This coming week sees the resumption of both the Champions League and the Europa League after a break over Christmas and the New Year, with 16 teams remaining in the Champions League and 32 left in the Europa League, over the next five weeks the Champions League teams will play a two legged Round of 16 tie, while Europa League teams will be busy playing up to four legs in total across their Round of 32 and then Round of 16 ties.
By organising the games this way, UEFA knows that come the quarterfinal stage of each competition, they will both be in synch from then on, allowing fans to focus in on the key games over the last few months of the season as teams start to chase the European glory that was enjoyed by both Liverpool and Chelsea last season.
In this article, we are going to primarily focus on the games taking place in the Champions League over the next few weeks, reviewing both legs of each of the eight Round of 16 ties.
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Let’s preview each of the two-legged round of 16 Champions League ties that will be played over the next 5 weeks or so with our tips on how we see each of the games going and who will eventually progress from the tie.
Champions League Round of 16 ties (all 8pm Kick Off)
Tue 18th Feb & Wed 11th March
- Atletico Madrid v Liverpool
Both of these teams have two of the best defensive records in Europe at the moment and as such, it is a tie which I don’t think is going to see a huge amount of goals. With so many men injured for this tie, Atletico could well find it tough against what will likely be a close to full strength Liverpool.
I can see the holders of this trophy earning a draw in Madrid but scoring an away goal and then at home at Anfield, I think Liverpool will make progress into the quarterfinals on the back of a 2-0 win against an Atletico side who find goals hard to come by.
- 1st Leg – Atletico Madrid 1-1 Liverpool
- 2nd Leg – Liverpool 2-0 Atletico Madrid
- Aggregate – Liverpool to win 3-1
- Liverpool to Progress to the next stage – 2/7
- Borussia Dortmund v Paris St Germain
Of all the ties in the Round of 16, this is the one that I feel has the most chance of seeing a fair few goals in it. Neither side is particularly focused defensively and I can see both teams being able to score goals both at home and also on the road.
I think Paris’s slightly better quality in attack will be the difference here as I can see them being able to come away with a draw from the first leg in Germany and then they should be able to back that up with a win on home soil to progress through to the next round.
- 1st Leg – B.Dortmund 2-2 Paris St Germain
- 2nd Leg – Paris St Ger 3-1 B.Dortmund
- Aggregate – Paris St Germain to win 5-3 on aggregate
- Paris St Germain to Progress to the next stage
Wed 19th Feb & Tue 10th March
- Atalanta v Valencia
This is a very open tie and I think it will be decided by just the one goal. Atalanta have had a real up and down first season in the Champions League, but Valencia are very experienced in this competition and tough to beat, so I can see the Spaniards earning a draw from their first leg tie in Italy.
That said, I think Atalanta may score in Spain but I would expect Valencia with home advantage to do just enough to claim the win and progress into the next phase.
- 1st Leg – Atalanta 0-0 Valencia
- 2nd Leg – Valencia 2-1 Atalanta
- Aggregate – Valencia to win 2-1
- Valencia to Progress to the next stage – 19/20
- Tottenham v Red Bull Leipzig
Tottenham reached the final of this competition last year on the back of some memorable performances and I think they stand a chance here. Red Bull Leipzig will be dangerous at home in the second leg but I feel if Spurs can keep a clean sheet in the home leg, then they could possibly make it through on away goals.
Harry Kane’s absence for them is a big blow, but with Leipzig hitting a bit of poor form at the wrong time and Spurs having the likes of Son, Alli and Moura still in the team, I think the English side could do just enough to squeak through once again.
- 1st Leg – Tottenham 2-0 Red Bull Leipzig
- 2nd Leg – Red Bull Leipzig 3-1 Tottenham
- Aggregate – 3-3 on aggregate – Tottenham win on away goals
- Tottenham to Progress to the next stage – 21/20
Tue 25th Feb & Wed 18th March
- Chelsea v Bayern Munich
A rerun of the Champions League final which Chelsea won in Munich several years ago, the German side will be desperate for revenge here against a relatively young Chelsea side. Frank Lampard will know that the longer his side is in it, the more chance they have of upsetting the odds.
I can’t see Bayern destroying Chelsea as they did Spurs earlier this season and I think this tie has every chance of going to penalties with both games likely to finish all square or in similar scorelines if it does, with nothing to lose, I would fancy the English team to get a rare win on penalties against the Germans.
- 1st Leg – Chelsea 1-1 Bayern Munich
- 2nd Leg – Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea
- Aggregate – 2-2 on aggregate – Chelsea to win on penalties
- Chelsea to Progress to the next stage – 3/1
- Napoli v Barcelona
Napoli seem to have hit a bit of a blip in form in Serie A this season but they have taken four points off Liverpool in the Champions League to reach this stage and I think at home, they could cause this Barcelona team, who are missing some key players, some real problems and they may even take a lead with them into the second leg.
There I expect the home side to prevail but I think Napoli, if they can keep it tight as they did against Liverpool, then I would expect them to be in this game right to the end of the match and as such, this is not going to be an easy ride for the Spaniards.
- 1st Leg – Napoli 2-1 Barcelona
- 2nd Leg – Barcelona 2-0 Napoli
- Aggregate – Barcelona win 3-2 on aggregate
- Barcelona to Progress to the next stage – 1/5
Wed 26th Feb & Tue 17th March
- Lyon v Juventus
While I think this tie will eventually see Juventus progress relatively comfortably, I do think Lyon have an opportunity to turn the Italians over in France. Juventus are not in the best of form of late and also in Europe on the road at times, they have slipped to some notable defeats.
However, I also feel that they are generally excellent at home and while Lyon should benefit from home advantage, I can’t see them doing enough in France to ensure they can progress to the next round. As such, I think Juventus run out comfortable winners in Italy to move into the next round.
- 1st Leg – Lyon 2-1 Juventus
- 2nd Leg – Juventus 3-0 Lyon
- Aggregate – Juventus to win 4-2 on aggregate
- Juventus to Progress to the next stage – 1/9
- Real Madrid v Manchester City
Arguably the biggest game of the Round of 16, two of Europe’s biggest and wealthiest clash over two legs in what should be a cracker. Real Madrid underperformed in Europe last season, but under Zidane they have a manager who won the trophy three years in a row. However, he may have met his match against Manchester City who will feel that this trophy is the one that could save their season.
Real may have the greater experience at this level but I think City are much the better team and I am backing them to come through over the two legs.
- 1st Leg – Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester City
- 2nd Leg – Manchester City 3-1 Real Madrid
- Aggregate – Manchester City to win 4-2 on aggregate
- Manchester City to Progress to the next stage – 8/15
*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 1.35pm on Wednesday 12th February