2023-03-13 · 5 min read · Champions League/Soccer
Manchester City Erling Haaland and Real Madrid players

Cristina Quicler/AFP and Silvestre Szpylma via Getty Images

The Champions League round of 16-second legs wraps up this week with four games across Tuesday and Wednesday. Inter and Manchester City enter their games on Tuesday as favourites while Real Madrid will aim to finish off Liverpool on Wednesday as Napoli looks to do the same with Eintracht Frankfurt. Once this round concludes, the quarterfinals will take place starting on April 11. Here are my predictions for each match and more:
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool
Featured Game | Real Madrid vs. Liverpool

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Liverpool fell apart in the first leg because Real Madrid found it too easy to drive through a midfield riddled with players who were either out of form or too green for this toughest of tests. Mohamed Salah had just been rounding into form after 2022 was, by his vertiginous standards, rather underwhelming. He is starting to find his best role alongside Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez and although he is more creator than he has been in the past, he popped up with plenty of shots in the hammering of Manchester United. In the big games, he is starting to deliver again.
Against almost any other team on the field, there could be a convincing case for players blinking under the pressure and intensity that Liverpool will presumably bring. But Real Madrid tends not to buckle, so while there might be moments of severe stress, they should hold out for a 2-1 defeat that means they reach the quarterfinals.
Real Madrid wins and advances to the quarterfinals.
Napoli vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
Napoli vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

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Victor Osimhen – The Nigerian striker has already scored 21 goals in 27 matches this season and opened the scoresheet in the first leg in Germany. He has already shown that he can create many problems for the German defence, and we are likely to witness something similar during the second leg at the Stadio Maradona.
Napoli should make it easily also in the second leg at home and is definitely expected to win.
Napoli wins 3-1 and advances to the quarterfinals.
Manchester City vs. RB Leipzig
Featured Game | Manchester City vs. RB Leipzig

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While Foden struggled against Crystal Palace during the weekend, he has been a sparkplug for Manchester City since getting back in the lineup. Even when he doesn't score, Foden's lack of fear causes him to be direct, giving opposing fullbacks fits. Registering two goals and one assist in his last three matches, Foden will provide Pep Guardiola with an option to unlock what will be an organized RB Leipzig defence.
Goals will come at a premium with the teams coming into the match on level footing. City knows that if they aren't careful, RB Leipzig will have no issues hitting them on the counter but one goal from Haaland will be enough to see the match out.
Manchester City wins 1-0 and advances to the quarterfinals.
FC Porto vs. Inter
Featured Game | Porto vs. Inter

CBS Sports

Pepe vs. Lautaro Martinez – This will clearly be one of the most, if not the most, crucial duel to watch in this second leg of the tie. Portuguese defender Pepe needs to contain Lautaro Martinez, which he did pretty well in the first leg at San Siro. The Argentinian striker wants to react after a disappointing performance at Spezia, when he missed a penalty as Inter lost 2-1 against the home team.
Despite Porto needing to win this game, I see Inter as leading candidates to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010, when they last won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho.
Inter Milan draw 1-1 thanks to a late equalizer and advance to the quarterfinals.
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By: Aaron Cantin


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