See the Expected Teams to go through as UCL Round of 16 Draw is Completed

See the Expected Teams to go through as UCL Round of 16 Draw is Completed

By Abdulkabir Olatunji

The UEFA Champions League draw for the Round of 16 has just been concluded. Let us take a look at the fixtures closely and see who the favourites to go through to the quarterfinal are.

Juventus vs. Tottenham

This looks like a very balanced  fixture with both teams capable of going through. However, a few things might prove decisive. Juventus are former winners (twice) of this competition and have made the final twice in the last 5 years. Spurs on the other hand have never won it before. The home advantage in the 2nd leg might be lacking as they have struggled to impose themselves on teams at Wembley- their temporary home for this season until their new stadium is complete.

I am going with Juventus to go through here.

Basel vs Manchester City

This is easy to call although football is not mathematics. Manchester City have won 14 straight matches in the Premiership and qualified easily from their Champions League group. Basel will fight but the gulf in quality is seemingly too much.

I would be gobsmacked if Manchester City do not come out of this tie as winners.

Porto vs Liverpool

Porto have done well to qualify for this round but such has been Liverpool’s form in the UCL this season that it is difficult to see past a win for the Mersey-side team in this tie. Porto are not known to be a team with a strong defensive ethos. It could easily be a case of Liverpool outscoring Porto over 2 entertaining legs of the tie. Liverpool scored 23 goal in the group phase while Porto scored 15. Both teams know how to put the ball in the back of the net.

I expect a Liverpool win.

Sevilla vs Manchester United

This should be a tricky test for United. However, they have the strength in depth to be able to see-off Sevilla who are a decent side not doing badly in La Liga if you overlook their 5-0 hammering by Real Madrid over the weekend. Their possession football philosophy might not do them much good as United have a variety of channels to hurt their opponents even with an out of form Romelu Lukaku.

I am expecting a Manchester United win.

Real Madrid vs PSG

This is the glamour tie the world will be watching. It is essentially old vs new money in European football. Real Madrid are already where PSG want to be. 11 Champions League titles for Madrid against nil for the Parisians. However, the hunger and the desire to create a new chapter in European football could prove pivotal in this tie. PSG after falling short against Madrid’s biggest rival Barcelona in recent years will be looking to cast away some Spanish ‘demons’ this time around.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be a factor and so will Neymar. It seems almost too close to call. However, what might prove decisive is the ability of the likes of Edinson Cavani and Karim Benzema to deliver.

Because of the hunger, desire and home advantage in the 2nd leg, I am going with Paris Saint-Germain on this one.

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma

Shakhtar have experience in the Champions League but not too much of it is in the knock-out phase. Roma have not covered themselves in glory in this competition too but going by their performances in Serie A so far and topping a group that had Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, you have to believe they are the favourites and should go through. There should be too much quality in the team from the Italian capital to overcome their Ukrainian opponent.

I think Roma should qualify for the quarterfinal over 2-legs.

Chelsea vs Barcelona

Chelsea have been very inconsistent this season, a defeat to West Ham over the weekend is evidence of this. Barcelona on their part have not really inspired confidence with their performances but they have shown that they can grind-out wins. With Messi in the team you can always expect some sort of jaw-dropping game-changing moment.

Barcelona seem to have better balance and I think they should win this tie even if Chelsea is likely to make it difficult for them.

Bayern vs Besiktas

The Bavarians will be rubbing their palms at this prospect. Besiktas might not be up to the standard of many Bundesliga teams that they beat easily almost every weekend. The Turkish giants are up against it and I do not see them pulling and upset.

I am going for a Bayern Munich win here.

 

 

 

  • pinit_fg_en_rect_gray_20 See the Expected Teams to go through as UCL Round of 16 Draw is Completed
There are 2 comments for this article
    • Abdulkabir Olatunji at 1:53 PM

      I understand why you favour Madrid but I think the failure of recent years will spur PSG to victory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *