Ah yes, the UEFA Champions League is back again for the remaining four matches of the Round of 16. There’s just something about that angelic “the chaaampionnss!” that makes you love the sport that is soccer (or football).
There are some good matches for the remainder of the first leg, so in today’s column, I will predict who will win in this week’s Champions League.
Chelsea vs Bayern München
The last time Chelsea played Bayern was in the 2012 Champions League final, in which they tied 1-1 and Chelsea won on penalties and time has definitely changed in both squads.
Bayern has been in incredible form this Champions League season, and it surely hasn’t died down yet. Within their past 10 games in the Bundesliga, for example, they won eight games and lost and drew a match. Additionally, their flawless run in the Group Stage has made them one of the favorites to win this year, and rightfully so.
As for Chelsea, I feel like I shouldn’t say they don’t have a chance, but so far their Champions League run is questionable, barely surpassing Ajax to advance from the Group Stage.
They will be hosting the Bavarians on Tuesday, and if their good defense at Stamford Bridge against Tottenham says anything, they will be ready to take Lewandowski or Kingsley Coman if Lampard plays the right cards.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-4 Bayern München
Napoli vs F.C. Barcelona I feel like it’s a no-brainer, and totally not out of straight bias, but Barcelona will prove to be dominant.
Napoli is in sixth place in Serie A while Barcelona is in first in La Liga. In all honesty, Napoli doesn’t look too promising to put up a fight against the likes of Arthur, Frenkie de Jong and, of course, Lionel Messi. They only won half of their group stage games and drew the other half; and with the likes of Koulibaly and Llorente injured, the Gli Azzuri could see themselves exposed to the Blaugrana’s attack.
But we shouldn’t rule out Barcelona not winning the match, whether it be them equalizing or even losing to Napoli, because of their Champions League runs last year and the year before as well as their run in their domestic league this season.
Prediction: Napoli 1-4 Barcelona
Lyon vs Juventus
So I’m just going to be completely honest, I don’t really know much about either team besides the fact that Lyon has Moussa Dembélé and Bertrand Traoré and Juventus has Paulo Dybala, Adrien Rabiot and Cristiano Ronaldo. What I do know however is that Juve will miss the likes of Sami Khedira, Pjanic and Higuaín who have proven helpful to the squad. But if key player Memphis Depay is out with an injury for Lyon, they could have trouble finding the back of the net.
Prediction: Lyon 0-3 Juventus
Manchester City vs Real Madrid
Ah, yes. Two teams I’m not a fan of; one being a rival to Barcelona and another I just simply don’t like (sorry Pep).
It would be dumb of me to say neither team has good talent. For the Citizens, they have Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Mahrez and Agüero while Real Madrid has Sergio Ramos, Rodrygo, Isco and Vinícius Junior. I will say this is probably be a game most should keep an eye on. With Man City now banned from all UEFA competitions for two seasons and the Premier League title out of their grasp, it makes perfect sense for Pep Guardiola to solely focus on the Champions League and getting past the quarterfinals and lift the trophy with his English side.
Prediction: Man City 2-2 Real Madrid
Thumbnail Photo by Filippo Rubin/AP.