The UEFA Champions league round of 16 would kick off on Tuesday 18th and 19th February, 2020. The Champions league draw for the knock out phase was drawn in December last year with top European teams locking horns against each other in what terms to be a cracker.
Football fans all over the world are surely looking forward to this champions league fixture involving Bayern and Chelsea.
Bayern Munich are predicted to knock out Chelsea in the first Champions League meeting between the two teams since the 2012 final.
They were only team to finish the group stage with a perfect record and netted a massive 24 goals, scoring at least three in all but one of their matches. They also boast Robert Lewandowski upfront, the tournament’s current top scorer.
Bayern is a very difficult side to understand these days. It won six out of six in the group stage–only the seventh side ever to do so–and put 10 goals past last season’s runner-up, Tottenham, across two games, but its domestic form has been a little inconsistent despite crawling to the top of the Bundesliga.
Still, if Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry remain in the sort of form they are now, they could rip apart a Chelsea side that has looked extremely defensively suspect under Frank Lampard.
Now Chelsea manager, Lampard was a vital part of the Chelsea side that won the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern in Munich, but he may not enjoy this trip to the Allianz Arena as much.
Similarly to their domestic form, Chelsea appeared vibrant in attack but suspect in defence during the group stage, as reflected by the fact they averaged an xG of just under 2.5 goals per game but managed just one clean sheet.
The Blues have failed to progress beyond the Round of 16 since 2014, and after surprisingly failing to make a signing in January, will be boldly relying on their existing squad’s versatility which saw them net 11 group stage goals from eight different players.
Other Champions league fixtures coming up this week are Real Madrid vs Manchester City, Napoli take on Barcelona while Juventus travel to Lyon after defeating SPAL in their Serie A encounter.
We have scrutinize all the teams in the knockout phase of the Champions league carefully, we were able to come with some champions league predictions.
Our first Champions league prediction is the defending champions and favorites Liverpool are heavily projected to reach the quarter-finals over Atletico Madrid despite losing by a lone goal in their away encounter. Jurgen Klopp’s men topped Group E and averaged slightly over two goals per game in the process.
Champions League Preview: Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool
Atletico may not be on a perfect form in the Laliga but it represents a dangerous opponent for the reigning European champion. Its big problem this season has been a large number of draws–eight in 17 league games so far–something that seems the result of a lack of attacking cohesion largely caused by the major overhaul it attempted in the summer.
Liverpool, at the moment, looks the most explosive side in the world. They look to overturn the one goal loss suffered last week at the hands of atletico.
Despite an arguably disappointing domestic campaign thus far, Atletico Madrid have typically proved to be a stern and tough team to face this season, and did not concede in all three of their group stage victories.
However, they have been consistently stunted in attack and their eight group stage goals was the joint-fewest out of the 16 teams that progressed.
Champions League Preview: Madrid vs Mancity
In this Champions league draw between Madrid and Manchester city, City has been tipped as favorites to win the Champions League by soccer pundits worldwide.
Champions League round of 16 predictions indicate that Manchester City are expected to knock out Real Madrid in what is the highest quality tie according to the teams’ combined coefficients.
City topped their group by seven points, the largest margin in the group stage, and allowed an average of just seven shots per game from their opponents, the fewest during the same period.
Real Madrid appeared somewhat shaky in the group stages, managing just one point from their two matches against PSG and also drawing at home against Club Brugge. Madrid’s hope were dashed after Eden Hazard picked up an injury in their away loss to Levante.
However, they have since increasingly resembled the team that won the Champions League three times under manager Zinedine Zidane, and the La Liga leaders.
Champions League Preview: Lyon vs Juventus
Juventus are firmly predicted to eliminate Lyon in what the odds are portraying to be the biggest mismatch of the round.
They comfortably won their group unbeaten, only dropped points away to Atletico Madrid and, unsurprisingly for a team managed by Maurizio Sarri, ranked highly in the possession and pass completion stats during the group stage.
Juventus can also call on Champions League specialist Cristiano Ronaldo, whose equally impressive domestic output recently witnessed him score in ten consecutive Serie A games.
Lyon and its progress to the last 16 was marked by the club captain Memphis Depay rowing with fans over a banner in which they depicted the center back Marcelo as a donkey.
