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UCL Preview: Real, Wolfsburg favorites over Roma, Gent


The UEFA Champions League round of 16 continues on Tuesday, as the second legs kick off action.

Real Madrid and Wolfsburg will be the odds-on favorites to advance to the quarterfinals, as both sides currently hold leads over AS Roma and KAA Gent, respectively.

As it stands, Los Blancos sit third in La Liga, giving Zinedine Zidane’s side added incentive to go for it in the Champions League. Wolfsburg, which currently occupies seventh place in the Bundesliga, will have similar feelings towards the competition, especially after picking up three crucial away goals in the first leg.

Here’s a closer look at Tuesday’s UCL matches:

Real Madrid vs. AS Roma, at Santiago Bernabéu, 2:45 p.m., FOX Sports 1, Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer 2GO 

Second-half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jese put a damper on the first leg for Roma, which now has to travel to Spain in search of at least two goals. That won’t be an easy task.

In Champions League play this season, including its first match against Roma, Real has conceded just three goals in seven UCL matches. Ronaldo has bagged the most goals in this year’s competition –12 goals — five more than any other player.

The Serie A side will need players like Mohamed Salah and Edin Dzeko to contribute if Roma is to stand a chance. Salah recently scored a double for Roma over the weekend against Fiorentina, and will need a similar output against Real to give his team aspirations of progressing.

For Madrid, the task is quite simple. While Zidane’s side may opt to hang back a bit at times, Real is more than capable of netting another goal or two in the second leg. The team’s 19 group stage goals were tied for the most in this year’s tournament with Bayern Munich.

While historically the draw between the two sides is even, with Madrid winning four times and Roma capturing three wins, the tie certainly appears to be in Real’s favor.

Wolfsburg vs. Gent, at Volkswagen Arena, 2:45 p.m., Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer 2GO

After Wolfsburg’s Julian Draxler and Max Kruse built up a three-goal lead in the first leg of their UCL round of 16 match against Gent, the tie seemed all but over. Sven Kums and Kalifa Coulibaly rescued two late goals, though, giving the home side a chance as the squads come to Germany.

Gent will need at least two goals on Tuesday to advance in the UCL, due to the away goals rule, but don’t discount the Belgian side. In only its second Champions League appearance, Gent beat out La Liga side Valencia and France’s Lyon in order to advance out of Group H.

Wolfsburg’s potent attack will likely leave its opposition disconcerted, though, boasting Draxler and Kruse in addition to Andre Schurrle. After the five-goal first leg, the replay will hopefully be just as entertaining for fans.

What do you think of Tuesday’s matchups? Which sides will advance to the quarterfinals?

Share your thoughts below.

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