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Champions League Round of 16 predictions for PSG, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and more in 2023 UEFA tournament

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Following an extended gap between the group stage and the knockout stage thanks to the 2022 World Cup, the UEFA Champions League returns with the Round of 16 this week.

Many of the top teams across Europe, such as Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea get going this week, while Manchester City, Napoli, Liverpool, and Real Madrid all take the field next week.

With some of the teams struggling in domestic action, the Champions League provides much-needed respite from the doldrums of league play and provides an outlet for the clubs to refocus their attention elsewhere. The likes of PSG, Tottenham, and Chelsea all desperately need a positive result to bolster their push back home, while dropped points could deepen the wounds.

Here’s an in-depth look at each of the four matchups this week as the Round of 16 first legs get under way. This writeup will be updated with next week’s matches following the conclusion of these four games.

MORE: Lionel Messi injury update | Will Kylian Mbappe play vs. Bayern?

PSG vs Bayern Munich

  • 1st leg date: Tuesday, February 14
  • Kickoff Time: 3 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. GMT / 7 a.m. AEDT (Wed, Feb. 15)
  • Location: Parc des Princes (Paris, France)
  • Official: Michael Oliver (England)

This heavyweight battle between French and German champions is the marquee matchup of the Round of 16 given the stature of the clubs and players involved.

Unfortunately for PSG, injuries struck two of their stars with Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi coming off injuries entering the first leg. Their setbacks have coincided with a poor run of form to start the new year and that combination of factors makes Bayern the favorite to make the quarterfinals.

PSG vs Bayern Munich predictions

  • 1st leg score prediction: PSG 0-2 Bayern Munich (+1350 on BetMGM)
  • Team to advance: Bayern Munich (-175 on BetMGM)

There’s just no way to possibly trust PSG at this point in time and it’s hard to imagine anything other than a Bayern win in the first leg. Even if a healthier Kylian Mbappe is singlehandedly capable of carrying his team, as he showed during the World Cup, Bayern are simply a deeper and more cohesive unit and that should play out over 180 minutes.

MORE: PSG vs. Bayern Munich best bets and odds

AC Milan vs Tottenham

  • 1st leg date: Tuesday, February 14 (1st Leg)
  • Kickoff Time: 3 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. GMT / 7 a.m. AEDT (Wed, Feb. 15)
  • Location: San Siro (Milan, Italy)
  • Official: Sandro Schaerer (Switzerland)

These two teams find themselves at similar points in the season. Thanks to inconsistent play in recent weeks, both are realistically out of contention for their respective domestic league title — AC Milan are 18 points out of first, and Tottenham are 12 points away — and they can afford to pour their maximum focus into making a deep run in the Champions League. 

Tottenham’s Italian boss Antonio Conte knows AC Milan well from his time coaching in Italy’s Serie A, and he has enjoyed plenty of success against the Rossoneri, with 10 wins, three draws and just one defeat in 14 career matches. It also doesn’t bode well for Milan that they’ve never defeated Tottenham in European competition, losing twice and drawing twice.

AC Milan vs Tottenham predictions

  • 1st leg score: AC Milan 2-2 Tottenham (+1250 on BetMGM)
  • Team to advance to quarterfinals: Tottenham (-165 on BetMGM)

This is an extremely difficult match to handicap, as both clubs have shown flashes of brilliance along with plenty of mistakes since the World Cup break concluded. They have shown themselves capable of shipping goals in one game, earning a clean sheet in the next, only to be blasted again, all within the span of a few days or weeks.

So both teams are tough to trust right now, but Spurs have the better overall squad and should advance after taking a draw back to London for the second leg.

MORE: AC Milan vs. Tottenham Hotspur best bets and odds

Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea

  • 1st leg date: Wednesday, February 15
  • Kickoff Time: 3 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. GMT / 7 a.m. AEDT (Thu, Dec. 15)
  • Location: Signal-Iduna Park (Dortmund, Germany)
  • Official: Jesus Gil (Spain)

These two teams are heading in opposite directions, with Borussia Dortmund back to contending for a German Bundesliga title, while Chelsea are stuck at mid-table in England and unable to build much momentum. The Blues are dealing with a brutal injury crisis, and while the squad is getting healthier slowly, it’s not quite there yet.

With the acquisitions made in the January transfer window, where they spent more money on players than any other team in the world, Chelsea simply have more quality and depth than their German counterparts. But it might take until the second leg in London, by which time Chelsea should be healthier and more cohesive, for the gap that exists on paper to materialise.

Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea predictions

  • 1st leg score prediction: B. Dortmund 1-1 Chelsea (+550 on BetMGM)
  • Team to advance: Chelsea (-160 on BetMGM)

Borussia Dortmund have shown they can score goals, led in part by English star Jude Bellingham and his patented runs out of midfield. Winning big at home in the first leg is probably the German side’s best hope to advance.

Chelsea have shown poor road form of late and their scoring issues continue to haunt them, but Borussia Dortmund have gifted the opposition plenty of goals this season. If that happens and Chelsea’s defense is as strong as it’s been in recent weeks. Dortmund’s chances of advancing are low.

Club Brugge vs Benfica

  • 1st leg date: Wednesday, February 15
  • Kickoff Time: 3 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. GMT / 7 a.m. AEDT (Wed, Feb. 15)
  • Location: Jan Breydel Stadium (Bruges, Belgium)
  • Official: Davide Massa (Italy)

In a niche matchup of two surprise clubs to reach the Round of 16, Club Brugge have their work cut out for them. Benfica have a quality squad balanced by a host of talent both in the attack and at the back, anchored by Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi, who was exceptional at the 2022 World Cup and brought his good form back to the club level.

Club Brugge vs Benfica predictions

  • 1st leg score prediction: Club Brugge 1-1 Benfica (+600 on BetMGM)
  • Team to advance: Benfica (-400 on BetMGM)

Few expect Club Brugge to advance from this Round of 16 matchup, but they should be able to keep things close as they showed during the group stage, with a number of surprise results against the likes of Porto, Atletico Madrid, and Bayer Leverkusen.

Defence is truly Benfica’s calling card, and with Otamendi leading the way, they’ve conceded just two goals in seven league games after the World Cup. The big difference is that they also have the attacking talent to grind out a result on their home field in the second leg with a fully healthy Goncalo Ramos likely taking centerstage, alongside Goncalo Guedes, Julian Draxler, and David Neres.

Credit: sportingnews.com

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