The UEFA Champions League Knockout Round of 16 begins this week, so I am going to give you my picks before the matches start.
1. Juventus vs Tottenham Hotspur. Juventus has dropped off just a tad after making it to the Champions League final over the past two seasons. Even though Juventus specializes in defense (calcio), they will not be able to stop last year’s biggest goal scorer in Tottenham forward Harry Kane. Pick: Tottenham.
2. FC Basel vs Manchester City. Manchester City has been one of the most dominant teams in soccer this season. That dominance will continue against Basel. Pick: Manchester City.
3. FC Porto vs Liverpool. Expect plenty of scoring in this matchup. Porto has the dynamic duo of VIncent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega, while Liverpool can match that firepower with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. This matchup is a toss-up, but I will pick Liverpool. Pick: Liverpool.
4. Real Madrid vs PSG. Here is the marquee matchup of the Round of 16. Cristiano Ronaldo vs Neymar. Neymar will have to prove that his move away from Barcelona was not a mistake. Pick: PSG.
5. Bayern Munich vs Besiktas. Besiktas has some nice veterans on the club, but they will be overmatched by Bayern Munich. Pick: Bayern Munich.
6. Chelsea vs Barcelona. Chelsea just lost to Watford 4-0 last week. Do you really think that they can post a victory over Messi and Suarez? Pick: Barcelona.
7. Sevilla vs Manchester United. Fortunately for Manchester United, the first leg is in Sevilla. Pick: Manchester United.
8. Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma. Both teams were the two biggest surprises to make it out of the Group Stage. Both teams rely on one person to score in bulk: Facundo Ferreyra for Shakhtar and Edin Dzeko for Roma. The cold in Ukraine could give Shakhtar a huge advantage in their first leg. Pick: Shakhtar Donetsk.
Pic is from Pixabay.com.