw to Augsburg. They’ve found a way to bounce back from a three-match losing streak with a win and this recent draw, but Real Madrid are a different beast. Leipzig will want to get something from this game to avoid going to the Santiago Bernabeu with an aggregate deficit. The Bundesliga club should have defender Willi Orban in the lineup, even on short rest. He’s recovering from a knee injury.
Real Madrid have some big injury issues of their own, with Jude Bellingham being ruled out for a few weeks at the top of that list. Bellingham’s absence likely means Brahim Diaz gets the nod in the starting XI. Los Blancos are also going to be down Antonio Rudiger, meaning more makeshift defensive lines with Eder Militao and David Alaba still being out. Nacho is expected to be in the lineup.
Even though this is a road game, I think the La Liga side are too good for RB Leipzig to handle in this situation. Real Madrid tend to turn things up in Champions League games and even with Bellingham out, the Spanish giants should get the job done here.
Pick: Real Madrid +125
FC Copenhagen vs. Manchester City - Tuesday, February 13, 3 p.m. ET
FC Copenhagen: +1100
Manchester City: -425
Pep Guardiola’s side is expected to be at 100%, which makes this an easy prediction. We’ll see how much Erling Haaland and Manuel Akanji play after just coming back from injuries, especially since this is not expected to be a problematic encounter for Man City.
FC Copenhagen get a great opportunity to host the defending champions but I don’t expect them to challenge Man City in any way Tuesday. Take Guardiola’s side to get the win, using the goal line odds (-1.5 at -150, -2.5 at +165) to get a better line.
Pick: Man City -425
Lazio vs. Bayern Munich - Wednesday, February 14, 3 p.m. ET
Bayern Munich: -150
The Serie A side come into this contest off a 3-1 win in league play over Cagliari and are getting a nice boost with Nicolo Rovella set to come back. Patric and Mattia Zaccagni are also expected to be making returns, although both are considered questionable. What’s even better for Lazio is Bayern Munich come into this match off a brutal 3-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen. That result created a five-point cushion for Leverkusen at the top of the table and additional questions about Thomas Tuchel’s ability to lead this club.
There’s also injury concerns for Bayern. Serge Gnabry, Alphonso Davies and Kingsley Coman are still out, while Joshua Kimmich is likely going to remain in a bench role. Bryan Zaragoza is dealing with an illness and is considered questionable.
Bayern are vulnerable right now. Even though Lazio haven’t been able to separate themselves in the middle of the Serie A table, they are still the home side. I don’t think it’s crazy to back them to win this but I’ll stick with a draw to be a bit safer. Lazio double chance is +120, which is good value given the circumstances of this clash.
Pick: Draw +300
PSG vs. Real Sociedad - Wednesday, February 14, 3 p.m. ET
Real Sociedad: +450
This might be the last time PSG fans see Kylian Mbappe in a home Champions League match, as the superstar forward is expected to join Real Madrid in the summer. The French giants have managed to transform into marshmellows during this tournament time and time again, although they are expected to get Mbappe, Achraf Hakimi and Gianluigi Donnarumma back for this game.
Real Sociedad have been struggling of late, failing to score a goal in their last four matches. They have slipped to seventh in La Liga and are riddled with injuries, headlined by Mikel Oyarzabal who is still dealing with a muscle injury. He’s considered questionable. Kieran Tierney, Aihen Munoz and Carlos Fernandez are expected to be out.
Despite PSG’s monumental struggles in this competition, I’ll back the French side to get the job done in this first leg at home.
Pick: PSG -150