The Champions League this season has been really exciting, as teams who would have made it to round sixteen on papers are already out of the competition.
When you see teams like Napoli and Atletico Madrid, who are doing well in their respective leagues out of the Champions League at group stage level, it shows the level of competition in the Champions League this season. Tough and exciting clashes awaits football fans in February as the teams who are favorites are already facing themselves at the round of 16.
When four teams that seem capable of winning the Champions League are already facing off at round 16, then it cannot be less exciting.
Juventus vs. Tottenham
This is a match that will draw great attention from all over the world and it will be difficult for football pundits to crack as Tottenham have been itching to have a successful campaign in the Champions League for a long time. Everyone tipped them to go far last season but they were dumped out at the group stage. The farthest they’ve gone is Semifinals in 1961/62 season, they had a good run in 2011 before they were eliminated at the quarter finals by Real Madrid 5-0 on aggregates.
Juventus last won the champions league 22 years ago, and they’ve been at the final twice in the last 3 seasons. They’ll find this draw preferable than Barcelona, Real Madrid or PSG. It will be difficult to say the favorite, as the favorite will be the team in top shape come February.
Basel vs. Manchester City
Manchester City wouldn’t have had a better draw than this, they are the absolute winner in the round of 16 draw.
Manchester City had their best champion league run in the last two seasons before they got eliminated by Real Madrid 1-0 on aggregates.
There is a high expectation at the Etihad stadium after the appointment of Pep Guardiola who is considered best manager in the world, having won the Champions League trophy on two occasions in his four years at Barca. Time will tell if he will win the prestigious competition with Manchester City.
This is the third time Basel have made the last 16 of the competition, having qualified for the group stage eight times since the competition was revamped in 1992.
They reached the quarter-final of the European Cup in 1973/74, which remains their best performance in the continent’s top tournament.
Man City will have to be at their best to dump this Basel side, as they can be very tough if they are having a good day.
Porto vs. Liverpool
This is a clash between two historic clubs in the UEFA Champions League who have gone down the pecking order over the past years.
These two clubs are looking to make history in the Champions League again. Porto last won this competition in 2003 when Mourinho was their coach, Liverpool last won it in 2005 after a historic comeback from 3 goals down against AC Milan.
Porto are as at now top of their League table alongside Sporting CP while Liverpool are fourth in the Premier league. The favorite appears to be Liverpool even though It will be a really close encounter. The team who arrives in the best shape by February will be the team to emerge Victorious.