Champions League Action Returns!
Champions League action is back and this time it is the round of 16, first leg. In this weeks’ return, we are treated to 4 excellent matchups. If you are hoping to under-estimate any of the teams, we truly suggest you don’t. The amount of talent brewing this year across all leagues in this world is unreal.
Allow me to quickly share with you my predictions and expectations of each match this week.
RB Leipzig vs. Liverpool
RB Leipzig comes into this match as one of the favorites and there are reasons why. Leipzig’s defensive style of play has allowed them to get this far. Speaking of defense, Leipzig’s top name Dayot Upamecano just recently decided on joining Bayern Munich this summer. On the other hand though, Liverpool comes into this match with a need for a new scenery.
Liverpool’s struggles in the English Premier League have put a damper in their pursuit for the EPL title. Many think this has to do psychologically with where Jurgen Klopp may be after the saddening loss of his mother. Liverpool’s fan base have been absolutely wonderful to Klopp and their allegiance to the team shows the strong passion that fanbase shares for their club.
One thing that truly stood out for me this week, was Klopp’s comments acknowledging where the problems are but not backing down from a fight.
"We do this for the people, that will never change."
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 16, 2021
My expectations of this match are that Liverpool will come out guns blazing. While Leipzig will do their best to control the narrative, it is possible to see Liverpool win 2-1 here or walk away with a very significant tie at 1 against a very strong team.
Barcelona vs. PSG
The clash everyone was waiting for! Unfortunately, Neymar will not be playing in this first go around as he picked up an injury in a recent game against a sub-division team.
However, we still can’t disregard this clash. For Pochettino, this one is very important as he walks-in for the first time after managing Tottenham in the Champions League. Obviously, not an easy match here. Of course, on the other side you have a side with Ronald Koeman that is finally starting to get some strides going.
My match expectations for this one today is that it will be a very close one. Both teams have a strong offensive and midfield game. Barcelona wins this one 2-1.
Sevilla vs. Borussia Dortmund
For a long time, Sevilla’s Lopetegui experienced backlash and was humiliated due to his performance in previous teams. It seems now though that with Sevilla he has found himself recharged and spirited and that team just looks dangerous!
Then there is Dortmund! What the heck is going on there!? They are headed into this match with a new coach and hoping all works out. Never mind Haaland has been out for a bit and without him, they are terrible. One could say this is exciting but as a fan, nail-biting?
The journey continues tomorrow 🌟
🆚 Sevilla FC
⏰ 3:00 PM / 20:00 GMT / 21:00 CET
🏆 #UCL pic.twitter.com/P032fvTixT
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 16, 2021
Score prediction here is 2-1 Sevilla. Sorry, but the Spanish side is just unreal right now.
Porto vs. Juventus
Tough match here honestly. Reason I say that is because it could be either a massive blow-out delivered by Juventus via Ronaldo, or it could actually be a close game with Porto’s stingy Midfield.
I will make this one nice and simple, 3-1 victory for Juventus but can easily swing over to a 1-1 tie.
Honestly, this is exactly the level of excitement you expect to see in the round of 16 of this prestigious tournament. I do think there could be some surprises, maybe an insane performance from Porto, a wild game between Dortmund and Sevilla or who knows!
All I can tell you is, do not miss any of this weeks’ action or you will regret it as a soccer fan.
Lastly, make sure you are following The Yellow Card Podcast on Twitter as they will be keeping you up-to-date on Champions League scores this week. Find them on Twitter @Podcastcard.
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-Diego Galvis (@Diego_TheDJ on Twitter)