Champions League is all set to return this month,with some mouthwatering games to follow.Let us have a look at the upcoming matches,their analysis and predictions.
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Paris Saint Germain vs Chelsea F.C
The first round of 16 match features perhaps a new-found rivalry, with both of these teams clashing twice in the past two champions league knockout stages, each triumphing once. PSG have been in red-hot form in France, having a surreal lead of 24 points over their nearest rivals, the title is seemingly theirs for the 3rd time in a row now. They had 4 wins, a draw and a loss as they comfortably qualified the group in second place behind Real Madrid. They would want to take this chance and beat Chelsea comprehensively.
Chelsea have not yet found a solution to end their jittery form this season, as they lie in a lowly 13th position in the premier league. Their group stage form is similar to PSG’s, 4 wins, a draw and a loss, a nervy qualification into the knockout stages. Chelsea would want to forget their league form and recreate the magic of 2012, what with their top 4 hopes all but gone. Pato will be expected to get some playing time here, as Chelsea will look to go past their opponents who unlike them are in form.
Prediction: PSG 2-1 Chelsea
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Benfica vs Zenit
Zenit played some dominating football in the group stages, winning 5 and losing 1 but their league form has been a bit worrying, they currently lie 6th in the Russian football premier league, but are still just 7 points off the top after 18 weekdays, out of a total 30. They would want to progress further and reach the quarterfinals for the first time.
Benfica currently lie second in their league table, 2 points off the top. Their group stage form was decent, winning 3, losing 2 and drawing 1, finishing 2nd behind leaders Atletico madrid. Benfica will count on their attacking strengths to take them past Zenit, their young player Renato Sanches set to be in the spotlight for sure
Prediction: Zenit 0-2 Benfica
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Gent vs Wolfsburg
Gent currently are the league leaders in the Jupiler Pro league, while their ucl group stage form got off to a rocky start, they turned it around, winning all of their last 3 matches to take them to second place behind leaders Zenit. Round of 16 debutants like their opposition, Gent will find it difficult to pass through Wolfsburg, who finished top of their group
Wolfsburg currently lie 7th in the bundesliga, far away from the champions league spots with title hopes out of the window. The decline of Bas Dost, the departure of Kevin De Bruyne haven’t been handed well, but they had done enough to finish top in their group, ending with a crucial victory against Manchester united, which knocked the latter out. With their dismal league form, the wolves will look to make a point in the UCL
Prediction: Gent 1-3 Wolfsburg
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Roma vs Real Madrid
Roma currently lie 5th in the league standings, recently sacking their coach Rudi Garcia. Their group stage form was lacklustre, qualifying the group over Bayer Leverkusen with 6 points having goal difference on their side. Roma will find it very hard to fight it out against Madrid, who are intent on taking the title back from barcelona’s clutches.
Real Madrid lie 3rd in the La liga, a point behind city rivals Atletico and 4 behind their arch nemesis Barcelona. Eager to win their 11th champions league title, Real madrid won 5 and drew 1 game in the group stage, qualifying in first place emphatically. Against struggling opponents, Madrid is sure to capitalize and give a strong performance
Prediction: Roma 0-4 Real Madrid
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Arsenal vs Barcelona
Arsenal meet Barcelona yet again. Just a few weeks ago Arsenal were fighting contenders for the league, but slip ups again have cost them vital points and puts them currently in their homely 4th position. Their group stage form had gone off to a horror start but they quickly turned it around with crucial wins and finished 2nd behind leaders Bayern Munich. Considering Arsenal have never won a knockout stage against Barca, They will rely on their talisman Ozil to turn this around.
Barcelona currently lie 1st in their league table, in cruise control of the Copa Del Rey and simply look like the best team right now. Bookmakers currently put them in pole position of retaining the UCL, a feat that has never been achieved. The rock solid presence of Sergio Busquets, ingenuity of Iniesta and the sheer Destructive power of Messi, Neymar and Suarez are sure to be too hot to handle by Arsenal, but then again, football is full of shocks
Prediction: Arsenal 0-3 Barcelona
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Juventus vs Bayern Munich
Juventus are on a hotstreak of 12 straight wins in the league right now, after getting off to a rocky start to the season. They finished second behind Manchester City with 3 wins, 2 draws and a loss. Paul Pogba and Paulo Dybala will remain the key to Juventus’ chances of progressing through and replicating their last seasons’ road to the final. They will play host to Byaern, who are currently making a joke out of the Bundesliga
Bayern Munich sit atop the Bundesliga with a 10 point lead over rivals Borussia Dortmund. Their group stage results read 5 wins and a shock loss to Arsenal, finishing on top of the group. This being the last season under the Pep Guardiola era, he will be keen to finish it with champions league success. Both the titans look well matched on paper and the form books which makes this match a must watch cracker.
Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Bayern Munich
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PSV Eindhoven vs Atletico Madrid
PSV finished an impressive second in the group stage over Manchester united, and stand second in the Jupiler pro league as well. Departure of a few key players doesn’t seem to have hampered the team, as they stay in a decent run of form. The UCL might not hold much of an importance for them, but they will be sure to test the bigger sides and strive to go further into the knockout stages.
Atletico madrid stand second in their league, 3 points behind leaders Barcelona and had finished the group stage in pole position. Atletico Madrid have continued to keep punching above their weight in both league and cup competitions and will look to replicate their 2014 run to the final, this time with success. Their talisman Antoine Griezmann remains a threat to any defence and Atletico will count on him to shine.
Prediction: PSV 1-2 Atletico Madrid
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Dynamo Keiv vs Manchester City
Dynamo Keiv will rely on their hero Yarmalenko and the defensive capabilities of Dragovich as they look to scratch up a shock win over rampant Manchester City. Their group stage form included 3 wins, 2 draws and a loss. Yarmalenko will be sure to be out to prove a point to the premier league, as Dynamo Kyiv will look to take inspiration from previous shock wins.
Manchester City remain a strong contender for the EPL and were rampant in the group stages, finishing first ahead of Juventus. They will look to assert their dominance and finally get past the round of 16 barrier, in which they’ve previously faced Barcelona twice. With the fixtures now on their side, they will look towards the creativity of Silva, De Bruyne and the devastating capabilities of Sergio Aguero to brush aside their opponents and move deep into the knockout stages, maybe even the finals. With treble hopes still on, expect Manchester City to put up a show for us.
Prediction: Keiv 0-3 Manchester City