Preview: Champions League round of 16

March, 15, 2011

Four spots remain for the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, and there are some intriguing matchups. Last year's champion, Inter Milan, tries to overturn a first-leg loss, while Real Madrid -- the most decorated club in the competition with nine European Cup/Champions League titles -- attempts to overcome a round of 16 stumbling block. Here's how it breaks down.


Bayern Munich vs. Inter Milan (First leg: 1-0): Inter Milan, the reigning UEFA Champions League champion, is in danger of exiting the competition unless it can overcome some history. Inter dropped the first leg 1-0 at the San Siro after a late error from Julio Cesar allowed Mario Gomez to slide home a crucial away goal for last year's runner-up. Inter now has to try to become the first team since Ajax in 1996 to overturn a first-leg home defeat to advance. The Nerazzurri also have to overcome their own history in Germany, where they have won only once in their past five matches.

Manchester United vs. Marseille (First leg: 0-0): Manchester United welcomes Marseille to Old Trafford on Tuesday after a scoreless draw in France on Feb. 23. United has the advantage of never having lost to French competition at home in 11 matches (8-0-3), allowing only four goals. Any draw of 1-1 or greater would suffice for Marseille, but the club has only scored two goals in nine matches on English soil all-time. Marseille is also trying to reach the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals for the first time since 1992-93, when the club won the title.


Chelsea vs. FC Copenhagen (First leg: 2-0): Chelsea returns to London with a serious leg up over Copenhagen by virtue of a 2-0 victory in Copenhagen on Feb. 22. The Blues have never faced Danish competition outside of Copenhagen, while Copenhagen has twice suffered defeat in England: losing 3-0 at Manchester United in the 2006-07 Champions League group stage and 2-1 to Manchester City in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup round of 32. Chelsea is unbeaten in 24 of its past 25 UEFA Champions League home fixtures, with the only loss coming last season to Inter Milan in the round of 16.

Real Madrid vs. Lyon (First leg: 1-1): Real Madrid attempts to snap a six-year streak of losing in the round of 16 when it hosts Lyon, the club that eliminated Los Blancos in 2009-10. Real has won every home match in the 2010-11 season in league, domestic cup and UEFA Champions League play under Jose Mourinho -- 14 La Liga, three UEFA Champions League and four Copa Del Rey -- so it should be the favorite. However, Lyon has played at the Santiago Bernabeu three times and has earned a draw each time. But with the score tied at 1-1 on aggregate, a scoreless draw would see Mourinho's men through to the quarterfinals.



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