The long wait is finally over. Champions League soccer is back with some extremely appealing match-ups in the round of 16.
All the usual suspects have made it to the pre-quarterfinals, from Real Madrid to Manchester United, AC Milan to Barcelona. In some cases, we won’t have to wait any longer for appealing pairings (like Real Mdrid-Roma, AC Milan-Arsenal)
Here are the Round of 16 pairings (home-and-home series), which begin this week:
- Inter Milan at Liverpool
- Real Madrid at Roma
- Chelsea at Olympiakos
- FC Porto at Schalke 04
- AC Milan at Arsenal
- Manchester United at Lyon
- Barcelona at Celtic
- Sevilla at Fenerbahce
Wondering where you can watch the games? Need some info on the match-ups? Here is some information on all four series that begin on Tuesday.
INTER MILAN at LIVERPOOL
Game 1-Tuesday, ESPN2 (2:30pm), ESPN360.com (2:30pm)
Match-up to watch: Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs. Jamie Carragher. Can Carragher and company really slow down the Swedish assassin? Doubt it. Considering Liverpool’s struggles offensively, you wonder how the Reds are going to crack Inter’s stingy defense.
REAL MADRID at ROMA
Game 1- Tuesday, ESPN Deportes (2:30pm), ESPN Classic (5pm), ESPN360.com (2:30pm, live)
Match-up to watch: Francesco Totti vs. Fabio Cannavarro. The World Cup winning teammates square off in what could be a testy encounter. With no Wesley Sneijder or Robinho, Real Madrid is going to have a tough time in Rome, though Roma is going through its own struggles.
CHELSEA AT OLYMPIAKOS
Game 1- Tuesday, 2:30pm
Match-up to watch: Ieroklis Stoltidis vs. Frank Lampard. The battle of the midfield will be key to this series and Lampard should have a tough time with his lesser known opponent. Stoltidis is a scoring threat and bulldog midfielder.
FC PORTO AT SCHALKE 04
Game 1- Tuesday, 2:30pm
Match-up to watch: Rafinha vs. Ricardo Quaresma. The Porto attack runs through Quaresma, but the dangerous Portuguese winger will face a worthy opponent in Schalke right back Rafinha.
How do you I see the games going? Here are my predictions:
- Inter Milan 1, Liverpool 0
- Roma 2, Real Madrid 1
- Olympiakos 1, Chelsea 0
- Schalke 04 1, Porto 1
Which game are you most looking forward to? I would have said Real Madrid-Roma a month ago but both teams have hit skids. Inter-Liverpool has the added drama of Rafa Benitez’s potential firing so it will be interesting to see how Liverpool responds to the FA Cup loss to Barnsley.
Share your thoughts on the Champions League Round of 16 below
Who’s showing the Barca-Celtic game? Is ESPN airing it or only Setanta? Does anyone know?
And yes, I’m pumped that ESPN Classic is showing the PPC. Go Dynamo! (Though I’m going to have to stay up to catch the 12:30 a.m. kick off!!!!)
Also, though I know I’m tilting at windmills here, go Celtic! Forza!
Their is too much pressure on Liverpool, Inter will run circles around them.
Inter 3-1 Liverpool
Roma plays well at home but I think this will be a high scoring draw.
Roma 2-2 Real Madrid
Olympiakos is underrated and they play well at home. As a Blues supporter I fear for a loss, but think it will end a tie
Olympiakos 1-1 Chelsea
I don’t know much about this next game. I think Porto is better and shold win, but it is in Germany.
Schalke 0-1 Porto
yes, memrook. ching’s homecoming. go dynamo!
Definitely unrelated, but is anyone else excited that ESPN Classic is showing the Pan-Pacific Championship live late Wednesday night??? I think this is great news.
Yeah you should be able to watch the games on espn 360 later in the day.
I would do anything for an “Inter” jersey without the Inter or Serie A badges. Just the red cross on white, that’s what I want.
Does anyone know whether the games shown on 360 at 2:30 will be available for replay later on today?
Roma-Real and Barca-Celtic.
Too bad this is one of the few times I actually have to work today and miss watching the games live.
Last round, the announcers made a point to say that they wouldn’t spoil the other game, except that they would have highlights at halftime.
Unfortunately, ESPN will always show an EPL (or Scottish) team before any other matchup.
Steve, yes, ESPN2 does always ruin the game they’re airing at 5 by showing the score. And you’re wrong.
Mike, they don’t post the score of the game they’re airing at 5.
I hear ya RK, but as Ives pointed out… the Inter/Liverpool match is the sexiest of the bunch. Its all about ratings. Hence the 2nd prettiest match (you can argue this all day long) is on at 5.
Either way, I’m dvr-ing both of them.
Silly question… I normally watch the webcasts on uefa.com, but does anyone know if they’ll flash the Roma/Real score on the ticker during Inter/Liverpool or mention the score? Do they normally ruin the ESPN Classic result on the ESPN2 broadcast? Thanks.
Roma-Real, especially with Real not playing so erratically in the last few weeks. Of course, ESPN chose to show the game with an EPL team (and are delaying the Real game until later on ESPN Classic).
I’m excited about watching Barcelona prove how good they could be. Celtic don’t stand a chance despite their excellent home record. Roma-Real will be the show stopper though.
Gotta say the Roma-Madrid game is still going to be the prettiest.
And the matchup there is the Madrid strikers vs. the Roma D. Roma can’t afford to play cautiously at home so their midfield will (as usual) have to provide the offense and their defense will be a bit…alone.
Should be fun.
Frank Lampard is being rested, as is John Terry, both having only recently come back after injury.
I’m most looking forward to Barca v. Celtic on Wednesday. I’m also really hoping you’re right taking Olympiakos over Chelski.