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Predicting the Round of 16 Fixtures in the UEFA Champions League

With the 2019-2020 league season completed, the last competitions that need to be decided are the Europa League and the Champions League. The last four Round of 16 fixtures will be completed on August 7th and 8th.

TWSN’s Christian De Block and Michael Vasconcelos will go through each fixture and predict who they believe will win and why. 

Juventus vs Lyon:

Christian: Juventus is down 1-0 going into the second leg at home, and I have little to no confidence that they have enough to advance in the competition. The team has struggled to adjust to the system of first-year manager Maurizio Sarri. Even with that, I believe the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala will be able to do enough to get them past the French side, but it is not going to be comfortable for them.

Score Prediction: 3-1 Juventus(3-2 on aggregate).

Mike: In what has been a mixed year for “The Old Lady”, it’s a bit fitting they go into their second leg of their Round of 16 fixture against Lyon down 1-0. They have seen triumph as the most recent Scudetto winners, but are a side that is currently being carried by a simultaneously ageless/aging Cristiano Ronaldo, as he looks less pacy and agile in attack, but is as lethal as ever in front of goal. As a side, I like their chances after getting some well-deserved rest following the end of the domestic campaign. Going forward against more formidable opponents, I’m a bit less optimistic. 

Score Prediction: 2-0 Juventus (2-1 agg.)

Manchester City vs Real Madrid:

Christian: With Sergio Ramos being unavailable after his sending off in the first leg, I think it is going to be a tall task for the Spanish side. Belgium winger Eden Hazard will likely start for Madrid, which will add a lot of creativity and technical ability to their attack. With that being said, I believe the attack of City along with the leadership and physicality being missed from Ramos will be too much for Madrid to overcome.

Score Prediction: 3-2 Manchester City(5-3 on aggregate).

Mike: The absence of Sergio Ramos following his misconduct bookings in the first leg of this fixture is a massive blow to Los Blancos’ campaign to recapture their European form with Cristiano Ronaldo. Although Eder Militão and Raphäel Varane are a formidable duo in terms of their broad physiques and elite man-marking skills, one wouldn’t be wrong to be hesitant towards trusting Militão with his lack of experience against arguably the best attack in the world. Kevin De Bruyne should have a field day between the shots he’ll get with space and the needlepoint through balls he should be able to deliver with a less-seasoned back line.

Score Prediction: 3-1 Manchester City (5-2 agg.)

Bayern Munich vs Chelsea:

Christian: I only can see this fixture resulting in a Bayern Munich victory. Chelsea will be without United States international Christian Pulisic among other key players, and the English side is already down 3-0 going into the second leg. Bayern are one of the favorites to win the entire competition, and a depleted Chelsea team is a great opportunity for the side to work themselves back into competitive football after finishing their season over a month ago.

Score Prediction: 3-0 Bayern Munich(6-0 on aggregate).

Mike: With a back line that has been torn to shreds all season long by the likes of a David Moyes- led West Ham side and Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United, the Büli’s second all-time goal scorer must be licking his lips in advance of kick-off. Expecting a hat trick would not exactly be fair or reasonable in a professional soccer game, but it’s hard to say that the possibility isn’t there for Robert Lewandowski. A massive deficit should only get larger.

Score Prediction: 5-0 Bayern (8-0 agg.)

Barcelona vs Napoli:

Christian: After watching both teams score in the first leg back in March, I had a tough time deciding how I feel this game will go. Barcelona had a chance to win La Liga, but gave it up to Real Madrid. On the other hand, Napoli fired a manager and ended up finishing seventh in Serie A. Due to the lack of consistent support alongside superstar Lionel Messi, I have Napoli progressing to the quarterfinals. An attack made up of Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, and José Callejón on the counter attack will be too much for the Barcelona defense.

Score Prediction: 2-1 Napoli(3-2 on aggregate)

Mike: As rumors of Barca’s demise continue to swirl about the soccer media, their next opponent has been revived under the enigmatic and loving care of Italian fire-starter Gennaro Gattuso after looking DOA around last Christmas. With what I can only imagine will be an inspired pre-game chalk talk, I’m taking Gattuso’s tricky wingers in Lorenzo Insigne (if he is fit to play), José Callejon and Hirving Lozano to give Barca’s back line fits in a dominant performance.

Score Prediction: 3-1 Napoli (4-2 agg.)

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