Champions League Bracket 2013-14: Fixtures and Predictions for Round of 16

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2013

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 28:  Lionel Messi (L) of FC Barcelona and his team-mate Neymar look on during the warm up prior to the Spanish Super Cup second leg match between FC Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid at Nou Camp on August 28, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

With the UEFA Champions League group stage complete, the Round of 16 is on the horizon as a handful of top-flight clubs prepare for the knockout stage.

Monday's draw set the stage for several intriguing matchups, but only two stand out above all the rest. 

Manchester City vs. Barcelona and Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich are both guaranteed to produce plenty of fireworks. What's more, two contenders are sure to be heading home before the quarterfinal draw in March as a result.

With the Round of 16 matchups set, here we'll take a closer look at the upcoming fixtures as well as my early predictions for which eight squads will advance to the next round.

Champions League Round of 16 Fixtures
Feb. 18Bayer LeverkusenParis Saint-GermainBayArena
Feb. 18Manchester CityBarcelonaEtihad Stadium
Feb. 19AC MilanAtletico MadridSan Siro
Feb. 19ArsenalBayern MunichEmirates Stadium
Feb. 25Zenit St. PetersburgBorussia DortmundPetrovski Stadium
Feb. 25OlympiakosManchester UnitedKaraiskakis Stadium
Feb. 26GalatasarayChelseaTurk Telekom Arena
Feb. 26Schalke 04Real MadridVeltins Arena
March 11Atletico MadridAC MilanVicente Calderon
March 11Bayern MunichArsenalAllianz Arena
March 12BarcelonaManchester CityCamp Nou
March 12Paris Saint-GermainBayer LeverkusenParc des Princes
March 18ChelseaGalatasarayStamford Bridge
March 18Real MadridSchalke 04Santiago Bernabeu
March 19Borussia DortmundZenit St. PetersburgSignal Iduna Park
March 19Manchester UnitedOlympiakosOld Trafford
Round of 16 Predictions
Paris Saint-GermainBayer Leverkusen7-3
BarcelonaManchester City6-5
Atletico MadridAC Milan4-1
Bayern MunichArsenal5-4
Borussia DortmundZenit St. Petersburg5-2
Manchester UnitedOlympiakos5-3
Real MadridSchalke 046-2

Barcelona Over Manchester City

ALMERIA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 28:  Lionel Messi (L) celebrates with Cesc Fabregas after scoring FC Barcelona's opening goal during the La Liga match between UD Almeria and FC Barcelona on September 28, 2013 in Almeria, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Ima
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

While Manchester City have been one of the world's most explosive squads this season, the Citizens are sure to cool off against Barcelona, who are renowned for their ability to dominate possession and dictate tempo regardless of where they play.

Plus, with Lionel Messi set to return to the lineup early next year, Barca boast the firepower to finish in the final third and expose City's many flaws at the back.

Watch for Barca to dominate the ball, create high-percentage scoring chances and neutralize City's attack in both legs en route to another quarterfinal berth. Neymar is the X-factor for the reigning Spanish champions, and assuming he continues to take on a larger role, Gerardo Martino's squad is sure to be marching on to the last eight.


Bayern Munich Over Arsenal

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Franck Ribery of Bayern Muenchen in action during the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty I
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

In what's sure to be another thrilling and hard-fought matchup, Bayern Munich will battle Arsenal, who have been surprising thus far as the Premier League leaders through 16 matches.

But while the Gunners have played well over the first few months of the season, capitalizing on their chances and playing sound in front of goal, they lack the weapons Bayern boast. The reigning Champions League winners possess a wealth of individual talent, especially up front where Arsenal are lacking. 

With FIFA Ballon d'Or finalist Franck Ribery leading the way, Bayern will likely be too explosive for Arsenal, who will be at a disadvantage playing the all-important second leg on the road in Munich. 

Advancing certainly won't be easy for the German giants, but Arsenal's loss to Napoli, which cost them the top spot in Group F, is likely to haunt them until next year.


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