The knockout phase of the Champions League is always an exciting time to tune in to the best football teams in Europe as they battle to win what is a fabled competition. Since the UEFA Champions League came into being from the old European Cup, only Real Madrid have retained the trophy after winning it, so the battle facing Liverpool this season is huge.
Could Liverpool or the team they beat in the final last season, Tottenham Hotspur win the Champions League this year? We might be about to find out a lot about their chances in the Round of 16, with both teams taking on quality opposition.
Atletico Madrid vs. Liverpool (Tuesday 18th February, 8:00 pm GMT kick-off)
A big match at the scene of Liverpool’s Champions League triumph in 2019 sees Diego Simeone’s side welcome the rampant Reds to the Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid. While Jurgen Klopp’s men have undoubtedly been focused on the English Premier League this season, they will have their eyes on a Premier League and Champions League double which has only been achieved by Manchester United in the modern era.
Atletico represent a challenge to Liverpool, but by no means an insurmountable one, with the home side having drawn 10 times in La Liga already this season. Liverpool, of course, have been imperious domestically, but have already been beaten by Napoli on their European travels in the 2019/20 season and aren’t unbeatable.
Expect both sides to open up their opponents’ defences and perhaps battle to a draw that will suit Liverpool slightly better than it will Atletico Madrid.
In the other game taking place on Tuesday, Borussia Dortmund should have too much for a Paris St. Germain side who let four goals in against Amiens on the weekend.
Tottenham vs. RB Leipzig (Wednesday 19th February, 8:00 pm GMT kick-off)
After a superb come-from-behind victory at the weekend, Tottenham Hotspur come into their Champions League knockout campaign with one of the masters of the format in charge – Jose Mourinho.
Having established what he wants to do with this Spurs side, Christian Eriksen has departed to Inter Milan, while Gio Lo Celso has come in on a permanent basis. The North London side who have won three Premier League games in a row have the potential to surprise teams in Europe this season who might believe they are a spent force without Harry Kane.
With Son Heung-Min in the side, they have a world class player who has the potential to score almost at will and will do everything they can to get the win in the first leg, even if they have to repeat their trick of the weekend and grab victory from the jaws of a draw.
Round of 16 Fixtures:
Tuesday 18th February
Atlético Madrid vs. Liverpool (8:00 pm GMT kick-off)
Our tip: Both teams to score and a draw (15/4)
Borussia Dortmund vs. Paris St. Germain (8:00 pm GMT kick-off)
Our tip: Borussia Dortmund to win 2-1 (10/1)
Wednesday 19 February
Atalanta vs. Valencia (8:00 pm GMT kick-off)
Our tip: Correct score to be 2-2 (14/1)
Tottenham vs. RB Leipzig (8:00 pm GMT kick-off)
Our tip: Tottenham to win from behind (19/2)