Italian champions Juventus will be hoping to make a statement in their round-of-16 showdown with FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
The Bianconeri resume their European commitments in a brilliant run of form and with plenty discussing them as genuine contenders for the title. A strong performance at a difficult venue would add credence to that standpoint.
Elsewhere, Sevilla will be big favourites when they welcome struggling Premier League champions Leicester City to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Here’s all the information you need ahead of two more fascinating matches, including a look at the latest odds.
Match odds courtesy of OddsShark. First goalscorer lines courtesy of OddsChecker. Numbers accurate as of 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21.
Matches can be streamed via the BT Sport website (U.K.) and FOX Soccer 2GO (U.S.)
FC Porto vs. Juventus
Given some elite sides failed to top their group in this year’s competition, Juventus will have been pleased to draw Porto at this stage. That’s not to say the hosts won’t pose a threat, though.
Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has really got a tune out of this team lately, with six wins in succession strung together in the Primeira Liga Nos. In Andre Silva, Jesus Corona and Soares, Porto have some players capable of troubling the Juventus back line, too.
Silva, in particular, has impressed in the Champions League this season, with four goals in the group stage. Per Jan Hagen of Sport Witness, his strong recent form was recently recognised:
Nevertheless, Juventus should have enough. Manager Massimiliano Allegri’s side have won seven in a row, are playing in a cohesive style and, most importantly, are finding the back of the net with an unerring regularity.
The quality they have in advanced areas is what sets them apart from Porto. Mario Mandzukic and Juan Cuadrado provide different types of threats on the flanks, while Paulo Dybala is capable of winning a match singlehandedly if he’s in form.
Gonzalo Higuain is the man Juve will look to, though. La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Mina Rzouki of ESPN) stated the forward scoring is as “inevitable as death and taxes.” These numbers from Squawka Football back that up:
The Italians will likely sit deep and seek to contain Porto, especially with Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini both big doubts for the match. They have the quality at the back to keep their hosts out and the class up front to pinch a crucial away goal.
Prediction: FC Porto 0-1 Juventus
Sevilla vs. Leicester City
The odds are stacked against Leicester as they get their Champions League campaign back under way against an in-form Sevilla team.
Manager Claudio Ranieri’s side performed well in the group stage, although since the competition took a break, their domestic form has been appalling. The Foxes have lost their last five Premier League matches in a row, failing to score a goal in 2017 in the league.
They will need one of their struggling stars to come up with the goods in Spain if they are to stand any chance of springing a shock. These numbers from the competition’s official Twitter feed suggest Riyad Mahrez may be the man:
Even if the Algeria international brings his best form to this one, it’s difficult to see how Leicester can tame a Sevilla team that has been playing thrilling football this season.
Jorge Sampaoli has made them extremely difficult opponents. The La Liga side are fluid in their tactical play, aggressive off the ball and relentless in the way they hunt down possession. Additionally, the manager has so many creative attacking players to choose from, including Wissam Ben Yedder, Samir Nasri and Vitolo to name a few.
As noted by Ben McAleer of WhoScored.com, so far this term they have outdone Leicester in almost every key category in this tournament:
The hope for the Foxes will be that Sevilla‘s willingness to dominate the ball will allow them to counter-attack through the likes of Mahrez and Jamie Vardy.
However, in Steven N’Zonzi, Sampaoli has an imperious defensive screen, while the incision which Sevilla have showcased in the final third will be enough to breach a tired-looking Leicester defence. Expect another long night for the English champions.
Prediction: Sevilla 3-0 Leicester City
Read more World Football news on BleacherReport.com
Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling