UEFA Champions League round of 16 part 1

UEFA Champions League round of 16 part 1

Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
This sentence here sums it up perfectly. That's the first time in my life witnessing such a mess up in UEFA Champions League. To make it more clear. There are some rules for the playoff draws.
One of them is that the teams who were in the same group in the Group Phase can't be drawn against each other in the Round of 16. And that's exactly what happened.
The first draw was cancelled, and new was done shortly after. Some teams were happy, some not so much. One of the unhappy ones for sure is Real Madrid, who have to play now in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 against PSG, instead of Benfica.

Chelsea v Lille

The odds to qualify for Chelsea are around 1.2 and for Lille around 4.3.
Premier League club is the big favourite here, no surprise. The only team from the French league to 'have a chance against them is PSG. To have a chance, I mean to have closer odds to evens for sure. Chelsea is third in the Premier League now, while Lille sits in 11th place in their own league.
Comparing the strength of the leagues and current positions, it's evident that Chelsea should be a strong candidate and favourite in this matchup.
Chelsea is in bad form at the moment due to injuries, and there's a Covid outbreak ongoing in the Premier League. Lukaku is out. Chilwell, Havertz, Kovacic, Werner, and Hudson-Odoi missed the last league as well. Some of them with positive tests, some of them with injuries.
Either way, there's plenty of time until the first match, and I expect at least 3 of the missing players to be in good condition for the playoffs.

 

PSG v Real Madrid, the toughest pair in the UEFA Champions League round of 16

PSG here is the favourite to advance from the UEFA Champions League round of 16 with odds around 1.75. Real Madrid to advance odds are around 2.2. Maybe I'm biased a little, but these odds on Spanish club are a value for me.
Both are leading their leagues, yes, PSG with more points in front of the second-placed team. Real has more goals scored and fewer goals conceded in the tougher league also. Real collected 15 points versus PSGs 11 points in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
The only current long-term injury for Madrid is Dani Ceballos, who has been out since the beginning of the season, so there is no significant missing.
Benzema is already back, and defenders Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy are back in the lineup and have plenty of time to get in shape for the playoffs.
PSG haven't got Ramos, khmm, to game shape yet, and at the moment, they are also missing Neymar, Kimpembe, Draxler and Mendes.
3 of them could be in the starting lineup. Mbappe hasn't signed a new contract, and the biggest new option at the moment is Real Madrid. Messi hasn't started his new life in Paris as well as were expected.
PSG's top scorer is Mbappe with 9 goals and 8 assists, followed by Di Maria with 3 goals and 3 assists. Real Madrid top scorer is Benzema with 13 goals and 7 assists, followed by Vinicius with 10 goals and 4 assists.

UEFA Champions League

Sporting v Manchester City

Manchester City odds to advance are around 1.1. That says it all. Premier League club is also one of the favourites to win the whole thing, I mean, the UEFA Champions League, and also Premier League. They won their group ahead of PSG and RB Leipzig.
Sporting qualified behind Ajax and ahead of Borussia Dortmund, who couldn't cope with losing their talisman Erling Haaland for most of the group stage games.
The city has been impressive also in the Premier League with 41 points in 17 games, and 40 scored goals against 9 conceded.
Firing from all the cylinders, Foden was back in the lineup in the last league game, and De Bruyne is gaining the form game by game. There was good depth in the squad, but facing losing Fernando Torres during the January transfer window.
Sporting is second in the Portugal league behind FC Porto. Impressive numbers and in good form in their league, but we are talking about Premier League versus Portugal league here.


FC Salzburg v Bayern Munich

The UEFA Champions League round of 16 draws the most one-sided pair according to the odds. Austrian club Salzburg advanced from the group after Lille and ahead of Sevilla and Wolfsburg. A major surprise already as the group had teams from Spain La Liga, and German Bundesliga.
10 points and 8 goals scored with 6 goals conceded.
Bayern did their 'usual'. First in the group, 6 wins out of 6 games and sent Barcelona to Europa League in their final group game. 22 goals scored and 3 were conceded.
Bayern is also the leader in the Bundesliga with 43 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund. 56 goals versus 16.
Salzburg is also the leader in their local league. 14 points difference already ahead of the second-placed Sturm Graz. 42 goals scored versus 12 goals conceded. The difference between the leagues is huge, as also the quality of the teams and Bayern is rightly so a big favourite to advance from this pair.

 

 


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