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This week’s action in the UEFA Champions League will see some big name teams dip out for 2019 in the do-or-die second leg of the round of 16, with some interesting and somewhat hard match predictions.

Current title-holders Real Madrid are poised to progress despite their indifferent form in La Ligathis season. They hold a 1-2 advantage for an away win against Ajax. 

Last year’s runners-up Liverpool had a tough match against Bundesliga powerhouse, Bayern Munich, and will be regretting the fact that they did could not do better than a 0-0 result at Anfield in the first leg. 

Of interest will be the Juventus v Atlético Madrid match. Atlético won the first leg 2-0 at home in an entertaining game. It looked as if would end in a 0-0 draw until two relatively late goals from Atléti - the first from Jose Gimenez in the 78th minute, followed by another from Diego Godin five minutes later. Cristiano Ronaldo had chances for Juventus but he could not make up for some tactical defensive errors against a very spirited Atléti in the second half.

An unpredictable result in the first leg was another 0-0 draw, this one between Lyon and Barcelona. Lyon currently sit third in the Ligue 1 competition, while Barcelona are seven points clear at the top of La Liga, but the Spanish super side failed to score despite managing 25 shots on goal. It leaves the return tie finely balanced, although most pundits would be hard pressed not to support Barcelona coming out on top with a home match to play. 

Porto v Roma is also delicately poised. The Italian side holds a 2-1 advantage after the first leg, but Porto at home will be a tougher proposition, and the match was only saved for Roma by teenager Nicolo Zaniolowho scored both goals after the break.

Even though Manchester United is enjoying a resurgence under the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, their 0-2 deficit against a rampaging PSG is likely to be too big to overcome. 

Tottenham’s 3-0 advantage against Dortmund also looks like a big target to chase – although the German side, which currently leads the Bundesliga, is capable of doing anything on any given day, and especially at home.

That leaves Manchester City to host Schalke 04 at home, carrying a 2-3 advantage. Schalke gave City a fright in the first leg, until Leroy Sanéand Raheem Sterling scored in the 85thand 90thminutes respectively. City are unlikely to leave progress to the quarter-finals until the last minute when at home.

Our tips:

  • Real Madrid
  • Bayern Munich
  • Atlético Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • Roma
  • PSG
  • Tottenham
  • Manchester City

Categories: Opinion | Europe

uefa champions league, #ucl2019, round of 16

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