In a week that also features FA and EFL Cup intrigue, the UEFA Champions League resumes its Round of 16 today and Wednesday.
Here’s a quick look at each of the four matches:
Manchester City vs. Monaco
The experience of Vincent Kompany will be a big miss for Pep Guardiola’s side when it hosts Monaco this afternoon (2:45 p.m. ET, FS1). It will also be interesting to see if the manager opts for Claudio Bravo or Willy Caballero in goal.
More important for City may be its ability to work the other keeper in this match. City’s offense has sputtered of late, most recently being kept off the score sheet by Championship side Huddersfield in a FA Cup match Saturday.
Monaco might not be splashing the cash as it was a few years ago, but they’re playing excellent soccer at the moment. Leonardo Jardim’s side are on top of the table in Ligue Un with an eye-popping goal difference of 52.
City may be the favorite, but the French side is a dangerous foe for Guardiola’s men.
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Atletico Madrid
It’s been a bit of a mixed bag for Atletico recently. Diego Simeone’s team sits in fourth place in La Liga and has already been bounced from the Copa Del Rey, but is still riding an eight-game unbeaten run in league matches.
While the Spanish side has a bit of recent success in the Champions League upon which it can draw, Leverkusen has never won a Round of 16 match in the competition. And as the current eighth-place team in the Bundesliga, Roger Schmidt’s club has to be considered the underdog in the tie.
Sevilla vs. Leicester City
Defending the Premier League title has proven to be a steep challenge for the Foxes, and life in Europe won’t be getting any easier with a visit to Spain on Wednesday to meet Sevilla (2:45 p.m., ET, FS1).
Leicester has been slumping all season, but have been particularly bad since the turn of the new year. There’s been just one win in 10 matches for Claudio Ranieri’s team, and if he doesn’t turn it around soon, he might go from being a title-winning manager to the unemployment line.
Sevilla doesn’t appear to be the ideal place to stop the rot, either. The club, under the direction of Jorge Sampaoli, sits third in La Liga and boasts the best home record in the league
Porto vs. Juventus
Two teams in fine form collide in Portugal on Wednesday as Porto entertains Juventus (2:45 p.m. ET, FS2).
The hosts have won six straight matches in all competitions and sit just one point behind Benfica for the top spot in the domestic table.
Juve matches that with a seven-match run of winning matches which has it comfortably atop the Serie A standings.
Goals may be hard to come by in this tie, as each team boasts the fewest goals allowed in their respective leagues.