CL last 16: Will Man City and Chelsea progress?

It is another busy week of Champions League action as the remaining matches in the last 16 take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Who will make it to the quarter-finals?

Man City vs Borussia Monchengladbach (agg 2-0), Tuesday 8pm

The Premier League leaders boast a two-goal advantage against their Bundesliga opponents ahead of the ‘home’ game in Budapest, but Pep Guardiola will be taking nothing for granted in a competition that has thrown up some unwelcome surprises for his team over the years.

Team news

The City boss rested a number of key men at the weekend against Fulham with Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan among the unused substitutes, while Raheem Sterling was excluded from the squad at Craven Cottage. Expect him to go strong here.

What happened last time

The first leg of this tie – also played in Budapest – was a one-sided affair in which City were able to keep Gladbach at arm’s length after goals from Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus.

Bernardo Silva gestures to his team-mates after scoring Man City's opening against Borussia Monchengladbach
Bernardo Silva opened the scoring for Man City against Gladbach

What has happened since

City’s run of 21 consecutive wins came to an end in the derby defeat to Manchester United, but they have since shown that to be a blip with big wins over Southampton and Fulham.

Gladbach, so poor in the first leg, have endured a dismal run of results, also losing all four of their matches since then, falling into the bottom half of the Bundesliga following the news that coach Marco Rose is leaving for Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season.

Key stats

  • Manchester City are unbeaten in their five games against Borussia Monchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League (W4 D1), scoring at least two goals in each of their four victories.
  • Since beating Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 and 4-0 in consecutive Champions League games in the group stage, Borussia Monchengladbach have lost three in a row and failed to score in the most recent two.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored 19 goals in 28 Champions League games during Pep Guardiola’s time in charge – if he finds the net in this game, he would equal Thomas Muller (20) and trail only Lionel Messi (43) for most goals scored in the competition under Guardiola.

Real Madrid vs Atalanta (agg 1-0), Tuesday 8pm

Ferland Mendy scored the winner for Real Madrid against Atalanta
Ferland Mendy scored the winner for Real Madrid against Atalanta

Real Madrid are looking to progress to the quarter-finals for the first time in three seasons after falling at this hurdle in each of the previous two campaigns but they are well placed to go through against Atalanta after winning the first leg 1-0 in Italy.

The Serie A side – quarter-finalists last time around – were reduced to 10 men in that game and with a quota Gian Piero Gasperini’s entertaining side will be confident of scoring the away goal that could set nerves jangling in the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday evening.

Team news

Madrid are likely to be without Marcelo, Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola and Mariano Diaz through injury, while key midfielder Casemiro is suspended for this one too.

But the big news for Madrid was the return to fitness of iconic captain Sergio Ramos for the weekend win over Elche and the 34-year-old defender will expect to lead them out again.

Remo Freuler will not be available for Atalanta following his red card in the first leg. They could turn to Mario Pasalic who was left out for that one but scored twice at the weekend.

What happened last time

Atalanta were good value for a result in Bergamo but there was a sting in the tail for the Italian side when the 13-time champions of Europe scored late on. Ferland Mendy’s 86th-minute goal leaves Madrid well placed to progress going into the second leg.

What has happened since

Zinedine Zidane’s side remain unbeaten since but only thanks to this continuing knack for late goals. Vinicius equalised in the 89th minute against Real Sociedad, while Karim Benzema levelled it up in the 88th minute against Atletico Madrid in the derby.

The French forward had to score twice late on to turn it around against Elche so Atalanta will be hopeful of scoring the first goal – something that they have managed in winning three of their four matches since the first leg, scoring 10 times in the process.

Key stats

  • Real Madrid have progressed from eight of their last nine Champions League knockout ties when they have won the first leg away from home. However, the one time they were eliminated in this run came at this exact stage in 2019 when they were beaten 4-1 by Ajax.
  • In fact, Real Madrid are winless in their last four home games in the knockout stages of the Champions League, including defeats in each of the last two. They have never previously lost three consecutive home games in the knockouts of the European Cup or Champions League.
  • Atalanta are on the longest current run of away victories of any team in the Champions League, having won each of their last five. They have scored 14 goals across these five games, while keeping four clean sheets in the process.

Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid (agg 1-0), Wednesday 8pm

Olivier Giroud scores with an overhead kick against Atletico Madrid
Olivier Giroud scored with an overhead kick against Atletico Madrid

Olivier Giroud’s spectacular overhead kick separated the sides in Bucharest, giving Chelsea a valuable one-goal advantage over Atletico Madrid heading back to Stamford Bridge.

But Diego Simeone’s side are La Liga leaders for a reason and make for dangerous opponents on English soil – as Premier League champions Liverpool found out last year.

Team news

Chelsea are likely to be without Tammy Abraham and Thiago Silva again because of injury but the bigger issue for Thomas Tuchel is likely to be his suspended midfield duo.

Mason Mount and Jorginho were both booked in the first leg and are unavailable at Stamford Bridge which will leave Chelsea reliant on N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.

Atletico were without key players Jose Gimenez and Yannick Carrasco for the first leg because of injury but both have since returned to full fitness and are available to play.

England international Kieran Trippier was also absent for the first game while serving a suspension for a breach of betting regulations but he is also expected to start.

What happened last time

Atletico were their usual awkward selves in the first encounter but struggled to get much going in the final third of the pitch and Chelsea were deserved winners. Tuchel’s team were typically solid at the back and produced the game’s one moment of magic through Giroud.

What has happened since

Tuchel is still unbeaten as Chelsea coach following his arrival in late January. In fact, his team have not even conceded since the first leg, beating Liverpool at Anfield in that run.

Atletico are also unbeaten but have been slightly less convincing. They will have been disappointed to concede a late equaliser in the Madrid derby and were held to a goalless draw away to Getafe at the weekend as their grip on the Spanish title continues to weaken.

Key stats

  • Atletico Madrid have lost three UEFA Champions League matches against Chelsea, their joint-most against an opponent along with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
  • In their history in European competition, Chelsea have never been eliminated in a two-legged knockout tie after winning the first leg away from home (progressed from all 13).
  • Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is averaging a goal every 38 minutes in the UEFA Champions League this season, the best ratio in a season of any player to play at least 200 minutes that season in the competition’s history.

Bayern Munich vs Lazio (agg 4-1), Wednesday 8pm

Robert Lewandowski celebrates after opening the scoring for Bayern Munich against Lazio
Robert Lewandowski celebrates after opening the scoring for against Lazio

The reigning European champions were in imperious form in the first leg and have all but secured their place in the quarter-finals already barring an outrageous comeback by Lazio.

Team news

Bayern remain without Corentin Tolisso, Douglas Costa and Tanguy Nianzou through injury and are unlikely to risk David Alaba after he missed the weekend game with a knock.

Lazio, with the focus having shifted to domestic matters, could rest players of their own for the trip to Munich and will be without Manuel Lazzari and Luis Felipe due to injury.

What happened last time

Bayern overpowered their Italian opponents in the Stadio Olimpico with first-half goals from Robert Lewandowski, Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane. When Francesco Acerbi put through his own net soon after the interval, a rout looked likely but Joaquin Correa did pull one back.

What has happened since

Lazio’s defeat was followed by two further losses away to Bologna and Juventus – their worst run of results all season – but a late winner against Crotone marked a return to form.

Bayern, meanwhile, roll relentlessly on, putting five past Cologne, scoring four times against Borussia Dortmund in the der Klassiker and then winning 3-1 away to Werder Bremen.

Key stats

  • Bayern Munich are hosting Lazio for the first time in European competition. None of the last 21 sides facing Bayern away from home for the first time in the European Cup or Champions League have won (W20 D1).
  • Lazio have only won one of their last 15 away games in the Champions League (D5 L9) and are winless in the last eight in this run (D4 L4). Their last away win in the competition was back in September 2003, winning 2-0 away at Besiktas in the group stage.
  • No side in the history of the European Cup or Champions League has ever progressed from a knockout tie after losing the first leg by three or more goals at home – prior to this season, that has occurred on 88 occasions with all 88 sides being eliminated.

Champions League key dates

Quarter-final and semi-final draws: March 19

Quarter-finals first legs: April 6/7

Quarter-finals second legs: April 13/14

Semi-finals first legs: April 27/28

Semi-finals second legs: May 4/5

Final: May 29 (Atatürk Olympic Stadium)


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