It’s the final part of the Champions League last 16, as the second legs reach a conclusion this midweek, ahead of Friday’s draw for the Quarter-finals.
The headline game is undoubtedly the second leg of the tie between Chelsea and Barcelona. The Blues had a rather commendable first leg on home soil, but were left to rue an Andreas Christensen error as they conceded a vital away goal to Los Blaugrana. That result means Chelsea have to score at the Nou Camp, or suffer elimination.
Barcelona, meanwhile, haven’t lost at home in all competitions since the Spanish Super Cup in August, and they haven’t suffered a Champions League defeat on their own ground in almost five years. Ernesto Valverde’s side have also reached the last eight of the past 10 Champions League seasons, and will have Lionel Messi back, who missed the weekend victory at Malaga in La Liga, as a result of the birth of his son. But Chelsea’s impressive first leg showing, coupled with the fact that they have previous on this ground, will give Antonio Conte and his London club some positive.
Another English side with quarter-final aims are Manchester United, who haven’t reached that stage since 2014. They host Sevilla on Tuesday, the return leg of a tie that’s still deadlocked and goalless, after their morale-boosting derby win over Liverpool at the weekend.
Sevilla, meanwhile, will take confidence from the fact that they were the better side in the first leg at Sanchez Pizjuan, and only David de Gea prevented them from getting on the score sheet. But Vincenzo Montella will no doubt have rued his side’s failure to make their dominance count, and Los Rojilblancos have failed in all three of the previous last 16 appearances they’ve made, the latest of which was away to an English side, in Leicester City, last season.
Elsewhere, Roma have a 2-1 deficit to overturn as they host Shakhtar Donetsk, who knocked them out at this stage in 2011. The Miners were impressive in that come-from-behind first leg win in Kharkiv three weeks earlier, and Paulo Fonseca’s side will no doubt be confident of making the last eight.
In the final game of the week, it’s all but a forgone conclusion, as Bayern Munich take a 5-0 first leg to Besiktas. Some miracles are just too much of a long shot.
Manchester United v Sevilla
Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk
Besiktas v Bayern Munich
Barcelona v Chelsea