This season’s UEFA Champions League group stage didn’t disappoint at all, with some entertaining matchups keeping us glued to our seats. I am especially happy and proud that I was right in predicting the qualification of all 4 Bundesliga clubs to the knockout stages.
The Round of 16 draws for this season seem harsh for German clubs, especially in the case of RB Leipzig, who will be facing Premier League winners Liverpool, and Borussia Mönchengladbach, who will be facing Manchester City, who are no strangers to this stage of the competition.
Borussia Dortmund got no easy draw either, as they will be tasked with the difficult and exhausting job of beating a Sevilla side that is presumably bored with its Europa league exploits and is looking to torture teams in the UCL. Bayern Munich completes the quartet, and will be facing S.S. Lazio in what is arguably the easiest draw of the lot.
We at BFW sat down and tried to predict the results for the aforementioned ties with our crystal balls and tarot cards. Without further ado, here are our predictions:
RB Leipzig vs Liverpool
Fergus25: 3-3 first leg, 2-3 second leg to Liverpool. (Liverpool advance 6-5)
This is a tie that could go either way, Leipzig’s strong defence vs Pool’s strong offence, Leipzig’s weak attack vs a shaky pool defence. Both team’s heavy metal football will provide an enthralling contest. A fixture on Red Bull, if you will?
Jack Laushway: 1-0 first leg to Leipzig, 2-2 second leg. (Leipzig advance 3-2)
Unfortunately for Nagelsmann, his dreams of facing Real Madrid are not reality, for now at least. Leipzig squeezes by Liverpool after an intense second leg at Anfield. The Reds suffer from injury and fail to put out their best performance. Nagelsmann is praised for another masterclass.
Teddy Son: 2-2 first leg, 3-3 second leg. (Leipzig advance on away goals)
Liverpool are one of the outright favorites for the tournament, and Jurgen Klopp knows the Bundesliga like the back of his hand. However, Julian Nagelsmann has proven his worth against the likes Simeone, Mourinho and even Hansi Flick. I expect Leipzig to put up the fight of their lives, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll pull off another surprise. We’ll see.
Schnitzel01: 2-2 first leg, 3-1 second leg to Liverpool. (Liverpool advance 5-3)
Yes, this Leipzig team consists of machines. However, their attack can do much better, and their defending leaves much to be desired, especially late into the game. These will be a couple of superb games, but I feel Pool’s offense would be too much for the Lawn-ballers. Klopp should see this through.
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Manchester City
Fergus 25: 2-2 first leg, 3-1 second leg to City. (City advance 5-3)
While I believe Gladbach have a chance of an upset, City should win this.
Jack Laushway: 2-2 first leg, 3-1 second leg to City. (City advance 5-3)
As much as I am rooting for Gladbach, Man City is set up to advance. The wear and tear of this enduring season will be too much for Gladbach, while Manchester City’s depth and rotation is simply too much to handle. A team like that is built for these Champions League runs.
Teddy Son: 1-3 first leg to City, 2-0 second leg to City (City advance 5-1)
Pep knows how Gladbach play, considering he spent three years in the Bundesliga. Even though his record against them wasn’t squeaky clean, I expect him to have a game plan for the Foals ready and waiting. Plus, Gladbach haven’t been too impressive this season in the league, and City may turn out to be too much for then.
Schnitzel01: 3-1 first leg to Gladbach, 3-2 second leg to City (Gladbach advance 5-4)
This is where I’m going to let the cat out of the bag. Yes, City have a deeper and more talented roster, but Gladbach have a lot of spirit. City tends to struggle against such teams; last year’s Lyon humbling comes to mind. Gladbach are the underdogs, but they will fight tooth and nail and I back them to edge it out.
Borussia Dortmund vs Sevilla
Fergus25: 1-1 first leg, 3-2 second leg to Dortmund. (Dortmund advance 4-3)
Sevilla are possibly Dortmund’s toughest tie and their structured approach will cause Dortmund problems but a fully fit Dortmund should have too much firepower.
Jack Laushway: 1-1 first leg, 2-1 second leg to Dortmund. (Dortmund advance 3-2)
Sevilla is a tough team to face, but this isn’t the Europa League. Sevilla start to feel homesick and leave themselves open to attack. Haaland does what he does best and scores all three goals for Dortmund as they send Sevilla packing. And Dortmund actually play kinda decent defense?!
Teddy Son: 2-1 first leg to Sevilla, 2-2 second leg. (Sevilla advance 4-3)
Unless Dortmund get a really good interim coach, I see Sevilla going through. They’re a team that gave Flick’s Bayern a hard time. Julen Lopetegui didn’t win the Europa League for nothing, and I don’t know if Dortmund can regroup and be raring to go by then. Maybe, though.
Schnitzel01: 2-2 first leg, 4-2 second leg. (Dortmund advance 6-4)
It is true that Dortmund have been shambolic lately, but I feel all that will change soon and by the time the games arrive, they should have a well-defined game plan and structure in place. Sevilla are very tough, but Dortmund have too many weapons up front and I back them to prevail. Also, Haaland.
Bayern Munich vs Lazio
All of us agreed that Bayern are heavy favourites for this tie, and have more or less the same reasons for backing the Bavarians to qualify for the quarter-finals. Bayern Munich are just too big and too powerful to be bothered by Lazio. Yes, the Italian side have a very potent attack and Bayern has been having a lot of issues in defense lately, but we trust in Hansi Flick to make the necessary changes and fine-tune the team by the time these fixtures come knocking.
Bayern are a different beast in the Champions League. The squad getting some much-needed rest (winter break), coupled with the return of Bayern’s midfield monster Joshua Kimmich means that Bayern should be able to breeze past Lazio.
Fergus25: 1-3 first leg to Bayern, 4-1 second leg to Bayern. (Bayern 7-2 Lazio)
Jack Laushway: 1-3 first leg to Bayern, 3-1 second leg to Bayern. (Bayern 6-2 Lazio)
Teddy Son: 1-2 first leg to Bayern, 3-1 second leg to Bayern (Bayern 5-2 Lazio)
Schnitzel01: 1-4 first leg to Bayern, 3-1 second leg to Bayern. (Bayern 7-2 Lazio)
That concludes our predictions. Which clubs do you think will prevail? Let us know in the comments!