Chelsea’s Champions League clash in the Camp Nou is just one of three delicately balanced affairs as the tournament finds the elite final eight
Manchester United – Sevilla
There is no doubt that José Mourinho is one of the greatest managers in Champions League history, having won the competition twice (with Porto and Inter Milan) and gone close on numerous occasions. The Portuguese master tactician knows how to set up his sides in big games and more often than not gets the job done in the most efficient way.
This season, Mourinho is in search of another Champions League trophy and the next hurdle for his Manchester United is Sevilla. In the first leg of this round of 16 tie, United went to Spain in a defensive mode to achieve an acceptable result. The record English champions returned home with a goalless draw and will feel that in front of their own fans, a ticket to the quarter-finals can be secured.
Team to go through: Manchester United
11:00 GMT – Training 🏃♂️
14:00 GMT – Press conference 🗣
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 12, 2018
AS Roma – Shakhtar Donetsk
For a fair amount of clubs entering the Champions League, simply advancing to the knockout stages is the only realistic objective, as the gap in financial resources compared to the top dogs is simply too big for these teams to really have a chance of lifting the trophy. However, when the luck of the draw strikes and two of these underdogs meet, there is a real possibility of putting yourself among the continent’s elite
This is the case for AS Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk who will face off for a place in the quarter-finals. In the first game, Shakhtar were really impressive and if it wasn’t for Roma’s outstanding goalkeeper Alisson, the Ukrainian side would be taking a much more comfortable win than their current 2-1 advantage to Italy for the return leg. Now, Roma are still in the tie and might make the Stadio Olimpico the theatre of a historic night.
Team to go through: AS Roma
— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) March 11, 2018
Besiktas – Bayern Munich
Reigning Turkish champions Besiktas were, without doubt, one of the surprises of the early stages. They finished first in their group, doing so without losing a single game and so it was expected that the club could be a real test for European heavyweights Bayern in their round of 16 meeting.
Granted, Besiktas lost their star striker Cenk Tosun to Everton in January but the 5-0 capitulation that we saw in Germany was a huge disappointment for the Besiktas fans and football supporters in general. This was a side that really provided excitement earlier on in the tournament but unfortunately they didn’t find the spark against Bayern. In Turkey, Besiktas will try and redeem themselves, although a revival is out of the question.
Team to go through: Bayern Munich
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) March 11, 2018
Barcelona – Chelsea
Everything was going according to plan for Antonio Conte. Chelsea had shut Barcelona down offensively and got their goal through Willian. It was very similar to the 2012 meeting between the clubs in the semi-finals when Didier Drogba scored the only goal at Stamford Bridge. Back then, the Blues could rely on several world class defenders. This time around, a sloppy pass out of Chelsea’s defence was penalized by Lionel Messi to make it 1-1.
It has given Barcelona a great perspective for the return game in the Camp Nou as the bigger pitch favours their chances. The La Liga leaders are expected to deliver big time for the fans to go through to the quarter-finals for the tenth season in a row.
Team to go through: Barcelona
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 11, 2018