Man City 202324 UEFA Champions League

Champions League Round of 16 First Leg Preview

Europe’s most prestigious competition finally returns this week, with the Round of 16 getting underway on Tuesday evening.

After several months’ absence, the UEFA Champions League football is finally set to return on Tuesday evening, with clubs looking to keep their hopes of becoming the next European Champions alive. This week’s fixtures will see the first of two legs in the Round Of 16 take place, with four matches taking place between Tuesday, 13th February and Wednesday, 14th February 2024.

Not all of the Round of 16 First Leg ties are being played this week – the other four ties, involving the likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, these games will be played next week from Tuesday 20th February to Wednesday 21st February 2024.

The four matches set to be played this week in the first knockout round of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League are as follows.

  • Tuesday 13th February 2024: RB Leipzig (Germany) v Real Madrid (Spain) – RB Arena, 20:00 KO.
  • Tuesday 13th February 2024: Copenhagen (Denmark) v Manchester City (England) – Parken Stadium, 20:00 KO.
  • Wednesday 14th February 2024: Lazio (Italy) v Bayern Munich (Germany) – Stadio Olimpico, 20:00 KO.
  • Wednesday 14th February 2024: Paris Saint-Germain (France) v Real Sociedad (Spain) – Stade de France, 20:00 KO.

The clubs involved in Champions League action this week share 7 UEFA Champions League trophies between them. The only English club playing in the Round Of 16 this week is Pep Guardiola’s reigning European Champions Manchester City, who are set to take on RB Leipzig in one of two ties to be played on Tuesday evening.

A win for any club in the first leg of a knockout round of competition holds a significant advantage going into the second and final leg as they bid to reach the next round. Let’s start this preview with City’s game against reigning Danish Champions Copenhagen at the Parken Stadium.

Copenhagen (Denmark) v Manchester City (England) – Parken Stadium, 20:00 Kick-Off

Pep’s City team made it through the group stages in comfortable fashion, finishing at the summit of Group G ahead of RB Leipzig, Switzerland’s Young Boys and Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade. The Cityzens have 18 points, 6 more than runners-up RB Leipzig.

Manchester City are taking on Copenhagen in the Round of 16, with the first leg being played in Denmark on Tuesday night. City’s opponents are currently the reigning Danish Champions, and they are currently third in the table as of the time of writing. Copenhagen finished 2nd in Group A, behind Bayern Munich, but ahead of Turkey’s Galatasaray and English Giants Manchester United.

Copenhagen and Manchester City have met on just two occasions in the history of this competition, with both games taking place in Group G in last season’s (2022/23) Champions League Group Stages. City won 5 – 0 at the Etihad Stadium on Matchday Three before drawing 0 – 0 with their Danish counterparts on Matchday Four.

The second leg takes place at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday 6th March 2024 in a 20:00 kick-off.

RB Leipzig (Germany) v Real Madrid (Spain) – RB Arena, 20:00 Kick-Off

The only other tie set to be played on Tuesday night is between German Giants RB Leipzig and 14 time European Champions Real Madrid in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie. In the group stages, Los Blancos finished top of Group C, ahead of Italian Champions Napoli, as well as Portugal’s Braga and Germany’s Union Berlin.

As for Leipzig, they finished second in Group G, with Swiss side Young Boys and Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade below them. Only Manchester City finished above them.

At the time of writing, RB Leipzig sit fifth in the Bundesliga table with 37 points accumulated from their 21 matches so far in the German top flight. As for Real Madrid, they sit top of La Liga with no less than 61 points having been accumulated from their 24 matches to date in the top tier of Spanish football.

RB Leipzig and Real Madrid have met just twice in the more than 30-year history of the UEFA Champions League, with both taking place in the 2022/23 Group Stages. Los Blancos won their first game on Matchday Two 2 – 0 at the Santiago Bernabéu before being beaten 3 – 2 by their German counterparts in Matchday Five.

Lazio (Italy) v Bayern Munich (Germany) – Stadio Olimpico, 20:00 Kick-Off

The first of the two 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 ties on Wednesday that we’ll look at is between Italian heavyweights Lazio and 6-time Champions Of Europe Bayern Munich at the iconic Stadio Olimpico. In the Group Stages, Bayern finished at the top of Group A with 16 points and ahead of Denmark’s Copenhagen, Turkey’s Galatasaray, and England’s Manchester United.

As for Lazio, they were runners-up in Group E with 10 points from 6 games – this saw them finish 4 points adrift of group winners and Spanish heavyweights Atletico Madrid. I Biancocelesti (The White and Sky Blues) did finish ahead of reigning Dutch Champions Feyenoord and Scottish heavyweights Celtic.

Heading into this high-stakes tie, Lazio currently occupies 8th place in the Serie A table with 37 points, and they are currently just 2 points adrift of a European qualification place. As for Bayern, they sit in second place in the German Bundesliga with 50 points from their 21 matches to date. They are currently 5 points adrift of league leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

Lazio and Bayern Munich have played against each other just twice in the history of the Champions League. This came at this very stage of the competition back in the 2020/21 campaign when Bayern won 6 – 2 on aggregate over the two legs.

Paris Saint-Germain (France) v Real Sociedad (Spain) – Stade de France, 20:00 Kick-Off

The final UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 First Leg tie this week that we’ll talk about here is set to be between French giants Paris Saint-German and Spain’s Real Sociedad at the iconic Stade de France on Wednesday night in a 20:00 kick-off.

PSG finished second and behind Germany’s Borussia Dortmund in the Group F standings with 8 points, whilst Real Sociedad topped Group D with 12 points, ahead of Italy’s Inter Milan, Portugal’s Benfica and Austria’s RB Salzburg.

Paris Saint-German sits at the top of the Ligue 1 standings with 50 points from 21 games so far, and they are 11 points clear of Nice in second place. As for Real Sociedad, they are in 7th place with 37 points to their name after 24 matches. The Spanish side are a single point adrift of 6th place Real Betis.

This will be the first time that Paris Saint-Germain and Real Sociedad have ever met in the entire 32-year history of the UEFA Champions League.

Excitement and anticipation is growing rapidly ahead of the resumption of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League.

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