UEFA Champions League round of 16 part 2

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.

Inter Milan v Liverpool

All the pairs with one heavy favourite make sense for me, except this one. Liverpool to qualify odds are around 1.3. I mean, Chelsea have the same odds against Lille, who is really struggling in their home league.
Should Liverpool be the favourite? Absolutely!  Inter had a tough time in the UEFA Champions League group stage. They finished 2n behind Real Madrid. Nothing to wonder, but they scored only 8 goals and conceded 5, and one goal less scored than Sheriff Tiraspol.
Liverpool walked through their UEFA Champions League group with 6 wins and a goal difference of 17-6. Why do I think the odds are looking a little bit unfair then?

The first things are current form, the form's direction, and league standings. Inter is the leader in Italy with 4 points ahead of AC Milan and 7 points ahead of Napoli. Liverpool is 3rd at the moment and already 9 points behind the leader, but with one game less played.
Before the UEFA Champions League playoff games, I expect the Inter to be in an even better situation for the title than Liverpool, and I will explain why.
The reason for being worried as a 'Liverpool' is AFCON.
2 absolute key players could be away from the team at least for a month. Mo Salah and Saido Mane should go for at least to semifinal spot with their teams.
'Luckily' for Liverpool, they have EFL Cup and FA Cup games in January, so Salah and Mane could miss only 2-3 league games while playing in AFCON. Potentially dropping out from EFL Cup and FA Cup should make them favours, as they can save energy for the league and UEFA Champions League then. Either way, the team has to be without their 2 supers stars for some time, even if missing only 2 games(potentially 3 games: 2nd January game against Chelsea), the players are away from the team for almost a month. Also, Naby Keita will travel to Africa, and he is an integral part of the team.

Villarreal v Juventus

 

 


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