Our Champions league predictions continues with the other four mouth watering fixtures. So does the glamour tie of the round, Real Madrid vs Manchester United. Mourinho vs Sir Alex Ferguson. The greatest club competition is already exciting fans and it is just the round of 16.
Has your team beaten Barcelona? Because Celtic has and yes, they did it in style. One of the upsets of the group stages, Celtic did defeat Barcelona at Celtic park and they are going to need two of such performances to progress to the QF of the Champions league. With their direct rivals Rangers gone, they are sailing through in their league. Ahead by 12 points , and enjoying good cup runs, domestic glory is rest but assured. Juventus are 7 points ahead of Napoli is Serie A and in the semi finals of Coppa Italia. One would back them to notch up successive titles this season and their strong performances against Champions of Europe – Chelsea showed their prowess and hunger to do well in Europe. Back them to proceed with a strong defensive performance . Playing the second leg at the Juventus stadium helps them immensely as Celtic Park can be one of those venues where it is tough to beat Celtic. Juventus are a force to reckon with and Conte is proving to be one hell of a manager.
Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford, Mourinho vs Fergie, Glamour tie. Call it what you may, but this is the tie of the round. Two of the biggest clubs in the world going head to head. Officials of both clubs have stated that they would’ve liked to face each other on a latter stage, but god wants it NOW. Mourinho has won Copa del Rey with Madrid and the league too last season. Judging by his CV, he now has his sights on Champions league and if history is to be believed, whenever Mou’s teams have won the competition, they have finished 2nd in their group. Madrid are currently in good form and La Liga is out of their reach , they face Barcelona for the Copa del Rey semi final. Their season depends on this trophy. With reports of mutiny in the dressing room being reported and along with Casillas’ injury, United can breathe a little easier now. Even though Diego Lopez is a very good goalkeeper himself. They certainly have it in them to go and win.
Manchester United are leading the Premier League by 5 points, into the 5th round of FA cup . They are certainly not leaking goals at the moment, but are not so sure at the back either. Same as Madrid. Sir Alex Ferguson has a good squad in front of him and has already talked about a possible treble. He would definitely like to win it once more before he finally calls it quits. With his strikers in rich vein of form, back them to score. Such a tie is going to come down to who scores more especially with the away goals rule. Would Ronaldo take out his former club or will Robin van Persie do it for Manchester United. Mourinho has usually trumped Sir Alex Ferguson and would plan to do the same. Quality wise, the Madrid squad just maybe ahead of United but United have been strong and are growing with each game.
Schalke did very well to indeed top the group without losing a single game and that is exactly what they would be hoping to do. The club is 6th in the Bundesliga and reached the 3rd round of DFB-Pokal after losing 1-2 to Mainz 05. Their aim of this campaign would be qualifying for next year’s Champions League. Having scored 32 and conceding 29, their meager goal difference of 3 would be a concern for the coach. Galatasaray on the other hand are making strides to “greatness” , well at least that is what the transfer window shows. They have snapped up Champions League winners in Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba. Their strength increases 10 times after such quality additions, both of who are eligible to play. Türk Telekom Arena is where they’d expect to do the damage while Schalke would want to escape with a draw from there to finish the tie at home. Whatever happens, it is going to be a cagey affair and expect Didier Drogba to put behind Chelsea’s Europa League disappointment and score.
Attack!! Attack!! Attack!! There will be goals for sure, but who will score more? Shakhtar have been more than imperious in the Ukrainian Premier League. They are currently 1st and in the QF of the Ukrainian cup. They have let in just 9 goals up till now and boast a GD of +43. The group they were in was tough and they managed to kick out the European Champions Chelsea, but then again Real Madrid and Manchester City conquering Borussia Dortmund is another ball game altogether. Dortmund may just be 3rd and out of the title race for Bundesliga but they have performed so well in the CL that they have been labelled as “THE DARK HORSES” to win it. Jürgen Klopp has a great young team with him and his main man Lewandowski is also firing with support from Reus and Götze. Expect all the young guns of both teams to fire and entertain. Shakhtar may have done well but Klopp’s men seem to good to lose out.
Sure this is football and anything is possible, so maybe expecting one or two surprises here and there won’t be too much. The matches are going to be of epic proportions and some good football on display. This is what the biggest club competition offers to the viewers. Pure football!