Over the UCL Round of 16, Eshan Gupta analyses all the different matchups; looking at the potential most impactful players, the tie deciders, and predicts the final score. This is Match Day 4.
Olympique Lyonnais vs Juventus
A favourable draw for the Old Lady considering Lyon was on paper the weakest opponent that they could have drawn. For Lyon, any side would have been an uphill battle considering they only scraped through their group.
Players to watch out for:
At Lyon, the game changers will definitely be their talented front three in Cornet, Dembele and Traore. Cornet has shown himself to be a super-sub at times too. Aouar on his day can turn the game in his team’s favour but he tends to go missing in big games.
For Juventus, Dybala would definitely be a game-changer and someone they would have to rely on to have a good game. Juve will also need their full-backs in Alex Sandro and Danilo to be at their best keep Traore and Depay quiet. And lastly, Cristiano Ronaldo has got his scoring boots on and will definitely be at the https://pingiiit.org/2020/02/ucl-prcentre of this tie. He was also the Serie A player of the month for January scoring 7 and assisting 1 in just 4 league games. Besides, he has made the UEFA Champions League his own stage in the last few years.
Depay most likely will not play in this fixture and that dampens the already slim chances of Lyon of causing an upset. The focal point of the tie will be one man, Cristiano Ronaldo. He tends to always find form in the second half of the season and in knock out matches of the UEFA Champions League. The tie is expected to be almost one-sided with the Bianconeri playing out a draw at Lyon and then wrapping things up in Turin.
Predictions: Lyon 2-5 Juv (Agg)
Real Madrid vs Manchester City
Disclaimer: The preview was written before news of Hazard’s injury ruling him out of the match.
Arguably the most important tie of the Round of 16. This fixture is going to be one of the toughest to predict while two very good sides go head to head. For Manchester City, it is a tie that they would have wanted to avoid but for Loe Blancos, they would have known that tough tie was waiting for them ahead after finishing second in their group.
Players to watch out for:
For Los Blancos, the key players in this particular fixture would be Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard. Zidane has built this current side around a solid defence but they lack a flair going forward and thus their two main men Hazard and Benzema, the latter of which has been in terrific form this season. They both looked to be clicking very well once Hazard hit top gear in for the Royal Whites and their partnership would be crucial to get goals for Los Blancos to get through. Courtois is having his best season of life along with Varane and Ramos as these three help Real Madrid with the best defensive record this season. Also, Valverde would play a crucial role being in the limelight since his performance against ATM and rejuvenating the midfield. Mendy would play a crucial role against Citys pacy attackers along with contributing towards rapid counter-attacks.
For Manchester City, the midfield battle is going to be very crucial hence Kevin De Bruyne will have to be in top form in this tie. If Fernandinho moves to the midfield for this tie after Laporte comes back he would be an interesting watch against a counter-attacking Real Madrid.
The tie will be decided by a few critical game-changers like De Bruyne, Hazard and Benzema. A fast-paced Real Madrid could cause all sorts of troubles to Manchester City. The first leg will be very important for City, because Real might look to hold their fort and not concede any away goals and if they succeed City might have a hard time going through.
Prediction: Real Madrid 2-2 Manchester City (Agg), Real Madrid to go through on Away Goals.