Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero

Kevin Palmer

Here is all you need to know about the Champions League this week.


JUVENTUS (0) v ATLETICO MADRID (2) – RTE 2, Virgin Media Sport Extra 1, BT Sport 3

Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t try to hide his annoyance as his Juventus side were soundly beaten in the first leg of this tie in Madrid, with the tactical plan devised by coach Atletico coach Diego Simeone diluting the attacking ambition of the Italian champions.

Now it falls to Ronaldo and his team-mates to plot a route back into the tie, yet rumours of a bust-up between coach Massimiliano Allegri and the Juventus hierarchy that could lead to his imminent exit from the club has not eased tension ahead of a game that will define their season.

One to watch: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)

The former Chelsea striker relishes a battle and with Juve eager to attack in the second leg in Turin, Costa could be the man to snatch a vital away goal.

Verdict: Atletico through to the quarter-finals.


MANCHESTER CITY (3) v SCHALKE (2) – Virgin Media Sport, BT Sport 2

City’s incredible win against Schalke in the first leg came amid a storyline that left their manager Pep Guardiola as baffled as he was elated, with a red card for Nicolas Otamendi and some elongated VAR decisions forgotten amid late goals from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling.

This second leg is likely to be a lot less chaotic, with Bundesliga relegation battlers Schalke unlikely to offer a significant obstacle to a City side emerging as one of the favourites to lift the Champions League trophy in.

One to watch: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

His late winner in the first leg of this tie put City in a dominant position in the tie, with a player who continues to improve now one of the most dangerous wingers in European football.

Verdict: City to ease through to the next round.



BARCELONA (0) v LYON (0) – Virgin Media Sport Extra 1, BT Sport 3

Ajax’s remarkable victory against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last Tuesday should provide Lyon with inspiration as they head into the Nou Camp cauldron with real ambitions to cause another huge upset.

Lyon’s stunning win against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season provided evidence that a team led featuring former Liverpool target Nabil Fekir, ex-Manchester United winger Memphis Depay and former Celtic forward Moussa Dembele will be a threat against Barca.

One to watch: Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

Lionel Messi has carried Barca’s challenge in the Champions League so far, with Suarez aiming to score his first goal in this season’s competition against Lyon on Wednesday.

Verdict: Messi to lead Barca into the last eight.


BAYERN MUNICH (0) v LIVERPOOL (0) – Virgin Media Sport, BT Sport 2

The pressure was mounting on Bayern coach Nico Kovac after his side lost to Bayer Leverkusen to slip seven points behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race at the start of February, but their fortunes have been transformed a little over a month later.

Dortmund’s collapse has coincided with some vital wins for Bayern and after they survived their Anfield examination in the first leg of their clash with Liverpool, confidence is high for the German champions heading into the second leg.

One to watch: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Liverpool’s star man carried them through to last season’s Champions League final and he needs to find his best form now to inspire another night of European glory.

Verdict: Liverpool to draw a blank as Bayern progress.

Online Editors

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