The second leg encounters for the champions league round of 16 kicks off on Tuesday with some exciting games coming up:
Arsenal Vs Ac milan
First leg 4-0 C Victory to Milan
After a rather crushing and bitter defeat at the San siro stadium, Milan Italy (4-0),Arsenal welcome Ac Milan facing a Mountainous task to overturn this heavy defeat.
From a first view it seems a lost battle but after the Recent overturn against Tottenham hotspurs the Gunners must fancy their chances of coming off this game with something. For those unaware, Arsenal were two goals down and came back to emphatically beat Harry Redknapp's Tottenham Hotspur 5-2.
In football everything is possible but with all due respect, Ac Milan is not Tottenham Hotspur defensively, hence I feel an Arsenal elimination is at hand!
Benfica vs Zenit
First leg 3-2 Victory for Zenit
Some shady goalkeeping by the reserve goalkeeper for Zenit gratified Benfica two goals but Zenit showed so much resilience and great team play to overcome this Talented Benfica side. This is a very open encounter and could easily swing either way, but Benfica will fancy their chances playing at home in front of their fanatical fans.
Lately they have suffered their first two defeats of the season, first to Zenit and the second just days later in the local championship. It Would be a very unwelcome time to be experiencing the normal dip in form of the season.
For Zenit,for a club that had gone practically more than two months without a competitive league game below their belt (due to the annual weather invoked league break in Russi) Zenit showed that the 8 friendly games they had played before the first leg encounter were enough to be very competitive. The coach, Spaletti, seems to have his team in the right direction.
They have to be at their best anyway to beat this Benfica side that has won 15 of their last 19 home games and topped the preliminary group that had Legendary Manchester United and the surprisingFc Basel side with relative ease! It points to a very probable victory for Benfica, just football is not statistics!
I take a joker on this prediction!
Barcelona vs Leverkusen
Barcelona Vs Bayer Leverkusen: first leg 3-1 Barça victory
Barcelona practically played as if it was a practice match when they visited Leverkusen for the 1st leg. With the La Liga title largely slipping off their hands in favour of Real Madrid, thisgreat team's only means of crowning this season as another remarkable one is to win the champions league. Leverkusen have been doing quite well lately in the Bundesliga Germany, but In a stadium much longer and wider than the Leverkusen one like the Nou Camp ,compact defending would be Difficult for the Germans and with the possible absence of defender Abidal and Xavi back in the team we could see a shower of goals in this encounter! I see Barcelona comfortably sailing through.
Apoel vs Lyon
First leg victory to Lyon 1-0 .
History making Apoel welcome Lyon. Who could have thought these ever possible just months ago and The Ivan Jovanovich?s side do not seem to be satiated by their historic champion?s league second round qualification, they earned a well fought out 0-1 away defeat in the hands of Lyon and hence keeping the dream much alive.
Lyon is clear historic favorites to qualify, but their away record is not very shinny of late. Winning just one of their last 7 previous European away fixtures. 7-0 in Zagreb in a very suspect game!
The pressure is on Lyon and I expect the whole Cyprus to come out to support their pride bringing Apoel to success. Apoel should capitalize on this euphoria and play without pressure but ambition and they could just be on the way to writing a new page in champion?s league history.
All said it's time for them to play and for us to sit back watch and enjoy!