Depay has since ruptured cruciate ligaments, ruling him out for several months. Coach Rudi Garcia, meanwhile, is unpopular because of his past association with Lyon’s great rival, Saint-Etienne.
Juventus, meanwhile, has not been especially convincing under Maurizo Sarri, but still gives them the edge in our Champions League round of 16 predictions.
Lyon’s mixed form in the group stage proved just enough to reach the last 16, although their season has been massively disrupted by Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adelaide both suffering cruciate knee ligament injuries. Depay scored five of their nine goals in Group G whilst Reine-Adelaide has been a reliable performer in midfield.
Champions League Preview: Napoli vs Barcelona
In the Champions league draw between Barcelona and Napoli, both enter this tie with different managers than those responsible for progressing them beyond the group stage, Quique Setien and Gennaro Gattuso respectively.
Both have endured mixed starts to their new job, and whilst Barcelona are strong favourites, the outcome could rely on which team adapts more effectively to their coach.
Whilst Barcelona won a group containing Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan unbeaten, they somewhat struggled for goals, averaging just 1.5 per game and netting more than twice on only one occasion.
Barcelona have also been culpable for throwing away big aggregate leads in the Champions League in recent years, although they have not failed to reach the last eight in the last twelve seasons.
Napoli have thus far performed better in big games under Gattuso, most notably defeating Juventus in Serie A and Lazio in the Coppa Italia. Whilst they were the only group runner-up to finish unbeaten, they have not progressed from a continental knock-out match since 2015.
Despite this feat our Champions League round of 16 predictions tips Barca to cruise past Napoli to the quarter finals.
Champions League Preview: Dortmund vs PSG
Another big Champions league fixture is between PSG and Dortmund. Paris Saint-Germain are favoured to overcome Borussia Dortmund.
PSG were thoroughly impressive in the group stage, keeping five clean sheets and averaging just under three goals per game despite suffering from numerous injuries. They were also one of the most clinical sides, scoring with 23% of their shots on goal.
Thomas Tuchel returns to the Signa Iduna Park after being sacked in 2017, it was after a frustrating two seasons characterized by strained relations with the board.
There has been some friction of late at PSG as well, and league form has been unremarkable, but the 3-0 win over Real Madrid in the group stage raised hopes Idrissa Gana Gueye could give its midfield the bite it has been lacking.
Borussia Dortmund edged Inter Milan to finish second in Group F and have since bolstered their ranks with the January signing of the group stage’s breakout star, Erling Braut Haaland, who has enjoyed a highly impressive start to his Dortmund career. However, they have struggled with defensive issues and kept just seven clean sheets in the Bundesliga this season.
Dortmund have reached the quarter-finals more recently than PSG, but also failed to score in four of their last eight Champions League knock-out matches.
Borussia Dortmund are a fine team but won’t beable to withstand the fire power of PSG. we tip PSG to go ahead in our Champions League round of 16 predictions.
Champions League Preview: Atalanta vs Valencia
The Champions league fixture between Atalanta and Valencia seems to be tricky one. Its quite difficult to tell who would go through.
In this champions league draw involving Atalanta and Valencia, both teams have an almost identical chance of winning what the market indicates will be the closest tie of the round. Valencia has improved after a difficult start to the season.
The fact that it dug out 1-0 wins away to Chelsea and Ajax in the group stage suggests a certain toughness and streetwiseness, but it is so inconsistent that it’s almost impossible to know how it will look come February.
Atalanta became the first team to progress from a Champions League group despite failing to win any of their first four matches, and their heavy defeats to Manchester City and Dinamo Zagreb underlined their inexperience in the competition.
However, they presently possess one of the most formidable attacks in Europe and have netted the most goals by far in Serie A this season.
We are definitely tipping Atalanta to book a place in the quarter final in our Champions League round of 16 predictions.
Valencia want to earn what would be their first quarter-final appearance in 13 years and performed well to win a group containing Chelsea and Ajax, but they were notably reliant on their away results in the process.
Champions League Preview: Tottenham vs Leipzig
RB Leipzig are very narrow favourites for another tie the odds are struggling to call. RB Leipzig won Group G, arguably the hardest to predict when the draw was made.
Their attacking trio of Timo Werner, Emil Forsberg and Marcel Sabitzer have been amongst the most productive on the continent this season.
However, questions have been raised to Leipzig’s strength in depth (or lack thereof), and their chances may depend on their ability to balance a European campaign with the Bundesliga title race they are presently involved in.
