Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League action lacks some of the star power Tuesday had to offer, but competition should be just as fierce.
There are two clear favorites in these round of 16 ties, with Atletico Madrid and Manchester City favored over PSV Eindhoven and Dynamo Kiev, respectively.
However, the La Liga club has not played its best soccer since the new year began, and Kiev could also surprise the English side. The club has been the best defensive team in Ukrainian Premier League, conceding only six goals in 16 games played.
Here’s a closer look at Wednesdays UCL matches:
PSV vs. Atletico Madrid, at Philips Stadion, 2:45 p.m., Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer 2GO
Atletico Madrid has advanced to the quarterfinals of the UCL the past two campaigns, and is expected to extend that streak against PSV.
The Dutch club is entering Tuesday’s contest in good form, though, having won seven of its previous eight games. Striker Luuk de Jong has been lights out for PSV so far this season, scoring 17 goals in league play and two goals in the group stage of the UCL. However, he is suspended for Tuesday’s game, making the task tougher for PSV’s dynamic front line.
On the other side of the ball, PSV will likely see the return of Andres Guardado and Maxime Lestienne from injuries. Those set to miss the contest for the visitors include Tiago, Yannick Carrasco and Thomas Partey.
Atletico has only won two of its previous seven games, but the tandem of Fernando Torres and Antoine Griezmann up front should still pose a serious threat to the Dutch side.
Dynamo Kiev vs. Manchester City, at NSC Olimpiyskiy, 2:45 p.m., Fox Sports 1, WATCH ESPN, ESPN Deportes TV, Fox Soccer 2GO USA
Man City head coach Manuel Pellegrini decided to rest most of starting lineup on Sunday vs. Chelsea, meaning Kiev will have a tough task ahead of it at NSC Olimpiyskiy in Kiev, Ukraine.
If anyone on Kiev is to cause Man City havoc, it will be goal-scorer Andriy Yarmolenko. The 6-foot-2 Ukraine international leads his team with 13 goals scored.
The Ukrainian side boasts a sturdy defense, led by the talented 24-year-old Aleksandar Dragovic. However, the Citizens’ firepower may turn out to be too much to handle. Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and David Silva will look to tear down the defensive wall that Kiev is expected to make.
Wednesday’s game is not likely to be the highest-scoring affair of the round. Now that veteran centerback Vincent Kompany is back in the fold for Man City, the first leg could turn into a defensive battle. Pellegrini’s side may see a 1-0 win or even a 0-0 result good enough to take home.
What do you think of Wednesday’s matchups? What results are you expecting?
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