UEFA Champions League 2018-19: Predicting the outcome of each Round of 16 tie
After a hiatus of two months, Europe’s premier club competition, the UEFA Champions League, returns to our screens. The tournament which started off with 32 participants has been pruned down to 16 teams with eight two-legged affairs to decide the quarter-finalists.
As always, the Round of 16 draw threw up plenty of mouth-watering clashes. Paris Saint-Germain take on Manchester United whereas last year’s finalists, Liverpool, lock horns with Bayern Munich.
In addition, Bundesliga’s current leaders, Borussia Dortmund, clash swords with Tottenham, while Juventus has their hands full with Atletico Madrid.
Thus, the Round of 16 is bound to be as enthralling as ever with several top-notch teams battling it out to be crowned Europe’s best.
At this juncture, it is extremely difficult to gauge how each of the ties in question would pan out. Yet, through the course of this article, I would stick my neck out and predict the eight teams that would make up the quarter-final line-up.
Without further ado, here is a look at them:
#8 AS Roma vs FC Porto
FC Porto were handed a favourable draw in the group stages as they were paired with Schalke, Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Moscow. Porto emerged from their group unbeaten and with a tally of 16 points from 6 games.
Roma, on the other hand, had to negotiate a slightly trickier group containing Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen. The Italian side finished as runners-up behind Real Madrid.
Of all the ties, the match in question seems to be the most evenly balanced with neither team setting the world ablaze so far with their displays. Yet, I am tempted to slightly favour the Italians in this crunch clash.
While Roma might not have been at their best this season, they still boast of enough firepower in the attacking third to cause Porto problems. In addition, they have been a tough nut to crack at home and with the first leg scheduled to take place in Rome, one can expect them to take a sizeable lead into the second leg.
Moreover, Roma’s experience on Europe’s biggest stage could play into their hands. After all, they made the semi-finals last year.
Thus, after considering all the factors, I would earmark Roma as one of the quarter-finalists.
Winner: AS Roma