The Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League has already begun, but after 4 games were played in the round last week, the other 4 are set to be played this week.
And it all starts all over again today. With another English set to carry forward the good work that Tottenham Hotspur did on Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday last week. And it will again be a battle of an English club and a German club.
Liverpool will host Bayern Munich at Anfield, in what promises to be a real spectacle. The last time both these teams met in a European tie was back in 2001 when the Reds’ ran out 3-2 winners.
While Liverpool will be without Virgil van Dijk, Bayern will be without Jerome Boateng, Franck Ribery and the suspended Thomas Muller. The Reds will also be without Joe Gomez, who is continuing his recovery and the duo of Roberto Firmino and Dejan Lovren is a doubt.
The Croatian is said to be struggling with a hamstring problem, while Firmino has a virus that has put his presence under doubt.
The other game could be a tricky one for the Spanish champions as Barcelona will travel to Lyon- the side that gave one of the favorites for the crown in Manchester City a run for their money.
Its crucial to note that Barca won’t have any absentees because of injuries or suspensions, but Lyon’s Nabil Fekir remains suspended. Amine Gouiri ruptured his ACL in October and he remains out. Defender Jason Denayer and Tanguy Ndombele are doubts to make the game on Tuesday.
As for the Catalans, they will have Samuel Umtiti back for selection for the first time since he sustained an injury back in November. But they still remain without summer arrival Arthur, second-choice goalkeeper Jesper Cillesse and Rafinha, who are all injured.
But the Ernesto Valverde’s men have no other new absentees for the game in France for which they have to be considered the favorites, but not clear favorites considering how dangerous Lyon can be if the likes of Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele fire.
The last time these sides locked horns in a European competitions was about ten years ago in the 2008-09 Champions League campaign. Lyon had held Barca to a 1-1 draw at home, but they were beaten 5-2 in the second leg at the Nou Camp, as Thierry Henry grabbed an impressive brace to help the side win the tie 6-3 on aggregate. Barca went onto win the title that season, beating Manchester United in the final
The sides were also in the same group in the group stage of the 2007-08 season of the Champions League as Lyon had again held the Spaniards to a 2-2 draw at home, but lost 3-0 at the Nou Camp.
Both games on Tuesday could go a long way in deciding as to who wins the title, as many are tipping Barca to be the favorites for the crown and others are expecting Liverpool to have a say in that too. It will be interesting to see how these sides pan out before Man City play another German in Schalke tomorrow and Juventus face Atletico Madrid.