In the days leading up to the Champions League restart, AC Milan returned to winning ways by defeating Torino 1-0 in Serie A. Visitors Tottenham Hotspur suffered a heavy 1-4 defeat to Leicester City on the same day. Antonio Conte will now return to his home country of Italy to face Pioli’s Milan.
The most anticipated match of the round of 16 will take place in Paris when the capital club PSG welcomes German giants Bayern Munich. Joao Cancelo’s new team had no trouble brushing Bochum aside with a 3-0 win. PSG on the other hand succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to Monaco in Ligue 1.
After a Tuesday that guarantees entertainment, Wednesday features the battle of the dark horses when Benfica takes on Club Brugge in Belgium. The Portuguese club bowed out of the Taca de Portugal in the quarterfinals, losing to Braga in a penalty shootout after play ended in a 1-1 draw. Brugge scraped by with yet another draw domestically, meaning the Belgians have managed just one victory in their last 11 league matches. As a result, the early-season title favorites dropped down to fourth place, 20 points behind league-leaders Genk.
Last but not least, Dortmund host Chelsea in what is sure to be a fascinating tactical exhibition, as one team’s possession football is met with the other team’s ruthless counter attack. The hosts’ 2-0 victory over Werder Bremen on Saturday added to their winning streak, making it seven in a row now. Chelsea’s away 1-1 draw with West Ham extended the Blues’ streak of draws to three.
For your convenience, all of our MD-7 content can be found in the Round of 16, Leg 1 article stream.
Cheers and good luck!
Team News (Injury/Suspension)
The Italian club will be without Alessandro Florenzi, Sergino Dest and long-term injured first-choice goalkeeper Mike Maignan. Fikayo Tomori and Ismael Bennacer remain doubtful and in recovery. Both of them failed to make the bench against Torino this weekend. AC Milan have no suspended players in the first leg of the round of 16
Pierre-Emile Hojberg is the only Spur who is suspended for the first leg of the round of 16. But Spurs’ physio clinic is almost as occupied as Milan’s, and with players who are probably even more important. Hugo Lloris, Ryan Sessegnon, Rodrigo Bentacur and Yves Bissouma will not take part in the English club’s visit to Italy.
Summer signing Nordi Mukiele and Renato Sancho make up the injury list for PSG ahead of the match against Bayern Munich, Kilyan Mbappe has been included in the squad despite several news reports detailing concerns about his fatigue/readiness levels. Lionel Messi missed the loss to Monaco on Saturday but is reportedly ready to start against Bayern.
The Bavarians have a long injury list which includes Sadio Mane, Manuel Neuer, Lucas Hernandez, Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch. Thomas Muller and Eric Choupo-Moting are reportedly doubtful and were substituted early against Bochum. Joshua Kimmich was rested through suspension in the Bundesliga this weekend and should be raring to go.
The struggling Belgian club had a clean bill of health heading into the weekend. Tajon Buchanan was substituted late in the match due to an injury, but may be able to brush it off in time to start against Benfica. Andrea Skov Olsen and Ferran Jutgla are doubts to start but should be able to make the bench.
The Portuguese dark horse has no injury concerns ahead of the match against Club Brugge. Coach Roger Schmidt will be looking to plant one foot into the quarterfinals by taking early advantage of a Brugge side that has won just one game and kept just one clean sheet across its last twelve games across all competitions.
It has been a long time (probably 3 years) since I have seen such a short injury list at Dortmund. Abdoulaye Kamara and youngster Youssoufa Moukoko are the only confirmed absentees ahead of the match against Chelsea, although Mateu Morey is doubtful to return this early from his knee injury.
The London club is plagued by fitness issues at the moment. Key players such as N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic and Eduardo Mendy are joined by Aramndo Broja as confirmed injuries. Wesley Fofana, Denis Zakaria, Mateo Kovacic and Raheem Sterling are doubtful to start.
Confirmed Lineups (Day-1)
PSG: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Ramos. Marquinhos, Verratti, Neymar. Danilo, Nuno Mendes, Soler, Messi, Zaire-Emery
Bayern Munich: Sommer, Upamecano, De Ligt, Pavard, Kimmich, Goretzka, Sane, Coman, Choupo-Moting, Joao Cancelo, Musiala
AC Milan: Tatarusanu, Thiaw, Kalulu, Kjaer, T. Hernandez, Saelemaekers, Krunic, Tonali, Brahim Diaz, Giroud, Rafael Leao
Tottenham: Foster, Lenglet, Dier, Romero, Emerson, Sarr, Skipp, Son, Perisic, Kulusevski, Kane
Confirmed Lineups (Day-2)
Dortmund: Kobel, Schlotterbeck, Salih Ozcan, Haller, Guerreiro, Wolf, Brandt, Bellingham, Emre Can, Sule, Adeyemi.
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Fernandez, Thiago Silva, Joao Felix, Loftus-Cheek, Mudryk, Chilwell, Ziyech, James, Koulibaly, Havertz.
Club Brugge: Mingolet, Clinton Mata, Mechele, Hendry, Buchanan, Vanakan, Odoi, Onyedika, Meijer, Lang, Sowah
Benfica: Vlachodimos, Grimaldo, Otamendi, Antonio Silva, Bah, Chiquinho, Florentino, Rafa Silva, Joao Mario, Aursnes, Goncalo Ramos
If you need to take an early look at injury lists and predicted lineups for the remaining matches scheduled next week then following the UEFA UCL link here
Keep an eye on the comments section for any late updates and be aware that lineups for the AC Milan vs Tottenham and PSG vs Bayern Munich will be released about an hour before today’s fantasy transfer deadline at 20:00 GMT. We’ll post those team sheets here in time for you to make transfers and substitutions, just like we will on every game day. Make sure you’re here for that!
Good luck everyone and I’ll see you in the Comments!
How is your team shaping up? Has your squad been hit by injuries to any players? Do you have any tactical questions? Which matches do you plan/wish to watch as a fan? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!