Full Champions League Round of 16 predictions: Will Real Madrid advance vs. PSG?

Champions League, PSG (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Champions League, PSG (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Paulinho, Sporting CP (Photo by Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
Paulinho, Sporting CP (Photo by Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images) /

Benfica vs Ajax

I don’t know if it’s an achievement anymore to finish above Barcelona in the group stages but the Portuguese club, Benfica did exactly the same. However, it will still be a feat that the club should be proud of, to beat Barcelona 3-0 and then perform better over six games to knock the Catalans out and reserve a spot in the final 16.

Ajax, on the other hand, is the surprise package of this Champions League season. They have managed to win all six of their group stage games alongside Bayern Munich and Liverpool being the only other clubs to have done that. That becomes even more impressive because of these six games, there were two that they won against Borussia Dortmund very comfortably.

Judging from the way Ajax has been playing both in the Champions League and the Dutch League, it seems like the former is their priority this season. Going for a deep run in the Champions League will any day be more profitable than winning another Dutch title. I think Ajax is going to go all-in on this one and beat Benfica to advance into the Quarterfinals.

They have a playing style very similar to Bayern. Very explosive and with tremendous pace on the flanks. I put my money into Ajax for continuing their dream run and being the only representation from outside of Europe’s top five leagues in the last 8. The scoreline I predict is a 3-1 to Ajax over the two legs.

Team that goes through: Ajax

Pervis Estupinan, Villareal CF  (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)
Pervis Estupinan, Villareal CF  (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images) /

Villarreal vs Juventus

Juventus has always disappointed against the smaller teams in the Champions League. And, Villarreal fits perfectly into the scheme of things. First, it was Ajax, then Lyon followed by Porto. Now it’s Villarreal and these look to me as clubs with similar standing and quality. If anything, Villarreal would be an upgrade on the opponents who knocked Juventus out in the past seasons.

My prediction is pretty straightforward, Villarreal is going to win this against Juventus and help LaLiga find some more representation in the last 8. Yes, Max Allegri is back at Juventus but they are still nowhere near their form from Allegri’s first spell with the club. Juventus from 2015-17 was probably one who would have easily knocked out an opponent like Villarreal. But, now things are very different.

I do not need to talk about their downfall since 2018, everyone knows about it. Yes, they did win their group but let’s be honest, they were probably the most favored opponents for the round of 16 this season. They are no longer a team that opponents would like to avoid. And, Villarreal is already very renowned in their ranks, they are the Europa League Champions and have a great squad with several top talents. They’ll win this narrowly and I predict a 3-2 advantage for the Yellow Submarine. I wouldn’t be shocked if this one needs extra time and penalties to settle it.

Team that goes through: Villarreal