UEFA Champions League

UEFA Champions League Live Stream

Last week we saw PSG, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund win away from home, making massive steps towards qualifying for the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, as well as Porto earn a slim advantage over Juventus (2-1). This week it is time for the remaining Round of 16 teams to battle it out among them.

Reigning UCL title-holders Bayern Munich visit Lazio, being the clear favorites to earn the quarterfinals ticket from this tie. The Bundesliga champions (and leaders this season as well) dropped just two points in the group stage, in their penultimate game, versus Atlético, in Madrid, a 1-1. They won their other five group games, two over third-placed Salzburg, two more over bottom-of-the-table Lokomotiv Moscow, plus a resounding 4-0 over Atlético in Munich on their group debut. They scored 18 goals, three per game on average, conceded five, and despite their intense defensive problems in the Bundesliga, they are still expected to take care of business against Lazio. As for the Italian side, they were given a real scare on the very last day of the group stage, when they hosted Club Brugge. They were two points ahead of them, not 100% safe yet, and the ticket to the Champions League last 16 was actually decided in the very last minutes of that game, with Brugge going super close to shocking Lazio (final score, 2-2). Simone Inzaghi’s team finished second, three points behind Borussia Dortmund, scoring 11 goals and conceding seven.

La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid host Chelsea, more like… “host” them, given that the game will be taking place in Bucharest, Romania. Diego Simeone’s team have won only one of their last four league games, just last weekend they lost at home to Levante, allowing Real Madrid to shorten the gap to just three points. Still, Atlético have a game in hand, the situation appears to remain… under control, at least for the time being. In their CL group, they got embarrassed by Bayern in Munich on their debut (4-0), but they still finished in the top two, despite failing to beat Lokomotiv Moscow in any of their two clashes(!). They did beat Salzburg twice, including a 0-2 in Austria on the last day of the group stage. Chelsea on the other hand,  finished at the top of the table in their group, undefeated, conceding just two goals. They even destroyed Sevilla 0-4 in Spain(!). Big change for them, Frank Lampard, the man who led them in the first half of the season, has been replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

Manchester City travel to Budapest, Hungary, to “visit” Borussia Monchengladbach, yet another game that will be taking place at a neutral venue. Pep Guardiola’s team have been flying from one victory to another for weeks and weeks now, looking huge favorites to succeed Liverpool as Premier League champions. Incredibly, they have won 18 games in a row now, in all competitions, and have not lost in their last 25(!). The last team that managed to beat them are Tottenham, a 2-0 in London on November 21. In their Champions League group, City dropped just two points, in a goalless draw with Porto, in Portugal. They won their other five games (over Porto, Olympiacos and Marseille), by a total score of 13-1(!). As for Gladbach, they definitely produced one of the biggest surprises of the group stage, finishing second, behind Real Madrid, but above Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter Milan. It was a… crazy group, in which Gladbach earned just two points from their four matches against Real Madrid and Inter, but still qualified as second, mostly-mostly thanks to their two wins over Shakhtar (0-6 and 4-0).

Last, Real Madrid visit Atalanta, most surely with their morale boosted, after last weekend’s “gift” from Levante (they beat Atlético in Madrid, 0-2). Zinédine Zidane’s team are now just three points behind Atlético, having played a game more than them, but even so, that -3 points and +1 game, looks much better than -10 points and +2 games that used to be the case in La Liga up until a few weeks ago. In their Champions League group, the Merengues suffered two shocking defeats to Shakhtar Donetsk(!), but they earned 10 points from their four games against Inter Milan (two wins) and Gladbach, to finish at the top of the table. As for Atalanta, they visited Ajax on the last day of the group stage leading by one point, meaning having the “luxury” of playing for two results, a simple draw would have been enough for them, but in true… Atalanta style, they did not stop there, they actually beat the Dutch side to finish second in the group, two points behind Liverpool. The Reds were the ones who obliged Atalanta to their only defeat in the group, an… eye-catching 0-5(!) in Bergamo.