The crosses of the Champions League Round of 16 were raffled after the balls scandal and there will be clashes for the heart attack: old acquaintances, tactical duels and crossing of champions in what will be a series where there are almost no possible predictions.
Undoubtedly, the match we all expected appeared: Real Madrid will face Paris Saint-Germain. Lionel Messi will return to the Santiago Bernabéu in February. Sergio Ramos – if he recovers – will have to attend the place where he is an idol. Florentino Pérez is not at all happy that he has won the team of the stars. Could it be that he manages to sign Kylian Mbappé before this crossing arrives? Real Madrid grew in recent months and has on its bench one of the most capable coaches in the world, Carlo Ancelotti, champion with Milan and the Merengues. Today he is the absolute leader of La Liga and PSG does the same in Ligue One. It will be a crossroads to rent balconies and reserve popcorn.
Liverpool will face Internazionale in another of the great crosses of this Champions League. Jürgen Klopp’s team is one of the best in the world and they have Mo Salah at the top world level, but it is not known what will happen if they have the Serie A champion on the other side. Inter did not start the year well with the change of post-championship coach, but he improved in the last games and even in Serie A he traced a big difference until he was the only leader of the tournament. We’ll see what Simone Inzaghi plans for her targets
The only match that was repeated was Lille vs Chelsea. We imagine a beating by the Blues. They even have an 80% chance to advance. Although we must not forget that the French – having started very very badly – were first in their group. Thomas Tuchel must have a bad memory on this day: when he was coach of PSG, he was eliminated from the Coupe de France by weak Guingamp who was his coach? Jocelyn Gourvennec today manager of Lille
Champions League will have us waiting for two crosses that will be an unknown. Ajax – Eredivisie champions – will face Benfica. The Dutch team advanced first of their group and recorded a full of victories. Not only that. He has in his team the top scorer of the tournament -Sebastien Haller with 10- and once again he showed himself as a tough team thanks to Erik ten Hag. The Eagles do not have the best ride in Portugal – they are third – but in Europe they have ousted nothing less than Barcelona. While Juventus will have to play against Villarreal: La Vecchia Signora is not going through a good moment in Serie A, but in the Champions League they snatched the first place of the group from none other than Chelsea, the last champion, and the Spanish, the last European League champions, they never give up good ball handling, intensity and constant attack. In the Italian team the recent and repetitive injury of Paulo Dybala worries.
There are probably two crosses that generate the least intrigue: Bayern Munich-RB Salzburg and Manchester City-Sporting CP. Due to the difference between teams, a great tie is not expected, but who knows if there are any surprises in store for us. Bayern is the same old machine despite the fact that they have cost them the last Bundesliga games, but it is impossible to determine what the Salzburg has in store from a burning Karim Adeyemi. Those led by Pep Guardiola -finalists of the last edition- have a large percentage of passing -80% – and it is expected that they will make the home feel at Etihad Stadium, while on the other side is Sporting de Lisboa, second in the Portuguese league and with a fairly short staff.