CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Our football tipster The Ultra previews Wednesday’s Last 16 games between ATLETICO MADRID v MANCHESTER UNITED and BENFICA v AJAX both with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended stats.


8pm The Champions League Last 16 continues on Wednesday and we have a fascinating evening ahead on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. We start the evening with Atletico Madrid hosting Manchester United and all eyes will be on the this fixture, even with Premier League action on tonight too. This clash comes at a massive time for both clubs, and really and truly they both need a good Champions League run to save their season. Not only that, but there’s a strong chance that they both don’t make it to this competition next season too. Manchester United currently sit in fourth position, but that Spurs win over Manchester City at the weekend along with Arsenal having three games in hand puts them in a tricky position over the next few weeks against opposition they won’t be expected to win against too. While Atletico Madrid have played good football this season, they currently sit out of the top four in La Liga – with Barcelona moving ahead of them and Real Betis still on a winning run it’s starting to look like they might miss out. If they did it would be incredibly unlucky as they actually topped the table on xG before the weekend’s game!

It will be very interesting to see what kind of tactics we get from United here. It makes sense for them to sit back and make the game as boring as possible. Atletico haven’t exactly been scoring goals for fun this season, and a draw would be an excellent result for United as they head back to Old Trafford for the second leg. The big question is can they play like that? They were involved in a six goal thriller at the weekend against Leeds, and they are still having mad moments at the back. It’s exciting when it comes off when they attack, but against the top sides those open tactics usually don’t work. That being said, Atletico don’t usually play an open game in these big games – they prefer to grind out results. I feel two prices are wrong within the markets here. Atletico feel a little short for me at 2.58 – I know United have had a tonne of issues this season but they are better going forward than Atletico and I’d have the sides priced a little closer together. The other value bet I see is over 2.5 goals at 2.28 – United tend to have crazy games and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this game finish 2-2 or 3-2 either way to be honest – that being said I feel there’s more ways the Atletico lay can win. We have the dull draw on our side here if both sides go into the game a little cagey, and United have played well over the last two weeks and created good xG figures – they can get a result here.

The Ultra Says:
Two points lay (liability) Atletico Madrid to beat Manchester United at 2.58 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● Atlético Madrid and Manchester United have only appeared in the same European campaign once before – the 1991-92 Cup Winners’ Cup – when the Spanish side knocked out their English counterparts 4-1 on aggregate in the Last 16.
● Manchester United’s only previous visit to Atlético Madrid was in the first leg of their 1991-92 Cup Winners’ Cup tie at the Vicente Calderón, when a starting XI that contained Peter Schmeichel, Denis Irwin, Steve Bruce, Paul Ince, Bryan Robson and Mark Hughes (amongst others) were beaten 3-0 by Luis Aragonés’ men.
● Atlético Madrid have lost each of their last four UEFA Champions League matches against English teams, double the number of defeats they suffered across their first 12 such matches in the competition (W4 D6 L2).
● Manchester United have only won one of their previous seven away trips to Spain in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League (D4 L2), beating Deportivo de La Coruña 2-0 in April 2002 thanks to goals from David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
● Manchester United’s next goal will be their 500th in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League, netting exactly 100 times in the old European Cup and 399 times in the current competition. They would be just the fourth club to score 500 times within Europe’s elite competition, after Barcelona (624), Bayern Munich (759) and Real Madrid (1001).
● Despite progressing from the group stages in both 2020-21 and this season, Atlético Madrid have only won four of their last 14 UEFA Champions League matches (D4 L6), with no side still in this season’s competition suffering more losses than the Spanish outfit over the same period. They have also lost more of their last four home games (3) than they did in across their previous 37 (2) in the competition.
● Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 25 goals in 35 matches against Atlético Madrid, only scoring more often versus Sevilla during his entire career. Four of his 48 club career hat-tricks have come against the Spanish side, two of which have come in the UEFA Champions League; no player in the competition’s history has netted more hat-tricks against a single opponent.
● Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo has scored six times in the UEFA Champions League this season, last netting more in a campaign in 2017-18 in his final year at Real Madrid (15). The last player for the Red Devils to score more in a Champions League season was also Cristiano Ronaldo, netting eight times in 2007-08 on way to lifting the trophy.
● Of sides still in this season’s competition, the two players to have scored the highest share of their side’s UEFA Champions League goals are Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann (4/7 – 57%) and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo (6/11 – 55%).
● Ralf Rangnick has only taken charge of two separate UEFA Champions League knockout ties during his managerial career – both with Schalke in 2010-11 – beating Inter Milan in the quarter-finals before losing to his current club Manchester United at the semi-final stage. Following the Red Devils’ draw with Young Boys in his first such game in charge of the club, Rangnick will look to avoid becoming the first manager at the club to fail to win either of his first two Champions League matches in charge.