Leipzig don’t have champions league experience but can easily kick out an unserious Tottenham. Our Champions League round of 16 predictions still gives Tottenham the nod for a quarter final spot.
Tottenham’s group stage campaign featured a multitude of goals at both ends; their return of 18 scored was only bettered by Bayern Munich, but the 14 conceded was the most out of the sides that qualified.
Champions League round of 16 predictions
These Champions League round of 16 predictions is only for the first leg of the Champions league round of 16 fixtures.
A. Madrid vs Liverpool : 1X
Lyon vs Juventus : Away over 1.5
Chelsea vs B. Munich : Away over 1.5
B. Dortmund vs PSG : GG
Atalanta vs Valencia : 1 DNB
Tottenham vs RB. Leipzig : 1 DNB
Napoli vs Barcelona : Away over 0.5
Real Madrid vs Manchester City : 1 DNB
Spanish La Liga might resume June 12
Spanish La Liga might resume June 12
Spain’s elite league president has hinted that the league might resume on June 12 but are waiting for the go ahead from the Spanish authorities. He made this known to newsmen at a press briefing on Sunday.
Javier Tebas was speaking just hours after five players from Spain’s top two leagues had tested positive for coronavirus. He then confirmed that three non-playing staff had also tested positive.
“I would like it (the season resuming) to be June 12, but it will depend on the numbers,” Tebas told Movistar.
“In the end it will be up to the health authorities. They explain what can be done. We do not rush, we are not the ones who decide the phases.”
Despite Sunday’s announcement of more positive tests, Tebas insisted Spain was on the right track for a speedy resumption of the sport. “It is less than we expected.
We expected 25 or 30, according to the numbers seen in the Bundesliga and the potency of the virus in Spain. “Out of 2,500 individuals only eight positives.
And the players already are in the final phase of the disease and this week they will be tested again.”
Tebas added that when the competition restarts, players will be tested 24 hours beforehand.
“In the match environment, infection is practically impossible because we have carried out a study that we will present that shows the smallest risk is in matches if everyone respects the medical protocol.
“If things are done as they should be, there shouldn’t be any infections. If five infected appear in one club, it would suggest some negligence.”
Players in Spain’s top-flight and Segunda division were allowed to carry out individual work at training grounds last week.
The move was the beginning of a staggered training programme with the aim to restart competitive games in the middle of June.
La Liga insist identifying infected players through positive tests are part of that plan. The five players, who have not been officially named, will now be quarantined at home and tested again “in the next few days”.
Barcelona’s players were back for their first session on Friday while Real Madrid’s will return on Monday.
The medical protocol for training is strict and includes players arriving already changed and at specific times to avoid contact with others.
They wear masks and gloves, and have their temperatures taken before entering the premises.
At the end of training, they take away a bag of fresh kit for the next day and shower at home. Last week, Leganes coach Javier Aguirre said he had been told that the proposed date to resume is June 20.
That could correspond with the Spanish government’s de-escalation programme, which includes outside events being allowed to go ahead in their fourth and final phase, as long as they are attended by fewer than 400 people.
Football matches are expected to be staged behind closed doors for several months.
Tebas said “it is not an option” to cancel the top flight given he estimates the economic fallout would cost clubs around a billion euros ($1.08 billion).
But the third and fourth tiers in Spain will not complete their seasons, as confirmed by the Spanish football federation (RFEF) on Wednesday.
Instead, promotions will be decided through play-offs and there will be no relegations.
UEFA Champions League predictions
UEFA Champions League predictions
The first leg of the UEFA Champions League knockout phase saw most home teams clinching a crucial home win except former champions Real Madrid and 2012 winners Chelsea.
They bought in front of their home fans thus making it look like an early exit in Europe’s elite competition.
Manchester city and Bayern Munich recorded a win away from home while Juventus, Liverpool, Paris Saint German are hoping to turn around their disappointing away losses to book a place in the quarterfinals.
Defending Champions Liverpool would be looking to turn around a goal lead at the Anfield this week. Last season proved to be an unforgettable one with some amazing comebacks.
Manchester United winning away at PSG despite losing the first leg and having key players missed was an amazing night. It was nothing compared to the shock of Liverpool overturning a 3-0 deficit against Barcelona with a 4-0 win at Anfield. Then there was Tottenham’s comeback against Ajax in the semi-final.
