After a few months of absence, the UEFA Champions League has returned, and this time, with better fixtures. Teams are well aware that any slip will cost them a place in the next round of the competition. Yes, you are right; it is the famous round of 16 knockout rounds, which involves the very biggest matches you’ll see this season.
Manchester City are the reigning champions, and with another easy fixture, they look most likely to book a spot in the quarterfinals of the competition faster than anybody else. But what are the matches to be played in the round of 16 of this season’s UEFA Champions League, and what teams are most likely to progress to the next round without any major challenges?
UEFA Champions League round of 16 fixtures with start time
Manchester City will continue their quest for a second consecutive UEFA Champions League triumph when they travel to Denmark to face FC Copenhagen on Tuesday. Pep Guardiola has always been lucky with easy fixtures in this stage of the competition, and he has the chance to secure an easy spot in the knockout round by beating FC Copenhagen. The match starts at 8 pm GMT.
In the second fixture of the tie, Bundesliga side RB Leipzig will host 14-time champions of Europe Real Madrid at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig. The Spanish giants are one of favorites to lift the trophy this season, but beating Leipzig will be a hard task for the Los Blancos. The match starts at 8 pm GMT on Tuesday.
Bayern Munich will travel to Italy on Wednesday to face SS Lazio in a game that will start at 8 pm GMT. The German giants are struggling in the league but will be eager to win this fixture as they’re one of the favorites to land the UCL this season.
In France, French Champions Paris Saint Germain will host Spanish side Real Sociedad. The game will also start at 8 pm GMT on Wednesday.
The second half of the game will be played next week on Tuesday and Wednesday. Inter Milan will host Atletico Madrid on Tuesday at 8 pm GMT, while Borussia Dortmund will travel to the Netherlands to face PSV. Next Wednesday, Arsenal will travel to Portugal to face FC Porto, while Barcelona will take a trip to Italy to face Napoli. Both matches start at 8 pm GMT.
UCL round of 16 predictions
In the match between Copenhagen and Manchester City, the reigning champions of the UEFA Champions League are expected to make it to the next round without any upset. Despite Leipzig’s experience in the competition, Real Madrid are expected to advance to the quarterfinals at the expense of the Bundesliga side.
Bayern Munich may be struggling in the league, thanks to Xabi Alonso’s high-flying Leverkusen side, but they’re still expected to beat SS Lazio to make it to the next round of the competition. PSG are also expected to beat Real Sociedad, with a team consisting of Kylian Mbappe, Goncalo Ramos, and Randal Kolo Muani, who recently vowed to do better to justify the hefty price PSG paid for him last summer.
Atletico Madrid vs Inter Milan happens to be the toughest fixture in the round, and it’s hard to guess which team will make it to the next round. Inter Milan made it to the final of last season’s UEFA Champions League, so that may count in terms of experience.
Borussia Dortmund and PSV will also battle it out, with both teams having similar prowess, making it another tough contest. High-flying Arsenal are favorites to win the tie against 2004 UEFA Champions League winners FC Porto, while Barcelona are expected to beat the struggling Napoli despite recent struggles in the league.