The Champions League is now entering their elimination stages and the round of 16 draw results have come in. The round of 16 matches will get underway on February 14th, 2017 with PSG facing Barcelona and Benfica facing Dortmund. Below you will find a listing of all of the Champions League round of 16 games as well as previews for each one.
Manchester City vs. AS Monaco
Manchester City is heavily favoured over Monaco in the outright winner odds for the 2016/2017 Champions League, but Monaco might turn out to be a stiffer test for Manchester than they would have hoped for going into this first elimination round. Monaco won more games than Manchester during the group stage of the competition and nearly matched them in goal scoring. These two teams have played twice previously, drawing both matches.
Real Madrid vs. Napoli
This one will likely end up being a pretty lopsided match up. While Real Madrid was denied the top spot in group play, they are the defending champions in this tournament and they still managed to get through group play without a single loss. Their opponents were not so fortunate as they lost a game and only outscored their opponents by a cumulative total of 11-8. The loss of Arkadiusz Milik has been particularly problematic for Napoli and it appears that he’ll be out of commission until at least March.
Benfica vs. Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund is not exactly the best that Germany has to offer these days, but they are heavily favoured to win their match over Benfica in the round of 16. Dortmund finished up the group stage with four wins and two draws thanks to some strong second half play. Their opponents, Benfica, had a slightly less successful preliminary stage, finishing with 2 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses. Their team has been more successful than what most thought, given their lack of star players, but they are still the weaker side in this match up.
Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal
Bayern Munich remain among the favourites to win the Champions League this year and they’ll be facing Arsenal in the round of 16. Bayern came out with four wins in the preliminary stage despite facing a difficult group and they also have a fairly solid record against Arsenal. They’ve won five and drawn three in their last ten matches with them. Arsenal will be a tough opponent for them in this game, however. They two made it out of the group stage with four wins and on top of that they managed to outscore their opponent by a whopping margin, 18-6.
FC Porto vs. Juventus
Juventus will be favoured in what will likely be a match up with Porto that is heavily dominated by strong defence. These teams combined in the group stage to allow just five goals, Porto giving up three and Juventus giving up two. These teams have played twice previously in relatively recent times, with one of their matches ending in a draw and the other ending in a 3-1 win for Porto. Despite Porto having the better part of history on this one, look for them to be facing the tougher defensive battle. They scored just 9 goals during the group stage and are unlikely to have enough firepower to overcome the Juventus defence.
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Atlético Madrid
These two teams have drawn their two most recent matches with each other, but with Atletico Madrid being among the favourites to win the tournament this year, they’ll also be the favourites to win this match. Madrid had an excellent round of group play, winning five of their matches and allowing just two goals. Their opponents had their own bit of success in the group stage, failing to lose a single game, but they also came out with just 10 points. Their 8 to 4 for/against ratio also leaves bettors with much to be desired. A little more distance between those numbers would help with our convictions.
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Barcelona
If there were to be a headlining match in the round of 16, this one would be it. PSG and Barcelona are both strong teams that have a goo deal of history with each other and the fact that Barcelona is the odds on favourite to win the event makes the game all the more interesting. Speaking of their record, Barcelona is definitely on the positive side of that history, winning 3 and drawing 3 of their last 8 games with PSG. Saint-Germain finished up their group stage with a loss free record of 3 wins and 3 draws. Barcelona, with 10 goals worth of help from Lionel Messi, did more than a mite better. They outscored their opponents 20 goals to 4 and won 5 out of their 6 group stage match ups.
Sevilla vs. Leicester City
This game will very certainly be the last for one of these teams, but it will also almost certainly be the second last for whichever moves forward. Both Sevilla and Leicester City fall under the category of ‘happy to be there’ and will probably not impact the rest of the elimination stage too much from here on out. Leicester did well, winning their group with points from 4 victories and Sevilla picked up 3 wins of their own. Between the two of them, however, they scored just 14 goals. Sevilla is a very slight favourite to win this game despite Leicester outperforming them in the preliminary round.