Champions League Preview – Round of 16
On Wednesday, March 15th the Champions League Round of 16 will continue on. Read more about Champions League here
Manchester City FC vs AS Monaco
Manchester City FC will travel to France for the second leg of its series against AS Monaco. In the first leg, Manchester City subjected Monaco to a 5-3 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
Monaco could have to fight this battle without one of its most important players, Radamel Falcao. Falcao has already missed two domestic matches due to injury. On his first match back, he scored an all important goal for the club, but he took a nasty hit to his right hip and has been ailing since then. The Monaco coaching staff is waiting for the results of Falcao’s subsequent medical examination before making any statements about whether or not he will be involved in the upcoming Champions League match.
Manchester City has also been dealt a huge blow to injuries. Footage of Gabriel Jesus riding on a mobility scooter with his crutches in tow has been circulating the Internet. In the video, Jesus and one of his friends are joking around about his predicament. Although Jesus is taking this setback in stride, the absence of a star player in an important match is no laughing matter. During his time with the club, Jesus has scored four times and made two assists in all competitions. Jesus will also miss World Cup Qualifiers this month for Brazil. Brazil currently sits in the top spot in this tournament.
Manchester City FC currently sits third in the Premiere League table and tied with Tottenham with fifty-six points. Monaco tops the Ligue 1 table with five points separating it from the closest competitions. The club has won all but eight of the twenty-nine domestic matches participated in this season. Despite the successful domestic run, Monaco must score at least three time, assuming the French club can manage to shutout Manchester City in the second leg, to advance.
Atletico Madrid vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Elsewhere in Europe, Atletico Madrid will take on Bayer Leverkusen at the Vicente Calderon stadium. In the first leg, Atletico traveled to Germany to hand Bayer Leverkusen a 4-2 defeat at home. Bayer Leverkusen is in the same predicament as Monaco. To advance, Bayer must score at least three goals and either shutout Atletico Madrid or score an extra goal for every goal scored by Bayer.
Domestically, Atletico Madrid rests at fourth in the La Liga table and needs five points to surpass third place Sevilla. Bayer Leverkusen’s domestic season has not been as successful as its Spanish counterparts. Bayer are currently tenth in the Bundesliga table, and the club has a negative two goal differential.
In both of the games that will occur on Wednesday, March 15th, a mere two goal margin separates the competing clubs. Both of the trailing clubs needs either a 3-0 win or three goals with the addition of the amount of goals that the opposition scores on Wednesday. Although the figurative cards are stacked against Bayer and Monaco, anything is possible.
What are your thoughts on these game? Any predictions? We welcome all comments.