The Champions League is back! And all that soft group stuff is behind us. From now on, it’s knockout all the way, albeit stretched over two legs. Three English teams remain alive, including Leicester City.
Below, we try to predict the outcome of all eight last-16 ties.
Right, now that we have covered ourselves with that disclaimer, let’s get on with the predictions…
Benfica vs Dortmund
This one has walkover written all over it. Benfica only scraped out of a poor Group B with eight points and a goal difference of zero, while Dortmund topped Pool F, staying unbeaten against the likes of Real Madrid and Sporting Lisbon, and scoring 21 times in six games.
Benfica’s domestic form is better than Dortmund’s but that’s not comparing like with like as the Bundesliga is streets ahead of Portugal’s Primeira Liga.
Dortmund to win by at least three on aggregate.
PSG vs Barcelona
Both these sides find themselves second in their respective leagues, with PSG chasing Monaco and Barca trying to gun down Real Madrid.
This promises to be a tie of high quality. PSG need to get a positive result in tonight’s home leg, but they probably won’t.
Barca to win both legs.
Bayern Munich vs Arsenal
We all know how this one ends. Arsenal and Bayern have met in five seasons since 2000.
Taking away goals into account, Bayern have got the better of Arsenal in all five of those double-headers and they will do so again.
Bayern to continue their dominance over the Gunners.
Real Madrid vs Napoli
Napoli are unbeaten in 18 games going into Wednesday’s first leg against Real in Madrid.
That record will be tested and ultimately Real should sneak through, but this could be close.
Napoli to push Real all the way before late Ronaldo heroics see the Spaniards progress.
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Atletico Madrid
This is arguably the hardest tie to call.
Experience could be key, in which case Atletico have the edge, after reaching two finals and one quarter since 2014.
Atletico to win ugly.
Man City vs. AS Monaco
Monaco beat Spurs home and away in the group stage, but Tottenham were terrible.
City will have to be close to their best against a side that are tearing up Ligue 1 this season, but Pep Guardiola has enough experience to guide his team of stars into the quarter-finals.
City to win at home and draw away.
Porto vs. Juventus
Juve are so tight at the back. And they are used to winning.
Porto are a good side, but perhaps don’t quite have enough.
Juve to draw 0-0 away and then win second leg at home.
Sevilla vs. Leicester City
This could get ugly and it probably will.
Although Leicester topped their group, they only did so by trouncing minnows FC Copenhagen and Club Brugge.
Porto ripped them a new one in matchweek 6, battering the Foxes 5-0. Since then, Leicester have won three and lost seven of their last 14 games in all competitions, while Sevilla have won seven of the 11 matches during the same period, beating Real Madrid along the way.
Sevilla to record the highest winning margin across all ties in this season’s round of 16.