Champions League trophy

UCL Round of 16 Second Leg Preview (Part Two)

The round of 16 of this season’s UEFA Champions League is set to conclude this week with four second leg ties set to be played.

2023/24 UEFA Champions League football is set to make its return on Tuesday evening, with the final week of Round of 16 matches taking place this week. Last week saw four second leg ties take place, and the final four are set to be played throughout Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th March 2024.

As previously mentioned, this is the final week of Round of 16 second leg action, and the ties this week will involve the likes of Arsenal, FC Porto, FC Barcelona and reigning Italian Champions Napoli.

The following are all four fixtures that are set to be played this week in Europe. Games are set to be played in London, Barcelona, Madrid, and the German city of Dortmund.

  • Arsenal (England) v FC Porto (Portugal) – Emirates Stadium, Tuesday 12th March 2024, 20:00 Kick-Off.
  • FC Barcelona (Spain) v Napoli (Italy) – Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Tuesday 12th March 2024, 20:00 Kick-Off.
  • Atletico Madrid (Spain) v Inter Milan (Italy) – Estadio Metropolitano, Wednesday 13th March 2024, 20:00 Kick-Off.
  • Borussia Dortmund (Germany) v PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) – Signal Iduna Park, Wednesday 13th March 2024, 20:00 Kick-Off.

Four teams have already confirmed their place in the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Quarter Final. Manchester City came away with an emphatic 6 – 2 victory on aggregate against current Danish Champions Copenhagen, while Harry Kane and Bayern Munich beat Italian Serie A side Lazio 3 – 0 in the second leg at the Allianz Arena to confirm their place in the next round following a 3 – 1 aggregate victory.

Real Madrid sneaked past Germany’s RB Leipzig with a 2 – 1 aggregate win, whilst French Giants Paris Saint-Germain comfortably confirmed their Quarter Final place with a 4 – 1 win against La Liga side Real Sociedad.

This weeks’ fixtures will therefore be confirming the final four teams to take their place in the 2024 Quarter Final. The draw for it takes place at 12pm CET on Friday, 15th March 2024. The clubs will also be able to see who they could be facing in the semi-finals and the Final itself.

Before we preview the action to come, let’s take a quick look back at the first legs of all four of these Round of 16 ties. Inter Milan will travel to Madrid after beating Diego Simeone’s Atletico 1 – 0 at the San Siro thanks to a goal from former Stoke City and West Ham United forward Marko Arnautović in the closing stages of the second half (79’).

It was a 1 – 1 draw in the first leg meeting between Napoli and FC Barcelona at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Naples. Robert Lewandowski gave the Blaugrana the lead (60’) before Xavi’s side conceded an equalising goal when Napoli forward Victor Osimhen found the back of the Barca net with just 15 minutes of the contest remaining (75’).

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal will have to come from behind against FC Porto at the Emirates Stadium in North London on Tuesday evening. Back in the first leg, it was a goal from Porto’s Brazilian forward Galeno in the final moments of second half stoppage time (90+4’) that condemned the Gunners to a first leg defeat. Finally, the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 tie between PSV and Borussia Dortmund ended in a 1 – 1 draw at the Philips Stadion. Donyell Malen gave BVB the lead before Dortmund were pegged back when Luuk de Jong restored parity from the spot in the early stages of the second half.

Now, we will preview all four 2023/24 UEFA Champions League games set to take place this week. We will start with the fixtures for Tuesday, 12th March 2024.

Arsenal (England) v FC Porto (Portugal) – 12th March 2024, 20:00 KO – Agg. 0 – 1

The first game that we are going to take a look at here is the one between Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal and Portuguese heavyweights FC Porto at the Gunners’ Emirates Stadium in North London at a 20:00 Kick-Off on Tuesday 12th March 2024.

As was previously mentioned, Porto currently hold a 1 – 0 lead on aggregate after a very late winner in second half stoppage time in the first leg of this UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie from Brazilian forward Galeno (90+4’).

Since this tie, Arsenal have been in a rich vein of form, winning all three of their Premier League games to go top of the 2023/24 Premier League table. The first game saw them emerge as emphatic 4 – 1 winners at home to Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United before securing an incredible 6 – 0 win against relegation-threatened Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in the following match. The most recent game before this tie against Porto saw the Gunners beat Brentford 2 – 1.

Arsenal’s leading goal scorer in the UEFA Champions League so far is Gabriel Jesus, who currently has 4 goals to his name in this season’s competition.

Moving on to Porto, they have played three league matches and one domestic cup match since they last met the Gunners. After a 1 – 1 league draw against Gil Vicente away from home, they were 2 – 1 winners in the Quarter Final of the Taça de Portugal (Portuguese FA Cup).

Then, against arch rivals Benfica at home, FC Porto were emphatic 5 – 0 winners against a ten man Benfica. They then went on to beat Portimonense 3 – 0 away from home in the league in what is their most recent competitive match. Porto are currently sat third in the top flight of Portuguese football.

