2 most exciting fixtures in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 this gameweek

Defending UEFA Champions League champions Liverpool
Defending UEFA Champions League champions Liverpool
John Ugor
Modified 18 Feb 2020

Football's premier club competition, the UEFA Champions League returns this week as we move from the group stage to the Round of 16. The biggest names in football will be eager to perform in the greatest club competition in the world.

European heavyweights like Real Madrid and Liverpool will be seeking to add one more Champions League trophy to their already well-decorated cabinet, while teams like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain will be aiming to win the big-eared trophy for the first time. Here are two matches that could potentially be action-packed in this week's fixtures.

1. Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool

Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool will head back to the ground where they ended their last campaign, the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, to face Atletico Madrid for the first leg of the Round of 16 Champions League encounter. Their fans will be hopeful once again for a positive outcome like the last time they visited the phenomenal stadium in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur.

The two sides met in the competition for the first time in the group stage of the 2008/09 season and while the first encounter finished 1-1 at the Vicenté Calderon, the reverse fixture saw Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard cancel Maxi Rodriguez' opener with 5 minutes into stoppage time to earn the hosts a point at Anfield.

A 2-1 loss to Chelsea in the 2017/18 campaign is Atletico's only defeat in the last 25 European games in their own stadium. The home side will be looking to continue their dominance at home but face a dogged Liverpool side that will be fighting to reach the final for a third consecutive time. It is also worth noting that the Reds have never lost a two-legged knockout tie under their current manager Jurgen Klopp.

As for the style of play, the two sides are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Atletico always adopt a defence-first approach in big games and pick their moments expertly in attack while Liverpool always look to be on the front foot with direct attacks and counter-press approach.

In the league, Liverpool are unbeaten so far as they the look certain to win their first league title in almost 30 years. Atletico, on the other hand, are currently having a campaign to forget in La Liga as they are currently 13 points behind leaders Real Madrid in 4th position.

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Published 18 Feb 2020
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