In continuation of our Champions League Round of 16 quick preview, we bring you the concluding part.
Porto vs Juventus
Porto were impressive in their group, finishing second to Man. City. They won four, drew one and lost just one against City. There’s Nigerian interest with Zaidu Sanusi playing for FC Porto.
Juventus edged Barcelona to top spot in their group but are yet to hit top gear. Cristiano Ronaldo is yet to set the stage on fire but has a knack of getting into the grove in the knockout rounds. In terms of quality, Juventus looks more equipped but Porto are more recent winners of the tournament, following their 2004 triumph.
Players to watch: Jesus Corona (Porto), Felipe Anderson (Porto), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
Prediction: This is where we expect our first shocker to come from, Porto to scale through.
Barcelona vs PSG
Another titanic battle in the group. Probably the biggest tie of the round. As stated earlier, Barcelona finished second to Juventus in their group, losing top spot on the last day following their only defeat, at home against the Old Lady. The reward of letting go of top spot is a tie against PSG.
The last time both teams met in the second round of the Champions League, they served us a classic, with Barcelona overturning a 4-0 defeat with a 6-1 win at home. PSG recovered from a defeat against Man. United on the opening day, to finish top of their group.
If he is fit, Neymar will be relishing facing his former team. The Brazilian was pivotal in helping Barcelona turn the tides in 2017, now he is on the other side. Barcelona have not been so convincing this season, with Lionel Messi largely a shadow of his old self. PSG have also not been able to find consistency.
Players to watch: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Neymar Jr (PSG), Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
Prediction: PSG to go through
Sevilla vs Dortmund
Another almost balanced tie. If it were the Europa League, we would have easily gone for a Sevilla win.
The Europa League champions qualified quite easily behind Chelsea. They look like a compact side but have struggled for goals.
Dortmund qualified quite easily in a group that had Lazio but have been largely inconsistent, especially in the Bundesliga. They have severed ties with their coach Lucien Favre, they should be a different team by February with Erling Haaland also expected back.
Players to watch: Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla), Marco Reus (Dortmund), Erling Haaland (Dortmund)
Prediction: Difficult to call, Dortmund to edge it.
Atalanta vs Real Madrid
This should be a mouth watering tie. Atalanta were impressive as they finished second behind Liverpool, winning all their away matches without conceeding a goal. Gian Gasperini’s men have not been at their attacking best but they seem more pragmatic this term.
Real Madrid left it late to qualify. They picked just a point from their first two matches and stood the risk of an embarrassing group stage exit. They eventually made it, top of their group. They have not been really impressive but they have the knack of getting the job done when it matters.
Players to watch: Alenjandro Gomes (Atalanta), Mario Pasalic (Atalanta), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Prediction: We expect a shocker from here, Atalanta to go through.