Champions League round of 16 Gameweek 1 preview


With the Champions League group games finishing earlier than usual due to the World Cup, fans will be excited to hear that the round of 16 clashes begin on Tuesday, February 14th.

The club games most illustrious tournament has some mouth-watering ties with Paris Saint Germain vs Bayern Munich being the pick of the bunch. Expect the usual drama and controversy in the knockouts that have now become customary in the competition. 

Paris Saint Germain vs Bayern Munich

Last season’s Ligue 1 and Bundesliga champions will face each other at the Parc des Princes on the 14th of February in the biggest clash in the competition so far. 

PSG boss Christoph Galtier will have his work cut out with key men Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Nordi Mukiele and Presnel Kimpembe all injury doubts. 

With a lacklustre squad depth, Galtier may have to rely on the individual brilliance of Neymar to carve out any sort of result in this game.

This season PSG has prided themselves on a solid backline that is difficult to infiltrate and this should be the case again this time out.

Bayern Munich will not be happy with their domestic form going into this match as they are struggling to turn draws into wins. However, a recent 4-2 dismantling of Wolfsburg will give them confidence in facing PSG.

Coach Julian Nagelsman plays high-energy football with a reliance on the wingers to produce width in attacking situations. Creativity comes from the excellent Jamal Musiala, with the inform Erick Maxim Choupo-Moting in great goalscoring form. 

With both sides having more difficult domestic seasons than anticipated, the Champions League could offer a much-needed distraction. This game could certainly be one for the ages.

AC Milan vs Tottenham

AC Milan have not been used to knockout Champions League football in a while and with the team in horrendous form fans of the Rossoneri will demand a strong showing. Meanwhile, Tottenham have had a mixed season under Antonio Conte but still sit fifth in the Premier League.

Antonio Conte will expect to come away from the Italian city with nothing but a win and with star man Harry Kane having a memorable season, this could well be a simple task for the Londoners. 

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli is under immense pressure to get a result and please the board but with an odd team selection in their recent defeat to Inter Milan, Pioli will have to get his tactics spot on. 

Mercurial talent Rafael Leao has seemingly fallen out with his coach, leading to being benched in the Milan derby. With the wingbacks seemingly a problem position for Conte, Leao will be eager to start and show his boss why he deserves to be the first name on the team sheet.

With AC Milan winless in seven and conceding goals easily any result here could lead to a confidence booster for the Italian side. Meanwhile, Conte and Spurs will be happy to go back to London with a draw and finish the job at home.

Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea 

With Chelsea and Dortmund having never faced each other competitively this game may prove to be surprisingly entertaining. 

This game is another clash of teams who have been underperforming on the domestic stage, with Chelsea currently sitting ninth and Dortmund a more impressive third.

With stars such as Benoit Badiashille and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang not even in Chelsea’s Champions League squad, Graham Potter simply must win this tie. Add in the £300 million of talent that arrived in January, and on paper this game looks like a victory for the Blues.

Chelsea have not got going this season though with Potter struggling to implement his free-flowing style of football at Stamford Bridge. With a home and away thrashing of AC Milan in the group stage maybe Potter can get his squad performing on the European stage. 

With this game taking place at Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund can rely on their passionate fans to give them that extra level when facing Chelsea. With the excellent Jude Bellingham in midfield, Dortmund are more than capable of springing a surprise and getting a result heading back to England.

With Graham Potter constantly getting questioned this Wednesday 15th February could be an opportunity to silence the critics and spearhead a good run of domestic form.

Club Brugge vs Benfica

Before the Champions League commenced, for one of these teams to reach the quarter-finals would have been seen as a major success. That is exactly what has happened. 

Even with the loss of the talented Enzo Fernandez, Benfica come into this game being the overwhelming favourites. With a balanced style of play, Benfica have only lost one game all season and sit top of Liga Nos. 

Spearheaded by World Cup sensation Goncalo Ramos, Benfica could well make this tie look easy.

Benfica’s opponents, Club Brugge, have hired a new coach in Scott Parker which has led to a new team identity with many of the players who got them into the knockouts now sitting on the sidelines. Currently, 21 points off the top spot in the League, Parker has his work cut out to keep the fans on his side.

After beating Bayer Leverkusen, Porto and Atletico Madrid, Benfica should be wary of their Belgian opponents but nonetheless are heavy favourites to get a result in Belgium. 

Follow us on Twitter @ProstInt


About Author

Comments are closed.