Friday, December 17, 2010

Champions League Round of 16 Draw

The Champions League Round of 16 draw was this morning in Switzerland.

A few good matchups (to be expected with only 16 teams remaining). The big ones are Arsenal vs. Barcelona (both doing very well in domestic play) and Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich (rematch of the most recent final). Spurs is playing AC Milan, which sucks for me because I like both teams.

Here are my predictions:

AS Roma vs. FC Shakhtar Donetsk: Shakhtar

AC Milan vs. Tottenham Hotspur FC : Spurs (I am biased)

Valencia CF vs. FC Shalke 04: Valencia

FC Internazionale vs. FC Bayern München: Inter (though both are struggling domestically)

Olympique Lyonnais vs. Real Madrid CF: Real Madrid

Arsenal FC vs. FC Barcelona: Barcelona

Olympique Marseille vs. Manchester United FC: United

FC København vs. Chelsea FC: Chelsea

The Valencia – Shalke matchup looks to be the best for competitiveness. Both teams have been good in recent years, though Shalke is currently 10th in the Bundesliga and Valencia is 5th in La Liga. The Inter – Bayern matchup would be much better if both teams weren’t struggling. I think Inter will pull through based on their manager Benitez’s history with the Champions League. Spurs are going against Milan, who is currently top in Serie A. I’m hopeful they’ll make it through, but it won’t be easy.

Round of 16 play begins February 15th. For those unfamiliar with the format, it is two-leg (each team plays home and away) aggregate (total goals scored for both games) with away goals as the first tie-breaker. For example, Arsenal and Barcelona play twice, once in London and once in Barcelona. If the first game is in London and ends 1-1, and the second is in Barcelona and ends 2-2, then Arsenal goes through on away goals (2 to 1).

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