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10 things to watch for in the UCL this week

10 things to watch for in the midweek Champions League games

February 20, 2018 By Ali M.
Barcelona clashes with Chelsea, round of 16 debutant Besiktas will lock horns with Bayern in the Allianz Arena.

This midweek will see four Champions League games be played. Of these round of 16 ties, fans eagerly anticipate Tuesday’s meeting between Chelsea and Barcelona in London.

These two sides will renew their rivalry in this competition, with Stamford Bridge being the host of the first-leg game. Elsewhere, Bayern Munich will host Besiktas, which kicks off at the same time as the aforementioned thriller.

On Wednesday, Man United will lock horns with Sevilla in Spain while Shakhtar and Roma will go face-to-face in Ukraine. Here are 10 things to watch out for.

Will Barcelona equal Chelsea’s number of wins in this clash?

These two clubs have established a thrilling rivalry. Currently, the London giant leads in the head-to-head Champions League record with four wins to Barcelona’s three (D5). The Blaugrana could go level with victory at Stamford Bridge and surpass them with a win in the return leg.

Will Lionel Messi end his Chelsea hoodoo?

How will Cesc and Pedro fare now that they are playing for the other side?

One of the most memorable meetings between these two sides was Chelsea’s 2-2 draw at Camp Nou in 2012, a victory which earned the Premier League side a spot in the final, which they won. Cesc Fabregas and Pedro were Blaugrana players on that occasion. 

Nearly six years later, they will don blue jerseys in a bid to eliminate the Catalan giant. Will they help send their former club packing? Only time will tell.

Will we be seeing refereeing controversy at Stamford Bridge once more?

The 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge remains to this date one of the Champions League’s most controversial games due to horrendous officiating by Tom Henning Ovrebo. The referee for this game will be Cuneyt Cakir, the man who sent off John Terry in Chelsea’s 2-2 semi-final draw at Camp Nou.

This has Blues fans worried that poor officiating might once again lead to their elimination.

Will Courtois get the better of the Blaugrana?

A former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper, the Belgian shot-stopper came out triumphant in meetings with Messi and Co. only once (W1, D5, L4). He will be hoping to record his second win against Barcelona on Tuesday.

Besiktas’ knockout stage debut

But sadly, it will be at the Allianz Arena

Bayern’s undefeated run at stake

The German heavyweight has never lost to a Turkish club in four games (W3, D1). They will defend that unbeaten run on Tuesday.

Alexis Sanchez’s Champions League return

Leaving Arsenal in January meant that the Chilean ace secured a promotion from the Europa League to the Champions League. He has begun life with the Red Devils well but has endured mixed results and will thus be eager for a bang in the round of 16.

Sevilla eying first round of 16 win

The Spanish club has made it this far on three previous occasions but has been knocked out each time. Will they finally make it into the quarter-final at the expense of Man United?

Roma seeking revenge for 6-2 loss in 2011

In 2011, Shakhtar and Roma met at this very same stage of the competition. The Italian outfit was dumped out of the competition via a heavy 6-2 aggregate loss. They will want revenge starting on Wednesday.

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