Who could forget last year’s champions Bayern Munich who beat Paris Saint-German in the final 1-0! Munich also broke a record, becoming the first club in history to win all their matches during the tournament and remain undefeated
Last year’s champions, Bayern Munich, will be the favorites going into this, but not far behind are Manchester City and Liverpool.
The first legs of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League will be held on Feb 16th & 17th, then the 23rd & 24th, followed by the 2nd legs played in March. Let’s take a look at the 1st legs and see which teams have a shot at holding up the cup.
Wednesday 17th February 2021
Barcelona vs. Paris – Camp Nou, Barcelona
Leipzig vs. Liverpool – Puskas Arena, Budapest
Thursday 18th February 2021
Porto vs. Juventus – Estadio do Dragao, Porto
Sevilla vs. Dortmund – estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, Seville
Wednesday 24th February 2021
Atletico vs. Chelsea – Arena Nationala, Bucharest
Lazio vs. Bayern – Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Thursday 25th February 2021
Atalanta vs. Real Madrid – Stadio Di Bergamo, Bergamo
Monchengladbach vs. Man. City – Puskas Arena, Budapest
Barcelona vs. Paris:
Head to Head: Barcelona 1, 3 Draws, Paris 3.
These two clubs have definitely been involved in some high scoring matches. In the 2016/17 round 16, Barcelona won the first match 6-1, and then Paris reversed it, winning the next one 4-0. This game should be a high scoring match; Paris will be without one of their star players, Neymar, who was looking forward to coming up against his old club but is out with a thigh injury.
We haven’t seen these two sides on one field for four years, so it will be interesting to see how much the clubs have learned from each other during this time.
With Messi and Mbappe on the field, this should be an exciting match to watch.
Leipzig vs. Liverpool
Head to head: there is currently no recorded history of these two clubs playing each other. Leipzig has won its last four matches in a row, but Liverpool has had a rocky previous four games winning two and losing two.
On the 7th of February, Liverpool had a damaging loss to Manchester City as they battled it out to retain the Premier League title. It was a 4-1 loss that has put some doubt into the club, and they will be looking to start this match strong.
Leipzig has recently recorded its biggest away win of the season, beating Schalke 3-0. The momentum seems to be with Leipzig right now, but Liverpool is an unpredictable team. Although we see Leipzig winning this match, our pick will be a safe one, Leipzig +1.
Porto vs. Juventus
Head to Head: Juventus 3, 1 Draw.
In the last four matches, Porto is yet to get a win over Juventus. Reviewing this match, one player made the highlight, and there wasn’t much else to say except RONALDO!
Juventus should win this match as Ronaldo is in good form, and generally, when he is playing well, the club wins games.
Our tip here will be:
Juventus to win head to head.
Sevilla vs. Dortmund
Head to head: these two clubs have not played each other since 2010, but Sevilla has won 1, with the other being a draw.
It is hard to get a read on Dortmund; they have won two of their last five matches and had an impressive comeback win against Augsburg 3-1.
Sevilla has won their last five matches, including an impressive recent win against Barcelona 2-0. Sevilla also hasn’t let in a goal during these past five matches, highlighting how well their defense is holding up.
Sevilla’s defense should be a major factor in this match, and our tip will be Sevilla to win head to head.
Atletico vs. Chelsea
Head to Head: Chelsea 2, 3 Draws, Atletico 1.
This could be the game of the round. Both teams are in good form, with both winning four of their last five games. Firstly, breaking news: Madrid star Jose Gimenez has just been ruled out for up to three weeks. No doubt this will cause some distraction for Atletico leading up to the match.
Chelsea’s attacking form has been quite impressive in their last few matches against some excellent defending clubs such as Tottenham and Sheffield Utd. Tammy Abraham recently ticked off a bucket list task, scoring his first Hat-Trick with Chelsea, and Jorginho has been continuing to strike the ball well, scoring his fifth penalty shot on the 4th of February. Thomas Tuchel has already had his first victory as the newly appointed manager for Chelsea and is looking to maintain his momentum.
Atletico has scored 13 goals in its last five games, which tells you that they are not afraid to play an attacking style. Luis Suarez, Angel Correa, and Saul Niguez have been some stand out attacking players. Atletico’s recent match, a 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo, showed they had started the game a little slow, which could have cost them towards the end of the match.
There is strike power all over the pitch, and it will be a great game to spectate.
Our pick: Atletico Madrid 1st half double chance Atletico|Draw
Lazio vs. Bayern
Head to head: there is no current record of these two clubs playing each other.
Bayern won the FIFA Club World Cup for the second time, with Benjamin Pavard scoring the only goal to secure the 1-0 victory. Lazio has lost only one of its nine matches in 2021.
This will be the first time in 21 years that Lazio has reached the knockout stage, and they will be determined to make it through. Lazio will be looking for their top scorer Ciro Immobile and the form of Caicedo to hopefully cause an upset here.
Bayern will be hard to beat as they don’t look like they plan to slow down anytime soon.
Our pick Lazio -1
Atalanta vs. Real Madrid
Head to head: currently no history of these clubs playing each other.
Well, what a surprise packet Atalanta has been for the second year running. They have won their last three away games, becoming the second Italian team to triumph at Anfield. It has been a fantastic season, and the least they deserve is a place in the final 16. Top goal scorer Duvan Zapata has been able to spark some confidence in the squad.
Atalanta is only the third side since 2003/04 to progress to the UEFA Champions League’s knockout stage in their first two seasons.
There’s nothing new for Madrid, as they have qualified for the knockout rounds in all of their 25 seasons within the UEFA Champions League. Despite a slow start to their campaign, there is no chance this experienced club will come unprepared.
A player to call out has to be Karim Benzema, the current Madrid’s top scorer. We see that both teams have strike power, and our pick is:
Full time – more than 2 goals.
Monchengladbach vs. Man. City
Head to Head: Man City 3, 1 Draw, Monchengladbach 1
The last win for Monchengladbach against Man City was back in 1979. This match does feel a bit one-sided towards Man City, but still, we have to show some respect for Mönchengladbach. They pulled off quite a shock in the group as they could progress despite having both Madrid & Inter in their group.
One thing with Mönchengladbach is that they play an attitude of NO fear. Having no fear has led to goals, but coming up against Man City, they will have to put some structure into their game. Otherwise, Man City can turn the game on its head quite fast.
Man City was undefeated in the group stage and seemed to just cruise into the knockout stage. They also came away with five clean sheets during the group stage, highlighting how structured they are in defense.
The only way Man City could lose this is if they let their easy run into the knockouts distract them and become complacent.
Our Pick: Man City -1.5
Round 16 Leg 2 will start on the 10th of March. If you liked reading this, please share your comments and check back for the Leg 2 review.