Champions League – 16-17 February Preview

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The knockout stages of this seasons Champions League competition get underway this week, with some games being played at neutral venues. Here, we preview the first legs of the opening ties.

Barcelona v Paris SG

Two of the biggest names in Europe meet in the first leg of a glamorous tie as Barcelona host Paris SG at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona could only finish second in Group G after a final game defeat against Juventus. Prior to that, Barca were unbeaten, having won five out of five group games, including a 2-0 win over Juventus in Turin.

Paris SG won Group H, although they did finish on the same number of points as RB Leipzig. Although PSG lost their opening group game 3-1 against Manchester United, they won four of their next five games, including a 5-1 hammering of Basaksehir to claim the group.

Barcelona have shared their goals around the team so far in the competition, with Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite each scoring three times; whilst Neymar will be hoping to add to his tally of six UCL goals this season for PSG.

RB Leipzig v Liverpool

RB Leipzig and Liverpool meet at the neutral venue of the Puskas Arena in Budapest, where the second leg of this tie will also be played.

RB Leipzig just missed out on winning Group H, despite being beaten 5-0 by Manchester United during the group stages. However, they edged out the Red Devils 3-2 at home to claim the runners up spot and send United crashing out of the competition.

Liverpool will arrive with some uncertainty surrounding the future of manager Jurgen Klopp. Domestically they are struggling to defend their Premier League title but won Group D thanks to four wins and a draw from their six group games.

FC Porto v Juventus

Porto welcome Juventus to the Estádio do Dragão for what should be an interesting first leg of this tie.

Porto finished as runners-up in Group C behind Manchester City, but held the current Premier League leaders to a 0-0 draw in December. They also enjoyed comfortable wins over Marseille and Olympiacos to progress comfortably to the knockout stages.

Despite losing 2-0 at home against Barcelona, Juventus won their other five group games to win Group G. Cristiano Ronaldo has chipped in with four goals during this UCL campaign, but it is his teammate, Alvaro Morata, who is the tournaments joint highest scorer with six goals so far.

Sevilla v Borussia Dortmund

There is another intriguing fixture taking place at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán as Sevilla host Borussia Dortmund.

Sevilla comfortably qualified for the knockout stages as runners-up in Group E behind Chelsea. A 4-0 home defeat to the Blues cost them their chance of winning the group but four wins from six games once enough to see them progress.

Dortmund won Group F ahead of Lazio thanks to four wins and a draw from their six games. In Erling Haaland they have the joint highest scorer in the tournament amongst their ranks and he’ll be hoping to add to that tally to set up a second leg that the German side will be confident of winning.

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