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UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg Preview: Club Brugge vs Benfica

We’re up and running already in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. After a bit of a lengthy vacation from Europe’s top flight, sixteen teams from all walks of the world’s equatorial continent privileged to have made it through the preliminaries contested in what served as the first leg of the competition’s last 16.

You can view all second round previews here!

AC Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund

Eintracht Frankfurt vs SSC Napoli

Inter Milan vs Porto

PSG vs Bayern Munich

RB Leipzig vs Manchester City

Real Madrid vs Liverpool

Where Things Stand

It was of course eventful in every way. RB Leipzig held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at home ground in Germany, Inter Milan secured a 1-0 home victory over Portuguese FC Porto, Bayern Munich came out on top against Paris Saint German in arguably the ‘biggest, colossal tie of the season", Chelsea fell to a 1-0 loss at the hands of Borussia Dortmund.

Club Brugge conceded a 2-0 loss to Benfica, Milan were victorious over Tottenham Hotspur, their Italian counterparts and Serie A leaders, Napoli posted a 2-0 away win over Eintracht Frankfurt. And last but not the least, in fact the greatest, Real Madrid pulled big rabbits out of their hats to defeat Jurgen Klopp"s Liverpool 5-2 at the Anfield Stadium.

All sixteen teams have a short break to take. Some have to get their backs into grinding hard for a spectacular result if progression into the quarter-finals of the competition is anything to go by. Some, speaking of clubs like Madrid, simply have to defend a stellar first-leg result, play out a decent game. But phase-two would be upon us in less than a week"s time. Liverpool make the return trip to the magical, spell binding Santiago Bernabeu. Messi, Mbappe and the rest of the PSG pack touch down in Munich as they look to write their home errors wrong and keep their Champions League hopes alive.

We"re trusting this to be more scintillating, intriguing and exhilarating than it was in the first. And so, we delve into, half hastily, half detailedly, the match-ups slated for the next two weeks and how exactly we see them pan out.

BIG DISCLAIMER: The predictions are not to be taken score for score, verbatim. They"re just meant to give a picture of the final outcome we expect in the match-ups.

Club Brugge vs Benfica

Not too much can be said about this tie. A match up of two underdogs, with added emphasis on Club Brugge being an underdog. Benfica secured a 2-0 win on Belgian soil, courtesy of two defensive errors, gifting Joao Mario a penalty and David Neres a late goal.

The Belgian outfit are in a really tight corner after having conceded two away goals at the Jan Breydel stadium but their hopes of making it to the quarter-finals are definitely not yet over. It however means that Scott Parker and his men would have some serious work to do to pull off a large win come next week Tuesday. Blauw-Zwart would be needing to score two unreplied goals to at least force an additional thirty minutes at the Estadio de Luz.

This task looks Herculean considering the fact that The Eagles have only conceded one goal in their past seven games. It would be a huge task for Parker"s men to breach the Portuguese side defensively.

What"s more, Roger Schmidt"s men have scored in all home matches this season. Infact, more than just scoring in all home fixtures, they have scored in all fixtures this season(play-offs included) except in their 0-0 away draw to Viktoria and 3-0 loss to Braga. Speaking of which, the Portuguese side have conceded only defeat throughout this season(which happens to be the 3-0 loss to SC Braga). For Club Brugge, it is of course huge and hard, but not impossible, right?

Predictably as usual, we see Benfica going through in this one. Club Brugge have a chance but they"re just not going to pull off a feat as big as this, are they?

Prediction: Benfica 2-0 Club Brugge

Players to watch:

Benfica: Goncalo Ramos, Joao Mario

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