Champions League Prediction: Liverpool vs Atletico
Despite an incredible amount of pressure, Simeone’s side did an incredible job to keep the dam from breaking. Can he repeat the same feat? Word has it Klopp has his eye on a lineup boost, potentially signing the attacking midfielder Jack Grealish away from Villa.
With less than a dozen matches to go in a heretofore-unbeaten 2019-20 EPL campaign, Reds dropped 3 points in a stunning 0-3 result against Watford. Is it a fluke loss that will only strength Liverpool’s resolve in 2nd leg against an Atlético Madrid already leading by a goal?
It was a masterful defensive performance from every angle. Score on a set piece and hold your opponent at arm’s length: in Europe, that’s been Simeone’s home recipe for nearly a decade now.
Our Uefa champions league prediction gives liverpool the edge over Atletico.
Manchester city vs Real Madrid
The nearest Mancity they have come to achieving that dream was the semi-finals in the 2015/16 season. The past two years has seen them exit at the quarter final stage to English clubs, Liverpool and Tottenham.
After a domestic treble last season, City have again been busy in the transfer market with signings such as Rodrigo aimed at boosting their Champions League hopes.
They had few problems qualifying for the last sixteen and with their Premier League title looking lost already, can concentrate fully on finally winning the Champions League.
City won the opening leg 2-1 which means that Real Madrid can score a goal, post a clean sheet, and still lose without even going to penalty kicks. Pep Guardiola’s side will be more concerned with defending than scoring – City won’t need an equalizer to advance.
Our UEFA champions league prediction definitely goes to city.
Real Madrid’s success this season has been built upon their defense, which has allowed the fewest goals (17) in La Liga.
Madrid now have to score at least two goals, and they’re going to have to do it without their captain, Sergio Ramos, who was red-carded in the first game, and without allowing much to the same attack that destroyed them a few weeks ago. Our pick is a Mancity win or draw.
Bayern Munich vs Chelsea
Chelsea “winning” 1-0 or 2-1 in Munich wouldn’t bother Bavarians all that badly. The German side would still waltz into the Champions League quarterfinals without breaking a sweat.
I can see Bayern manager Hansi Flick deciding that resting players from his top 11 in a cautious 2nd half (once Chelsea needs something like 3 or 4 goals in 20 minutes to advance) is more important than pure quality on flicks around the opposing box.
Blues may score a “consolation” goal or 2 to draw the match even if Bayern out-plays Willy Caballero’s backline again. UEFA Champions League predictions sees adraw at the Allianz arena.
Valencia vs Atalanta
Despite losing the first leg by 4 goals to one at San Siro, Valencia can still get back into this game. Italian teams don’t have a good record traveling away. Valencia can get a win but might not be enough to see them to the next round. They would need to score three un replied goals to qualify. In football anything is possible.
Atalanta have been a darling among the soccer analytics community for the past couple of seasons. Just based on the chances they’ve created and conceded over the past two seasons, Atalanta don’t look like a Champions League dark horse; no, they look like a legit title contender.
The early goals skewed the way the rest of the game played out, but 4-1 was an incredibly unlikely outcome. Hans Hateboer picked up a brace, and he hasn’t even scored in Serie A this season!
After being trashed 4-1 in Milan three weeks ago, the Bats are in one hell of a trouble. Having to chase a three-goal deficit against the most efficient attack of the Serie A, looks pretty unrealistic.
Valencia finally won beating Betis, 2-1, stopping a five-game losing streak. Meanwhile, La Dea once again showcased its fantastic offensive arsenal, packing seven goals against Lecce on the road. It was their fifth straight win, and during that stretch, they’ve scored 21 goals.
Our pick goes to Valencia.
PSG vs Dortmund
Paris Saint Germain is awaiting Borussia Dortmund, and it seems that the Saints can’t wait for the match to begin. They want to make up for the loss at Signal Iduna Park, and to prove their critics that it was just a bad night, nothing more than that.
A 2-1 loss should be reachable for goalscoring machinery from Parc des Princes. Just look at their efficiency in recent times; they rarely scored under four goals in one match. Dortmund completed more passes into the penalty area, but PSG pressed more effectively.
They each generated two shots on fast breaks — none of the other 14 teams had more than one — and the quality of chances they both created were about as close.
