As I mentioned in my previous post, the Champions League Round of 16 will be filled with 8 dramatic and exciting fixtures that I can’t wait to watch. Here is part 2 of my Champions League previews;
Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich sorely lost out on the Champions League trophy last year. Conceding late goals in a cup final can never be pleasing, especially if it’s happened twice already! Bayern will obviously go out with the intent to brush Arsenal out of the way and advance to the next round. This point will be even more reinforced as it will be Bayern boss, Jupp Heynckes’, last year in charge of the four-time European Champions. He will most definitely be looking to go out with a bang.
With this in mind, will Arsenal be able to hold off the likes of Schweinsteiger, Ribery, and Mario Mandzukic?
Arsenal has quality, yes, but does the team possess the winning mentality it once had in the past. Arsenal can beat Bayern, but their top players will have to perform. If the likes of Wilshere, Walcott and Podolski (playing against a previous club) can lead by example, they can do it.
This may come as a surprise to you, but I see Bayern’s main threat coming from Phillip Lahm. Lahm has excellent composure and can take players on with ease down the flanks. He will certainly be attacking, the main threat being his deadly balls into the box. Mandzukic will have a field day in the air if Lahm isn’t stopped.
Arsenal’s main threat has to be Jack Wilshere, no doubt about it. Even at such an adolescent age, Wilshere is already showing signs that he can be a leader and carry his team through the storms of hard battled games. If Wilshere can maintain focus, Arsenal will have a big chance of advancing to the next round.
I’m going for an Arsenal win at home and a Bayern win at the Allainz. I can see this tie going to extra time, but I’m afraid Bayern Munich will come out on top. Sorry Arsenal.
1st Leg: Arsenal 3-1 Bayern Munich
2nd Leg: Bayern Munich* 3-1 Arsenal (4-1 AET)
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund’s league form has dramatically dropped since last year. With losses to rivals Schalke and Bayern, and with a 12 point gap separating the two German Giants, it seems the title is slowly slipping away. Therefore I believe the ‘group of death’ champions will be looking for a positive cup run to soften the hurt of the long-gone title race.
In contrast to Dortmund, Shakhtar have been enjoying their time in the Ukraine Premier League. With a 13 point gap with second-placed Dnipro, Shakhtar Donetsk look set to win their eighth title in the Ukraine.
Dortmund’s attacking approach to the Champions League has often gained them praise. I mean, why wouldn’t they attack with the forwards they have? That’s why I believe Dortmund’s main threat will come from the Reus, Gotze and Lewandowski trio. Having scored 25 goals in Germany between the three already, I see them as the main threat to Shakhtar’s chances of advancement.
This man needs no introduction to the threat he imposes. With interest from many top teams such as Tottenham and Arsenal, he will most definitely become a big deal in world football. That player is none other than Willian Borges Da Silva, or Willian to many.
With two goals against European champions Chelsea, the threat he poses to Dortmund will be duly noted by their coach, Jurgen Klopp.
I believe Dortmund have far too much attacking quality for Shakhtar to withstand. That’s why I am going for a Dortmund win in both ties.
1st Leg: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
2nd Leg: Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
Written by TheFootballSupplement