Champions League 2014 Round of 16: Predicting Quarterfinalists After First Leg

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Champions League 2014 Round of 16: Predicting Quarterfinalists After First Leg
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Bayern Munich hold a two-goal advantage of Arsenal after the first leg.

There are plenty of huge names left in the mix for the Champions League quarter-finals this season.

All of Europe's major leagues could be represented in the last eight of the competition, but there could still be one or two big surprises, with Olympiakos holding a two-goal advantage over Manchester United.

If Atletico Madrid hold on to their 1-0 lead against AC Milan to qualify, that will see three La Liga sides in the quarter-finals and no teams from Serie A.

Below I have predicted the teams likely to make it through to the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.

Champions League 2014 Round of 16: Predicting Quarterfinalists After First Leg
Fixture First-Leg score Date Of Second Leg Predicted Winner
Atletico Madrid vs. AC Milan 0-1 to Atletico March 11 Atletico Madrid
Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal 0-2 to Bayern March 11 Bayern Munich
Barcelona vs. Manchester City 0-2 to Barcelona March 12 Barcelona
PSG vs. Bayer Leverkusen 0-4 to PSG March 12 PSG
Chelsea vs. Galatasaray 1-1 March 18 Chelsea
Real Madrid vs. Schalke 1-6 to Real Madrid March 18 Real Madrid
Borussia Dortmund vs. Zenit 2-4 to Dortmund March 19 Dortmund
Manchester United vs. Olympiakos 2-0 to Olympiakos March 19 Olympiakos

BBC Sport

 

Frank Augstein/Associated Press
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice for PSG as they beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-0.

Certainties

An impressive 4-0 win away to Bayer Leverkusen means that Paris Saint-Germain are all but certain to make it through to the last eight. The form of star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as shown in the tweet below, also means they could score many more in the return leg at the Parc des Princes:

The manner of PSG's first-leg victory will give them confidence at the prospect of facing one of Europe's big boys including Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid or Borussia Dortmund who also look likely to get through.

Bayern Munich and Barcelona's two away goals will be valuable commodities as they play in front of their own fans. Both have only lost at home once in all competitions this season and are experts at keeping the ball.

Their opponents, Arsenal and Manchester City, who have both never won the competition, will have to score early to set the nerves jangling in their opposition. However, the European pedigree of Bayern and Barca, who have won the title nine times between them, will see them through.

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press
Gerardo Martino's Barcelona side are likely to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals.

Borussia Dortmund showed no nerves when they racked up four away goals at Zenit to win 4-2. Although they have been inconsistent in the Bundesliga and had injury problems, as reported by the Associated Press, via Yahoo, Jurgen Klopp's team have performed well in Europe overall and won't slip up at the Westfalenstadion.

Finally, much like PSG, Real Madrid can be considered through to the quarter-finals after a one-sided, and frankly humiliating, 6-1 away win against Schalke which included braces for Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale

Carlo Baroncini/Associated Press
AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf won the Champions League three times as a player.

Tight battles

AC Milan gave Atletico Madrid enough scares in the first-leg to show that the tie isn't over, despite the Spanish side holding a 1-0 advantage.

Kaka went extremely close several times for Clarence Seedorf's side, and with Champions League football unlikely next seasoncurrently ninth in Serie AMilan will not exit the tournament without a fight.

Mario Balotelli, Kaka and Seedorf have all won the competition and have enough experience to try and turn things around.

Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press
Olympiakos shocked Manchester United to win 2-0 in the Champions League last-16.

Manchester United must also rely on their experienced heads to help them out when they face Olympiakos at Old Trafford. David Moyes had barely tasted Champions League football before this season, but Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra are all seasoned pros in the competition and reached three finals, winning one, between 2008 and 2011.

James Ducker, a reporter for The Times, claimed that the defeat in Athens was the club's worst performance of the season:

They must now step up and help guide the club through to the next round, as like Milan, United may not be in the Champions League next season.

Chelsea's 1-1 draw away to Galatasaray leaves that tie wide open and Roberto Mancini's side should not be underestimated at Stamford Bridge.

With talented players like Wesley Sneijder and especially former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba in their side, they remain in with a chance to progress.

Chelsea are a young side and their lack of a striker is a worry, but as shown by WhoScored, their defence remains a major strength:

This allied with the experience and nous of Jose Mourinho makes them favourites to make it through.

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