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Champions League fixtures released!
The fixtures for the Last 16 of the Champions League have been released! Here are the highlight match ups. PSG - Chelsea Two teams that have met lots of times in the Champions League in recent years. Chelsea will be fighting hard in the league and may be low on energy. PSG will have already wrapped up their Ligue 1 title and will be able to focus on progressing. The pick: PSG. Arsenal vs. Barcelona Arsenal earn the toughest draw of all, playing against the near-perfect team that is Barcelona. It's going to be very difficult for them to beat Barcelona on a home-home aggregate. I don't see them pulling it off. The pick: Barcelona. Juventus vs. Bayern Munich This is the real gem of the Round of 16 match ups. Juventus pay the price for failing to finish first in their group and have to play Bayern, while Bayern get the toughest of the second-place teams in Juventus, who were finalists last year. The pick: Bayern. Gent vs. Wolfsburg I love it when two of the lower teams are matched up against one another, as it guarantees that we'll see one of these teams in the Last 8. Gent are a real miracle story after beating Valencia to the last 16 in the group, but I'm not sure they can beat Wolfsburg, who are playing well in Germany and in Europe. The pick: Wolfsburg. The other matches in the Round of 16 include: Real Madrid vs. Roma Benfica vs. Zenit PSV vs. Atlético Madrid Dynamo Kiev vs. Manchester City But the ones I've outlined above are the real standouts. Those are the matches to look forward to. The Round of 16 will be played on February 16, 17, 23, 24, and March 8, 9, 15, and 16. We've got a long time until then and form could easily change - I'll revisit these predictions when the time gets closer! Are you looking forward to the matches? @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzatton @SherzTYCi @krishntejanand @addri @mishthi @andwas @NimishMathur @Sydsocquet @starli @kyleatekwana @BenjiPhilip @Eduardo14 @AshfakEjaaz @EmanueleYagoda
Champions League Review
With half of Match Day 6 in the books for the UEFA Champions League, half of the groups have been decided. Here's how it all went down on Tuesday. Group A - Real Madrid, Paris SG advance This group was never really in doubt, as it seemed a formality that big boys Madrid and PSG would advance ahead of Sweden's Malmo and pesky Shakhtar from Ukraine. Madrid finished the group in fine style with an 8-0 victory over the Swedes thanks to hat tricks by Ronaldo AND Benzema, while PSG beat Shakhtar 2-0. Group B - Wolfsburg, PSV Eindhoven advance Group B brought a true shock, as Wolfsburg beat United 2-1 to advance alongside the Dutch side PSV and send United packing. The Red Devils never really put in a complete performance in the Champions League and they paid the ultimate price, as they now enter the Euro League having finished third in the group ahead of CSKA Moscow. It's a huge disappointment for Louis van Gaal but you have to take your hat off to the Germans and PSV who fought hard and deserved to advance. Group C - Atlético Madrid, Benfica advance Atlético Madrid are one of the most consistent sides in Europe and they showed it in the group stages, losing just one match of six and finishing top in their group. They beat Benfica 2-1 today to earn the top spot. They are always a fun team to watch and I'm happy to see them advance. Galatasary finish third to enter the Euro League while Astana from Kazakhstan's dream ends here. Group D - Man City, Juventus advance Again, no real surprise here as both of these teams were heavily favored over Sevilla and Monchengladbach. City wrapped up the top spot in the group today with a 4-2 win over the German side thanks to two goals from Raheem Sterling, while Juventus lost 1-0 to Sevilla to finish second. The Italians will be disappointed to let the top spot slip away as they will not have a more difficult first round in the knockout stage, but they have only themselves to blame. What's the biggest surprise to you? Did you watch any of the matches?
Champions League Preview: Real Madrid vs. PSG
The Champions League is back! Today's matches are highlighted by a great showdown between La Liga's Real Madrid and Ligue 1's Paris St. Germain. The teams are tied atop the Group A table with 7 points and both teams look likely to move on to the knockout rounds when it's all said and done. That said, they are fighting for the vital top spot which will decide who they play in the first knockout stage. They may both move on, but this is a hugely important match. With the match taking place at the Santiago de Bernabeu in Madrid, Los Blancos surely have the advantage. Many would consider them the better team anyway, but with the added advantage of a home crowd, Madrid are certainly hopeful. They are boosted by the return of goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who has played great this season in his first as Madrid's #1 keeper, plus midfielder James Rodriguez and defender Sergio Ramos. However, they will be without normal starters Gareth Bale, Álvaro Arbeloa, and Karim Benzema. Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the lines for Los Madridistas as they look to take an advantage into the final dates of the Group Stages. For PSG, the main storyline is the return of winger Ángel di Maria to Madrid, where he spent several years growing and developing his game to the highest level. Di Maria left Madrid two seasons ago to join Manchester United, where he flopped famously. He moved on to Paris this summer and has looked great in the early stages and will surely want to prove to Madrid that they were wrong to sell him. David Luiz looks set to return after a few matches out for PSG and he will rejoin Thiago Silva at center back, making one of the most dominant pairings in all of the world. Javier Pastore and Marquinhos will not be ready to face Madrid today and PSG will have to manage without them. One of my favorite players in the world is Marco Verratti, a sensational young midfielder who is making a serious name for himself around the world. He is constantly linked with the truly massive clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid and is one of the key cogs in PSG's great form this season, as they are leading Ligue 1 by 10 points after just 12 matches. This form will have them confident that they can steal some points in what is sure to be a hotly contested affair. Predictions Despite Madrid being at home, I love the form that PSG enter the match with. While I don't think they will run away with it, I expect this to be a great match with some real end-to-end action. PSG are making a claim to be considered as one of the world's top 5 clubs and this is a great chance for them to improve that case. With Madrid at home, PSG will be cautious to commit too many men to attack. With that said, I think they can get a goal or two and make this a real challenge for Madrid. I'm saying it's going to be a game with goals. 2-2, the final. What do you think? Can PSG steal points in Spain or will Madrid do their job and walk away with a lead in Group A? @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzattoni
[17th-Feb-15] PSG 1-1 Chelsea
Chelsea earn an important away goal but need an excellent performance from Courtois between the sticks in order to leave Paris with the advantage ahead of the return fixture in London on the 11th of next month. Play began rather back and forth between the two as PSG looked to hit Chelsea on the break, concentrating on counter-attacking football. Cavani for PSG had the first real chance, rifling a shot towards the near post that demanded a quality save from Courtois to keep out. At the other end, John Terry crossed a ball in to Gary Cahill, who provided a class flick on with the back of his boot for Ivanovic to head into the corner of the net to put the visitors up 0-1. In the second half, PSG managed to draw the game level as Cavani was left poorly marked off a Maxwell cross, allowing the forward to head the ball against the ground and into the far corner. David Luiz and Cavani then had close chances in the later part of the second half. Chelsea in all honesty, were poor. The goal was their only shot on target, and only 1 of two total shots in the match. The game was also marred by 40 fouls, which is an unusually high number, but PSG were still able to manage 14 shots, 7 of which were on goal. The possession split was only 54/46, meaning that the quality in PSG’s possession was much more likely of scoring and I think this show throughout the 90. Chelsea will need a more inspired home performance in the second leg in order to see themselves into the quarterfinals, but 1 away goal and no deficit will help their cause certainly.