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UEFA Champions League Tues / Wed Live Chat

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Champions League football is back on the menu as the Round of 16 kicks off today. We’ve got four sumptuous first-leg fixtures to digest this week as the march for the title begins in earnest. Join the live chat for this week’s matches!

Kylian Mbappe - Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League
Kylian Mbappe carries the hopes of PSG for their UCL Round of 16 First Leg tie versus Manchester United.
Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

After an extended break, Champions League football is back as the knockout stages get underway.

This year’s edition of Europe’s most prestigious tournament looks to be the most unpredictable in recent years. There are no clear favorites in a relatively even field, so football fans should expect drama and excitement in abundance.

With first leg fixtures staggered across weeks, UEFA’s fixture computer has given us four intriguing fixtures this week with the remaining first leg matches on next week’s card.

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Tuesday 12th February

Edin Dzeko - AS Roma - UEFA Champions League
Edin Dzeko will lead Roma in the UCL Round of 16.
Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

On paper, Roma versus FC Porto looks to be the round’s most thinly poised match-up. Porto have been impressive in the group stages, waltzing through Group-D with 5 wins and 1 draw — the best record of all teams in the group stages. However, their form has been shaky over the last few weeks, and they come into this match without the services of target man Moussa Marega who is struggling for fitness. Nevertheless, they have quality throughout their ranks and an able striking deputy in Federic Soares.

Roma will be hoping to repeat their sparkling campaign of last season when they made it all the way to the semis. However, their indifferent form is a major concern. The team has struggled for consistency, with some shocking results (like the 7-1 loss to Fiorentina in the Coppa di Italia) causing alarm bells to ring. Nevertheless, the quality in their team spearheaded by Serbian goal hound Edin Dzeko means that they cannot be underestimated.

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Elsewhere, Manchester United’s first leg match against PSG will grab the lion’s share of viewership today. Man Utd fans and neutrals alike will be tuned in to see how the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revolution fares against one of Europe’s biggest powerhouses.

When this tie was announced, a PSG win was assumed to be a foregone conclusion. Yet Manchester United arrive to this matchup in a rich vein of form, with the confidence to beat anyone. Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and company have had the shackles released and will maintain their new attacking ethos, which should make for great watching.

PSG on the other hand find themselves in a difficult spot. Their fearsome front line has been stricken with injuries, with Neymar and Edinson Cavani unavailable. The attacking burden will fall squarely on the young shoulders of Kylian Mbappe to further his credentials as the heir to the throne of best player in the world. The question though is whether PSG has the depth to manage the current crisis and emerge victorious over two legs.

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Wednesday 13th February

Karim Benzema - Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League
Karim Benzema is in form ahead of the UCL Round of 16.
Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

The youthful team of Ajax were the surprise package of the group stages, with a number of sterling performances that saw them finish 2nd in Group E. Erik Ten Hag’s team is impressively unbeaten in Europe this season. In youngsters like Matthew De Ligt, Frenkie De Jong, Hakim Ziyech and Kasper Dolberg, the Dutch champs boast the next generation of European stars reminiscent of the great Ajax Champions League class of 1995. However, a match against the defending champions is just about as tough as it gets.

Real Madrid has been in shoddy form in the first half of the season, suffering embarrassing losses domestically and in Europe. On the positive side, Santiago Solari’s men have turned the corner in recent weeks and are in a much better vein of form. They will not give up their trophy without a fight. In Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr., Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, the champs have the firepower and experience to take control of this tie. Could an unprecedented 4th UCL trophy be in the cards?

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Lastly, the 4th match of the week is the one for the neutrals. Tottenham versus Borussia Dortmund has all the makings of a footballing extravaganza.

Lucian Favre’s youthful squad sit atop the Bundesliga with a no holds barred style of attacking football that has swept opponents aside. Youngsters like Jadon Sancho, Christian Pulisic, Maximillian Phillip and Julian Weigl have integrated well with the more experienced campaigners such as Marco Reus, Mario Goetze and Paco Alcacer — and they love to score goals.

Tottenham on the other hand have married an attractive brand of football with resilience and consistency to trouble anyone in Europe. Mauricio Pocchetino’s men may enter this tie without the services of Harry Kane, yet they have adapted well domestically to maintain their lofty league standing. Son Heung-Min, Christian Eriksen and Fernando Llorente have stepped into the breach with more than enough to carry the weight of expectations. If this game plays as expected, there should be goals aplenty.

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These are the fixtures for this week’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg:

Tuesday 12th February

  • Manchester United vs Paris Saint-Germain
  • Roma vs Porto

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Wednesday 13th February

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Which match(es) will you watch? Have you revamped your team? Who’s your captain? Who do you think will progress to the next round? Please join us in the comments as all of the exciting action unfolds!

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