The Champions League is back with its exciting round of 16 return-leg fixtures.
The first leg of UEFA Champions League (UCL) – Round of 16 witnessed thrilling clashes between the 16 teams, vying to mark their places in the quarter finals of this prestigious tournament. The clubs will yet again battle on the field as a part of home and away format, trying their best to keep the aggregate score in their favor.
Let’s take a look at the first round of high-octane clashes scheduled for the second leg of Round of 16.
1. Paris Saint-Germain vs Borussia Dortmund
PSG are under pressure to perform after losing 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund in Germany but they do possess the talent to turn this UCL tie around. The French aristocrats looked dangerous for long periods of the second half at Westfalenstadion and were rewarded with a goal from Neymar but Erling Braut Haaland, who is on a sensational goal scoring spree, took his UEFA Champions League tally for the season to ten with two strikes to stun the traveling Paris fans.
The 19-year-old became the first teenager to score 10 goals in a UCL season, having previously netted eight times for RB Salzburg in six Group E games. With England winger Jadon Sancho and 17-year-old Giovanni Reyna also impressing up front in the opening encounter, Dortmund have a youthful and vibrant forward line playing without fear but the French side are usually much stronger on home turf and the likes of Neymar and Mbappe will look to tear down the Dortmund defence with their immense pace and skills.
2. Liverpool F.C. vs Atletico Madrid
Liverpool welcome Atlético Madrid in their UCL round of 16 decider and will look to pull off another famous comeback after losing 1-0 away to Atletico Madrid at a raucous Wanda Metropolitano. Diego Simeone’s men put in a display of trademark resilience once Saúl Ñíguez had given them a fourth-minute lead in the first leg, but still fresh in the memory is the manner in which the Reds incredibly overturned a 3-0 first-leg deficit against Barcelona in last season’s semi-finals at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp will hope to rekindle the spirit of that amazing night and will look to start on the front foot from the outset in this return fixture. Atlético holds an advantage, but it’s a tenuous advantage with only a draw needed to qualify. Liverpool on the other hand, must break Diego Simeone’s stalwart defense to keep hope alive of winning the European trophy in successive seasons.
3. RB Leipzig vs Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
If there’s a blueprint for how an underdog team can successfully open a two-legged advantage against a quality club, RB Leipzig showcased it to perfection in the first leg against Spurs in North London. Going into the second leg, RB Leipzig looks to be holding all the aces against an injury-hit Tottenham as they welcome the English team to Germany.
Even though the German side looked a lot sharper than Spurs in the first leg, Leipzig are far from convincing on their home ground, losing 2-0 to Lyon at this venue and only drawing 2-2 with Benfica in the group stages. Tottenham have a mountain to climb without injured front men Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, but the form of the home team on their home ground will give them a few moments in the game to get a grip on the tie and qualify for the quarter-finals.
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