UEFA Champions League Preview – March 15/16

The quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League are now firmly in sight of the remaining teams and the matches of 15 and 16 March will wrap up the qualifying rounds and give fans the full fixture list for the first of the closing stages.

The last eight teams of the Round of 16 to battle it out for the places have already met in their first leg matches and there’s certainly all to play for all round.

 

Here then is the preview of the four ties, a look back to how they fared when they met last month and whether they have any injury or suspension issues to deal with.

15 March

Atletico v PSV; Estadio Vicente, Calderon, Madrid

In their first leg it was a 0-0 draw which on paper sounds pretty lifeless but in reality saw PSV Eindhoven hang on for a nailbiting 20 minutes playing with 10 men after the sending off of Gaston Pereiro.

They were the surprise package to reach this stage and in the return leg there are confident noises coming from the Dutch that they can cause an upset at the Vicente Stadium with no injury concerns.

With both Tiago and Savic out of the Atletico team for at least another month, the Spanish side will be hoping they can grind out a win.

Manchester City v Dynamo Kiev; City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester

Manchester City’s dreams of playing in the quarter finals are very much alive after they beat Dynamo 3-1 in their first meeting.

They will be strong favourites to reach the next stage for the first time in the history of the club even with four key players out for another month or so.

Dynamo have a squad which is match fit and keen to pull back a shock result, but unless they can really upset the odds they will be heading home sorely disappointed.

 

16 March

Barcelona v Arsenal; Camp Nou Barcelona

In front of a vibrant home crowd, Barcelona will be a force to be reckoned with after their 2-0 away win at Arsenal.

As well as being two of the most powerful clubs in the world, it’s been revealed that the combined revenue of the two clubs is almost £1 billion; the highest ever for a last 16 fixture in the Champions League.

Lionel Messi effectively condemned Arsenal to an exit at this stage with his brace of goals in the first leg tie and it seems history will be repeating itself yet again as Arsenal went out of the competition to Barcelona in both 2010 and 2011.

The repeated calls for Wenger to sign a striker seem more pertinent now than in any time over the last few months and whilst the Gunners manager is making lots of optimistic comments, it’s pretty much a certainty that Nou Camp will ring out with cheers from the Spanish fans on the 16th.

Bayern v Juventus; Football Arena, Munich

Taking a 2-2 draw into the second leg may seem like a level playing field but with Bayern missing players such as Badstuber as seen here at online-betting.me.uk and Juventus easily replacing recently injured Caceres and Chiellini the scales are perhaps tipped more in the favour of the passionate Italians.

They may have started the first tie with trepidation and then seemingly doomed when going two goals down, but ambition prevailed to draw level.

With a new fire in their heart, many feel that this year it’s the turn of the Old Lady of the competition to go all the way.

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