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2022 UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Predictions

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Hello and welcome to one of the most difficult exercises of the year — the Champions League Round of 16 predictions. 

It’s always a fool’s exercise since this stage of the competition is guaranteed to throw one shock at us (like Porto knocking out Juventus last year) while also delivering some matchups (Real Madrid vs. PSG, Man United vs. Atlético) that require very little imagination to see going either way. But all we do at The18 is watch an entirely unhealthy amount of this game, so we should be able to earn you a pretty penny* with these predictions.

*The18 is not responsible for you throwing away your money on Real Madrid.

2022 UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Predictions

PSG vs. Real Madrid

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The18 Says: Real Madrid (5 votes to 1)  

David Moore 

First leg (FRA): 2-2
Second leg (ESP): 3-0 Real Madrid
Aggregate: 5-2 Real Madrid
Reason: Real Madrid will be one of, if not the best team PSG has played all year. I think the Parisians get exposed and everyone who spams PSG on FIFA 22 seasons mode learns that pace isn’t everything in real life.

Bianca Coca 

First leg (FRA): 2-2
Second leg (ESP): 3-2 PSG 
Aggregate: 5-4 PSG
Reason: Messi.

Travis Yoesting 

First leg (FRA): 2-2
Second leg (ESP): 1-0 Real Madrid 
Aggregate: 3-2 Real Madrid 
Reason: In what might be the most highly anticipated Round of 16 match ever, PSG’s star-studded team can’t get it done. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé can’t win a Champions League with a midfield that’s so outmatched.

Luis Vidal

First leg (FRA): 1-0 PSG 
Second leg (ESP): 2-0 Real Madrid 
Aggregate: 2-1 Real Madrid 
Reason: Mbappé doesn’t want to upset his next boss.

Connor Fleming

First leg (FRA): 2-1 PSG
Second leg (ESP): 3-1 Real Madrid
Aggregate: 4-3 Real Madrid
Reason: PSG is overly reliant on genius bolts from the blue from Messi and Mbappé, but they’ll have their moments against Real — you can’t stop them, only hope to contain them. Still, Los Blancos are the better team and will look threatening on every attack.

Mariel McCown

First leg (FRA): 3-2 PSG
Second leg (ESP): 2-0 Real Madrid
Aggregate: 4-3 Real Madrid 
Reason: I can just see PSG choking. 

Sporting vs. Manchester City 

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The18 Says: Manchester City (6 votes to 0) 

David Moore 

First leg (PRT): 3-1 Man City
Second leg (GBR): 3-0 Man City
Aggregate: 6-1 Man City
Reason: Manchester City.

Bianca Coca 

First leg (PRT): 3-1 Man City
Second leg (GBR): 3-0 Man City
Aggregate: 6-1 Man City
Reason: Manchester City, baby! 

Travis Yoesting

First leg (PRT): 1-0 Man City
Second leg (GBR): 3-1 Man City 
Aggregate: 4-1 Man City 
Reason: It’s unclear if this is Pep Guardiola’s best Man City team yet, but it’s certainly good enough to get past Sporting without too much trouble.

Luis Vidal

First leg (PRT): 2-0 Man City 
Second leg (GBR): 3-1 Man City 
Aggregate: 5-1 Man City 
Reason: Eliminating Borussia Dortmund was very impressive, but Sporting does not have enough tools to upset Pep’s dream-crushing machine.

Connor Fleming

First leg (PRT): 1-0 Sporting
Second leg (GBR): 3-0 Man City
Aggregate: 3-1 Man City
Reason: I could see a memorable performance from Sporting at the José Alvalade, but the Etihad is going to be very, very unkind. 

Mariel McCown

First leg (PRT): 2-0 Man City 
Second leg (GBR): 3-2 Man City 
Aggregate: 5-2 Man City
Reason: I love a good underdog, but I think Man City is just too big of a powerhouse.

RB Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich

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The18 Says: Bayern Munich (5 votes to 1) 

David Moore 

First leg (AUT): 2-1 Bayern Munich
Second leg (DEU): 4-1 Bayern Munich
Aggregate: 6-2 Bayern Munich 
Reason: Robert Lewangoalski goes on a tear that Salzburg can’t keep up with. Brenden Aaronson will get one goal though that The18 will be all over. 

Bianca Coca

First leg (AUT): 2-1 RB Salzburg
Second leg (DEU): 4-1 RB Salzburg
Aggregate: 6-2 RB Salzburg
Reason: Karim Adeyemi! 

Travis Yoesting 

First leg (AUT): 4-3 Bayern Munich 
Second leg (DEU): 4-2 Bayern Munich 
Aggregate: Bayern 8-5 Bayern Munich 
Reason: Salzburg can surprise a lot of defenses with its clinical attack but won’t be able to do enough to slow down Bayern. Robert Lewandowski has a field day against the Austrian champs.

