Champions League is back, and there are plenty of reasons to be excited! (Part 2)

Champions League - Last 8 - 1st Legs 2-3 April 2018
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After witnessing the first 4 games of the Knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League and watching the blockbuster clashes, including Paris impressive display and win at Old Trafford, Spurs winning big against Dortmund in the dying moments of their Wembley clash, VAR being in the center of the controversial match between current holders Real and Ajax and Roma overcoming FC Porto in their first clash in Italy.

Interested in what was our preview of the Part 01 of the games – take a look at UEFA Champions League blog post here.

Now we look at the second part games, which includes the return of Cristiano to Madrid and Liverpool entertaining German super power Bayern Munich.

 

Lyon vs Barcelona

Lyon will host one of the favorites in this year’s tournament and will be looking to get a good result before the return leg in Spain a fortnight ahead. Talismanic Lyon captain Nabil Fekir is suspended and the French side must cope with his absence and they are yet to win against the Catalan side in their all 6 attempts.

Lyon vs Barcelona

Barcelona meanwhile are leading the way domestically, have 2 upcoming matches against Real both in La Liga and Copa del Rey, now they would like to gain advantage early on in their tie with Lyon. When they last met in 2008/2009 in Round 16, Barcelona won 6-3 on aggregate. Former Lyon favorite Umtiti is recovering from injury and will travel with the side.

Liverpool vs Bayern

When German and English clubs meet, the show is guaranteed. In one of the blockbusters of the round, Jurgen Klopp Liverpool meet Bayern at Anfield in what appears to be in another European classic night under the floodlights.

Liverpool vs Bayern

Liverpool’s main concern before the match will be the defensive crisis and the suspension of Virgil Van Dijk which adds to the injuries of Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren. Fabinho may have to shift to defense and Liverpool certainly would like to repeat their famous run from last year. Jurgen Klopp will return to his rivalry with Bayern, previously managed Dortmund in their final lost in 2013.

The German side will be without Frank Ribery, Jerome Boateng and suspended Muller. Given the depth in the Bayern squad, this will not be a huge problem for Niko Kovac and his staff. This year’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski will be adding to his goal tally and the clash between him and Matip could become vital for this clash as a whole.

 

Atletico Madrid vs Juventus

Atletico are unbeaten in 9 against Italian sides and will be hoping to add to this record. This task will not be easy, knowing that Cristiano Ronaldo and the ambitious Juventus return to town. Both teams enjoyed great success in the Champions League recently without winning the trophy, so this could be their year.

Atletico Madrid vs Juventus

Both sides have reached the final twice in the past five seasons, Atlético losing to neighbours Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016 whereas Juve were beaten by Barcelona in 2015 and Real Madrid two years later. History is not on Juventus side, as the Italians were eliminated from Spanish teams last 2 seasons.

The sides were paired together in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage, when an Arda Turan goal gave Atlético a 1-0 win at their former home, the Vicente Calderón. Current Juve striker Mario Mandžukić was in the Atlético side, as were Diego Godín, Juanfran, Koke, Saúl Ñíguez and substitute Antoine Griezmann with Jan Oblak and José María Giménez unused replacements; Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci played for Juventus.

The second game in Turin ended goalless, a result that meant Atlético finished first in the section and Juve second, though it was the Italian side that went on to reach that season’s final.

Having Ronaldo on their ranks, certainly would make the match a very tense affair and surely Ronaldo will be targeted by the Atletico players.

 

Schalke vs Man City

In the last match of the Round 16 of the UEFA Champions League, the German side Schalke entertain the English champions Manchester City. Pep Guardiola‘s side are absolute favorites and everything different from a win in their match is going to be considered as a surprise.

Schalke’s last three UEFA Champions League campaigns have all ended in the round of 16 and they will be keen to make the most of home advantage as they welcome City for the first leg of their latest knockout tie.

The German club reached the semi-finals in 2010/11, but have not been past the round of 16 in three attempts since. Schalke qualified for this season’s knockout stages by finishing second to Porto in Group D.

Schalke vs Man City

The winners of Group F in the autumn, Manchester City are in the knockout stages for the sixth year in a row, and have won two of their last three round of 16 ties. In 2017/18 they went on to the quarter-finals, where they lost to fellow English side Liverpool.

The Germans are not so impressive in their matches since beginning of 2019 and have only 1 win against Wolfsburg, City in parallel are cruising in the league and are progressing through domestic cups with upcoming Carabao Cup final against Chelsea on the forthcoming Sunday.

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