Champions League Round of 16 Preview
Today was a big day in the world of club soccer, as the 16 remain Champions League teams have been drawn against each other. The big storyline going into the draw was the success that English teams had in group play, as all five teams (Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, and Liverpool) advanced to the knock stage of the competition. Spain (Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla) and Italy (Juventus and AS Roma) were the only other countries to sent multiple clubs to the knock out stage. Rounding out the last six spots are Paris Saint-Germain (France,) Bayern Munich (Germany), FC Porto (Portugal), FC Basel (Switzerland), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), and Besiktas (Turkey). I’ll go over each matchup in the order of how they’ll play during the first leg of the round.
Juventus vs. Tottenham Hotspur
The knock-out round starts off with a bang! Juve has aspirations to win the Champions League this year after the let down in last years final, as Tottenham looks to build on success that they had in the group stage. Tottenham is in poor form over the last few weeks, but they do have about two months to get things right. But between the defense and Argentinian duo of Higuain and Dybala, Juventus should move on.
FC Basel vs. Manchester City
This might be the biggest mismatch of the round. While Basel is having a nice season in Switzerland and did win four of six games in the group stage, they’re no match for Manchester City. City has been on an absolute tear, and should move on with relative ease.
FC Porto vs. Liverpool
This matchup should be fairly interesting, especially if Iker Casillas is in form for Porto. Liverpool has had some bad performances this year, including being thrashed by Manchester City and Tottenham earlier this year. And while Liverpool struggled a bit in the group stage, Porto did as well. Ultimately, I don’t believe that Porto has a strong enough attack to get past Liverpool.
Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint-Germain
This could’ve been a finals matchup, and we’re getting it in the round of 16! This will be the matchup of the round, and perhaps the entire tournament. PSG bought Neymar and this summer for moments like this, and we’ll see early on if he can take out some of Europe’s most elite teams. However, Real Madrid seem to step up to the plate when it comes to the Champions League. I expect Real Madrid to come out on top of this battle of heavy weights.
Chelsea vs. Barcelona
Another matchup that could’ve happened in the finals that we’re getting in the first round. Chelsea hasn’t seen the same success that they had last year, but that’s to be expected when you add Champions League soccer into your schedule. Barcelona has been very impressive this year again, especially considering the struggles they had in preseason and losing Neymar. Barcelona and Chelseas have had some very intense battles over the years and that should be the case again this year. Barcelona has more star power and that should carry them into the next round.
Bayern Munich vs Besiktas
Another mismatch. Besiktas did take out a German team to reach the knockout rounds, but Bayern is a step up from RB Leipzig. Bayern once again has aspirations to win the Champions League this year, which they haven’t done since 2013. Like Liverpool, Bayern should move onto the next round with ease.
Sevilla vs. Manchester United
After needing to win the Europa League to qualify for the Champions League for this year, Manchester United dominated their group in the group stage. And that was without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who should be back for United by the time the Champions League starts back up again. Sevilla is still in the top five in La Liga, but they will struggle to match the star power that United have.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. AS Roma
Shakhtar Donetsk was the surprise of the group stage. They reached the knock out stage over Napoli, who were fully expected to reach the knock out stage with Manchester City. The Ukrainian side did win four of six games, but only scored nine goals in those games. And while following Shakhtar Donetsk has been a fun story in Europe this year, I think it’ll come to an end. Roma is better at almost every aspect of the game and that should prevail in this matchup.
https://www.myfantasysportstalk.com/champions-league-round-of-16-preview/https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nintchdbpict000347776018.jpg?fit=960%2C658&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nintchdbpict000347776018.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1News and UpdatesRecent PostsSoccerAS Roma,barcelona,bayern munich,Besiktas,champions league,Chelsea,FC Basel,FC Porto,juventus,Liverpool,Manchester City,Manchester United,Paris Saint-Germain,real madrid,ronaldo,Sevilla,Shakhtar Donetsk,Tottenham HotspurToday was a big day in the world of club soccer, as the 16 remain Champions League teams have been drawn against each other. The big storyline going into the draw was the success that English teams had in group play, as all five teams (Manchester United, Manchester City,...Graham SweetGraham Sweetsweetg0171@my.uwstout.eduContributorMyFantasySportsTalk