15 Bold Predictions for 2014 UEFA Champions League Round of 16
15 Bold Predictions for UCL's Round Of 16
The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 is only a few days away and it’s never too early to start predicting what will happen.
The two reigning finalists – Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund – are alive in the competition and there are some of the best players and teams in the world that will feature in this round. Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Manchester United are only some of the teams that will take part in this round and there are plenty of things to be analyzed before the ball starts rolling.
With exciting matches like the one between Manchester City and Barcelona, the one between Arsenal going against Bayern Munich and some others that are very hard to predict – like Borussia Dortmund going against Zenit, the presence of Manchester United against the Greek champions Olympiakos or the current La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid squaring against AC Milan – there are several storylines that could easily happen based on what already happened in the first part of the season.
Star players leading their teams, other players struggling and even some movements in the January transfer market that will impact the chances of some teams to make some noise in this round, are only some of the things mentioned as to what might happen when the ball starts moving all over Europe.
Without further ado, read on to find 15 early predictions about what will happen in the upcoming UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
PSG Will Get A Sizable Advantage
The current Ligue 1 champions are a much better team than Bayer Leverkusen and that will be shown easily in the first minutes. Expect PSG to get a sizable advantage in the first leg and cruise in the second one.
Real Madrid Will Dominate Schalke 04
Real Madrid has played spectacularly ever since they lost El Clásico against FC Barcelona in October last year. After cruising their way to the Round of 16, they will dominate Schalke 04 with ease as they are better in every area of the pitch, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
AC Milan Will Struggle vs. Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid are currently leading La Liga ahead of the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid. AC Milan, on the other hand, are nowhere near European spots in the Serie A in what has been a disappointing season for the Rossoneri. It’s clear Los Colchoneros are the better team and Milan will suffer against them.
Atletico Madrid Will Confirm Their Contender Status
Atletico Madrid are considered as the dark horse to win the Champions League title this season and their play against AC Milan – where they should dominate easily – will do nothing but confirm this status as a legitimate title contender.
Zlatan Will Score At Least Twice in First Leg
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been the undisputed star of PSG this season and with the likely absence of Edinson Cavani in the first leg, the Swedish star will carry the offensive load for the current Ligue 1 champions. He will answer by scoring at least twice in the first leg against Bayer Leverkusen.
Manchester United Will Cruise against Olympiakos
Manchester United has struggled mightily this season, but they will face an easy challenge against Olympiakos in the Round of 16. The Red Devils have enough talent to advance and they are expected to cruise their way to the quarter finals.
Alexis Sanchez Will Continue His Hot Streak
The Chilean forward has already scored 15 goals this season and he will continue his scoring rampage against Manchester City. His pace and skill set are perfect for the Premier League and he will prove that against The Citizens.
Bayern Munich Will Dominate Arsenal with Ease
Arsenal was only one goal away from sending Bayern Munich home in the Round of 16 last year, but that won’t be repeated this time. The current champions will dominate with ease and they are expected to advance to the next round.
Olympiakos Will Miss Konstantinos Mitroglou
Konstantinos Mitroglou was the star of Olympiakos in the first part of the campaign, but his transfer to Fulham will impact the Greek side. He will be missed as he was the only player capable of creating havoc in Manchester United’s defensive line.
Hulk Will Put Dortmund's Defense Upside Down
There are few players that have the skill set that Hulk possesses. Speed, strength and a knack for scoring important goals. The Brazilian international will put Dortmund’s defense upside down and he will be a huge factor in this Round of 16 tie.
Borussia Dortmund Will Advance to the Next Round
Borussia Dortmund advanced to the finals last year and their core remains almost intact this year. Their experience and chemistry will be enough for them to advance to the quarterfinals once again.
Gareth Bale Will Score Twice Against Schalke 04
Gareth Bale will carry a heavy load against Schalke 04 since he will be one of the key pieces for Los Blancos in the upcoming European tie and he will answer scoring twice. The Welsh forward keeps growing game after game and he will continue showing that against the German outfit.
Didier Drogba Will Score against His Former Team
Didier Drogba is a Chelsea icon and he will return to Stamford Bridge as the star of Galatasaray. The Ivorian striker is still a dangerous player and he will find the back of the net playing against Jose Mourinho and The Blues.
The Three Spanish Teams Will Advance
Atletico Madrid, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will find a way to advance to the next round, showing that La Liga is one of the best leagues in the world and features three of the best teams in the continent.
Manchester City Won’t Get Past FC Barcelona
Manuel Pellegrini’s team has one of the best attacks in Europe, but that won’t be enough to advance against FC Barcelona. Los Blaugranas are a stronger team all around and they will get the edge in what will be a tight encounter.