8pm We finish off the first leg ties of the Last 16 with Benfica hosting Ajax. This might not be as glamourous at the other ties, but it’s a fascinating tie nonetheless. Indeed I think out of all the Last 16 ties this game will get the least attention because there isn’t a “big” team involved. Ajax fans won’t like me saying that, and they also won’t like me saying that this will be a tricky tie for them. I’m sure a lot of casual football fans will just look at this tie and think it will be a smooth win for Ajax, but Benfica knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League this season! I know Bayern Munich took the headlines because they played Barcelona last, but what actually knocked Barcelona out was Benfica beating them 3-0 here and then picking up a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou. Barcelona were going through some tough times at the time of those fixtures but it really highlights that Benfica are no mugs. Ajax will have to be in top form to win here. Ajax had a perfect record in the Group stage, but they did have a reasonably easy Group to be fair. Dortmund really underperformed and that just left the door open for Ajax to have an easy time of it.

Benfica are a little off the pace in Portugal this season, and to be honest they have played better in the Champions League. They are sitting in third, twelve points off league leaders Porto but it looks like they won’t drop out of the top three. Ajax are running away with the Dutch league, they are five points clear but they are the best side in the Netherlands – there’s no question about that. Their stats domestically are actually incredible. They have scored an average of three goals per game and conceded an average of 0.2 – that’s dominating a league! Although Ajax are a very impressive side, I still feel they are too short here at 1.88 – I fully expect a closer game than those odds suggest and I’m happy to have a small lay of Ajax at the odds. Benfica created an xG of over 2.0 here against Barcelona, and like I said they are no mugs and can give Ajax a very tough evening. I know all eyes will be on Atletico Madrid v Manchester United, but this could be a fascinating tie.

The Ultra Says:
Two points lay (liability) Ajax to beat Benfica at 1.88 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● Benfica won their first ever meeting with Ajax in European competition – 3-1 in the first leg of the 1968-69 European Cup quarter-finals. The Portuguese side were later eliminated from that tie, however, and are winless in their six games against them since winning their first meeting (D2 L4).
● Ajax are unbeaten in their previous three away games at Benfica in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League (W1 D2), with the most recent of these coming during Erik ten Hag’s current tenure, in a 1-1 draw in the group stage in November 2018.
● Benfica have only won two of their last 11 meetings with Dutch opponents in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League (D4 L5). Neither of those victories were recorded against Ajax, with their two wins coming against Feyenoord back in March 1972 and PSV in September 1998.
● Since the 2018-19 season, Ajax are unbeaten in their four meetings with Portuguese sides in the UEFA Champions League (W3 D1), including two wins over Sporting CP in this season’s group stage. Ajax scored nine goals across those two games; the joint-most by a team against a single opponent this term (along with Bayern Munich against Benfica and Manchester City versus Club Brugge).
● Ajax have won all six of their games in the UEFA Champions League this season, which already represents the longest winning streak by a Dutch team in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. Should they win this game, their seven-game winning run would be the longest in the history of the two competitions by a team outside of the current big five European leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain).
● Benfica have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven games in the UEFA Champions League, including each of their last two. The only team to have scored against them during this run is Bayern Munich, however they did concede nine goals against the German side in two games in this season’s group stage.
● Benfica coach Nélson Veríssimo will take charge of his first UEFA Champions League game, having replaced Jorge Jesus since the end of the group stage. Only one of the last five managers overseeing their first UEFA Champions League game during the knockout stages has won (D3 L1), with Edin Terzic’s Borussia Dortmund beating Sevilla in the Round of 16 last season.
● Ajax striker Sébastien Haller has scored 10 goals in six UEFA Champions League appearances, the most by any player in his first six games in the competition. Erling Haaland is the only other player with 10 goals within his first seven UEFA Champions League appearances – he scored a brace against PSG in his seventh game in the competition (in the Round of 16), while this will be Haller’s first game in the knockout stages.
● Since making his UEFA Champions League debut in September 2018, Ajax’s Dušan Tadić has created more chances from open play than any other player in the competition (77). 11 of these have resulted in an assist for a teammate, with only Kylian Mbappé (16) recording more from open play during this period.
● Based on the quality of shots on target faced, Benfica’s Odysseas Vlachodimos has prevented over three goals in the UEFA Champions League this season (8 goals conceded excl. OG, from 11.2 expected goals on target conceded); the biggest positive differential of any goalkeeper in 2021-22.