UEFA Champions League 2013: Players Who Will Step Up in 2nd Leg

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UEFA Champions League 2013: Players Who Will Step Up in 2nd Leg
David Ramos/Getty Images
Karim Benzema

As we get set for a full week of second-leg action in the Champions League, let's take a look at the players who will step up to lead their teams to the tournament's quarterfinals. 

It will be a week full of goals, as strikers will be flying left and right to give their teams the advantage. 

Here are the players who will step up in their respective second legs:

 

Lucas Moura

It's time for that goal, Lucas.

The young midfielder has only played nine matches with Paris St. Germain so far and has had plenty of good appearances for PSG thus far. 

The one thing missing? You guessed it: the goal. Lucas has yet to score a single goal in blue. 

What better time to do it then at home, in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16, against a Valencia team that is significantly worse than Paris St. Germain?

We are betting on Lucas' first goal at the Parc des Princes.

 

Robert Lewandowski

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
Robert Lewandowski

You heard about Lewandowski's comeback against Hannover 96, right? When he scored two goals and completely destroyed the opposition?

Lewandowski's suspension was shortened and the striker was able to play in the Bundesliga once again, which only means trouble for Shakhtar Donetsk. The striker took two game days to rest and got his rhythm back in the game vs. Hannover 96. 

With Borussia Dortmund and Shakhtar Donetsk tied up (the first leg ended on a 2-2 draw) and the game to be played at Borussia's stadium, you can bet the home team will charge forward as much as they can.

And who else is going to score for Die Borussen but Lewandowski?

 

Karim Benzema

It's fair to say this week's most awaited game is the showdown between Manchester United and Real Madrid. The two teams tied 1-1 in the Santiago Bernabeu in February and will meet each other once again at Old Trafford on Tuesday. 

Here's a prediction for you: Whoever scores first will win this one. And, lately, in the form that Real Madrid's offense has been in, we are guessing they are going to strike the first blow.

And even if Los Blancos feature offensive juggernauts like Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria, look for Karim Benzema to pick up right where he left off in Real's 2-1 win over Barcelona and score another goal. 

Benzema is that kind of forward that only needs one touch to put the ball in the back of the net. Since Manchester United will be at home, it is very likely they will charge forward with all they can in the early minutes, which will leave some room for a fast Real Madrid counterattack.

And guess who's going to be at the end of that counterattack? Bingo: Karim Benzema.

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