The continental extravaganza continues with a classic fixture between Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

Last week, the UCL fans witnessed some truly exciting moments from all teams, especially the ones touted to be the underdogs in their clashes. PSG were the brighter side in the formative stages but Erling Haaland kept up his sensational scoring record with a double for Dortmund, seeing them take a slender lead advantage, for the second leg, to Paris.

On the other hand, Atletico Madrid put in a display of trademark resilience to beat title holders Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium. RB Leipzig, the dark horse of this seasons Champions League, impressed on their travel to the North London by beating Tottenham and will take the all-important away goal back into the second leg as these teams meet each other three weeks from now in Germany.

Let’s have a look at the top teams and what they have in store for us this week.

1. Chelsea FC vs Bayern Munich

Chelsea welcome Bayern Munich to Stamford Bridge in the first leg of UEFA Champions League round of 16. Frank Lampard’s men will face a formidable task against a resilient Bayern team who are yet to taste defeat this season in this tournament. Chelsea are not in their best form in the domestic league, but their impressive cup form could be the shining light the manager can use to galvanize his side.

With the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry, the German side are lethal going forward, but equally vulnerable defensively. All eyes will be on Chelsea as it will be absolutely crucial for them to win this leg before heading into the second leg at Munich. This fixture will be played in the shadow of the 2012 Champions League finals, the highest point of Chelsea’s history but a harrowing memory for many Bayern fans.

2. Napoli SSC vs FC Barcelona

Napoli have taken a huge step back this season in Serie A but are capable of rising to the occasion during big clashes, as witnessed in recent victories over Juventus and Lazio in Serie A and even over Liverpool in the Champions’ League group stages. Barcelona are going through a period of unprecedented turmoil, both on and off the pitch, but still have a lineup full of world-class talents who are capable of beating anyone in the world.

Even if things do not go as planned at the San Paolo stadium in Italy, the Catalan club will set their eyes at Camp Nou where the team is unbeaten in its last 35 Champions League games. Lionel Messi has been vocal about his desire to bring the trophy back to the Camp Nou but with key players like Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele out with injuries, all eyes will be on the little magician to take the responsibility of qualifying Barcelona to the next round.

3. Real Madrid vs Manchester City

This is undoubtedly one of the most attractive matches for fans to watch, with both teams having world class players who are more than capable of winning the game for their team. Los Blancos have regained their swagger under Zinedine Zidane, who has turned them into a difficult side to break down.

On the other side, City’s defense has been their Achilles heel this season and hence they must be clinical in the final-third as and when the right opportunity presents itself. With both teams consists of world-class players who are more than capable of winning games by themselves, this will be a battle of mental fortitude as it will come down to the feisty tactical battle between Zizou and Pep.

4. Olympique Lyonnais vs Juventus

Juventus continue their quest to return to the European mountaintop at the Groupama Stadium in France. The Old Lady last lifted the UCL trophy in 1996 and since then has finished runners-up an agonizing five times. The signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018 has made them the forerunners to win the trophy that has eluded them for a long time.

Lyon have not been in greatest of forms this season and their chance to siege an upset looks difficult due to the long-term absence of Memphis Depay. To have any chance of winning this game, the team will need the likes of Moussa Dembele and Bertrand Traore to step up and provide some goals over the course of 2 legs.

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