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CHRIS SUTTON: Here’s my guide to the last 16 of the Champions League

CHRIS SUTTON: Here’s my guide to the last 16 of the Champions League

CHRIS SUTTON’s guide to the Champions League last-16: Liverpool are the ONLY English team I’m not backing to reach the quarter-finals after tough Real Madrid draw… Tottenham and Chelsea should just have enough

  • The Champions League draw threw up some enticing games for the next round 
  • All four English teams are through but I only see three of them surviving 
  • Liverpool have a tough draw with Real Madrid following their May meeting 
  • PSG and Bayern Munich will face off in another tough round of 16 draw 

RB Leipzig v Manchester City 

Manchester City are favourites to win this tie, but anyone who says it is a foregone conclusion is doing a disservice to RB Leipzig. They are a talented team — one that beat City 2-1 in the Champions League group stages last season. 

Head coach Marco Rose took over from Domenico Tedesco in September and has got them playing front-foot football, with French striker Christopher Nkunku their chief threat. Leipzig are very capable of doing damage if given the chance by City. 

Just ask Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid, who lost 3-2 to the Bundesliga side last month.

Prediction: Manchester City

CHRIS SUTTON: Here’s my guide to the last 16 of the Champions League

Manchester City will be hoping their European fortunes fare differently from previous years

Club Brugge v Benfica

Benfica finished top of a group that contained Paris Saint- Germain, Juventus and Maccabi Haifa. 

They are dominant in Portugal and are an aggressive, attacking, ambitious team under head coach Roger Schmidt. 

Club Brugge surprised a few by making it to the knockout stages, but I will say Benfica come out on top in this tie.

Prediction: Benfica

AC Milan v Tottenham

Tottenham are inconsistent but totally capable of winning this tie. Antonio Conte does not have the greatest Champions League record and Spurs only got out of their group by the skin of their teeth when they won in Marseille, but now they are here they need to embrace their chance against a threatening Milan team.

This tie brings back memories of 2011 — the infamous Gennaro Gattuso and Joe Jordan brawl. Conte will bring the aggression on the touchline this time around, I’m sure. 

And it adds some spice that he previously managed Inter Milan for two seasons with great success. I’m predicting Tottenham go through but not without plenty of drama.

Prediction: Tottenham

Tottenham's Joe Jordan famously got into a heated confrontation with Gennaro Gattuso

Tottenham’s Joe Jordan famously got into a heated confrontation with Gennaro Gattuso

Eintracht Frankfurt v Napoli

Napoli are flying in Serie A with Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia among the top scorers in Italy. 

Eintracht Frankfurt earned our admiration by winning the Europa League last season but I think their Champions League journey will end here. Napoli should be too strong for them.

Prediction: Napoli

Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea

What worries me about Chelsea is they do not seem to know what they are. They looked like a team without an identity in their 1-0 loss to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. 

Manager Graham Potter has used six different starting formations during his 12 games in charge — a true tinkerman. Maybe by February, he will have discovered his preferred team and tactics. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only managed eight touches in his reunion with Arsenal and Potter needs to get him much more involved on his return to Dortmund. Though they have their problems, I’m backing Chelsea to win.

Prediction: Chelsea

Graham Potter will be hoping to steer Chelsea back on track in the round of 16

Graham Potter will be hoping to steer Chelsea back on track in the round of 16

Inter Milan v Porto

Given the long list of big names at Inter — Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko, Romelu Lukaku et al — they should be so much higher than seventh in Serie A. 

The Champions League is where they will aim to be successful this season. Over two legs against Porto, I’m saying Inter go through.

Prediction: Inter Milan

Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich

Paris Saint-Germain are supremely dangerous with their attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar up front. 

But it is when they are out of possession that worries me. Do they work hard enough without the ball? Bayern Munich’s players definitely do, and that is where this tie could be decided.

Prediction: Bayern Munich

PSG have a tough draw - even with Lionel Messi on their side - against Bayern Munich

PSG have a tough draw – even with Lionel Messi on their side – against Bayern Munich


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