Written by Carl Walker
Manchester City vs Monaco
Manchester City would of wanted to avoid Real Madrid and Borrusia Dortmund and they did, but Monaco will be no easy task. Monaco have enjoyed some rejuvenated success in recent months both domestically and in Europe. A very slick and skilful team with Falcao up front who only needs a sniff of goal and he will put it away.
Manchester City will have to be at their best, especially away from home, their current defensive woes will hopefully be rectified by then and City will fancy their chances to reach the latter stages with De Bruyne, Gundogan and Aguero helping them along the way
credit Corey-Adam Crowley
Key Player – Manchester City
Aguero has 3 goals and 2 assists in his 5 games so far this season, when he plays he scores and could be crucial if he can grab an away goal in Monaco.
Key Player – Monaco
Bernardo Silva weighed in with 2 goals in the group stages but it his knack for clever passes and his ability to beat the man that makes him key. If he can put the ball into the correct areas, Falcao will be on hand.
Bayern Munich vs Arsenal
Arsenal managed to win their group this time around but it didn’t stop them being paired up once again with Bayern, a draw which no Arsenal fan wanted to see. Arsenal were very impressive in the group stages but did ride their luck against PSG in both games.
The pace and power of PSG was a constant worry and had Cavani not been so wasteful they may have finished second in the group. However this Arsenal team does have a different look to it than previous seasons, more steel especially at the back with Mustafi and Koscielny looking a strong partnership.
Bayern are Bayern, strong, ruthless and efficient but, as proven in the group stages they can be beaten. Defeats to Atletico and surprisingly Rostov meant they didn’t top the group. Bayern if history is anything to go by will fancy their chances, if Arsenal manage to get through they may start to believe.
credit Damian Kosciesza
Key Player – Bayern Munich
This man doesn’t need any introduction, an absolute goal machine, he’s already hit 5 goals in the group stages and will be looking for more. Arsenal must stop him if they stand any chance.
Key Player – Arsenal
Ozil has been in scintillating form so far this season, both in Europe and the Premier League. In this group campaign he has hit 4 goals, including a sublime solo effort against Ludogorets, and also chipped in with 3 assists. He makes Arsenal tick and will be looking to pick the passes that give Arsenal the opportunities.
Sevilla vs Leicester City
Leicester’s fairy-tale continues this season in the form of the Champions league, after destroying the group and finishing top, the final group game which was a dead rubber, didn’t mean anything.
Sevilla will be a tough game, they have won the Europa League five times in the past eleven seasons and the manager Jorge Sampaoli has also enjoyed success at international level with Chile.
Group runners up to Juventus and just edged out a strong Lyon side, Leicester must be wary of this well organised and powerful side.
credit Aleksandr Osipov
Key Player – Sevilla
All action, box to box midfielder is key for Sevilla, he played every minute of the group campaign. Tough in the tackle and very careful in possession could be key in stopping any counter attacks from the foxes.
Key Player – Leicester City
The tricky winger has been fantastic so far in the Champions League, he is the talisman, chipped in with 4 goals and 1 assist, he will be the man Leicester look too to make things happen.
Manchester United vs St.Ettienne
After missing out on Champions League qualification last season Manchester United must now focus on the Europa League for European glory this season. After a tricky group with some tough fixtures against Fenerbache and Feyenoord, United ended up as runners up in group A.
Next up a trip to St.Ettienne who topped their group ahead on Anderlecht. The goals they scored are shared about amongst the squad which shows they are not reliant on one player. Manchester United will fancy their chances of qualification.
credit Ian C
Key Player – Manchester United
The Europa League has been a welcome distraction for the skipper and he has been key so far for the reds. 2 goals and 3 assists show he is revelling playing in his slightly deeper role and allowing the likes of Ibrahimovic, Martial and Mhkhitaryan to run riot.
Key Player – St.Ettienne
The Norwegian international has been used almost as a super sub with his appearances limited from the bench but that’s hasn’t stopped him finding the net, he is St.Ettienne’s top scorer in the competition so far.
Gent vs Tottenham Hotspur
After a woeful champions league campaign from Tottenham, they must now focus on Europe’s second competition and look forward to a trip to Belgium.
Pochettino must rally his troops after only one win in the Champions League campaign and now that the Wembley hoodoo seems to have been lifted they should be able to do that.
Gent scraped through the group and finished 10 points behind Shakhtar and they shipped more goals than they scored which will give Tottenham hope of progressing to the next round and beyond.
Key Player – Gent
The Brazilian international has been the most consistent performer for the Belgian side during the group stages and he will be looking to help Gent dump Tottenham out and claim an upset.
Key Player – Tottenham
Tottenham were woeful in the group stages of the champions league and they missed Vertonghen dearly. Eric Dier and Kevin Wimmer struggled in his absence and hopefully he will be available when the knockout stages begin.
Which sides do you think will progress? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Prakash