Four English teams make up last eight this season which is a real achievement and we already know that at least one side will make the semi-finals, but how will the first legs go?
As is the norm I’ve made a few predictions (which will probably put the knackers on them all)…
Roma vs. Manchester United (Tuesday).These two clubs always seem to be drawn together so there was a real air of inevitability when they were paired this year as well. With a bit of luck all of the attention will be centred on activities taking place on the field this year though, where I expect United’s strong attack-minded players to take an away goal back to Old Trafford. My prediction: Roma 1 Man Utd 1.
Schalke 04 vs. Barcelona (Tuesday).Barcelona are overwhelming favourites for this one, which will suit the Germans just fine. Over two legs I’d back Barca to progress, but Schalke will give them a real battle. My prediction: Schalke 2 Barca 1.
Arsenal vs. Liverpool (Wednesday). It’s the game we’ve all been waiting for. The Gunners’ comeback against Bolton at the weekend was vital to restore some confidence after a few disappointing results. For some reason Liverpool always play better in Europe than the Premier League so I’m really looking forward to this one. My prediction: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0.
Fenerbahce vs. Chelsea (Wednesday). The Turks will need to capitalize on their home form if they are to progress, but I think Chelsea’s tight defence will hold firm. Coupled with the fact that Chelsea are notoriously dull in Europe – and away from home in particular – I can only see this game going one way. My prediction: Fenerbahce 0 Chelsea 0.