Football fans in the country could be in for unique viewing experiences as UEFA Champions League returns this week with four mouthwatering fixtures.
The official sponsor of the league, Heineken said it has provided live match locations at strategic states in the country.
You would recall that the 2017-18 season has reached the Round of 16 (knock out stage) and there are incredible fixtures which include; PSG/Real Madrid, Juventus/Tottenham, and Barcelona/Chelsea.
For those unfamiliar with the tournament, each matchup consists of a home-and-home series with the best goal differential advancing (based on away goals).
These week fixtures will start on Tuesday with two thrilling matches and another two matches also for the next day.
See below the match previews for the fixtures
TUESDAY 13TH FEBRUARY
ROUND OF 16
Manchester City just broke the Premier League record with their 15th consecutive league win and lucked out by getting Basel in the Champions League Round of 16.
They’re the biggest favorites to advance from the Round of 16, and they are also the favorites to win the Champions League title? well in football anything can happen and nothing is impossible.
FC Basel finished second in the group stage campaign to Manchester United, they are battle ready get another shot against English opposition as they face up to one of the tournament favourites, Man City in the first knockout stage. The Swiss side did take a home win over Man Utd on matchday five, so a warning there for the Citizens perhaps?
City are heavy odds-on favourites to win the match and they will want to ensure that they have a comfortable passage through by starting in a positive manner in the round of sixteen.
- Juventus vs.Tottenham Hotspur
Juventus vs. Tottenham should be another exciting, heavyweight encounter. Juventus are slight favorites to advance but a lot of fans will be taking a chance on Tottenham.
This was a bit of a rough draw for Tottenham after managing to win their group ahead of Real Madrid. They get such a tough opener now in the round of sixteen as they head out to Turin to try and get something out of the game to hold onto back at Wembley. Juventus are such a strong side at home in Europe that they will be going as favourites to get a first leg advantage on the board on Tuesday night.
ROUND OF 16
This may well end up being one of the most entertaining tie of the round of sixteen in this season’s Champions League. Liverpool has a powerful attack but we have seen already this season that they can’t always be trusted defensively. FC Porto will throw down a decent challenge and all three of their group stage fixtures in this season’s campaign were high scoring affairs.
FC Porto can probably keep themselves in this tie. Liverpool has a habit of running out of steam in matches and Porto can stick in there and have their moments in this game. They have good home form going against English sides and the Reds can’t always be trusted to hold things together at the back. A draw in the match outright appeals.
- Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint Germain
PSG will, unfortunately, meet Real Madrid in the Round of 16, meaning one of the tournament favorites will already be eliminated before the quarterfinals. This is great news for other contenders like Man City, Bayern Munich, and Barcelona since their paths automatically get a little bit easier.
Real Madrid found themselves with a tongue tie after failing to win their group over English Premier League side Tottenham. They have to do battle with PSG who have been backed into a position of second favourites to win the tournament outright, despite this battle with the reigning champions. Real Madrid has been out of sorts this season and their entire term now rests on their Champions League progress.
From the six previous matches that these two have contested, the head to had is even with two wins each and two drawn matches. PSG and Madrid were together most recently in the 2015/16 group stage where there was 0-0 draw in Paris before Real Madrid won 1-0 back at home. Before that it was Paris who was on top, beating Real Madrid in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup quarter-finals and in the 1993/94 European Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals.
This is probably going to be a tight contest out at the Bernabeu. Real Madrid has to perform in this one because after a poor season this is their last shot at silverware. They haven’t been at their best this season at all but can stay strong enough ton home soil to collect a draw. PSG would be happy with that with the second leg to come back in Paris
TUESDAY 20TH FEBRUARY
ROUND OF 16
WEDNESDAY 21ST FEBRUARY
ROUND OF 16
According to Heineken in a statement made available there will be premium viewing venues in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt on the match days.
Mr. Franco Maria Maggi, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Heineken will activate exciting fixtures such as Real Madrid vs PSG and Chelsea vs Barcelona across Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. The viewing centers include IMAX Lekki, Silverbird Cinema Abuja and FilmHouse Cinema Port Harcourt.
He explained that “We understand the passion and love that Nigerians have for this beautiful game. So this year, Heineken encourages fans to share the drama of the UEFA Champions League with all their friends. We are excited to bring to fans these premium viewing centres where they can enjoy some of the most dramatic football moments in a relaxing atmosphere.
“In addition to the mesmerizing display of skills and great goals sure to keep fans glued to the screen, fans can enjoy Heineken and other side attractions to give every fan a remarkable viewing experience at the various centres.”
Followed by more than a billion people worldwide, the UEFA Champions League is one of the most watched sporting competitions in the world. With the first round of matches of the 2017/2018 season already played last year, the Round of 16 and knockout phase promise to be thrilling.