This week’s Champions League action kicks off in London as Chelsea welcome Barcelona to Stamford Bridge for the first leg.

The other tie sees Bayern Munich host Besiktas at Allianz Arena.

 

Chelsea vs Barcelona

Drogba.jpg

Didier Drogba scoring first goal of last meeting in 2012.

April 2012, Chelsea under an Italian manager meet Barcelona at the Bridge for first leg of semi final, with an extra 24 hour rest from previous domestic game than the Catalonian team.

They won the first leg 1-0 before drawing a thrilling second leg to progress 3-2 on aggregate.

Fast forward six years and Chelsea are again under an Italian manager, again with an extra 24 hour rest period before meeting Barca at Stamford Bridge.

Could history be about to repeat itself but two stages earlier than of 2012?

Both teams came through the group stage unbeaten home (Chelsea) and away (Barcelona) respectively.

Head to head wise, Barca have won three of their five knockout stage clashes with the Blues. 

The aggregate goal score from all of those meetings is Barcelona 16-15, so expect a thriller across both legs. 

Focusing on Stamford Bridge alone, Chelsea have lost just one home clash with Barca from six meetings. 

Therefore I am going to predict a tight victory for Chelsea, purely because of the 2012 omen favouring them. 

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Barcelona

Result: Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona

 

Bayern Munich vs Besiktas

Bayern start this tie as clear favourites despite there being no head to head history.

The Bundesliga side scored three in each of their three Group B home games and conceded just once.

In fact, they haven’t lost a home tie before the Quarter Final stage since a 3-2 defeat by Manchester City in the 2013-14 group stage.

If focusing on this round specifically, then have to go back a further season when they lost at home to Arsenal but progressed on away goals.

Besiktas might be underdogs but scored at least twice in their three away games from a tough Group G.

The Turks however haven’t reached this stage since the competition got rebranded from European Cup to Champions League.

Under the old name, their best finish was the Quarter Finals in 1986-87 when Dynamo Kiev knocked them out 7-0 on aggregate.

Prediction wise, I can see both scoring but it will be a comfortable home victory.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Besiktas

Result: Bayern Munich 5-0 Besiktas

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