Champions League Round of 16 Preview

 

The UEFA Champions League returns Tuesday with the first legs of the Round of 16 taking place on Feb.12-13 and Feb.19-20. The second legs will be played on Mar.5-6 and Mar.12-13. A few of the competition’s top favorites to win the competition will face off on some of the best games of the season.   

Games To Watch

Liverpool (England) vs Bayern Munich (Germany).

Last years runners-up, Liverpool Football Club, will go against fellow five-time winners, Bayern Munich.

Liverpool’s head coach Jurgen Klopp will return to Germany where he managed Borussia Dortmund and fought head to head against Bayern Munich often while at the Bundesliga. It is true that Bayern Munich have not been at their best in the league, but this tournament  brings out the best of them.

Paris Saint-Germain (France) vs Manchester United (England).

PSG will not be able to count on their star Neymar who is out with an injury for about three months. Manchester United go to the tie on the best possible moment. Now under head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Red Devils have been on a spectacular form, not knowing defeat under the Norwegian manager.

Juventus (Italy) vs Atletico Madrid (Spain).

The two-time European champions will face an Atletico Madrid side that will look to win their first Champions League title in club history. Atletico Madrid have an extra boost of motivation this season – this years Champions League final will be held at their own stadium, the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain.

This tie will most likely be of few goals. Atletico Madrid are known for their great defensive style, and are the best defense in the tournament. But they will be facing a Juventus side led by Cristiano Ronaldo who is the all time top scorer of the competition and has Atletico Madrid as one of his favorite victims.

Real Madrid (Spain) vs Ajax (Netherlands).

Real Madrid have improved a lot since the beginning of the season and will look to reach their fourth consecutive final.

The 13 time winners, now without Cristiano Ronaldo, will face a young Ajax team led by their two superstars, midfielder Frenkie De Jong and defender Matthijs de Ligt.  Last month De Jong already signed a deal to join Barcelona in the summer, and this could be his first test as a new Barcelona player. It could also be de Ligt’s audition to follow his dear friend to Barcelona, as he too would like to join the Blaugranas next season.

Barcelona(Spain) vs Olympique Lyonnais(France).

Barcelona’s priority this season is to win the Champions League, something they have been unable to do since 2015. They have been falling down in the quarterfinals for three years in a row. Lyon have shown that they have enough qualities to complicate things for anyone, after they managed to toughen things up for contenders Manchester City, beating them in the first game and tying the second game in the group stage.  

Tottenham (England) vs Dortmund (Germany).

These might not be the biggest clubs in Europe but they do offer some of the most attractive styles. Tottenham barely managed to get a spot in the last 16 after being in one of the group of deaths. Additionally, they will have to deal with the absence of their goal scorer Harry Kane.

Dortmund have been a sensational team this season. They are currently leading the Bundesliga, something they had not been able to do in a long time. But with the recent struggle of being eliminated from the DFB cup by Werder Bremen. The winner of this tie can really be the dark horse of the competition.

Games To Keep An Eye On

Porto (Portugal) vs Roma (Italy) .

Roma and Porto will take part of one of the most even ties of the round of 16. Roma managed to surprise everyone last year after their 3-0 comeback vs Barcelona. After reaching the semifinals where they fell short vs Liverpool. Porto will try to make their first quarter finals appearance since 2015.

Manchester City (England) vs Schalke 04 (Germany).

The Citizens are one of the top five contenders to win the Champions League; they were lucky enough to get matched up against one of the most accessible teams remaining. Schalke 04 qualified in second place in one of the easiest groups of the competition. They will have to play two perfect games in order to have a chance against a City team.

The second legs will be played on Mar.5-6 and Mar.12-13.

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