Picking the Winners of the Champions League Round of 16 Matchups

Neymar playing for Paris Saint-Germain in 2018
Neymar playing for Paris Saint-Germain in 2018. Photo by James Marsh/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

The draw for the Champions League Round of 16 matchups was held in Nyon, Switzerland on Monday, setting up a string of fun matchups that will be held in late February and early March.

Choosing winners for most of these matchups is a tough proposition, but let’s try to do so! And let us know if you agree with our predictions!

Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Manchester City

Manchester City has been one of the unluckiest teams in the Champions League in recent memory. Despite being the team of the decade of the 2010s in the Premier League, they still haven’t managed to take home the big prize. Unfortunately for them, we think that a brilliantly inventive Borussia Monchengladbach squad will surprise and eliminate City in this year’s round of 16.

Lazio vs. Bayern Munich

The 2020 Champions League winners face a tough test in Lazio and striker Ciro Immobile in the first knockout round of the competition. Nevertheless, we still think that Bayern continues to be the favorite to win the competition once again, and they should advance without much problem.

Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea

One of the most fascinating Round of 16 matchups pits La Liga favorites Atletico Madrid against Chelsea, a team that has begun to click under Frank Lampard. Atletico looks like a reenergized animal with Joao Felix starring this season, and we believe he’ll be the piece that pushes the Colchoneros past a Chelsea team that will put up a fight.

RB Leipzig vs. Liverpool

Another intriguing matchup in this round features RB Leipzig and Liverpool, a clash of the 2019 CL winners against one of Europe’s upstart teams. Jurgen Klopp’s side hasn’t had the best start to the 2020-21 season thanks in large part to a number of injury problems. Provided they’re relatively healthy, Liverpool should win this one.

Porto vs. Juventus

The biggest mismatch in the Round of 16 might be this matchup between a Porto team that advanced to the knockout round in clumsy fashion, and a Juventus squad which might have the most talented roster on the planet. Cristiano Ronaldo and his Juventus side should advance pretty easily here.

FC Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain

FC Barcelona faces off against ex-Cule Neymar and his PSG squad at the worst possible time with the club in a sporting and financial crisis. Nothing is going right for Barca under Ronald Koeman, and PSG is simply too deadly to not take advantage of their opportunity to take down a giant, especially now that we know that the Brazilian star should be available for the tie.

Sevilla vs. Borussia Dortmund

Reigning Europa League winners Sevilla impressed in the group stage of the competition, but their foes in the Round of 16 are nothing to sneeze at despite a bad run of recent matches. While Borussia Dortmund has the more talented squad, Julen Lopetegui is one of the best coaches in the world and we expect Sevilla to advance here due to their tactical edge.

Atalanta vs. Real Madrid

Real Madrid snuck into the final 16 of the competition after spending most of the knockout round in the bottom two of their group stage. They actually ended up winning their group and will face off against Atalanta, whose high-flying offensive style should present a challenge to Los Blancos. Nonetheless, we expect Real Madrid to get the job done.