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Champions League last 16 second-legs: What to expect

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Even though only the first legs have been completed in this year's Champions League Round of 16, it would not be unfair to say that several of the ties have already been wrapped up.

All the same, here is a look at what to expect when the competition resumes for the second legs...

Barcelona vs Manchester City

After a comfortable 2-0 win away at the Etihad for Barcelona, many would say that the so-called biggest tie of the round has already been decided. However, Barcelona suffered a shock defeat in La Liga last weekend and have to now chase the new leaders, Real Madrid.

Moreover, Argentine Sergio Aguero should be back in time for the tie and will be eager to take advantage of Barca's shaky defence. Manuel Pellegrini may have gotten it wrong tactically at the Etihad, but with nothing to lose in the return leg, if anyone can oust Barcelona at the Camp Nou, it is an expansive and fearless City.

Still, as City push on, Barcelona may catch them out on the counter-attack, and even a single goal for the Catalans should be enough to send them through to the next round.

Bayern Munich vs Arsenal

The Champions of Europe host Arsenal who are looking to claw back a two-goal deficit from the first leg. Arsenal were looking good in the reverse fixture untill they were reduced to 10 men, after which Bayern went on to strangle the London side with their passing game.

The Gunners are now faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge and whilst their Welsh talisman Aaron Ramsey my return in time for the game, all factors are pointing in the direction of another Bayern win.

Paris Saint-Germain vs Bayer Leverkusen

French giants PSG thumped Bayer Leverkusen 4-0 in the first leg of this particular tie. With the tie practically beyond salvation for the Germans, one would expect them to play for pride and avoid further humiliation, rather than realistically attempt to claw back the deficit. Zlatan Ibrahinmovic and co. should already be looking forward to the quarter-finals.

Atletico Madrid vs AC Milan

In an extremely close game, Atletico secured a vital away-goal victory courtesy of Diego Costa at the San Siro. As a result, nothing but a win will do for Milan, who will be buoyed by the return of Mario Balotelli who picked up a shoulder injury in the first leg.

Still, look out for the hosts picking off Milan on the counter attack and heading through to the next round.

Manchester United vs Olympiacos

Out of sorts English champions Manchester United produced probably one of their most dismal performances of the season in the first leg against underdogs Olympiacos, losing by two goals to nil on the night.

As a result, the Red Devils have the unenviable task of attempting to overturn the aforementioned deficit in what would truly be a great comeback. Despite Juan Mata being cup-tied, United have the players to score the goals in the return leg at Old Trafford, but their leaky defence may be the cause of their elimination at this premature stage of the tournament.

David Moyes will have to get his team selection spot on to have any chance of making a miraculous recovery in the tie.

Borussia Dortmund vs Zenit St. Petersburg

Last year's finalists Dortmund appeared to have put the tie to bed within the first five minutes of the first leg in Russia. Zenit looked like a side being hauled out of a long winter break and the German outfit made the most of a poor performance by the hosts to seal a 4-2 victory.

With four away goals in the bank, it is unlikely to see Zenit overturning Dortmund in front of their very own yellow wall. Expect the Germans to march into the next round with ease.

Chelsea vs Galatasaray

Jose Mourinho's men must be kicking themselves for not putting the tie to bed within the first half an hour in the Turk Telecom Arena. Galatasaray were all over the shop and could have easily shipped three or four goals on the night, but, as is the way with football, managed to salvage a 1-1 draw.

The Blues have an away goal to their advantage, but on a night where Didier Drogba returns to Stamford Bridge, anything is possible. Expect this to be one of the closer ties of the round.

Real Madrid vs Schalke

Los Blancos, the most successful side in Europe, have been on the hunt for their 10th European crown for quite a while now. In the past few years, they have come close, only to slip up in the more crucial stages of the competition.

This year however, there is real belief surging through the ranks that the dream of getting "La Decima" will finally be realised. Madrid thumped Schalke 6-1 in the first leg of the tie, with Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo grabbing a brace each.

They looked to be in irresistible form and could have easily had one or two more. The second leg will be more of a damage control exercise for the Germans, who will be looking not to get over-run when they travel to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The teams going through to the quarter-finals mean business. With many ties already sown up, a few sides have already announced their intentions, leaving us with the prospect of a real mouth-watering draw for the next round.

On the balance of it, here are my predictions as to the teams who will go through to the quarter-finals:


Barcelona; Bayern Munich; PSG; Atletico Madrid; Olympiacos; Dortmund; Chelsea; Real Madrid.


Don't agree? Please feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Chelsea
Manchester City

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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