Here’s what you need to know ahead of this week’s games…
ARSENAL V BAYERN MUNICH
These sides are familiar Champions League rivals, having squared off on four occasions in the last five years, with the Gunners bowing out three times at the hands of the Bavarians in the first knockout round.
Bayern routed Arsenal 5-1 in Germany in their previous meeting, and based on current form you’d have to give the edge to the Bundesliga giants. If Arsenal is going to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010 then they’ll have to keep it close in Munich on Wednesday—otherwise the series could be over before the return leg in London.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN vs. BARCELONA
Despite spending big money on star players, PSG has yet to make a splash in Europe. The French champions have exited in the quarterfinals in each of the last four seasons, and they’re still looking to
break through the glass ceiling and advance to the semifinals.
Barcelona eliminated PSG in 2013 and 2015, and the Spanish giants have lost only one of their last six games against their French counterparts in Europe—and that was in the group stage in 2014.
Tuesday’s tilt at the Parc des Princes pits the tournament’s top scorers—Messi and Cavani—against one another. But while Barcelona also boasts the dangerous Neymar and Luis Suarez, PSG is pretty dependent on Cavani for offence—aside from the Uruguay international, only Lucas has more than 10 goals for PSG this season.
BENFICA vs. BORUSSIA DORTMUND
Borussia Dortmund has struggled in the Bundesliga—they currently sit fourth in the table, 15 points adrift of league leaders Bayern Munich. But in Europe, Die Schwarzgelben (The Black and Yellows) have dominated.
Dortmund went undefeated in the group stage (four wins and two draws), scoring a tournament record 21 goals in six games to win a group that included defending champions Real Madrid. It’ll be interesting to see if they continue their hot streak in Portugal on Tuesday.
As for Benfica, they are flying high in the Portuguese league—they lost their first game of the campaign in December, and sit atop the domestic table. The Eagles are playing in the knockout stage for the second straight season, a first for the club—they fell to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals last year.
REAL MADRID vs. NAPOLI
Wednesday’s affair at the Benabeu should be an entertaining affair, as it pits two of the hottest clubs in Europe who are committed to playing attacking soccer.
Madrid hasn’t lost at home in 11 Champions League games (with nine wins), while Napoli is riding an 18-match unbeaten streak (12 wins) in all competitions.
While the Spanish outfit is aiming to reach its seventh consecutive quarterfinal, Napoli, who have only lost one of their last seven European road games, is competing in the Round of 16 for only the second time in franchise history.
The first legs will be played on February 14-15th and 21-22nd, with the second legs set for March 7-8th and 14-15th.
Champions League Last-16 1st Leg:
Sevilla v Leicester – Buy Champions League Tickets
PSG v Barcelona – Buy Champions League Tickets
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid – Buy Champions League Tickets
Porto v Juventus – Buy Champions League Tickets
Bayern Munich v Arsenal – Buy Champions League Tickets
Benfica v Borussia Dortmund – Buy Champions League Tickets
Real Madrid v Napoli – Buy Champions League Tickets
Manchester City v Monaco – Buy Champions League Tickets
Champions League Last-16 2nd Leg:
Leicester v Sevilla – Buy Champions League Tickets
Barcelona v PSG – Buy Champions League Tickets
Atletico Madrid v Bayer Leverkusen – Buy Champions League Tickets
Juventus v Porto – Buy Champions League Tickets
Arsenal v Bayern Munich – Buy Champions League Tickets
Borussia Dortmund v Benfica – Buy Champions League Tickets
Napoli v Real Madrid – Buy Champions League Tickets
Monaco v Man City – Buy Champions League Tickets