Although the UEFA Champions League round of 16 is still weeks away, that doesn’t mean we can’t look forward to it.
The UEFA Champions League is one of the best soccer competitions going in the world today. Obviously, the World Cup and European Championship are one and two, but the Champions League is something special.
The fixtures begin on Tuesday, February 15, 2011.
AC Milan vs. Tottenham
Valencia vs. Schalke 04
Wednesday, February 16, 2011:
Arsenal vs. Barcelona
AS Roma vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Tuesday, February 22, 2011:
FC Copenhagen vs. Chelsea
Lyon vs. Real Madrid
Wednesday, February 23, 2011:
Internazionale vs. Bayern Munich
Marseille vs. Manchester United
The teams will play a home and home matchup against each other.
My predictions using aggregate:
Tottenham over AC Milan 4-3
I think with the emergence of Gareth Bale, Tottenham is a force in a tournament like this. They have the capability to score goals like few other teams in the tournament. Their defense is the reason why they struggle to keep teams off the scoreboard. Rafael van der Vaart is the heart and soul of this team. If he has a good tournament, expect Tottenham to do the same.
Valencia over Schalke 04 4-1
Valencia has proved itself to be a formidable opponent. They are currently 4th in Spain’s La Liga and that is quite an accomplishment considering that Real Madrid and Barcelona are in the same league. I like their experience of playing in a tough league.
Barcelona over Arsenal 2-1
This is the best game that the Champions League Round of 16 has to offer. Arsenal has been playing fantastic soccer in the English Premier League. Same can be said about Barcelona in the La Liga. Plus, they got Lionel Messi, who is the best player in the world. Arsene Wenger (coach of Arsenal) has not been able to win big games as Arsenal coach. There is no doubt that Arsenal is a young, talented team, but I think the youth gets to them.
AS Roma over Shakhtar Donetsk 4-2
Roma plays in a tougher league and has more credibility to me than Shakhtar. Although, I do respect Shakhtar, I like Eduardo and Luiz Adriano, but Roma is a better team, slightly. They are sitting third in Italian Serie A. I wouldn’t be shocked if Shakhtar flips my score and wins 4-2.
Chelsea over FC Copenhagen 6-1
Chelsea is out of FC Copenhagen’s league. Chelsea is one of the most talented teams in the Champions League and it will show in this round.
Real Madrid over Lyon 5-2
Real Madrid is led by Cristiano Ronaldo, who has a flare for the dramatic. He was once considered the best player in the world until he went to Real Madrid. When he was with Manchester United, there was no doubt he was the greatest in the world. Real Madrid is hurting though because of striker Gonzalo Higuain and his slipped disc that will cost him four months. This injury could loom large in the end for Real Madrid.
Bayern Munich over Internazionale 2-2 (away goals)
This is a rematch of the Champions League Final last season. It is tough to make it to the finals twice in a row. I believe that Bayern will catch Internazionale sleeping and will get an away goal that will ultimately win the round.
Manchester United over Marseille 4-2
Manchester United is a tough team to play at home and that is where they will score three of their goals. Manchester United will be a tough out in this competition.
About the Author
Written by Justin Welton
Born in Franklin, PA. Life-long Pittsburgh sports fan + Boston Celtics. Attending Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Working for WCUC - 91.7 and WCUB-TV. Clarion Call writer for two years.