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How will Premier League clubs fare in UCL last 16?

Guardiola Zidane UEFA Champions League

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 26: Coach and manager Pep Guardiola (R) of Manchester City and Zinedine Zidane coach of Real Madrid greet after Manchester City defeated Real madrid, 4-1, during the International Champions Cup 2017 at Los Angeles Coliseum July 26, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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The next few weeks sees the UEFA Champions League last 16 stage arrive and I’ve been thinking a lot about how the four Premier League teams will fare.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Will the new winter break make a big difference? Have all four teams been handed favorable ties? What will the key matchups be over the two legs?

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Chelsea, Liverpool (reigning champs), Man City and Tottenham made it a clean sweep of all four Premier League teams in the knockout rounds but all four have very different tests awaiting them.

Below is an in-depth look and prediction for how the four Premier League teams will get on in their UCL last 16 clashes.


Tottenham Hotspur v. RB Leipzig
First leg: Feb. 19 @ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Second leg: Mar. 10 @ Red Bull Arena
Key battle: Heung min-Son v. Dayot Upamecano
Favorites: Spurs are the slight favorites but both clubs have been stuttering in league play. Mourinho is setting Spurs up to be rapid on the counter with Bergwijn, Son and Lucas Moura but that is exactly how Leipzig play with Werner the livewire on the break. This will be a very evenly-matched clash and could go to penalty kicks.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Heung-Min Son of Tottenham celebrates his goal alongside Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 2, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Offside via Getty Images


Chelsea v. Bayern Munich
First leg: Feb. 25 @ Stamford Bridge
Second leg: Mar. 18 @ Allianz Arena
Key battle: Antonio Rudiger v. Robert Lewandowski
Favorites: Bayern are probably the favorites given the experience of their team compared to Chelsea’s youngster and Lewandowski could have a field day against this leaky Blues defense. Christian Pulisic’s fitness will be key as he has the x-factor Chelsea have missed in recent weeks. Chelsea will hope to still be level, at least, when they head to Bavaria.

Chelsea FC v AFC Ajax: Group H - UEFA Champions League

Christian Pulisic (Chelsea FC) pictured during the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League Group H game between Chelsea FC (England) and AFC Ajax (Netherlands) at Stamford Bridge. (Photo by Federico Guerra Moran/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NurPhoto via Getty Images


Real Madrid v. Manchester City
First leg: Feb. 26 @ Estadio Bernabeu
Second leg: Mar. 17 @ Etihad Stadium
Key battle: Eden Hazard v. Kyle Walker
Favorites: This will probably be about 9-9 on aggregate because both teams love to attack but both have issues in defense. Zidane has turned Real into a more efficient team this season and that has flown under the radar given their superstar attackers. We know Pep Guardiola’s side are struggling at the back but will not throw away their playing principles and Man City are the slight favorites due to Aguero and De Bruyne. This is too close to call, especially if Real get off to a flier in the first leg. The pressure is on Man City because Pep knows he needs to deliver the UCL title.

Manchester City FC v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 26: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City and Casemiro of Real Madrid CF battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Manchester City FC and Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on April 26, 2016 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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Atletico Madrid v. Liverpool
First leg: Feb. 18 @ Wanda Metropolitano
Second leg: Mar. 11 @ Anfield
Key battle: Thomas Partey v. Jordan Henderson
Favorites: Liverpool, the reigning European and World champs, are the favorites but this isn’t a clash Jurgen Klopp’s side will relish. Atletico are perhaps the only team who will out-work Liverpool but Diego Simeone’s side have been blunted after the departure of Antoine Griezmann and are the underdogs. That is a role they relish. Atleti’s midfield will provide their backline with a strong shield and Oblak will be tough to beat. But this is Liverpool and all season long Jurgen Klopp’s side have found a way to win.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 01: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool lifts the Champions League Trophy after winning the UEFA Champions League Final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on June 01, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

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