The return of the greatest tournament in the world has arrived with some exciting ties. Pairing some of the great players against each other will provide some new storylines ahead of an exciting end of the season. The English teams have looked strong this season and should be looking to reach the last 4 If they get through this round. Here are the previews and predictions for this week’s ties, part 2 will be published next week.
Juventus v Spurs
This has the makings of a great tie involving two teams who have great balance in their starting 11. After a slow start to the season Juventus have picked up the pace domestically and are currently neck in neck with Napoli at the top. 11 straight wins shows that they are currently one of the form teams in Europe and approaching the business end of the season well. Tottenham have also had a great start to the year and are now back in the top 4 domestically. They are coming off a great win in the North London derby and have nothing to fear in this tie. Topping a difficult group with the defending champions should give them great confidence in the tie. This tie will likely be decided on who will take the few opportunities presented between two great defensive teams. Over two legs Juve have more quality going forward although Kane is the best player on the pitch. Higuain and Dybala are proven goalscorer in the Champions League and should have enough however to get them through.
FC Basel v Man City
This is certainly the easiest tie of the week to predict. City look flawless and are already a handful of wins away from lifting the Premier League trophy. That will certainly help them to rest players for this tournament. Basel have good history at home against English teams but this City team are a different beast to previous teams they’ve faced. Only complacency will stop them progressing to at least the semi finals.
Prediction- Man City
Porto v Liverpool
If Liverpool had a solid defence they would be one of the best teams in Europe. In the group stage they showed the good and bad side of their team but they should have enough to get through. This isn’t the best team Porto have had in recent years however they regularly get to this stage in the Champions League which is some experience Liverpool don’t recently have. If they don’t make silly mistakes the attack should have enough to get them far in this tournament.
Prediction – Liverpool
Real Madrid v PSG
The tie of the round between two of the richest clubs in the world. PSG are like the fresher version of Los Blancos with all the new football stars whilst Madrid still have the most expensive players from a few years back. People question the quality of the French league but they did set a record for most goals scored in the group stage. The difference between the team that bottled it last year and this season is that they have a world class player with stature in their team. A player like Neymar has attributes that only 2 or 3 other players have, and if they take a big lead into the second leg he will finish it. It’s hard to pinpoint why Madrid have struggled this season but it’s probably the end of a cycle for some players. The core have been together for a while and needed freshening up. They still rely on Ronaldo which can’t go on forever however this is the tournament they live for. They are out of the title race so this is all they have to live for, they could step it up for this tie but PSG are not the team you just turn up for and hope to beat. Should they go out here it will be the end of the BBC era and a lot will change. For PSG they should expect to get to the final with the team they have, the front three is devastating and the having someone like Neymar in the team should give them confidence that they have a player who can now go toe to toe with the World player of the year.
What are your predictions for the 4 ties? Who are the favourites? Which English team will progress the furthest?
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