Champions League Round of 16 Preview

February 14th is a day to look forward to every single year.  It’s a day that brings me and so many other people so much joy.

February 14th means that the Champions League Round of 16 is starting after a long break.  This year the first games aren’t falling exactly on the 14th like they did last year but the Champions League does have some couples worried about Valentine’s Day.  Papu Gomez of Atalanta sums it up perfectly:

Papu Gomez knows he can’t miss these matches and I don’t blame him cause they are going to be good.

Juventus vs. Tottenham

Juventus come into this match vs Tottenham winning 11 matches in a row since January 9th. Through those 11 games Juventus has conceded only 1 goal.

Meanwhile Tottenham are coming off three impressive matches vs. Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal. The return of Christian Eriksen has given Tottenham a boost back to form.

Juventus have announced that Dybala, Barzagli, and Matuidi won’t be available at all for the match.  All 3 are tough losses but I think they have the depth to make up for it.

Juventus have been on fire lately.  The offense is finally firing on all cylinders and the defense is one of the best in the world as it always is.

Tottenham’s defense has the 4th lowest goals allowed in the Premier League.  But the defense is no Juventus defense.

The defensive advantage and sky high confidence will give Juventus a win in this match.

My prediction is 1-0 Juventus.

FC Basel vs. Manchester City

Everyone knows what Manchester City are capable of.  They have a high-flying offense, a top defense, and one of the best managers in the world.

But facing FC Basel in Switzerland is not an easy task.  Just ask Manchester United.  United dominated the match with 69% possession and still lost 1-0.  Basel had more shots on target and was able to stun United in the 89th minute.

But as we all know Manchester is light blue.  Manchester City is a completely different team than United and Basel won’t be able to defend the same way.  Pep will send everything they have at Basel’s defense.  And if Basel do get the ball expect 3 Manchester City players to surround the opponent immediately.

Basel will give Manchester City a hard times at certain points in the match but City will eventually score.  And once they score Basel can only hope to keep it close and somehow win in Manchester next leg.

My prediction is 2-0 Manchester City.

Real Madrid vs PSG

Really wish this matchup could be the final.  It’s a shame that it will be wasted in the Round of 16 but its going to be amazing.

Madrid have been awful this season in La Liga currently sitting in 4th.  Lately they have looked better because they have been scoring at will.  But defensively they are completely lost.  They have dropped an enormous amount of points because of defensive lapses in the last 15 minutes of the match.

The last team Madrid’s defense wants to go against is PSG.  Neymar, Mbappe, and Cavani running at you is something nobody wants.  They are dynamic and are going to cause major problems.

But Madrid have more experience and Cristiano Ronaldo. Who is even better in Champions League than usual.  It feels like he breaks a record every single match.

This game will be fun to watch.  There will be goals and probably a lot of them.  But in the end I see a draw coming.

My prediction is a 2-2 draw.

Porto vs Liverpool

Porto are always competitive in Champions League but this will be a tough matchup for them.  Liverpool’s offense is one of the best in the world, even without Philippe Coutinho.

Porto’s defense seems like it will be depleted due to injury and suspension.  They are hoping Vincent Marcano is healthy to play but he will be a game time decision.

Liverpool are coming off a 2-0 win @southampton and a 2-2 draw against Tottenham.  They score goals and
thats exactly what they will do against the Porto defense.  Porto might be able to keep it close just because it is in Portugal.

 

Mohamed Salah is going to play a huge role in the match for Liverpool.  But that is probably obvious to everybody because when doesn’t he play a huge role.

My prediction is Liverpool 2-1.

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