On Valentine’s Day, the UEFA Champions League returns. February 14, 2012, will see the first day of the Round of 16 matches. Games will kick-off at 19:45 GMT, except for the one played in Russia (Kick-Off is at 17:00 GMT). The full schedule can be checked here or by clicking the image below.
Many encounters are a must watch, while others are hard to predict. My thoughts on the ones I will be following are not even realistic or factual. They are just the sour ideas of a disappointed football fan.
- Leverkusen vs Barcelona: Will the Germans make love to Barcelona on Valentine’s Day? Or will Guardiola’s men show the football world some love and start the healing process after a run of mediocre performances recently? – Verdict: Barcelona will prevail
- Milan vs Arsenal: Zlatan is ready to slap his third opponent in a row, in the San Siro. Henry will bid farewell to Arsenal, in the San Siro. In 2008, Arsenal won 2-0 in the San Siro. 9 years ago, Henry scored a hattrick in the San Siro. More San Siro omens? – Verdict: Arsenal are more excited about the match
- Napoli vs Chelsea: The Italians are sitting in the 7th place domestically, and the English just gifted the fourth position to Arsenal. Chelsea won only once in seven visits to Italy, a 4-0 group stage success at S.S. Lazio in 2003/04. Napoli are still new in the competition and have nothing to lose. Drogba is back from Africa, and AVB has selection headaches. – Verdict: Chelsea will not be Torresed
- Marseille vs Inter: This one is a must watch. It is a game between two teams who have lost a lot of power to many opponents recently. Both are distracted domestically trying to reach a top 3 or 4 finish, and both have not convinced. The good news about this encounter is that whoever wins will receive a huge boost of morale; nothing more. – Verdict: Who cares?
Other big names like Real Madrid and Bayern will not have but some “walk in the park” encounters. This is not due to relatively small or weak competitors, but due to the facts that the Germans are aiming to play the final game at home, and the Spanish are only getting stronger and more diabolic with every minute of gameplay.