The biggest club competition is set to begin and one shall not forget about it. Let’s give you a low down on the knockout round that is and what to expect.
Valencia CF vs Paris Saint – Germain
Valencia are doing fine for now, 7th in the league, QF against Real Madrid and round of 16 for the CL. On the other hand PSG are doing well too. 2nd in the league , QF of the cup and with the addition of Lucas Moura, they seem a stronger force than before. This tie would be balanced on how PSG perform at the Mestalla. Valencia are strong at home and weak away from home. PSG would like to exploit that and with Ancelotti’s experience. They seem to be the favourites.
Team to go through : Paris Saint Germain
Arsenal FC vs FC Bayern München
Arsenal’s season is in tatters at the moment. Some fans even want their legendary manager Arsene Wenger to quit. With Robin van Persie sold to Manchester United, Arsenal added Giroud and Podolski to cover up but they just haven’t stepped up. 6th in the league and not showing up has become a frustrating habit. Bayern Munich are flying high in the Bundesliga and in the QF of DFB-Pokal.
Bayern play the second leg at home and that is where they will seal their progression. Arsenal have returned to some kind of form but taming the Bavarian giants is going to be a tough task.
Team to go through : Bayern München
FC Porto vs Málaga CF
This is really the one that is going to be really hard to predict for the pundits all around the world. Both teams have been playing well considering the leagues that they play in. Málaga are 5th in La Liga and playing their QF of Copa Del Rey against Barcelona. They have been impressive considering the ownership crisis they were in. If they were to win this, they need their star man Isco to stay during the transfer window and focus.
He is clearly their driving force. Porto are currently at 2nd place in Primeira Liga behind on goal difference to Benfica. They are having a good season with James Rodriguez providing top assists i the league and Jackson Martinez the top scorer. The tie lies in the balance. Málaga under Manuel Pellegrini has enough experience on him to guide his team through over the Dragões.
Team to go through : Málaga CF
AC Milan vs FC Barcelona
This tie has a Barcelona win written all over it. There is no way around it. The 7 time European Champions are having a torrid time financially and with their stars players leaving like Pato, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Thiago Silva the team is a shadow of their former self. Currently lying a lowly 6th in the league and in the QF of the cup. Their hopes of a CL place also looks dim as they are currently behind by 5 points behind Inter Milan.
While Barcelona are flying high even with their first defeat of the season at the hands of Real Sociedad they sit atop of the league and ahead by 8 points to second placed Atlético Madrid. Messi is again the Ballon d’or winner and the greatest player of the current crop of players would well want to add another CL medal to his never ending collection. Milan are improving but still have a long way to stop Barcelona who are among the favourites to win the Champions League this season.
Team to go through : FC Barcelona