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Preview: Champions League Last 16 2nd Legs (Part 2)

This year's Champions League looks very open after last week saw Tottenham, Ajax, Porto and Manchester United confirmed as four quarter-finalists. We saw some miraculous performances in Paris and Madrid from United and Ajax respectively and those results have certainly taught us that anything can happen in this week's games.

Before a ball is kicked, you'd expect Manchester City, Barcelona and Atletico to progress - those three teams are arguably now the most likely clubs to win this year's tournament. Though Juventus will have something to say about that, the most even-looking Last 16 second leg is in Munich as Bayern take on Liverpool with the tie currently 0-0 after a stalemate at Anfield.

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Juventus vs. Atletico

Juventus were a big disappointment in the first leg of this tie while Atletico showed why they probably remain the team every club would least like to draw in this competition. Across two legs, Diego Simeone's side are so difficult to beat and this will be a huge uphill battle for Juve despite how good they are at home.

Both sides have enjoyed perfect domestic form since that first leg. This is essentially the biggest game left in Juve's season since Serie A has been tied up for months and you have to expect Ronaldo and co. to rise to the occasion more than they did in Madrid but Atletico are very strong defensively. Both teams are without a couple of important players due to suspension but there are more than capable replacements.

Juventus Team News: Alex Sandro is suspended. Khedira (heart), Costa (thigh) and De Sciglio (groin) are all notable injuries.
Atletico Team News: Thomas Partey and Diego Costa will both miss this game due to suspension. Lucas Hernandez is injured.

Prediction: Juventus are certainly favourites to win on the night, the question is if they can do so by a big enough margin to progress. I rate Atletico highly, feel they'll go through and may even get a draw in Turin as there'll be possibilities to score themselves with Juve chasing the game. I nearly went 2-1 Juve but Atletico looked very comfortable at the Wanda. 1-1

Manchester City vs. Schalke

Despite not playing well and losing Otamendi to a red card, Manchester City walked away from Schalke with a 3-2 away win in the first leg of this tie meaning it's very difficult to see the Bundesliga side finding a way to progress at the Etihad. City are of course top of the Premier League while Schalke are 14th in the German top flight.

Man City Team News: Fernandinho and Otamendi are suspended for this game. Kevin de Bruyne is a doubt with injury.
Schalke Team News: Caligiuri and Schopf both have long-term injuries.

Prediction: This should be routine for City, though we also expected it to be easier than it was for them in Germany! I can see Schalke finding another goal as they'll play with freedom but City should be fine. 3-1

Barcelona vs. Lyon

Lyon are a good side and Barcelona have been poor away from home in European knockouts so a draw in France wasn't the biggest surprise - the lack of goals was mind! There's an outside chance of that no away goal causing trouble for Barca but you would certainly expect the La Liga leaders to win this match.

Lionel Messi in particular has made it very clear how desperate he is to win the Champions League again this season. Lyon have some considerable attacking quality in their team, but still nothing that compares to the hosts.

Barcelona Team News: Rafinha, who is normally a useful squad player, is out for the season but Barcelona will have all of their key players for this one.
Lyon Team News: No notable concerns.

Prediction: I'd feel silly backing anything other than a Barcelona win, despite Lyon's quality. 3-0

Bayern vs. Liverpool

What a game this should be. Many were surprised to see Liverpool fail to win the home leg after a solid display from Bayern, however, the Reds are arguably still favourites due to the lack of an away goal for the Bundesliga leaders. Liverpool have failed to score in a couple of notable games in recent weeks - the first leg being an example - but there's no doubting the ability of Jurgen Klopp's side to score at the Allianz and therefore force the hosts to need at least a couple themselves.

Bayern have won their last two league games with 1-5 and 6-0 scorelines though with that first big win particularly impressive given it was against Borussia Monchengladbach. They'll certainly feel they have the goalscoring form required to progress from this tie.

Bayern Team News: Kimmich and Muller are suspended, Robben and Tolisso are injured.
Liverpool Team News: Joe Gomez remains sidelined with injury. Naby Keita has not travelled to Munich due to a minor injury.

Prediction: When this tie was drawn I could only see Liverpool progressing but Bayern's first leg display and recent results have made me feel they could edge this. It's no secret that Liverpool would rather win the Premier League this season anyway, could that affect performance levels here? 2-1
11,696 caps
I predict Atletico to win 2-1 this evening. The other games I agree with you spot on.
12 Mar 16:09
3,425 caps
The Atletico/Juve game game could be a real cracker if Atletico scores first, because then Juve have to score 4. I"m also going for the 1-1 draw here, but if Atletico scores first, the score can be anything at the end of the night as Juve will throw the whole kitchen sink at Atletico in order to get their minimum of 4 goals
12 Mar 17:19
40,947 caps
Juve will stand strong. 3 goals at least. CR will relish the opportunity to take Juventus from nearly impossible victory.
12 Mar 18:55
9,113 caps
Spot on. 13 Mar 13:40
40,947 caps
Thanx. And I'm not a CR fan. He is brilliant however. 14 Mar 05:15
12,789 caps
Atleti's defence is rock solid. If you get past Giminez or Godin (an injury doubt but starts!) there is still Oblak to beat. Juve would need about 20 chances to get 1 let alone 2 while being ready for a quick counter. I can see Atleti doing what Brighton did to Palace with some upfield punts while everyone in Black & White presses forward desperate to get a goal inside 45 mins. But 1-0 Juve suits Atleti fine. I fancy a goal from a defender btw, either Gimenez (AM) or Cancelo (J). Quite frankly anyrhing could happen after last weeks results. If you are just outside the Global Top 10% go for TWO away wins!
12 Mar 19:45
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