Manchester United v PSG*: This one could quickly turn ugly for Manchester United, especially if they do not fix their leaky defence. PSG are clear favorites. The second leg at home even gives them a slight advantage. There’s still time until February so maybe United can surprise the French champions. Will that be with or without Mourinho? Only time will tell.
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Tottenham v Dortmund*: The German league leaders are in fantastic form and should edge Tottenham in my opinion. Spurs have little experience in the Champions League and if they lose Alderweireld in the winter (it’s looking like it!), things will not be any easier.
Lyon v Barcelona*: OL have shown they can challenge Barcelona’s playing style. Guardiola’s Manchester City follow a similar blueprint and were given a lot of trouble by the French team in the group stage. However, Barca have a certain Lionel Messi. I expect Barcelona to qualify for the next stage.
Roma v Porto*: One of the more even games. Porto did well to top their group but it was not the hardest of groups. Roma, last season’s semi finalists who eliminated Barcelona, have been struggling in Serie A this season. Expect an even game, with Porto causing an upset.
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Schalke v Manchester City*: The Citizens could not have asked for a better draw. Guardiola’s team to go through hands down.
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Athletico Madrid v Juventus*: Cristiano Ronaldo‘s sweet return to Madrid, except it might not be so sweet as Athletico fans and players will surely give a hard time to the player who scored 22 goals against them while playing for their more successful Madrid rivals. Tough one to predict. Advantage Juventus with the return leg at home. I’ll go for Juve.
Ajax v Real Madrid*: The young Ajax side could give Real Madrid hell come February. They have been destroying opponents in the Eredivisie and held their own against Bayern Munich in the group stage. Every great team stops winning at some point and maybe Real’s time has arrived? I’m gonna go with Madrid on this one but Ajax will deeply trouble them.
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Liverpool* v Bayern Munich: The top game of the draw (maybe alongside Athletico Madrid v Juventus). Bayern under Kovac have not been the same beast as in the past few years and Liverpool are now starting to show great form both locally and in Europe. This should be an enthralling encounter, with Liverpool moving forward.
* predicted winner.
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