UEFA Champions League

Champions League Last 16 Upset Watch: 3 Teams with the Best Chance of a Shock

Dan ColasimoneContributor IFebruary 17, 2014

Champions League Last 16 Upset Watch: 3 Teams with the Best Chance of a Shock

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    After what has seemed like an eternal wait for football fans, the Champions League gets going again this week when the round of 16 commences.

    There are already a handful of sides that are the clear favorites to progress to the latter stages of the tournament, with the usual suspects such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea anticipated to have a serious tilt at the title.

    But can any of the big names be knocked out before the competition even reaches the quarter-final stages?

    Here, we take a look at three teams that have a decent chance of upsetting their more fancied opponents.

Olympiakos

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    Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press

    Greek side Olympiakos might be taking on one of the Champions League's most prestigious clubs in Manchester United, but they may consider themselves fortunate to be playing the English champions while they're at their lowest ebb in many years.

    David Moyes' team are still heavy favorites to progress to the next round, but if Olympiakos can put them under pressure throughout the two-legged tie, there is always a chance that United's apparent lack of confidence at present could come into play.

    The Greek reigning champs have opened up a massive 20-point lead at the top of the Super League, and despite losing star striker Konstantinos Mitroglou to Fulham in the January transfer window, they still boast potential match-winners such as Javier Saviola and Joel Campbell.

    Manchester United, meanwhile, sit a lowly seventh in the Premier League, where they have lost eight times already this season. Meanwhile, their manager is inexperienced at guiding a team in this competition.

    Make no mistake, the English team should come through this clash and continue their European run, especially considering their promising form during the group stage.

    But the Greeks will consider themselves a chance of causing a major upset.

Galatasaray

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Legendary Chelsea forward Didier Drogba will be hoping to shock his former employers when his Galatasaray side faces up against the Blues in the round of 16.

    Under Jose Mourinho, Chelsea have once again emerged as a formidable force in England and Europe, but the Turkish side are unlikely to prove easy opponents.

    With Roberto Mancini on the bench, Wesley Sneijder pulling the strings in midfield and Drogba and Burak Yilmaz lurking up front, Gala pose a clear and present danger to the Chelsea back line. 

    The fact that the English side are currently engaged in a three-way fight for the league title could also work in Galatasaray's favor, though they are involved in a domestic dogfight themselves.

    A famous, if controversial, win over Juventus in the group stages reinforced the old cliche about the Turk Telekom Arena being an extremely difficult place to earn a result, so Mourinho and his brain trust will need to be at their best to ensure their side's progression.

     

Manchester City

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    One of the richest clubs in the world, Manchester City, will nonetheless go into their round of 16 tie as the underdogs against a side with an impressive European pedigree.

    On paper at least, City look like they have the firepower to beat almost any other team in the world, but a poor Champions League record to this point means that their opponents, Barcelona, are still the favorites to go through.

    There are fascinating matchups all over the field in this clash with Barcelona's slight edge coming from the fact they have won this tournament three times in the last eight years and that they have arguably the world's best player, Lionel Messi, on their books.

    Unfortunately for Manuel Pellegrini's side, Messi appears to be coming back into his best form after a recent injury layoff.

    Nevertheless, if City can find a way to contain the Argentine, the contest looks like it could be relatively close-fought.

    The English side will need a few things to go there way, but a surprise victory is not out of the question.

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