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Champions League: Round of 16 preview

Widely regarded as the highest level of football there is, the Champions League knockout stages start this week which means it's a very exciting time to be a football fan!

16 teams remain and they'll be battling it out over two legs against their opponent for a place in the quarter-finals. Here's a reminder of the Last 16 draw, with fixture information for the first legs:

As you can see from the graphic, the first four ties begin tonight and tomorrow, with the other four starting a week later.

Match Previews

For match previews including team news ahead of each individual tie, upgrade to Premium where you can then access Superbru Insights for each and every fixture in our Champions League Predictor.

In the meantime, here's a more brief overview of the round as a whole and what we can expect.

Champions League Round of 16 2024

Defending champions Manchester City are among the first teams to kick-off this knockout stage and they'll be very pleased with their Round of 16 draw as they face FC Copenhagen who most would agree are the weakest side remaining in the competition.

That isn't to say they aren't worthy of respect, as the excellent atmosphere created at Parken is a test for any team and Copenhagen reached this stage by qualifying ahead of Galatasaray and City's neighbours Manchester United. City are a far more complete and polished side than United however, and even if they don't end up winning this first leg convincingly it would be a surprise if they didn't run out very comfortable winners in the second leg at the Etihad.

Alongside City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are considered genuine contenders for this year's title, as they are in every Champions League campaign. Both clubs will also be pleased with their Last 16 opposition, as they face ties against RB Leipzig and Lazio respectively. Leipzig have already been beaten twice at home in 2024, while Lazio are having a difficult season in Italy where they are currently 9th having won less than half of their Serie A matches.

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Sociedad promises to be an interesting tie considering PSG's underwhelming group stage performances and La Real's excellent group campaign. Real Sociedad went unbeaten and topped a very difficult group before Christmas, and their well organised approach with strong pressing that has resulted in one of the best defensive records in LaLiga could prove awkward for PSG.

Real Sociedad topped a strong Group D, avoiding defeat against Inter, Benfica and Salzburg [screenshot via Superbru Football]

Inter, who shared that group with Real Sociedad, have also been given a very difficult tie as they prepare to lock horns with Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid. This could well prove to be the tie of the round in terms of quality, as Inter are a very good side this year; most would agree better than last season where they finished runners-up in this competition. Atleti are notoriously difficult to defeat over two legs in the Champions League though, and considering how strong Simeone's team are at home, Inter will feel that they must win this first leg.

We don't yet cover the Eredivisie on Superbru Football, but those of you that even vaguely follow the league will know that PSV are absolutely crushing it. Peter Bosz has seen his team go unbeaten so far in this campaign meaning they are miles out in front, so there's an opportunity to throw everything they have at this knockout tie with Borussia Dortmund.

In contrast, BVB are well off the pace in the Bundesliga this year, but their group stage performance in this competition was excellent as they won the most difficult group in the tournament against PSG, Milan and Newcastle. With the second leg at Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund are slight favourites, but expect entertainment and goals!

Borussia Dortmund were excellent in the group stage, winning the 'Group of Death' comfortably [screenshot via Superbru Football]

The final first legs to get underway will be next Wednesday, when Porto will attempt to upset Arsenal and Napoli take on Barcelona. Arsenal will be very confident going into their tie, particularly since Porto aren't enjoying domestic dominance this season so aren't able to solely focus on European ties as they have in previous campaigns, but who knows what will happen in Napoli vs. Barca?

Both clubs will be very disappointed with their current league positions, but the Champions League offers an opportunity to ensure this can still be a great season for each side. Barca have the stronger team on paper, and Xavi is determined to take his club all the way now that he's announced he'll be stepping down from his position in the summer, but Napoli will also be throwing everything they have at this considering their hopes of defending their Serie A title are already over.

Still yet to join our Champions League Predictor game? It's not too late!

You can join our Champions League Predictor by clicking here, or if you're reading this on the Superbru Football app, simply select the Champions League tournament from the row of trophies at the top of the matches tab.
2,474 caps
Jack whats your predictions
13 Feb 09:01
69,185 caps
Looks like one has to upgrade now to Premium to get predictions.
Guess I will trust my own instincts
15 Feb 06:06
2,474 caps
Bro I trust my own instincts and do ok its a waste of money
17 Feb 20:05