After nearly a month of knockout action, the last eight of the Champions League will be determined by this final set of midweek clashes. Four teams have already booked their spot- Liverpool (New Balance), Man City (Nike) and Juventus & Real Madrid (both Adidas).
We could have another New Balance team in the last eight if Sevilla upset Man Utd at Old Trafford. Barca-Chelsea and Roma-Shakhtar are both all-Nike clashes, while German champions Bayern (wearing Adidas) are all but certain to advance to the quarters after their 5-0 first leg win over Turkish giants Besiktas.
This is Chelsea’s first season with Nike after the early termination of their previous deal with Adidas, and a win over Barcelona will see this shirt take a step towards “memorable”, and perhaps even “legendary” status should Antonio Conte’s side emulate Roberto di Matteo’s class of 2012 and go all the away.
Remaining CL second leg fixtures
Man Utd (Adidas) v Sevilla (New Balance)
Barcelona (Nike) v Chelsea (Nike)
Roma (Nike) v Shakhtar (Nike)
Besiktas (Adidas) v Bayern Munich (Adidas)
Roma v Shakhtar
Shakhtar won the first leg of this Round of 16 tie 2-1 in Ukraine, but their wretched form on the road in Europe will have Roma fans quietly confident about progressing. The visitors have lost six of their last seven away games in the Champions League and their last trip to Italy ended in a 3-0 loss at the hands of Napoli.
Paulo Fonseca’s side also have problems scoring in away fixtures- they’ve netted in only of their last seven on the road in this competition while Roma are yet to ship in a goal at the Olimpico in Europe this season.
A 1-0 result will be enough for the Giallorossi to advance to the last eight on the away goals rule.
Man Utd v Sevilla
United came away with a draw from the first leg in Spain thanks to a wonderful performance in goal from the peerless David de Gea.
The Red Devils go into this game on the back of an important home win over in-form Liverpool that saw them consolidate second place in the league while Sevilla were beaten over the weekend by Valencia. The Andalusians have a woeful record domestically against top teams this season. In their games against top four opposition in 17/18, they’ve not been able to even take a point, and have shipped in 20 goals and scored just three.
United have only lost at home to Man City this season and have an excellent defensive record at home. It therefore comes as no surprise that Unibet have the Red Devils as favourites to progress (1.55 at the time of writing), which means we’ll mostly see four Adidas teams in the last eight.
Besiktas v Bayern
After Bayern’s 5-0 win over Besiktas at the Allianz Arena, this one looks like a foregone conclusion, unless the Turkish champions can produce something truly stunning in the second leg- something even more tough than Barca’s second leg comeback against PSG last season.
Barcelona v Chelsea
Lionel Messi broke his scoring duck at Stamford Bridge as Barcelona drew 1-1 in the first leg. Chelsea coach Antonio Conte opted for a striker-less formation with Eden Hazard as a false 9, but the Belgian’s performance improved after he moved to the left later in the game. Barcelona are tough to beat at home, but Chelsea have the tools to script an upset at the Nou Camp.