UEFA Champions League Round of 16, Second Leg Previews

UEFA Champions League Round of 16, Second Leg Previews

  • Posted by Geoff Reid
  • On March 16, 2011
  • Geoff Reid, UCL 2010/11

By Geoff Ried

Chelsea vs Kobenhavn from Stamford bridge, London (Chelsea lead 2-0 on agg.)

After going through what looked like a rough patch, Chelsea seem to have found their winning mentality again although it is a little too late domestically in the Premiership. However, we all know that owner Roman Abramovich’s main aim has always been the Champions League, and with one foot already in the quarter finals, they should be in the draw for the last eight later tonight. In fact, manager Calro Ancelotti credits the first leg win in Copenhagen to what seems to have turned around their season, and giving the confidence to beat Manchester United in league play. Record signing Fernando Torres is still yet to find the back of the net for his new club, but tonight’s game should be the perfect time to do so.

Kobenhavn manager Stale Solbakken is under no illusion, and realizes his side needs a miracle or two to advance to what would be the clubs greatest achievement. For some reason the Danish champions have not been at their best since the return from winter break and that’s partly due to injuries, and also mentally confidence has been lost and a big reason for that was losing to Chelsea at home 2-0 in the first leg. The team has been in this situation once before, and they ended up beating Ajax 2-0 at the Amsterdam Arena so they will go for it.

For the west London side, Carlo Ancelotti has a full squad to choose from after Alex and Yossi Beanayoun have returned from long layoffs, but probably won’t make this match day squad. Jon Obi Mickel is one yellow card away from suspension should the blues advance. For Kobenhavn, Mikael Antonsson will go through a last minute fitness test after picking up an injury that prevented him from playing at the weekend. He’ll be needed due to the suspension of Zdenek Pospech. Dame N’Doye is also one yellow away from suspension.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Kobenhavn (Chelsea advances 5-1 on agg.)

Real Madrid vs Lyon from the Bernabeu, Madrid (1-1 on agg.)

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is counting on the fans of the home side to show up and be their 12th man if they are to overcome Lyon after losing in the last 16 of Champions League a year ago to the same club. With Cristiano Ronaldo returning, all guns should be blazing for the galacticos. With the club underachieving the last number of years, especially in this competition, this is why Mourinho was brought in and where he earns his hefty paycheck and he knows it. With an away goal already in the bag, don’t expect the all whites to come out and play openly because it’s not Mourinho’s style, especially being all square on aggregate.

For Lyon, they’ve been in this situation before a year ago needed to go to the Bernabeu and score and did so and won. Striker Lisandro is now hitting top form ahead of this one by scoring four goals in two games and the team playing well having only lost once in 20 league games since October. At that time they were sitting in 18th place in Ligue 1, but now after going on that run, they are now in third.

While Ronaldo should make the match squad for this one, players for Real Madrid are still out indefinitely. Pedro Leon, Fernando Gago, Gonzalo Higuain, and Kaka are all out injured, but Sami Khedira and Ezequiel Garay were back on the bench at the weekend. Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Raul Alboil, and Angel Di Maria are all one yellow card away from suspension.

Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 Lyon (Real Madrid advance 3-2 on agg.)