After a long winter break, it’s time yet again for the best of the best to face off in the worlds biggest club tournament. The group stage is done and dusted and it’s time for the last 16 teams to show who has what it takes when it matters most. With their 4 teams remaining, Premier League is the league with most teams left in the tournament, followed by Spanish Primera Division with 3 teams still competing for this year’s title.
First up is Italian champions Juventus. They take on English giants Tottenham who won their group in impressive style. The second game of the night see Swiss champions Basel facing Premier League leaders and title contenders, Manchester City.
Juventus – Tottenham
Juventus, currently number 2 in the Serie A, will be deemed narrow favourites in the first leg, having massive amounts of experience from the big stage. The “Old lady” ended their group in second place, 3 points behind Spanish giants Barcelona. Juventus have been in stunning form this year, recording 6 straight league wins since the turn of the year. Tottenham will be well prepared however, having beaten both Arsenal and Manchester United recently and an impressive draw against league leaders Manchester City. Juventus home advantage might just turn out to be the decisive factor in tonight’s thrilling encounter.
Basel – Manchester City
In tonight’s second game, Swiss champions take on English league leaders Manchester City. After an impressive performance in the group stage, Basel finished the group, just 3 points behind Manchester United, thus eliminating teams like CSKA Moscow and Benfica in the process. Worthy of note is that Basel beat city rival Manchester United with 1-0 during the group stage, so they’ll be fancying their chances in tonight’s clash. City, however, are playing in a different dimension this season and we still hold them as firm favourites to make it in to the quarter finals. After winning their group having dropped just 3 points, City are one of the big favorites to claim the Champions League title this season.
Porto – Liverpool
The second day of Leg 1 bring us two more games on Wednesday evening. Portuguese powerhouse Porto will host Liverpool at Estádio do Dragão. We expect this game to be a very close affair. After a string of both impressive and some not so impressive results, Porto ended their group in second place, 4 points behind Turkish outfit Besiktas. Liverpool however, won their group, going through their 6 games undefeated. The Reds have been going from strength to strength this year and currently find themselves in third place in the Premier League.
Real Madrid – PSG
This might be the biggest clash we’ve seen so far in this edition of the Champions League. Two of the biggest title favourites go head to head in what’s expected to become a truly unforgettable encounter. As excited as we are to see this game, it’s a pity that one of these legendary teams wont even make it in to the quarter finals.
Reigning Champions League title holders, Real Madrid, have been struggling in the league this season and ended up “only” in second place behind Tottenham in group H.
After years of heavy spending, PSG have been going from strength to strength and many hold them as top favourites to win this year’s tournament. PSG won their group in impressive style, before the likes of German champions Bayern Munich, who they beat with an impressive 3-0 at home. With players like Mbappe, Neymar and Cavani up front, they pose a serious threat to any defence in the world. Madrid are starting at home and this might give them a chance to rock the Frenchmen’s confidence ahead of the return in Paris.
With their league and group performance in mind, PSG must be deemed narrow favourites to progress to the quarter finals. However, this is the knockout stage – a time when experience comes in to play – something which Real Madrid have in abundance! And aside from having arguably the best player in the world, Christiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid are still Real Madrid – they know how to deliver when it matters most.
Whatever the outcome, you can expect some truly legendary footballing action this week…and this is just the beginning!
With so many tight games and so much individual qualities, anything can happen…at any time!