The Champions League is returning and it’s bringing up the last 8 of the competition with some eye-catching clashes are coming your way this week. Juventus entertain Real Madrid in last year’s final re-match, all English affair at Anfield where Liverpool face in-form Manchester City, Barcelona will be looking to live up the expectations of being one of the competition’s favorites when they face Roma. Sevilla will continue dreaming big against Bayern Munich.
After the disappointing collapse in the playoffs, managerial merry-go-round during the past few years and turmoil in the Italian Football Association, many asked: “What now for the Azzurri?”. One of the most loved and successful national teams in the world will miss out on the World Cup 2018 in Russia and will not feature on a major tournament for the first time in more than 50 years. The nation with famous World Cup wins and dramatic displays won with the likes of legendary players such as Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Del Piero, Paolo Maldini, Dino Zoff and many many others now will have to rely on a whole new generation of uprising players. We will take a look at some of the Italian young guns. Italy suffered the darkest moment in its modern history as a goalless draw at San Siro against Sweden signed the verdict that they will miss out the forum in Russia.
The most important part of the season is approaching, but all football stars will have their sights set for the biggest footballing occasion during the summer – the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. Some of the biggest favorites clashed between in each other in what might be considered boring international fixtures by some fans, but players and coaches will definitely look to them as much important preparation for the tournament. We will take a look what we’ve learned during the past week from the performance of the biggest footballing nations.
Germany face Brazil in in a friendly game at Olympiastadion in Berlin in their next preparation game and will be up against their old rivals from South America for the first time after the famous 1-7 win at Belo Horizonte on 8 July 2014.
With less than 100 days before the World Cup in Russia, the participating teams will have the chance to test themselves against other countries with the players switching their attention from club football. Some debutants will have the chance to impress their managers, other will try to cement their place on the squad and will be hoping to get the plane tickets for this summer’s biggest sporting occasion. What better way to do so if not by starring in an eye-catching international fixture. We’ve got you covered by selecting the 5 most entertaining friendlies on Friday, 23th March.
16 teams participating in the Europa League had not had much time analyzing the 1st Legs and just 7 days later they are going play the decisive 2nd legs. Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Marseille were the biggest winners of the matches last week and could be considered as favorites to go through, but there is plenty to play for in all 8 games.
After last week’s drama and learning the first 4 teams to reach the Quarter Finals, now we will learn the other 4 teams to qualify for the next round. Liverpool, Manchester City, Juventus, and holders Real Madrid are expecting to learn the other 4 teams which are going to be presented at the draw later this week. Manchester United and Chelsea have the chance to add to the English club’s presence in the tournament, but their task will not be that easy because they must overcome Sevilla and Barcelona respectively.
The road to this year’s final in Lyon, France is in full swing and 16 teams from 10 different countries enter Round 16 of the Europa League. The UEFA Europa League round of 16 features a stellar cast of names with ten previous finalists – including three former winners – joined by dangerous hopefuls such as AC Milan, Lyon, and Leipzig. One of competitions favorites Atletico Madrid face a tough challenge in Russian champions’ hopefuls Lokomotiv Moscow and another big team willing to reach the final is going to be Lyon, knowing that the game will be played on their home stadium. Milan – Arsenal is probably the tie of the round. Elsewhere, two impressive German teams remain in the tournament – Dortmund, and Leipzig, but surprisingly or not – the most represented country in the Europa League is Russia with 3 remaining – CSKA, Lokomotiv, and Zenit.
The decisive 2nd legs of 4 games are to be played in the Champions League with some of Europe’s big guns facing early exit. Paris St Germain and Juventus are facing tough battles ahead of them and will need to play at their best in order to overcome Real Madrid and Tottenham respectively.
After astonishing 16 games being played last week and tremendous 50 goals scored in them, the 2nd Leg is coming your way this week. CSKA Moscow already booked their place in the last 16, after winning 1-0 on aggregate against Crvena Zvezda. Alan Dzagoev scored the winner and he and his team will be looking who the next 15 teams are going to join them in the next round.