Champions' League 2016 Round Of 16 Predictions
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Champions' League 2016 Round Of 16 Predictions

Part II

8
Champions' League 2016 Round Of 16 Predictions
english.ahram.org

In an attempt to follow up my previous article about my first round predictions, here is part two!

Arsenal vs. FC Barcelona

I find this to be one of the most predictable of the eight fixtures. Arsenal are a team that have a lot on their plate this season. As one of the leading contenders in the Premier League, they have much more to focus on than the Champions League. Long-time manager Arsene Wenger has also not done very well in the UCL in the recent years, consistently being knocked out in this very round. On the other hand, the reigning champions have a reputation to uphold. Led by 5 time Ballon D’or winner Leo Messi, as well as his striking partners Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr., this Barcelona squad is a force to be reckoned with this season. I don’t think there is an element of Arsenal’s defense that can stop these three from finding the back of the net. Aggregate score prediction over two matches: Arsenal 1 –4 Barcelona.

Juventus vs. Bayern Munich

In my opinion this is the highest quality matchup of all of them. On one hand there is the runners-up from last season, Juventus, and on the other one of the most feared teams in Europe, Bayern Munich. Each a respective giant from their home nations, there is no shortage of talent amongst these two teams. Juventus is a very young team full of raw ability. Players like Paul Pogba and Paulo Dyabala have shown the world all season long that they are capable of scoring goals against any side. There is also plenty of experience in their squad with ‘keeper Gigi Buffon and center-back Giorgio Chiellini. Energy and experience, however, are nothing new to Bayern Munich. Every single season since 2010 Bayern Munich have made it deep into the tournament. Under the management of tactician Pep Guardiola and led by prolific players like Robert Lewandowski and Jerome Boateng, Bayern Munich pose the ability to demolish any opponent on a given day, as they have so shown over the years. Aggregate score prediction: Juventus 3-3 Bayern; Munich advancing on away goals advantage.

PSV Eindhoven vs. Atletico Madrid

Here we have two sides both looking to prove themselves in Europe. The current Dutch leaders PSV were able to sneak past Manchester United in a tight group table this season, making a statement that they are really here to play. Forward Luuk de Jong has netted 16 goals this season, a noteworthy stat. Strengthened by balanced Mexican midfielder Andres Guardado, this Dutch side certainly has the potential to knock in a few. Atletico Madrid, or simply Atleti, have become quite experience in European football in recent years. The 2013 runners-up have eliminated much stronger sides than PSV, and the striking combination of Frenchman Antoine Griezmann and Colombian Jackson Martinez is sure to be more than a handful for them. I don’t see a way out of this one for PSV. Aggregate score prediction: PSV Eindhoven 0 – 3 Atletico

Dynamo Kiev vs. Manchester City

Possibly the most lopsided of the Round of 16 fixtures, this matchup looks heavily in favor of City – and it is. In this tournament, Kiev are no more than an underdog, and while some underdogs make it far, I don’t see this one going anywhere. Manchester City are a consistent, well-rounded side with much experience in the round of 16. While they typically have lost in this round in recent years, they’ve been handed a much easier opportunity than past seasons which I think they will realize and make the most of. Argentinian striker Sergio “Kun” Aguero has not been in the best form for City this season, but I think that this fixture is his opportunity to turn things around. A rock solid midfield led by the staggering Yaya Toure of the Ivory Coast and Belgian international Kevin de Bruyne is going to have few issues dealing with the second best Ukranian side. Aggregate score prediction: Dynamo Kiev 1 – 5 Manchester City

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