While the loss was a blow to our claim that PSG have the look of a Champions League winner, they’ve got an away goal, and they’ll be favored to win every game they play at home, no matter the opponent.
Dortmund are not very reliable when they go away, also PSG happens to be a very unserious side. A draw at the Parc de princes is possible.
Juventus vs Lyon
The Old Lady doesn’t have any rook for calculations. They need to win. And they need to do it by at least two-goal margin. Lyon has a 1-0 lead from the first 90 minutes, and having in mind that the French side has its qualities, especially when playing on the counter-attacks.
Juventus would definitely be playing behind closed doors due to the spread of corona virus in Italy. They played behind closed doors against Inter and were victorious. Lyon shouldnt be an uphill task for Sarri’s men. Ronaldo should definitely come to the rescue.
This match will be the ultimate test for Maurizio Sarri, whose position in Juve is not certain anymore.
Our prediction goes to Juventus.
Barcelona vs Napoli
Napoli has just one defeat and a draw with seven wins over the last nine events, and the form of this crew is going upwards.
All in all, this is the biggest challenge for Barcelona since the campaign started. They do look shaky, but we strongly believe that Messi and the co. have what it takes to defeat this rival. It has been reported that the match would be played behind closed doors due to the widespread corona virus.
Barcelona would definitely carry the day at the Camp Nou.
Leipzig vs Tottenham
Leipzig came to London and straight-up walloped Jose Mourinho & Co. for 90 minutes. They pressed effectively, controlled possession and dominated territory.
Tottenham comeback beyond, you know, the inherent volatility of soccer’s low-scoring nature. However, they did come to life at the end of the match, ultimately creating expected goals thanks to some late attacking flurries from Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura.
All Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham needs is a win in Germany. Is this possible? Leipzig is a very discipline side but if Tottenham could enact the same spirit they displayed at Ajax last season, then they could qualify to the quaterfinals.
We pick a draw.
FIFA ranks Super Eagles 31st in latest rankings
The latest FIFA ranking for the month of December shows the super eagles maintained their position.
In the ranking table on the website of world football governing body FIFA on Thursday, Nigeria have garnered 1,493 points, same as they had in the November ranking.
The ranking still helped the team retained the third spot on the continent, behind Senegal and Tunisia.
On the global scene, Belgium are the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking’s Team of the Year for the second successive time after a record-breaking year on the global ladder.
The Red Devils have held on to top spot in a December table barely impacted by just 19 friendlies towards the end of the year.
It was a year in which 1,082 international “A” matches have been played, and that is an all-time high since the ranking’s inception in 1993.
World champions France remain in second place ahead of Brazil in third, the positions they held in December 2018.
However, the make-up of the year-end top five has changed.
England have climbed one place in 2019 to end the year in fourth, with Uruguay moving up to fifth on the back of a two-spot rise.
Argentina (9th) and Colombia (10th) are also in the top 10 at the expense of Switzerland (12th) and Denmark (16th).
The ranking’s Mover of the Year, meanwhile, are Qatar who gained an impressive 138 points over the course of the year.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 hosts won the AFC Asian Cup and made a strong start to the Asian Zone World Cup qualifiers.
Besides accumulating the biggest points haul, Qatar have also jumped a year-high 38 places, followed closely by fellow climbers Algeria (up 32 ranks) and Japan (up 22 ranks).
Given the teams who have made the most progress in 2019, it is no surprise to find that the regional composition of the top 50 has changed over the year.
Along with this is the fact that Europe’s dominance has diminished.
UEFA has lost three places in the top 50 compared to the end of 2018, and now has 28 teams.
Whereas, Concacaf (4), the AFC (4) and CAF (4) have all gained one spot apiece.
Nonetheless, eight teams have all edged a single rung up the ladder, and will hope to continue that progress in 2020.
These are Bahrain (99th), Bolivia (75th), Korea Republic (40th), Lesotho (139th), the Solomon Islands (141st), South Africa (71st), St Kitts and Nevis (139th) and Suriname (141st).
1 – USA
2 – Germany
3 – Netherlands
4 – France
5 – Sweden
6 – England
7 – Australia
8 – Canada
9 – Brazil
10 – Japan
11 – Korea DPR
12 – Norway
13 – Spain
14 – Italy
15 – China
16 – Denmark
17 – Belgium
18 – Iceland
19 – Switzerland
20 – Korea Republic
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