We are back with the remaining 8 teams from the 1st round of the Champions League round 16 phase. Last week we had some fantastic and unexpected results and we are hoping for the same this time around. We start off with a legendary fixture between Chelsea and Bayern Munich, the finalists of the 2012 Champions League. The Bavarians will want revenge for losing that UCL final to Chelsea. Next, we have the Catalans traveling to Italy to take on Napoli who are battling with some internal club issues right now.
On Wednesday, Italian champions Juventus are playing away from home against French opposition. Lyon will try their best to surprise a side that has much more quality than them. Last but not least, we have one of the most anticipated fixtures in the UCL. Former champions Real Madrid are going to play against Manchester City who hope to lift the title of UCL champions. The ban will have them out for 2 years in this competition so they need to make this year count. However, more about the fixtures below in our predictions.
Chelsea vs Bayern Munich >> click here for live odds
The London Blues finally got back to winning ways in the Premier League. They did it in style as well because they defeated Mourinho’s Tottenham. However, they need to bring the same performance against the German Champions on Tuesday. Their matches against Bayern have always been fun to watch although they haven’t played in the UCL in a long time. As a matter of fact, the last time was the final of 2012 which Chelsea won on penalties. At the moment, Lampard has a young and inexperienced squad; however, Chelsea can beat anyone at the Bridge. The idea will be not to concede at home and then take the match to Germany and try to get a positive outcome there. This year, Bayern can be considered stronger than them but Chelsea could mount an upset.
The German Champions had all sorts of problems at the beginning of the season. They rejuvenated their squad which led to a series of bad results. This in turn caused the coach to get fired so they had to get a new one. However, with time, the Bavarians returned to their usual self. At the moment, they are back on top of the table and are performing really well. Star striker Lewandowski is in the form of his life and he will surely torment the Chelsea defense. Bayern have a bone to pick with Chelsea for that 2012 final. They have been waiting for 8 years for a proper meeting in the UCL. Quality wise, they have a little advantage over Chelsea; however, the London side is playing at home in the 1st match and that’s very important in the UCL.
Chelsea will definitely focus on not conceding a goal even if it means that the game ends with a stalemate. However, both sides are very good in attack which makes it almost impossible for no goals to be scored. For that reason, we are backing a Both Teams to Score outcome.
Napoli vs Barcelona >> click here for live odds
The Italian side had a total meltdown in one part of the season. The owner had a problem with several players and coach Ancelotti. Because of that, drastic measures were made which led to the coach leaving and several players being punished for not giving 100% for the club. All of this led to a long period without a victory for Napoli. They dropped from the TOP 4 all the way down to the middle of the table. However, things have been looking up in recent weeks as Napoli returned to winning ways. They are currently just 9 points behind the TOP 4 and they will definitely try to make it there by the end of the season.
Napoli haven’t played a professional match against Barcelona and the friendlies that were played don’t really matter when you are trying to make a prediction. The Italians should use their home advantage and try to keep a clean sheet.
The Catalans seem to be improving under the new coach as they are getting back to their usual passing game. The performances in the last couple of matches have been much better than how they played before. Most importantly, the last one against Eibar during the weekend was excellent for most Barcelona players. However, they still need to improve when it comes to defensive goals. It seems they are unable to keep a clean sheet in consecutive matches, even when they play at home. Conceding silly goals is what has kicked Barcelona out of this competition a lot of times in the last decade. They need to use the internal problems that Napoli have and get a positive outcome in Italy. The Catalans are very strong at home and they should be able to finish the job at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona might have the advantage when it comes to individual quality and UCL experience. However, playing in Italy is always hard and it has proven such on several occasions during Barca’s best years. They need to come back to Spain with a favorable outcome, even if they lose. At the Camp Nou, they can overcome almost anything so a draw, even a narrow loss might not be a disaster for Barcelona. Scoring an away goal will make things easier as well. With that being said, we are backing an Over 2.75 Goals outcome.
Lyon vs Juventus >> click here for live odds
The French side is back in the last 16 phase after a couple of years. They had a good start to the season in Ligue 1 but they have a lot of form changes which lead to bad results. Because of that, Lyon are 6 points below the TOP positions on the table which would put them back in the Champions League for next year. Back in 2016, they actually met Juventus in the UCL during the group stages. They lost one of the matches narrowly and drew the other, giving the Italian side a lot of trouble along the way. However, we can say that Juventus are a stronger side right now while Lyon are not actually at their best.
The only advantage they have for this match is that they play at home which doesn’t mean a lot when facing a team like Juventus. Lyon need to limit their defensive mistakes to an absolute minimum if they hope for any kind of positive outcome.
The Italian champions have arguably the strongest and most versatile squad in the world. On top of that, they have Ronaldo, a person who will go in history as one of the best players to ever play the sport. This year, Juventus have a tough job in Serie A since both Lazio and Inter are proving to be strong competitors. Under new coach Sarri, Juventus are getting the results but they are not being dominant and often they don’t play well. Getting Lyon at this stage might be the best thing as this is the hardest part of the season. With their individual quality, Juventus shouldnt have any trouble with defeating Lyon. However, they might take a more defensive approach for this fixture since they are playing away from home. Even a draw where they score would be a very positive result to take back to Italy.
Quality wise, Juventus have the upper hand in this fixture. They should be able to get a win in France even if it’s a narrow one. Lyon will try to use their home advantage to score early and then defend; however, it will be hard against Ronaldo and co. For that reason, we are backing an Away Side Victory.
Real Madrid vs Manchester City >> click here for live odds
We have a fantastic fixture on our hands when these two sides meet on Wednesday. Madrid are no longer the team they were back in 2017 and going through Manchester City will be very hard. They were doing great in the league; however, it seems their season has taken a bad turn in the last weeks. They drew against Celta and lost to Levante, giving Barcelona the lead in La Liga. Additionally, the squad is suffering from some major injuries as record signing Hazard is out injured once again. However, so far Madrid have always came on top when facing Manchester City. They played against each other in the UCL back in 2012 and 2016. In both occasions, Madrid managed to draw or win the matches.
Nevertheless, this is a different City side and Madrid are no where near to their prime. With performances like the one against Levante, City will walk all over them.
The holding champions of the EPL received some terrible news just two weeks ago. Since they have broken the Fair Play rules of signing players, they are going to be out of the Champions League in the next two seasons. On top of that, a lot of reports claim that their punishment will be much bigger than that. However, this occurrence might motivate the City squad to give it their all in the UCL and maybe even go all the way. The Premier League title seems out of their reach so Guardiola will surely focus towards a Champions League title. On the other hand, they will be facing Real Madrid led by Zidane.
This is a team that knows how to get results in the Champions League even when they are not at their best. Manchester City can’t afford to underestimate them, especially in this first match when the Spanish giants will be playing at home.
The only reason City aren’t considered bigger favorites is the legacy that Real Madrid have in the Champions League. Beside that, at this moment City are a much stronger side and they are in-form. Madrid, on the other hand, have a lot of injuries and troubles with their offence. However, we can never rule them out. They will try to keep a clean sheet in Madrid even if it means the match will end 0:0. Nevertheless, it’s hard to believe that it’s possible for such a fixture to end without goals. For that reason, we are backing a Both Teams to Score outcome.
For more Champions League Predictions, tune in with us next week!