Last Monday, the draw for the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League was held in Nyon, Switzerland at the UEFA headquarter. The rules of the draw were well known to all football fans. So, let’s have a look at the matches and we make some initial considerations.
The first game we have is between Borussia Monchengladbach and Manchester City where the citizens are clearly the favorite. However, there is always an unpredictable team which advances more than expected. Is it going to be Borussia? Who knows… Certainly, few were expecting Borussia to go through the group stage and “steal” a spot to Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk, including us since Borussia was the only prediction we failed… German team are well-known for organized gameplay, high workrate when needed and great balance. Guardiola is warned. Continuing with German teams, the second game is between Bayern Munich and Lazio. Frankly, Bayern should not have problems in going through to the next round. Despite Lazio is a good team and dangerous if not properly approached in the midfield, Bayern Munich is an unstoppable tank right now.
Atlético Madrid and Chelsea is an interesting match-up. As of today, I would say Atletico. However, Lampard has 2 more months to train Chelsea’s players in order to let them absorb his gameplay. Atletico seems to have more mature players with much more international experience. This could be a crucial factor. Leipzig and Liverpool could potentially be a great game since both coaches, Jurgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann have a very similar way of playing. However, once again the experience and the skills of Liverpool’s world-class players could make a big difference. With Porto vs Juventus, we have yet another game with a clear favorite, so it would be a great surprise if the Italian team did not reach the quarterfinals.
If PSG vs FC Barcelona were to be played today, I would be 100% with the French team. However, in two-month time, a lot can happen including a change of manager, the announcement that Messi is leaving, and so on. All are factors which need to be taken into consideration and despite we are very good at predicting football matches, we cannot predict the future. We will follow up with our predictions soon. Same for Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund: time will clarify several pending issues and it will be easy to have a reliable prediction few days before the match.
Finally, Real Madrid vs Atalanta. Both teams are having serious issues and they are not performing as expected. Whichever team managed to solve those problems will go through. If both or no one managed to solve the issue, then I will go with Real Madrid which is clearly favorite. Those are just few general considerations about the upcoming Champions League matches. We will post our in-depth analysis and predictions in due course. Stay tuned!