The UEFA Champions League Round of 16

Predictions and what to expect from the knockout stages


Paige Romig

The Cy Woods Junior Varsity Soccer team playing against Bridgeland High School

The world’s most pristine soccer competition returns this February, with the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League commencing. With 16 teams left, Europe’s top teams fight it out to earn one of the eight spots in the next round. Since the draw left us with some interesting match ups, such as Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund vs. Paris Saint-Germain, it is looking to be an exciting round. Here are my predictions for the Champions League Round of 16 of the UEFA.

Atletico Madrid vs. Liverpool: The defending champions, Liverpool, head back to Madrid for the first time since winning the final against Tottenham in June. Atletico, while struggling as of late, still has a very strong team and pose a threat. This is an interesting match up, but Liverpool is just too powerful. I predict Liverpool will move on.

Tottenham vs. RB Leipzig: Last year’s runners up faces a young and hungry Leipzig team who, as of this moment, is second in the Bundesliga. Tottenham, meanwhile, has been plagued by injuries which have affected their performance all season. Although Leipzig may be the stronger team on paper, I predict Tottenham’s experience will see them prevail.

Atalanta vs. Valencia: The dark horses of the tournament just happened to get drawn with each other. Both teams are young and don’t have experience in the competition, but lately Atalanta has been strong in domestic competition, and that may just see them advance over a weak Valencia team.

Borussia Dortmund vs. Paris Saint Germain: Both teams are known for blowing games like these, but they are stronger than ever before. Superstar play maker for Dortmund, Erling Haaland,  has scored in every game he has played since transferring from RB Salzburg in January. Additionally, Paris has been a consistent team all around this season, with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. All in all, my guess is that Dortmund’s strong offense will see them go through.

Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich: Bayern has been a powerhouse this season, such as beating runners-up Tottenham 7-2 in October. I have a feeling that Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry leading the way with 17 goals combined, Bayern will crush a young and naive Chelsea.

Napoli vs. Barcelona: Both teams haven’t lived up to expectations this season as both teams have fired their respective managers at some point this season. While Barcelona should make it through, both team’s unpredictability could see one or the other go through.

Lyon vs. Juventus: Lyon have been weak this season due to injuries, and barely made it through to the knockout stages. Juventus, however, has been strong, as they are currently holding a slim lead for first place in Series A. I predict that due to a stacked roster, it is clear Juventus will advance.

Real Madrid vs. Manchester City: This is probably the most exciting match up. Trying to fill the void of last season’s disappointment, Madrid will probably be looking to get back on track and win the Champions League for a record 14th time. Manchester City, however, is as determined as ever, especially after being banned for the next two years due to breaches of UEFA financial rules. Due to the fact that Manchester City has the better squad, it looks like they will edge Real Madrid for the final spot in the Round of Eight.

All in all, this year’s Champions League Round of 16 is going to be stacked with fun matches to watch, and with powerful teams looking to advance, it could go any way. It will be very exciting to see who will actually prevail this year.