Galeno, who scored the winning goal against Arsenal in the first leg, is Porto’s leading goal scorer in this season’s competition with 5 goals – the joint second most alongside the likes of Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez, Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, Manchester United’s Rasmus Højlund and former Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata, who now plays his club football for Spanish Giants Atletico Madrid.

FC Barcelona (Spain) v Napoli (Italy) – 12th March 2024, 20:00 KO – Agg. 1 – 1

We will now move on to the second match that we will preview here, and it is set to be a second leg round of 16 tie to be contested between Spanish Giants FC Barcelona and 2023/24 Italian Serie A Champions Napoli. Due to the construction work going on at Barça’s Camp Nou Stadium, this tie is set to be played at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on Tuesday evening.

As previously mentioned, these two teams played out a 1 – 1 draw in Naples in the first leg. Robert Lewandowski gave Xavi’s side the lead (60’) before Victor Osimhen equalised for the home side later on in the second half (75’).

Since the first leg, FC Barcelona have played three league games since then, beating Getafe 4 – 0 at home before playing out a 0 – 0 draw with Athletic Club Bilbao. Their most recent game saw Xavi’s Barça beat Mallorca 1 – 0 at home. Barcelona are currently third in LaLiga, just behind surprise package Girona and El Clasico rivals and league leaders Real Madrid.

Former Valencia and Manchester City forward Ferran Torres and former Chelsea loanee Joao Felix are the joint top scorers for Barcelona in the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League so far.

Moving on to Napoli, they have drawn 1 – 1 away from home against Cagliari, beaten Sassuolo ruthlessly 6 – 1 away from home, beaten Juventus 2 – 1 at home before drawing 1 – 1 with Juventus’ Turin rivals Torino in their most recent game in Serie A before their second leg tie against Barcelona. Napoli are currently seventh in Italy’s Serie A.

Napoli’s top scorer in the Champions League at the time of writing is Victor Osimhen with 2 goals.

Atletico Madrid (Spain) v Inter Milan (Italy) – 13th March 2024, 20:00 KO – Agg. 0 – 1

The first game that we will preview from Wednesday, 13th March 2024, will be between Spanish heavyweights Diego Maradona’s Atletico Madrid and the current runaway Italian Serie A leaders Inter Milan. The two teams will face each other at the Estadio Metropolitano on Wednesday, 13th March 2024, in what is set to be a 20:00 Kick-Off.

As previously mentioned, Inter Milan were 1 – 0 winners against their Spanish counterparts in the first leg thanks to a goal late in the second half from Austria international forward Marko Arnautović (79’).

Since the first leg, Inter Milan have played 4 matches, all in the Italian Serie A. They have beaten Lecce 4 – 0 away from home, Atalanta by the same score line at the San Siro, Genoa 2 – 1 at home and Bologna 1 – 0 away from home in what was their most recent competitive game before their second leg UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie against Atletico Madrid.

Former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez and 2022 World Cup Winner Lautaro Martinez are the joint leading goal scorers in the competition so far for Inter Milan with 2 goals to their names.

Moving on to Atletico Madrid, they have played four times since the first leg – three league games and one Copa del Rey game. They drew 2 – 2 away from home against Almeria before being beaten 4 – 0 on aggregate in the Semi Final of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Club Bilbao. They then beat Real Betis 2 – 1 in La Liga at home before being beaten 2 – 0 by Cadiz away from home in their most recent game before the second leg against Inter Milan. They are just behind FC Barcelona, Girona and leaders Real Madrid in 4th place in LaLiga.

Atleti’s leading Champions League scorer this term is Antoine Griezmann with 4 goals to his name so far.

Borussia Dortmund (Germany) v PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) – 13th March 2024, 20:00 KO – Agg. 1 – 1

The final match to preview this week is the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg tie between Borussia Dortmund and Eredivisie league leaders PSV Eindhoven at the Signal Iduna Park, the home of BVB on Wednesday 13th March 2024 in what will be a 20:00 Kick Off.

As previously mentioned, these two teams drew 1 – 1 at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven in the first leg of this tie. Donyell Malen gave BVB the lead early on in the first half (24’), before Luuk de Jong equalised for the hosts from the penalty spot early on in the second half (56’).

Since this game, PSV have played three matches, all in the Eredivisie. They were emphatic 7 – 1 winners away from home against PEC Zwolle in the next game after their 1 – 1 Champions League draw before playing out a 2 – 2 stalemate at home to Feyenoord. Their final game before this second leg tie saw them beat Go Ahead Eagles 1 – 0 away from home. They are top of the Dutch top flight, ten clear of Feyenoord in second place.

PSV’s leading scorer in this competition to date is Luuk de Jong, who has 3 goals.

Moving on to Borussia Dortmund, they have three matches, all in the German Bundesliga. They lost 3 – 2 against Hoffenheim at home before beating relegation-threatened Union Berlin 2 – 0 away from home after that defeat. Their most recent match in the league saw them beat Werder Bremen 2 – 1 away from home.

BVB’s leading goal scorer in the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League at the time of writing is Karim Adeyemi with 2 goals.

Excitement and anticipation are building rapidly ahead of the start of the latest week of 2023/24 UEFA Champions League action.

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