The Group Stage of 2020’s edition of the Champions League has come & gone & in just a few days time, the Round of 16 will commence.
Let’s dive into each match-up…
Borrusia Dortmund vs Paris Saint-Germain
Leg 1 – Tuesday, February 18th, 3:00pmET (Dortmund Home Leg)
Leg 2 – Wednesday, March 11th, 4:00pmET (PSG Home Leg)
Key Story – Will PSG star-Forward, Neymar be available for the 1st leg?
Match-up Breakdown – This match-up boasts a ridiculous amount of scoring prowess in the form of Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus & wonderkid, Erling Haland taking on PSG’s Neymar, Kylian Mbappe & Mauro Icardi which promises us a scoring-filled 2-leg match-up. Dortmund boasts the worst defense out of the remaining 16 teams in the Tournament & that’s certainly not what you want against PSG’s firepower up-front. It’ll be interesting to see if Dortmund can keep up, offensively.
Prediction – PSG Wins (7-4 on Aggregate)
Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool
Leg 1 – Tuesday, February 18th, 3:00pmET (Atletico Home Leg)
Leg 2 – Wednesday, March 11th, 4:00pmET (Liverpool Home Leg)
Key Story – Will Liverpool’s 390+ day undefeated reign come to an end?
Match-up Breakdown – For over a full-calendar year, Liverpool has far-and-away been the best team in World Soccer. The defending UCL Champions look poised to repeat while Atleti has been middlers in La Liga, currently holding the 6th position in the league. However, never count out Diego Simeone’s park the bus & counter-attack tactic has been known to frustrate many opponents in the past & will look to do so again against the Champs.
Prediction – Liverpool Wins (5-3 on Aggregate)
Atalanta vs Valencia
Leg 1 – Wednesday, February 19th, 3:00pmET (Atalanta Home Leg)
Leg 2 – Tuesday, March 10th, 4:00pmET (Valencia Home Leg)
Key Story – Can Valencia’s suspect defense hold off Atalanta’s scoring prowess?
Match-up Breakdown – Atalanta has a terrific in-form Forward duo in Alejandro Gomez & Jo Ilicic, Valencia’s defense hasn’t been up to par as of late & will certainly need to clean that part of their game up if they have any hope to move on in the tournament.
Prediction – Atalanta Wins (6-3 on Aggregate)
Tottenham vs RB Leipzig
Leg 1 – Wednesday, February 19th, 3:00pmET (Tottenham Home Leg)
Leg 2 – Tuesday, March 10th, 4:00pmET (Leipzig Home Leg)
Key Story – Will Jose Mourinho’s “magic” continue?
Match-up Breakdown – Tottenham’s newly appointed manager, Jose Mourinho has given the club a much need spark after starting off their English Premier League campaign absolutely dreadfully. Leipzig have been the darlings of the German Bundesliga, this season, led by Forward, Timo Werner. Which magic streak will end & which spell will continue on in this year’s, Champions League?
Prediction – RB Leipzig Wins (5-4 on Aggregate)
Chelsea vs Bayern Munich
Leg 1 – Tuesday, February 25th, 3:00pmET (Chelsea Home Leg)
Leg 2 – Wednesday, March 18th, 4:00pmET (Bayern Home Leg)
Key Story – Will Bayern’s hot streak continue?
Match-up Breakdown – Bayern have picked up form since the hiring of Hans Flick & are back in the driver’s seat in the German Bundesliga. Chelsea have had an up and down season but their talent is never in doubt. They will need to put it altogether to even have a chance at beating the German powerhouses.
Prediction – Bayern Munich Wins (7-3 on Aggregate)
Napoli vs Barcelona
Leg 1 – Tuesday, February 25th, 3:00pmET (Napoli’s Home Leg)
Leg 2 – Wednesday, March 18th, 4:00pmET (Barcelona Home Leg)
Key Story – Can Barcelona return to their old-form?
Match-up Breakdown – Barcelona (by their measures) have had a down season, thus far, but find themselves playing better since new manager, Qique Setien has brought back the ‘tiki-taka’ style of Soccer back to the club. Napoli’s had a down year in every aspect & will need to completely turn around their form to have a realistic chance at beating Barcelona & star, Lionel Messi.
Prediction – Barcelona Wins (6-1 on Aggregate)
Real Madrid vs Manchester City
Leg 1 – Wednesday, February 26th, 3:00pmET (Madrid Home Leg)
Leg 2 – Tuesday, March 17th, 4:0pmET (Man City’s Home Leg)
Key Story – Which club will squander under the pressure of the biggest fixture of the round?
Matchup Breakdown – The most awaited fixture of the round. After winning two consecutive Premier League Championships, Manchester City side has struggled for consistency and trail 1st-place Liverpool by 22 points. While Real Madrid, look like their old selves again, this season and are on top of La Liga. However, the returning pairing of Defender, Aymeric Laporte and Forward, Leroy Sane will come at a perfect time for City. It will be fascinating to watch City’s attack go up against Madrid, who have conceded just 13 goals in 22 La Liga games, this season. This will be a match-up that we won’t soon forget.
Prediction – Real Madrid Wins (5-3 on Aggregate)
Juventus vs Olympique Lyon
Leg 1 – Wednesday, February 26th, 3:00pmET (Juventus Home Leg)
Leg 2 – Tuesday, March 17th, 4:00pmET (Lyon Home Leg)
Key Story – Can Lyon pull an upset for the ages?
Match-up Breakdown – The Champions League all-time leading scorer, Juventus’ Forward, Cristiano Ronaldo is playing at the peak of his powers & Juventus should have the easiest path to the next round of any team remaining in the tournament. Lyon will simply need to put it all together & force many msitakes by the opposition to have any chance to compete.
Prediction – Juventus Wins (7-1 on Aggregate)
This year’s Champions League has a plethora of terrific match-ups & guarantees historic moments & riveting play throughout the Round of 16.
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