February will see the return of the 2022 UEFA Champions League as the best 16 teams from the Group Stages will now go on to compete in the first knockout round of the tournament.
Of course, this stage is just the first of four stages that a team will need to successfully navigate if they are to replicate what Chelsea had managed to do in last season’s competition: reach the final and lift the trophy to be crowned the Champions of Europe.
Naturally, it will be rather hard for any team to be able to achieve this as there are no easy games when it comes down to the competition, especially as each stage between now and the final is scheduled to be played across two legs, as teams will compete at home and away.
Everyone will likely have made a prediction about who they believe will be the favorite to conquer the tournament and be crowned champions, however it would seem that Manchester City are amongst those as the sportsbook Unibet Sports has made them the standalone favorites. Pep Guardiola’s side, who are yet to win the competition, edge out the likes of Bayern Munich and English duo Liverpool and Chelsea.
What matches will take place?
As mentioned, the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 will not kick off until February, with the first leg matches scheduled to take place over the 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd of the month. The second leg ties will then commence in March, with teams playing across the 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th.
The Round of 16 looks like this (with the first leg being outlined):
- Paris Saint-Germain vs Real Madrid
- Sporting Lisbon vs Manchester City
- RB Salzburg vs Bayern Munich
- Inter Milan vs Liverpool
- Chelsea vs LOSC Lille
- Villarreal vs Juventus
- Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United
- Benfica vs Ajax
Naturally, the winners of each respective tie after two legs will then progress to the next stage of the UEFA Champions League, where the eight teams will then compete against each other in the quarter-finals.
Interesting matches ahead to look forward to
Indeed, the competition is known around the world as being the very best that the sport has to offer at club level, with elite teams continuing to square off against each other for the biggest prize possible.
Unsurprisingly, when taking a look at the ties to have been drawn, there are a number of interesting fixtures to have been made that will intrigue each and every football fan that watches the competition.
One fixture that immediately jumps right out is the meeting that will take place in France on February 15 between Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. The two teams are amongst the behemoths of European football and both will be vying for glory in the competition.
The Spanish outfit are serial winners of the competition and have been able to win it a record 13 times in their history, whilst the Parisians are still aiming to capture their first-ever title and will be hoping the likes of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar can help guide them to silverware under Mauricio Pochettino.
Additionally, Inter vs Liverpool will see two top sides competing with other clubs in the competition likely to be pleased that one of these will be eliminated at this stage, which could have the same said about Atletico Madrid’s encounter with Manchester United.
What should we expect?
Making predictions about what might happen on the football pitch is an enjoyable pastime for many sports bettors, with thousands of enthusiasts likely to place a wager on what they think will happen once these ties have been concluded.
However, what could be expected and which teams are likely to get through to the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals once March is over?
The match between PSG and Real Madrid is going to be the hardest to predict, but it might be wise to go with the French outfit on this occasion given the firepower that they boast, whilst there should be wins for Manchester City and Bayern Munich.
Liverpool will likely edge past Inter in their encounter but it will likely be close, whilst Chelsea should continue their defense of the title with a victory over LOSC Lille. Juventus should see off Villarreal, whilst Atletico Madrid will likely overcome Manchester United, whilst Ajax could defeat Benfica in the final Round of 16 bracket.