If you’re lucky enough that your club made it this far, congrats! If not, don’t worry we’ve got you covered with a Europa League preview tomorrow. Today we’re gonna take a look at the 4 fixtures coming up this week in the Champions League and I’ll assess each teams chances of going through. Before I get into the preview I feel I need to speak about this neutral venue situation, having one side play their ‘home’ game in a neutral venue and be vulnerable to away goals is madness to me, yes I know there’s no fans, but in your home ground you have the sense of familiarity with the pitch and the dressing room, then having to go play the second leg in your oppositions ground?? Yes I know they’ll have a chance at scoring an away goal but it doesn’t negate the fact that they lost their entire home advantage in the tie. In my opinion, there’s 3 things they could have done.
- Make it a single leg winner takes all game.
- Make both legs neutral ties.
- Just bin away goals.
RB Leipzig vs Liverpool
Having seen my club beat Leipzig 5-0 and lose 3-2 I would tell Liverpool fans not to be worried, however Liverpool are in crisis at the moment and look lost for ideas all over the pitch. Leipzig’s defence is there to be exploited but I don’t know if Liverpool have it in them to exploit that at this very moment in time. Salah seems the only goal threat, Mane has had a poor season, Firmino has never been profilic and the midfield that’s known for being high energy and dominant have seemed flat as of late. I’m sure there’s gonna be question marks over the defence again as Alisson comes into this game off the back of 3 howlers.
Leipzig are always dangerous and I can see them scoring a few today, although recent form has been poor I do fancy Liverpool to find a new lease of life in the Champions League, I think they’ll go through over both legs but tonight I’m gonna say 3-2 to Leipzig. Liverpool will get over the line in the return leg then I fancy them to bow it in the Quarter Final stage.
Barcelona vs PSG
PSG are another side I saw my team beat and lose to this season, similar to Leipzig I feel their defence can be exploited but the threat they have going forward is massive. No Neymar is a huge loss, I swear this guy has missed every KO game since he signed bar last season. As much as Barca have fell off they still have a lot of talent there, including Griezmann and Dembele who are dangerous in front of goal.
PSG are gonna be looking for revenge after their embarrassing bottle job against Barca in 2017, known as ‘La Remontada’. Pressure is gonna be on to avenge this defeat and Pochettino will know this will be a great chance to win over the PSG fans.
This is gonna be a big test for Mbappe, can he show up and win a big game for PSG with Neymar out? This is a very close one, I’m very torn on who’s going through, I fancy Barca to win a tight game tonight however. Gun to my head I’d say Barca will go through but I dont rate their chances of going very far. I predict they go out in the next round after squeezing past PSG.
Sevilla vs Dortmund
Everyone who’s club is in the Europa League will be smiling watching this game knowing there’s no hope Sevilla can enter Europa this year. This should actually be a cracking tie, two good sides coming head to head, Sevilla are on a 5 game win streak in La Liga and have some key players to look out for including new signing Papu Gomez and Jules Kounde at CB who United are linked with. BVB on the otherhand have one win in their last 5 and are currently 6th in the Bundesliga, they have a new manager in Marco Rose, coming in the summer. Even with their league struggles they still shouldn’t be underestimated with the likes of Haaland and Sancho (sigh) in their side.
Sevilla are extremely hard to beat.. trust me I know firsthand. I fancy them to hold Dortmund to a draw this week and then progress in the second leg on away goals. In a year where there’s not too many incredible teams in Europe, I could see Sevilla going on a good run and potentially making it to the Semi Finals.
Porto vs Juventus
The greatest player in the history of the Champions League returns tomorrow night. Its been 2 full season’s since Ronaldo has won the Champions League, his longest drought since 09-2013, an incredible stat. After just turning 36 he’ll know the clock is ticking on adding a 6th CL title to his CV. His Juventus side have a tricky tie against Porto who are second in the Liga Nos this season, they’ve never been an easy fixture in Europe so I’m worried about this one. Juventus were decent in the group stages and are in the Copa Italia Final but their league form is worrying, it looks like they might miss out on the Scudetto this year, if that is the case a massive run in Europe will be needed.
I fancy a draw tonight with Juventus going through in the return leg at home. Ronaldo has been senstational this season and always kicks on in February, I think if they can avoid Bayern they’ll go all the way and Ronaldo will get number 6, both in Champions League’s and Ballon D’ors, yes I’m being biased!
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