The battle lines have been drawn. The 2017-18 UEFA Champions League is now entering the exciting stage, with draws for the knock-out round of 16 declared and the battle-lines drawn. Football fans will be thrilled at the prospect of watching the heavyweights of European football cross swords. Here, we preview the four awesome encounters that promise edge-of-the-seat football action.
Managed by the maverick José Mourinho, the star-studded and in-form Manchester United will have their task cut-out when they square up with Sevilla. The Spanish giant’s ever-attacking game and non-surrendering philosophy will be a tough obstacle for the sharp advances of Alexis Sanchez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku. If Sevilla manages to draw first blood in the first leg at home, it will make for a lively contest.
One of European football’s most enduring rivalries will be renewed after a six-year wait. Although Barcelona has the legendary Lionel Messi in their ranks, he has historically fared poorly against Chelsea – and this may just be the occasion for the Leo to alter the record books. Chelsea is unbeaten in their last seven games against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League. But with Andrés Iniesta and Luis Suárez in supreme touch for Barcelona, Chelsea can have a tough time keeping their goal undisturbed.
A marquee contest between two heavyweights! If defending champions Real Madrid have the red-hot Cristiano Ronaldo, PSG have the prowling Neymar. It will be an edgy contest, especially given the fact that Neymar is being frantically courted by the Real Madrid team management to join their team.
A clash between a battering ram and an impregnable fortress! Led by the irrepressible Harry Kane, Tottenham’s relentless strikers will be up against the rock-solid backline of Juventus, with the experienced Gianluigi Buffon under the cross-bar. Both the teams are in sublime form. However, Tottenham holds a slight edge as Juventus’ key players including Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado and Blaise Matuidi are set to miss the clash due to injury.