Grab the popcorn and get ready for even more top-tier action featuring Europe’s finest, live and exclusive on BT Sport
By Virgin TV Edit
The biggest teams. The biggest stars. The biggest title in European club football. Hold onto your boots and start marking up that sporting calendar – it’s time for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
With the group phase out of the way, it’s now down to the serious business of the competition’s knockout stage. And would you have a butcher’s at the sides left? From Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea to Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, these really are the best of the best.
Ahead of the first-leg action – which kicks off on Tuesday 16 February – we size up all eight of the unmissable ties heading your way live on BT Sport and the Virgin TV Go app.
This clash has got “tricky test” written all over it for Jürgen Klopp’s Reds. While his Liverpool side is having a wobble in the Premier League, Bundesliga high-flyers Leipzig will be eyeing a second English scalp after helping dump Manchester United out of the group stage. FYI: the first leg of this tie will be played in Budapest due to COVID-19 restrictions in Germany.
A tie so star-studded you’ll need sunglasses to watch it, two of the continent’s big boys go head to head. Their last meeting in 2017 was one for the ages, as Barca overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit to win 6-5 on aggregate and reach the quarter-finals. It was a showdown so iconic it’s even got its own Wikipedia page. More of the same this time, please!
Juventus might be struggling to light up Serie A right now, but they’re a different animal in the UEFA Champions League. While all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to his homeland, Porto (who conceded just three goals in the last round) will be looking to keep Juve’s star man and the in-form Alvaro Morata very quiet indeed.
Can Dortmund shake off their poor domestic form and set the UEFA Champions League aflame? With Erling Braut Haaland banging in the goals (he’s got six in this season’s competition) anything is possible. But against a Sevilla side blessed with both grit and flair, they will need to shake off any rust from the first whistle.
New Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel takes charge of the Blues for the first time in Europe, but if there’s one person who will absolutely be wanting to spoil the party it’s Atlético counterpart Diego Simeone. With Madrid en fuego in La Liga, this is sure to be a stern test for the Premier League side.
Move over, because Bayern are in town. Undefeated in the group stage, the reigning champions are still the daddies in this competition. Lazio, who also didn’t lose a game in the last round, have found their groove in Serie A and won’t be pushovers over two legs.
A straightforward waltz into the quarters for Pep Guardiola’s charges? Don’t be so sure, buster. City may not have lost a match in the group stage, but in Borussia Mönchengladbach they’re up against the joint-second highest scorers in the group stage. This tie, which will see the first leg played in Budapest due to COVID-19 restrictions in Germany, could be an attacking free-for-all.
Underestimate Atalanta at your peril. The Italians beat Liverpool in the group phase and almost pipped the Reds to top spot. As for Madrid, it’s hard to know which version will turn up: the silky world-beaters looking for their fifth crown in eight years or the upset-prone gaggle of stars? The Spaniards are favourites, but this tie is anyone’s.
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