Luis Vidal

First leg (AUT): 3-1 Bayern Munich
Second leg (DEU): 3-0 Bayern Munich 
Aggregate: 6-1 Bayern Munich 
Reason: Because one of Bayern Munich’s favorite hobbies is destroying anything that has Red Bull (or RasenBallsport, wink, wink) in its name.

Connor Fleming

First leg (AUT): 2-2 
Second leg (DEU): 3-0 Bayern Munich 
Aggregate: 5-2 Bayern Munich 
Reason: A slap-happy first leg for shits and giggles before Bayern slams the door. 

Mariel McCown

First leg (AUT): 3-1 Bayern Munich 
Second leg (DEU): 2-1 Bayern Munich 
Aggregate: 5-2 Bayern Munich 
Reason: Don’t see these guys losing anytime soon.

Inter vs. Liverpool

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The18 Says: Liverpool (6 votes to 0)

David Moore

First leg (ITA): 1-0 Inter
Second leg (GBR): 2-1 Liverpool 
Aggregate: 2-2 (Liverpool wins on penalties)
Reason: This is the matchup I’m most excited about. These will be the most exciting games to watch, but Mr. Salah will get the job done for Liverpool. 

Bianca Coca

First leg (ITA): 1-0 Inter
Second leg (GBR): 2-1 Liverpool 
Aggregate: 2-2 (Liverpool wins on penalties)
Reason: Mr. Salah.

Travis Yoesting

First leg (ITA): 1-0 Inter
Second leg (GBR): 2-0 Liverpool 
Aggregate: 2-1 Liverpool 
Reason: Liverpool will struggle in the first leg with its star attackers coming off a grueling AFCON campaign, but Jürgen Klopp’s side will turn things around at Anfield. Inter isn’t as good as it was last year and Liverpool is probably a little better than it was last year, giving the English side the nod. 

Luis Vidal

First leg (ITA): 1 -1
Second leg (GBR): 3-1 Liverpool 
Aggregate: 4-2 Liverpool 
Reason: Because Inter will not have Nicolò Barella (for punching Real Madrid defender Eder Militão), and because Liverpool has Mane and Salah. #Math

Connor Fleming

First leg (ITA): 1-0 Liverpool 
Second leg (GBR): 2-0 Liverpool 
Aggregate: 3-0 Liverpool 
Reason: Unsung players like Ivan Perišić, Edin Džeko and Hakan Çalhanoğlu have been playing really well to keep Inter at the top of Serie A, but they’re not troubling Liverpool. 

Mariel McCown

First leg (ITA): 2-1 Inter
Second leg (GBR): 4-2 Liverpool 
Aggregate: 5-4 Liverpool 
Reason: Somehow Liverpool always sneaks away with the win on aggregate in the second leg, they just do. 

Chelsea vs. Lille

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The18 Says: Chelsea (4 votes to 2)

David Moore 

First leg (GBR): 3-0 Chelsea
Second leg (FRA): 1-0 Lille
Aggregate: 3-1 Chelsea
Reason: Chelsea will be fresh off its Club World Cup triumph and take it to Lille with a comfortable 3-0 victory in the first leg. Big Daddy Pulisic will score and the second leg will be a snoozefest with one late goal from Lille. #JonathanDavid

Bianca Coca

First leg (GBR): 3-0 Lille
Second leg (FRA): 1-0 Chelsea
Aggregate: 3-1 Lille
Reason: I don’t like Chelsea.

Travis Yoesting

First leg (GBR): 2-1 Chelsea
Second leg (FRA): 0-0
Aggregate: 2-1 Chelsea 
Reason: It’s Pulisic vs. Weah! And neither will factor in, with Pulisic stuck in a wingback role and Weah coming off the bench in both matches. Timo Werner scores the key goal at Stamford Bridge to barely get Thomas Tuchel’s side into the quarterfinals. 

Luis Vidal

First leg (GBR): 2-0 Chelsea 
Second leg (FRA): 1-0 Lille 
Aggregate: 2-1 Chelsea 
Reason: Lille is recovering its Ligue 1 champion form, but the UCL’s current champions are still a better team. Even though we don’t know what Thomas Tuchel is trying to do.

Connor Fleming

First leg (GBR): 1-1 
Second leg (FRA): 1-0 Lille
Aggregate: 2-1 Lille  
Reason: The Farmers League strikes again.    

Mariel McCown

First leg (GBR): 2-0 Chelsea
Second leg (FRA): 2-1 Chelsea 
Aggregate: 4-1 Chelsea
Reason: Boring matchup, Chelsea seems like the obvious choice here.

Villarreal vs. Juventus

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The18 Says: Juventus (4 votes to 2) 

David Moore

First leg (ESP): 1-1
Second leg (ITA): 3-0 Juventus
Aggregate: 4-1 Juventus
Reason: It’s been a joy having you in the tournament Villarreal, but Weston McKennie is coming to town, and I’m legally obligated to not bet against him.

