The Road to Istanbul to lift the Champions League trophy continues in February after the draw was made today. Tough ties await Liverpool and Manchester City, away to Spanish opposition in Atletico and Real Madrid. This piece will serve as a rough guide (remember it’s still December) as to what could happen in each tie.
Borussia Dortmund Vs Paris Saint Germain
This promises to be a very attractive tie for the neutrals as Dortmund will challenge the powerhouse in Paris with Mbappe, Icardi and co. The last 2 years have been very unlucky for both sides by being knocked out of the competition very early. PSG will try to make it further than the quarter finals finals for the first time. Dortmund will be inspired by an in form Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer.
Prediction: Dortmund 40%-60% PSG
Real Madrid Vs Manchester City
Amid the Clasico against Barcelona this coming Wednesday, Real Madrid finished training to the news of having to face Manchester City in the first knockout round of Europe’s greatest stage. After a poor start, ‘Los Blancos’ seem to have found their form the past few weeks with good football and good results. Manchester City had some poor few games and with the Christmas season and FA Cup approaching, it will be a key period for Pep Guardiola and his players.
Prediction: Real Madrid 49%-51% Manchester City
Atalanta Vs Valencia
This could to be to be one of the least attractive ties in terms of teams and playing style. Atalanta and Valencia, playing attractive football and remain in the top 10 of their respective leagues. Atalanta put Manchester City under pressure and Valencia was able to win at Chelsea and Ajax to top their group. Atalanta find themselves in the knockouts at the first time of asking and have nothing to lose.This tie promises to be very open and exciting.
Prediction:Atalanta 50%-50% Valencia
Atletico Madrid Vs Liverpool
The defending Champions visit the Metropolitano for the first time since winning the Champions League against Spurs in June and on paper it promises to be a big one. The reds will try to carry on their form until then whilst the Spanish giants will try to improve their game form for the upcoming tie. This will see the best defensive team in Europe against the best attacking side currently in World football.
Prediction: Atletico 45%-55% Liverpool
Chelsea Vs Fc Bayern
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea will face Bayern and return to the Allianz Arena for the first time since that final in 2012. This young Chelsea side seem to have a mixture of good and bad results this season, sitting in 4th in the Premier League. Bayern have been the same, which has seen them fall to 5th on the table and Niko Kovac being sacked. Bayern have the experience on their side and It promises to be another exciting tie for the fans.
Prediction: Chelsea 40%-60% Bayern
Olympique Lyon Vs Juventus
Juventus breezed past everyone to top their group, playing good football and rotating some players too in order to prevent any more injuries. Lyon qualified on the last matchday and have been inconsistent this season and have now lost Memphis Depay, who will also miss the Euro 2020 with Netherlands. Juventus have way more depth, better football style and have settled better this season than Lyon.
Prediction:Lyon 25%-75% Juventus
Tottenham Hotspur Vs RB Leipzig
If this draw was made 4 weeks ago, not many people would’ve predicted Spurs to go through. However, with Jose Mourinho coming in and changing the whole mentality of the players, Spurs have increased their chances. Leipzig are still flying through the Bundesliga, having now taken top spot of the table, they will try to keep their form onto the Christmas break. This is the first time the Germans have made it to the knockouts.
Prediction: Spurs 50%-50% Leipzig
Napoli Vs Barcelona
Napoli have had a very shaky start of the season, on and off the pitch between the players, coach and owner in a triangle of disputes. This inevitably led to Aurelio De Laurentiis sacking Carlo Ancelotti. In the other hand, Ernesto Valverde has lost the Barca DNA and has been on strings for the past few weeks. With the Clasico coming this Wednesday, Barca will try to extend their lead at the top. Who knows what their form will be come february? Only time will tell.
Prediction: Napoli 40%-60% Barcelona
These are some exciting ties coming our way early 2020, with Istanbul in the horizon teams need to start shaping up their football if they want to be in the final on May 30th.