For any football fan, this is a very exciting time of year as it means that the Champions League is in full swing. Having begun on 21st June 2022, this competition runs to 10th June 2022 and people are currently anticipating the Round of 16 beginning in February.
The Round of 16
Spectators can look forward to a jam-packed schedule with AC Milan vs Tottenham and PSG vs Bayern Munich on February 14th, Club Brugge vs Benfica and Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea on February 15th, Liverpool vs Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli on February 21sth as well as RB Leipzig vs Manchester City and Inter Milan vs FC Porto on February 22nd concluding the first leg of Round 16.
The second leg will kick off with Benfica vs Club Brugge and Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund on March 7th, Tottenham vs AC Milan and Bayern Munich vs PSG on March 8th, Manchester City vs RB Leipzig and FC Porto vs Inter Milan on March 14 and Real Madrid vs Liverpool with Napoli vs Eintracht Frankfurt concluding the second leg on March 15th.
Champions League Favourites
With some incredible clashes to look forward to, all of the excitement will culminate in the The UEFA Champions League 2022-23 final which is set to take place on June 10th, 2023, at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.
In fact, people already have an idea about who will win, and odds have already emerged about certain teams. Premier league team Manchester City are the current favourites to win the title, the team are yet to the win the Champions league so this will be their first time if they can make it all the way. They are closely followed by Bayern Munich and PSG who are also favorites to win. Last year’s winners, Real Madrid are currently 5th favourite just behind 2019’s winners, Liverpool.
Several new online sports betting sites have bonuses and promotions on offer for new punters who wish to place a bet on the upcoming Champions league matches.
Chelsea Take on Dortmund
One of the teams trying to replace Real Madrid who are currently holding the title of the 2021/22 Champions League is Chelsea. The Blues are set to head to Germany and play Dortmund in the final round of 16 on Wednesday 15th February and then play again at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday 7th March.
Chelsea and Dortmund have never faced each other in the Champions League so this will be the first time the teams go head-to-head.
With these upcoming matches it will be difficult to know who will win as although Chelsea has a fair squad with exceptional players, they are not currently performing to the level that they should be. Head coach Graham Potter could find it difficult to regroup his team due to numerous injuries. However, Chelsea’s new January signings Fernandez, Mudryk and Joao Felix are likely to make the starting 11, and hopefully lead Chelsea to victory.
After the draw with West Ham on Saturday, Potter believes his Chelsea side have the capability to beat Dortmund but says the game will not be easy and that the team will need to head to Dortmund with respect and try to get the result. He has also commented that he does not think it is valuable to look past the final 16 and take each game as it comes.
Chelsea fans will be hoping to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League as the team currently sit mid-table of the Premier League with qualifications for next seasons European competitions looking unlikely.
Chelsea have won the Champions League twice, in 2012 and most recently in 2021. Dortmund have only won the Champions League once back in 1997. We will have to wait in anticipation for which team will progress to the next round.
Final 16 Matches
Asides from Chelsea and Dortmund, of the closest final 16 matches to call is those between Bayern and PSG who are among the main favorites for gaining the ultimate title. These two teams both have high quality players as PSG have one of the best attacking lines in world football, with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and recent World Cup winner Lionel Messi leading their line.
However, as PSG has been defeated in every UCL match so far and Bayern Munich have truly taken off in terms of scoring goals many think that they will be the team to progress and knock PSG out of the running as one of those teams will not reach the quarterfinals.
Indeed, since the start of the season both Liverpool and Real Madrid haven’t quite found their footing yet. The match should be fairly even, however simply due to Liverpool’s excellent performance when playing against teams such as Arsenal and Manchester City they are predicted to progress.
There is also a high level of bewilderment when it comes to the upcoming matches between AC Milan and Tottenham. However, Antonio Conte has made some risky decisions that could cost his team the title which is why AC Milan is predicted to progress out of the two.
With Club Brugge taking on Benfica on the other hand, Benfica is predicted to win as they have not yet been defeated this season in official matches and along with PSG have not yet suffered a loss, giving them the upper hand when facing their opponent.
It is thought that Manchester City will also progress against Leipzig and are the biggest favourites to win the entire League. Erling Haaland is their biggest asset, as he demonstrated with the fact that he now holds the record for the most goals scored at the Etihad Stadium in a single Premier League season.
In conclusion, with Chelsea sitting in ninth position in the Premier League leader board, tensions are high when it comes to the Round of 16 fast approaching. With the upcoming Chelsea vs Dortmund game being just one of the many matches to look forward to, the coming weeks should be an exciting time for football fans.