Champions League Round of 16: 4 Thoughts


It’s finally that time again. This week and next week bring us the first legs of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matches. These fixtures should provide some very good matches, as well as some very predictable results. I for one am extremely excited to watch these matches, and I’m here to provide you with 4 things to think about preceding these Champions League Round of 16 matches.

The first thing to think about is the match between FC Basel and FC Porto. This is going to prove to be one of the best matched of the whole Round of 16. These two teams are extremely well matched, and thats why it will be a fantastic game. Porto has the solid, pacy attack of Jackson Martinez and Ricardo Quaresma up top, yet Basel has solid defenders in Fabian Schar and Marek Suchy to shut down their attack. I think that given these factors, this is going to be one of the most fair and fun-to-watch matches of the whole Champions League.

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Now, for the second thing to think about, we’re going to move to the opposite of fair and balanced. Yes, I’m talking about Bayern Munich vs FC Shakhtar. If Bayern’s recent 8-0 slaughter of fellow Bundesliga members Hamburg shows what they can do a team in one of Europe’s best leagues, then this match may be nothing short of utter embarrassment. Bayern is currently boasting an  eight-point lead in the Bundesliga, with only one, yes one, loss after 21 games. Shakhtar is in for a very tough battle against Bayern, and this match has a potential to be extremely one sided.

For our third thing to think about, I’m going to talk about the current Ballon d’Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo. After an extremely immature performance against Cordoba, Ronaldo received his marching orders. After serving his ban, he’s now back playing for the club, however he hasn’t scored for them in their last three games.

Yes, Real Madrid has kept up their lead at the top of the La Liga table, but Catalan rivals FC Barcelona are catching up quickly. Without Ronaldo in scoring form, the club has been struggling ever so slightly. With all this being said, playing against a solid Schalke team may prove to be more of a challenge than Madrid fans would like to believe.

The last thing to think about is the importance of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s performance during the Chelsea v PSG match. In PSG’s last match, Zlatan revealed his temporarily tattooed body, sporting the names of 50 children suffering from hunger. While the action was done 100% with good intentions, removing his shirt did earn him a yellow card. Now, with this extremely important first match against Chelsea, Zlatan must play smartly, as receiving another yellow card, giving him a red, would be devastating for PSG, and would probably knock them out of the Champions League. Zlatan needs to be smart during this game, but I’m sure he’ll realize the importance of the game and act accordingly.

My predictions for the games tomorrow and Wednesday? PSG 1 – 2 Chelsea, Shakhtar 1 – 4 Bayern, FC Porto 1 – 0 FC Basel, Schalke 04 1 – 1 Real Madrid.

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