We are halfway in the first legs of the UEFA Champions League first legs. Last week, eight teams have already played their first games. This week, the remaining eight teams face off in their first legs.
Manchester City (2nd in EPL) vs. Barcelona (2nd in La Liga)
Where: Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England
When: 2:00 pregame, 2:45 kickoff on FOX Sports 1 (English) and FOX Deportes (Spanish)
How they got here: Manchester City finished 2nd in Group E which consisted of Bayern Munich, Roma and CSKA Moscow. Barcelona finished 1st in Group F which consisted of PSG, Ajax and APOEL.
The main talking point from this game is that Yaya Toure will not be playing for Manchester City due to suspension. This is going to be BAD for Manchester City. When Yaya Toure was playing for Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations, Manchester City was 1-2-3 in their six matches without Toure. Manchester needs Yaya Toure in order to stand a chance.
Because of this, Barcelona is going to win handedly 3-1. If they’re lucky, Manchester City can do damage control and score in the second leg when Yaya Toure comes back. Also, Barcelona just lost to Malaga Saturday so they will be sure to be focused in their Champions League game.
Juventus (1st in Serie A) vs. Borussia Dortmund (12th in Bundesliga)
Where: Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy
When: 2:00 pregame, 2:45 kickoff on FOX Sports 2 (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
How they got here: Juventus finished 2nd in Group A which consisted of Atletico Madrid, Olympiakos and Malmo. Borussia Dortmund finished 1st in Group D which consisted of Arsenal, Anderlecht and Galatasaray.
Just like the entire season, we have to wonder how Borussia Dortmund is going to play in this game. They have been lounging in the relegation zone in the Bundesliga but they won a rather tough group in the Champions League in the fall and have also gone on bit of a run in the Bundesliga. Dortmund have won three straight and are getting themselves now in the mid table. Dortmund sits 12th and are only 10 points away from a top four Champions League spot with 12 games to go. Dortmund can still come back.
Whether or not Dortmund can come back in the Bundesliga, that’ll have to be a discussion for another time. Can Dortmund succeed against Juventus tomorrow? Unlike the 1997 Champions League Final, this doesn’t end with a Dortmund win. That being said, I think this ends in a 0-0 draw. It’s going to create a classic game in front of the “Yellow Wall”