So the Champions League draw has been made and my Twitter feed has gone into overdrive! Fans are Tweeting in their thoughts and feelings on the last 16 draw, so here are mine.
PSG v Chelsea – For the second year running, Chelsea face PSG in the round of 16. A late Demba Ba goal put Chelsea through last year, but I feel it will be a more routine tie this time around. PSG possess some big name players; Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura and former Chelsea star, David Luiz. However, their domestic form has been below par this season in comparison to the Blues. Mourinho has instilled confidence and ruthlessness into Chelsea this season. The Blues have been sensational this campaign and at times look like they could beat anyone. If Costa and Hazard can keep their form going, I think it will be one way traffic. Chelsea win.
Manchester City v Barcelona – Another replica of last year, Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City face Spanish giants, Barcelona once again. The Citizens have struggled to hit the heights of previous seasons but are beginning to come good in the lead up to Christmas. Sergio Aguero must have a bad back after carrying City in the League and against Bayern Munich in the Group Stage. With the Argentinian injured, City will be sweating over who can step up to the plate, will he be firing on all cylinders by the time these two meet? Barcelona have been in the shadow of Real Madrid so far in La Liga. Messi, Neymar and Suarez are still adapting as Barcelona’s attacking trio, but it’s only a matter of time before they come good. Can City’s defence handle that striking force? I’m not so sure. Barcelona win.
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico – La Liga winners and Champions League finalists last season, Atletico have a squad that breathes confidence. Inundated with quality amongst their ranks, Madrid will need the likes of Koke to step up to over come their German counter-parts, Bayer Leverkusen. The German’s are sitting in 3rd spot in the Bundesliga and are plodding along nicely. However, I feel the Spaniards possess that extra something that will give them the upper hand over the two legs. Atletico win.
Juventus v Borussia Dortmund – If you had asked me last season, I would have said Dortmund despite Juve’s form. But a quick look at the Bundesliga says it all. Dortmund have been below par this season and Jurgen Klopp will be the first to admit it. Meanwhile, Juventus are at the summit of Serie A after losing just 1 game so far all season. The Italians have experience in their squad, a potential deciding factor for this tie. Juventus win.
Schalke v Real Madrid – Real Madrid face German side, Schalke in the last 16. Schalke finished in second behind Chelsea in their group, but failed to make much of a showing in qualification. In spite of qualification, the Germans ended with a -5 goal difference against their name after some heavy defeats. With that said, Real Madrid’s attacking options will prove too much for the sorrowful figures of the Schalke defence in my eyes. Madrid for me and I worry for Schalke. Real Madrid win.
Shakthar Donetsk v Bayern Munich – Ukrainian entity, Shakthar Donetsk will come up against 5 time Champions League winners, Bayern Munich. Whilst many will label Bayern as the easy choice for this one, I think Shakthar will make it harder than many are making out. Saying that, I still feel Bayern will come good. With Ballon d’Or finalist, Manuel Neuer between the sticks, it will test Shakthar’s willingness to attack the Germans which could prove to be their downfall. Bayern, renown for their counter attacking capabilities will look to pick apart their opponents on the break and I have no doubt they will, eventually. Bayern Munich win.
Arsenal v Monaco- Arsenal fans will be delighted with the outcome of the draw. Monaco will however prove a tough test, but not quite tough enough. Arsenal are beginning to show signs of what they can do. With Olivier Giroud back to fitness and the likes of Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere on their way back, Arsenal will have a competitive squad ready to try their hand at a Champions League run. Sooner or later Wenger’s side will come good and I think this could be their year. Arsenal win.
Basel v Porto – Portuguese outfit, Porto went undefeated in the Group Stages, unlike their opponents, Basel who lost half of their games. The Swiss side stole second spot from Liverpool who were the surprise outcasts from the draw. Porto have weapon, Jackson Martinez up their sleeve, a prolific striker who on his day can score goals for fun. Full of confidence and ready to continue their fine form, I think Porto will ease to victory over Basel. Porto win.
Do you agree with Ollie’s predictions?
By Oliver Baines | December 18th, 2014