Bianca Coca

First leg (ESP): 1-1
Second leg (ITA): 3-0 Juventus
Aggregate: 4-1 Juventus
Reason: My mother’s name is Juventina. Sounds similar…

Travis Yoesting

First leg (ESP): 0-0
Second leg (ITA): 0-0
Aggregate: 0-0 (Villarreal wins on penalties)
Reason: Dušan Vlahović needs more time to learn his teammates’ names before he can make an impact at Juve, which will suffer another Champions League upset. Dani Parejo will hit a Panenka past Wojciech Szczęsny to send the Spanish club into the quarters. 

Luis Vidal

First leg (ESP): 1-0 Villarreal 
Second leg (ITA): 1-0 Villarreal 
Aggregate: 2-0 Villarreal 
Reason: Because the Italian giant is not having the best season and Unai Emery is a magician in European tournaments.

Connor Fleming

First leg (ESP): 0-0 
Second leg (ITA): 1-1  
Aggregate: 1-1 (Juventus wins on penalties) 
Reason: Juve has quietly climbed from eighth to fourth in Serie A while Villarreal has similarly moved beyond a horrendous first half of the season to reach sixth in LaLiga. It’s gonna be close.

Mariel McCown

First leg (ESP): 1-1
Second leg (ITA): 3-1 Juventus
Aggregate: 4-2 Juventus
Reason: After a tight first leg, Juve pulls out a solid victory at home.

Atlético vs. Manchester United

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The18 Says: We Don’t Know (3 votes to 3)

David Moore 

First leg (ESP): 2-0 Atlético
Second leg (GBR): 3-0 Manchester United
Aggregate: 3-2 Manchester United
Reason: SIUUUUUUUUUUUU. Diego Simeone vs. Mr. Champions League. I’m taking Ronaldo.

Bianca Coca

First leg (ESP): 2-0 Atlético
Second leg (GBR): 3-0 Manchester United
Aggregate: 3-2 Manchester United
Reason: Ronaldo.

Travis Yoesting

First leg (ESP): 1-0 Atlético
Second leg (GBR): 1-1
Aggregate: 2-1 Atlético
Reason: No team in the knockout rounds had fewer points in the group stage than Atléti, but there are few teams harder to beat than Diego Simeone’s side. With Manchester United still trying to figure things out under Ralf Rangnick, Cristiano Ronaldo will suffer yet another early exit.

Luis Vidal

First leg (ESP): 0-0
Second leg (GBR): 1-0 Man United 
Aggregate: 1-0 Man United 
Reason: Man United will win the duel between the bitterest teams in the world because of Cristiano. CR7 will score around minute 70 just before Rangnick takes him out.

Connor Fleming

First leg (ESP): 3-1 Atlético 
Second leg (GBR): 1-0 Manchester United 
Aggregate: 3-2 Atlético
Reason: Ronaldo is Simeone’s tormentor. We all know this to be true. But Atlético can be heroes, just for one day.    

Mariel McCown

First leg (ESP): 3-1 Atlético
Second leg (GBR): 2-1 Man United 
Aggregate: 4-3 Atlético
Reason: Another heartbreak for Cristiano Ronaldo; Man United in shambles right now.

Benfica vs. Ajax

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The18 Says: Ajax (6 votes to 0)

David Moore 

First leg (PRT): 2-2
Second leg (NLD): 2-0 Ajax
Aggregate: 4-2 Ajax
Reason: Sébastian Haller is a badddddd man.

Bianca Coca

First leg (PRT): 2-1 Ajax
Second leg (NLD): 2-0 Ajax
Aggregate: 4-1 Ajax
Reason: Sébastian Haller.

Travis Yoesting 

First leg (PRT): 1-0 Benfica 
Second leg (NLD): 2-0 Ajax
Aggregate: 2-1 Ajax 
Reason: Benfica edged Barcelona to reach the knockout rounds, but it’ll face a better team than Barça in Ajax. Tournament leading scorer Sébastian Haller gets two goals at the Johan Cruyff Arena to send the Dutch side through.

Luis Vidal

First leg (PRT): 2-1 Ajax 
Second leg (NLD): 2-1 Ajax 
Aggregate: 4-2 Ajax 
Reason: Benfica left Barcelona out in the group stage, but that is not a big thing nowadays. Ajax, on the other hand, won all of its games, and they have Sébastian Haller.

Connor Fleming

First leg (PRT): 2-2
Second leg (NLD): 3-1 Ajax  
Aggregate: 5-3 Ajax 
Reason: The spirit of 2018-19 has returned.

Mariel McCown

First leg (PRT): 2-0 Ajax
Second leg (NLD): 3-1 Ajax
Aggregate: 5-1 Ajax
Reason: Benfica is a warmup game for Ajax.



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