Red-hot Roma and injury-plagued Real Madrid face off today in the day’s most appealing UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match.
Real Madrid is at home today but may feel like an underdog considering how many top players will be missing. Roma will be looking to take full advantange and keep up the momentum it has built from some quality Serie A results.
The Liverpool-Inter Milan pre-quarterfinal has been rescheduled for next week, but we still have some good action to follow (though I must admit to being disappointed at ESPN for choosing Chelsea-Olympiakos over Real Madrid-Roma for its ESPN2 broadcast.
Here is a preview of the three round of 16 matches scheduled for today:
AS ROMA at REAL MADRID
- On the Air: ESPN DEPORTES, 2:30 p.m.
- First game: Roma won 2-1.
- Key points: Real Madrid should have Robinho available for this match but several other key players will be missing. Sergio Ramos (suspension), Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wesley Sneijder could join Arjen Robben on the sidelines. Roma will have Brazilian defender Juan back after he missed the first leg, but Marco Casetti is out with a shoulder injury.
- Outcome: Real Madrid will be severely shorthanded while Roma comes in with some serious momentum. Look for Francesco Totti to lead the Romans to a 1-1 tie and advancement to the quarterfinals.
OLYMPIAKOS at CHELSEA
- On the Air: ESPN2, 2:30 p.m.
- First game: Tied 0-0
- Key points: Didier Drogba is expected to play in today’s decider while former Newcastle winger Lomana Lua Lua is out for Olympiakos.
- Outcome: Chelsea is in good form right now, the first leg in Greece notwithstanding. Look for the Blues to nab an early goal and hold on for the 1-0 victory and quarterfinal place.
SCHALKE 04 at FC PORTO
- On the Air: ESPN DEPORTES, 4:45,
- First game: Schalke 04 won 1-0.
- Key points: Schalke comes in struggling, having lost three straight league matches. The Germans will welcome back Kevin Kuranyi while Porto star Ricardo Quaresma is healthy and ready to go.
- Outcome: Schalke’s struggles are well-chronicled and Porto’s attack is now healthy and capable of thrashing the Germans. Look for a Porto victory, 2-0.
Where will you be watching today’s action? More importantly, how do you see today’s games playing out? Share your thoughts below.